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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Sales and Marketing - adding advertising to the product

Take a whole load of people with an objective in mind ... give them what they're looking for. Package it with something more that they're not really seeking, and chances are that they'll accept the extras.

That's a standard marketing and sales technique. We see it in newspapers, with adverts. We see it on training courses run by original product vendors, where there's a course segment telling the delages how great the company's other products are, and Lisa and I saw it yesterday when we took a supposedly quiet beach day out on Sardinia.

From what I learned, Sardinia is a beautiful island.

The cruise ship we're on docked in Cagliaria - the island's capital - for six hnd a half hours. We took about 30 minutes to get organised, and get off. And we were then put on a bus for a 90 minute journey to a beautiful bay, where there was a ten minute walk down to be beach, and a short - five minute - queue for an umbrella and beach chairs. Let's see - that's 135 minutes accounted for so far. On our return, we had our ten minute walk back up, and a further 80 minutes to the boat (no traffic jams at this time of day). We also stopped for 60 minutes at a vineyard, for what was descibed as cheese tasting. The generous samples of cold white wine as we arrived were certainly welcome after the coach journey - our vehicle's air conditioning wasn't functioning correctly and the cynical part of me suggests a "softening up" exercise to ensure maximum disposition to buying the product. Wisely, we were back at the boat about 20 minutes before departure; a good decision, since the traffic had been an issue in the morning ... but if you've been doing your sums, you'll have noticed that so much time has been accounted for that only 85 minutes had been left for our quiet beach day.

Here come pictures from the day ... a snapshot of Sardinia (click on any to enlarge):

From the road above, our beautiful bay and Medditeranean beach in Sardinia

Demonstration of Cheesemaking by the local Shepherd

Just in case you wanted to buy any of the wine from the vineyard, a table was set up with a few bottles available. The ship has a rule "you may not bring your own alcohol on board", but this didn't seem to have been brought too much to our attention, nor was it (to my knowledge) enforced.

Lunchbreak for the coach drivers.

Our "tour guides" in Sardinia

Pink Flamingos on the Estuary - taken from the speeding bus, but a fascinating scene. Add in an interesting looking City in Cagliaria, some lovely mountains and other views sneaked for the coach, and I know that this is somewhere worth a further visit.

A unique sales experience? Regrettably not - Our "Walking tour of Florence" started with a 30 minute stop at a leather factory - "because you'll want to use the loos before your walk" (and perhaps you'll buy some of the very expensive leather products)

But ... there *is* a case - and it's a good case - for ensuring that customers who have been disposed to buy a particular product are informed about other associated products that may be of interest to them. In fact, to denythat extra information is a dis-service to them. So I point our customers to our blog, I categorise articles so that people can find what they need ... and I'll help people navigate that data. And - at the end of courses, I make sure that delegates are aware that they can come back to us further training, to stay at the hotel, or simply to ask questions on what they've learned.

Our laid back approach probably reduces the number of add-on and impulse sales that we make, and if we had a short term gap to fill in our schedule and bookings, that could be a problem. But it seems to pay back, and many times over, over the years. "You taught my colleague in 2002". "You come with recommendations from someone you trained a while ago" ... good - that's follow ups from people who aren't being bounced into using us, but really want our products. And that makes it so much more rewarding for us to provide those products.
(written 2011-07-11)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G503 - Well House Consultants - Newsletter and publicity
  [48] PHP - onwards and upwards - (2004-09-14)
  [57] Posting 1000 letters! - (2004-09-21)
  [281] What they are saying about our OF COURSE newsletter - (2005-04-16)
  [336] Targetted Advertising - (2005-06-05)
  [458] Final courses of '05 coming up .... - (2005-10-08)
  [480] New look to website - (2005-10-30)
  [734] Keeping customers informed by email - (2006-05-26)
  [904] Of course I'll tell you by email - (2006-10-25)
  [1000] One Thousand Posts and still going strong - (2006-12-18)
  [1087] Telling a story in different ways - (2007-02-20)
  [1090] Too many instructions, too much detail - (2007-02-23)
  [1284] An update on the West Wilts show ... - (2007-07-30)
  [1494] A time to update pictures - (2008-01-03)
  [1673] Spam Filters ... are working! - (2008-06-11)
  [1698] Dealing with The Press - (2008-07-06)
  [2051] A Presentation about our company - web and PHP - (2009-02-23)
  [2124] Building down expectations - (2009-04-09)
  [2244] What should a web site cost you? - (2009-06-16)
  [2388] `Of Course` is back! - (2009-08-31)
  [2564] Microblogging services - Plurk, Twitter, Jaiku and more - (2010-01-05)
  [2873] Another toot of the trumpet - (2010-07-16)
  [3153] Points West to Belfast - (2011-02-01)
  [3165] Journalism 101 - (2011-02-11)
  [3974] TV show appearance - how does it effect your web site? - (2013-01-13)
  [3984] 20 minutes in to our 15 minutes of fame - (2013-01-20)
  [4266] Facebook marketing - who are we reaching? - (2014-04-23)

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Upcoming Programming courses ... High Summer, 2011
Business, priorities, and volunteering
Holiday patterns - just the art, not the content
Family Pictures
Sales and Marketing - adding advertising to the product
Off the beaten track - non-quite-so-tourist spots
World Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros.
Research and development with the help of your tutor or guide
A set of pictures without point
Formatting output in Python through str.format
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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