Coffee and commerce

Monday, March 31, 2008

PITTSBURGH, Kan. – Coffee and heart-shaped cookies were served up along with a talk on heart health and CPAP devices during a Valentine’s Day gathering at Mt. Carmel Medical.
Gary Miller, director of Mt. Carmel, hosts a Chamber of Commerce coffee every year for his fellow chamber members. The event lasts about an hour, and Miller takes the mic for 10 minutes to talk up Mt. Carmel’s products and services.
It’s a good opportunity to reach a broader audience of potential customers, he says.
“We get a lot of people who wouldn’t normally venture into our store,” said Miller, who netted a couple of new sleep patients after the event. “They can see what we do, and what we have.”
Refreshments cost less than $75. Employees had to clear the showroom of large DME items to make space and set up for the event, which is “frustrating but also fun,” said Miller.
Collecting names for door prizes makes following up with a thank-you note easy, says Miller.
In addition to the 50 attendees who visited the store, Mt. Carmel got write-ups in the monthly chamber newsletter and local newspaper. The chamber also sent postcards featuring “a blurb” about the company to its 550 members to announce the coffee.
“That’s what’s invaluable,” said Miller of the free advertising. “That’s hard to put a number on.” HME