No More Cold Calls, Wow Your Clients With Promotional Products

 

Promotional CoolersIf you have been in sales for even a week, you know about the dreaded gatekeeper. That is the person that screens phone calls and visitors from the management and the “decision makers.” All sales people know that you don’t waste time trying to sell to the secretary or random employees. You have to get to that person who is authorized to make the decision. Now sometimes that might be the secretary or it might be an employee who has been tasked with that duty. You have to ask to find out who makes those decisions, if you don’t already know.

The first answer that you almost always get on a cold cold when asking to speak to that decision maker is, “Do you have an appointment?” or “What is this in regards to?” or “Does he know you?” or some other similar screening question. When you don’t have an appointment or he doesn’t know you, then the standard response is a rejection.

But what if you wooed that gatekeeper from the start by giving him or her a gift? I’m not talking about a cheap pen or a koozie, but a nice gift such as a can cooler or a nice bag? There are thousands of great and useful promotional products to choose for this task. By starting off the conversation with a gift before even introducing yourself, you will be successful much more often in getting through that gatekeeper to that almighty decision maker.

This warming effect of gifts also works with clients as well. I recently met with a client and started off the meeting with handing out gifts to each person in attendance. Those gifts were custom cooler bags printed with the logo of one of our online advertising services, Emerald Coast HUB. The mood instantly changed to a warmer environment and that opened up the client to listen more attentively and respect my advice more. In addition, having some nice promotional gifts with your business logo on them adds a level of professionalism to your company. In the course of everyday business, we run across many different “businesses.” Some of these businesses are one man operations and “fly by night operations.” Professionally printed promotional items help to separate your legitimate business from those just trying to make a quick buck. If you make it a no-brainer for them to discern you from those “shady” businesses, you will instantly get credibility and be more apt to earn that order.

Good luck with your selling and don’t forget to bring plenty of gifts!

What Does A Promotional Products Consultant Do?

 

Often we will sell an order of pens to business in need of pens or key chains to an automotive dealer and all of sudden we become the “pen guys” or the “key chain guys.” However, we offer so much  more than just selling an item. Perhaps out of busyness and limited time, we sometimes don’t fully convey what it is that we really offer. Perfect Imprints offers not only over a million different promotional items that can be custom printed with your company logo, but also custom t-shirts and apparel, full color printing, graphic design, logo design, and web design. The services that we offer are not just that of an order taker and order fulfilment company, but as a marketing consultant. We have been in business for over 12 years and our employees are highly trained in marketing strategies and graphic design. We regularly attend education seminars and learn about the hottest new marketing trends and read trade journals. Our customers that we service are in all 50 states with several of our clients abroad. Because of our diverse customer base, we know not only local trends, but the trends happening in other areas of the country. Because of this knowledge, we can help your business get the edge on your competitors. The expertise that we offer will turn your marketing budget into an investment and not an expense. Here’s a little video we put together to show you some of the services that we offer.

If you are read to start your marketing campaign, give Perfect Imprints a call at 800-773-9472 or visit our website at http://perfectimprints.com.

Comparing Apples to Apples With Your Marketing

 

When marketing your company, there are literally thousands of concepts, products, and mediums you can use. There is video, web marketing, full color printing, promotional products, billboards and other signage, text message marketing, and email marketing. With each of these marketing mediums, there are thousands of companies that offer the services, however, not all of them are equals. You can’t compare apples to oranges.

Let’s take promotional product distributors, for example. There are thousands of distributors who all have access to the same promo items as every other distributor. We all deal with the same factories, of which there are around 4000. However, that doesn’t make us all equals. The majority of distributors just “dabble” in promotional items for extra money. Because many of these distributors only do this on a part-time basis, their knowledge is limited. Our company, Perfect Imprints has been doing this full-time for over 12 years and our employees are highly trained in marketing tactics, graphic design, and promotional products application for business and marketing. We regularly attend educational seminars, read trade journals, stay current with the most popular trends, and most importantly have learned from past mistakes. We know what works and what doesn’t work.

To distribute promotional items, there’s a lot more than simply calling the factory and placing an order. There is a lot of setup process and research involved prior to placing the order for the physical products. However, most of these part-time distributorships don’t have the expertise to properly take care of their client’s needs. The most important step is the graphic design aspect. The graphic design is foundation of the whole process. With a poor design, the printed product will be poor, as will the outcome of your marketing campaign. On the hand, though, a nice, clean and effective layout will sell your brand and help your overall campaign become more successful.

Another important step is to choose the right product for your purpose. Pictures can be deceiving in catalogs and on websites. Not to mention, there are sometimes hundreds or even thousands of very similar items, so the specific item you are ordering may not be the suitable product for your intended purpose. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable distributor comes in handy. Because of our years of experience, we are familiar with thousands of products and have been exposed to even more than that. We know when certain products won’t be a good fit for your campaign and we can make recommendations for other products. If we don’t know the answer, we know how to do the thorough research to get the answers for you.

As an experienced distributor, we have already made the mistakes of using factories with inferior products or inferior printing processes. We have a database of around a million products. Many are poor design or cheap in quality and we know which ones to avoid. We have filtered our databases to only allow for top notch quality products and reputable factories. We have developed great relationships with many great factories in which we can get special privileges and pricing that other distributors can’t get. That, of course, passes benefit to our clients.

As you can see, our experience translates to success for your marketing campaigns. We don’t treat any order as “just an order.” We treat all of our orders as investments for our clients. We thrive on making your promotional investments a success. Because, after all, when you are successful, you’ll come back to us over and over again. Together, we make each other successful. Talk to you Soon!

Starting the New Year Off The Right Way

 

Well 2011 is winding down and 2012 is upon us. This is the time of year that business owners and managers should look back and decide, “What things did I do right?” and “What things did I not do right?” While I’m sure a few wrongdoings will leap out at you immediately, this typically isn’t something that you can just spend a few minutes thinking about. Set aside some time, review your business plan, and really put some thought and effort into this. Write down the pitfalls that you want to avoid for the new year and put it in your business plan so you won’t make the same mistakes again. With a little planning, you can make 2012 much better than 2011. I know there are still an untold number of economic issues happening right now, but there is still enough spending going on to get a fair share of the market. Business owners just have to market effectively and find the right communication methods to reach their potential customers. Not only do you have to reach your potential customers the right way, but you have to offer them something of value. Marketing with promotional products is a great way to reach people. After all, everyone loves free stuff, right? I know I do, if the “stuff” is useful to me. If I get junk that is not useful to me, it hits the trash right away. When creating your marketing plan, here are a few key points to identify:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. What is the preferred method of communication for my targeted audience?
  3. What type of promotional products would they use on a daily basis?
  4. What type of products or services that I sell would be beneficial to them?
  5. What type of price range fits my targeted audience?

In many cases, you may service customers of all age ranges. If that is case, you may need a plan to reach each age bracket. For example, a teen audience is going to respond much better to text messaging and Facebook whereas Senior citizens would not be good candidates (as a whole) to use text message marketing. If you will take the time to identify these few key points, your marketing tactics will become much more effective and hopefully you will start off 2012 the right way.

Is Your Marketing Working?

 

Since being in the marketing business for the last 12 years, I have learned many different marketing tactics, worked on many quality logo products, and learned marketing styles that various small and medium sized businesses use. Some are very successful and know that their marketing efforts are working, but the overwhelming majority have no idea which, if any, of their marketing efforts are working. These businesses are paying monthly fees for newspaper ads, radio advertisements, pay per click advertising, yellow page ads, and many other marketing strategies. Each form of the aforementioned advertisement options cost a significant amount of money. Some may be working and therefore worthwhile, but my guess would be that several of these options are just draining your bank account and not paying for themselves. Any type of marketing should be an investment and NOT an expense. With any investment comes risks; therefore, it is very important to track all forms of marketing and advertisements that your company partakes. Do you know how many sales your marketing tactics are bringing to your company?

You should know every month that your $200 weekly newspaper ad is bringing in “X” amount of dollars. If that investment is paying off, then you continue it. If not, considerpromotional products marketing revising your ad content to something a little more eye catching. If after a set amount of time, that ad is not driving in at least enough business to pay for the ad, then nix it. The same goes with all of your other forms of marketing. Make sure you track the results so that you can continue and eventually increase the forms of marketing that work for your business. If you go with a Willy Nilly marketing campaign and you don’t track your results, you are setting yourself up for an empty bank account, because all forms of advertising don’t work for all businesses. So how do you track your marketing? If your business does any kind of volume, you can’t always just ask each person how they found you. One of the best methods is to create unique coupon codes for each of your marketing schemes. For example, if you have a newspaper ad, offer a $10 off coupon with ad and include a unique coupon code to be scanned or entered with your point of sale software. Mos point of sale software these days are capable of accepting discount codes. Then at the end of the month, you simply run a report for all sales relating to that specific coupon code. You then compare your sales from that unique code versus the amount you spent for that marketing campaign and determine whether or not this investment is paying off. If not, consider tweaking it a bit or doing away with it altogether. Another option is to mention a free gift when you mention this advertisement and give away custom imprinted promotional products to  that customer. The best way to track this is to treat the giveaway like a sale item with a $0 price tag so that it gets scanned into your system. Then just like the previous example, compare the amount of sales to the cost of your Free Gift campaign.

For Yellow Page ads, use a different phone number that can be tracked. The yellow page ad for my company has a separate local number only used for that specific ad and phone book so I can track the amount of calls from that ad. I only pay $5 per month for that line but I know how much the ad is or isn’t used. There are a lot of debates now about whether or not print is dead in relation to Yellow Page directories, so this is a sure way to know if it’s working for your business. It may also be a way to judge whether or not you should advertise under a different category in order to be found easier by those looking up your services.

It is important to mention that some of your marketing is done simply for branding purposes. Many of these marketing tactics won’t directly bring in business, but they keep your brand and your company at the top of consumers’ minds. An example would be sponsoring local middle school and high school sports teams. Your logo is printed on their sports programs or t-shirts and your money goes to support their team. While you often don’t see direct sales from this type of marketing, you do keep your company in the spotlight so when those exposed need your services, they will contact you first. Also, helping your local community with sponsorships is a great way to win the hearts of your own locals.

Again, I ask you, “Are you measuring your marketing efforts?” If not, I highly encourage you to do so. Your marketing should be spread through several different channels to reach the majority of your buyers. This should include online and offline advertising. Make sure each one of your marketing tactics is trackable in some way so you can measure the results. Marketing for each business often starts out as trial and error and then modified for maximal success. In order to know how to modify your marketing strategies, tracking is a must. Don’t waste any more money, start tracking your marketing today!