Most people who buy promo trust you – the promo expert. They turn to you for guidance on everything from which products to use to how to use them. They value your expertise in all things promo and rely on you to help them achieve their goals.
Sometimes, though, clients aren’t quite as trusting. They may have a different idea or want to see alternative solutions. Or maybe they just want to do things their way.
It's important to approach these situations tactfully. You want to steer your client in the right direction without losing your cool. Tom Ewer, the founder of WordCandy, has a few suggestions that we outline in this issue of PromoPro Daily.
Look at it from your client’s perspective. If your client wants to make changes, maybe they suddenly realized something vital is missing. Or maybe they thought they liked a particular logo placement but now want to change it. Ewer says if you can make their adjustment relatively easily, go ahead and do it. This can build goodwill. But if you’re looking at scrapping everything and starting over, it’s time to get to the heart of the situation and make sure you’re on the same page.
Stand your ground. Some clients seem to enjoy making changes. They liked the promo in blue, but now they want it in green. Or they liked the logo on the front center, but now they want it smaller and also on the back. This is a power play you don’t want to get into, Ewer says. The only way to get around this is to have firm guidelines about when you will and won’t engage with clients, and what you regard as reasonable input.
Have a clear agreement. Whether you’re the one making changes or you have an art team, constant changes can take a toll. If you or your team have provided something incorrectly, that’s one thing. But if you’ve provided what the client has asked for and they’re still not happy, this is where you can refer back to the agreement. A good agreement should define the end result and explain how things should progress.
Bargain. If a client wants a big something extra, Ewer recommends bringing your powers of persuasion into play. If it’s something that isn’t integral to the current project, you could also suggest that this might be an ideal start to a new phase of the project or product.
Educate your client. It’s important that your client understands that your time isn’t free, and it’s up to you to ensure they recognize this, Ewer says. Try explaining your time and cost estimates. Break these down in detail, so your client can see the amount of work involved. They might now know all the steps involved.
Show your expertise. If your client wants to do something you know is ineffective or won’t lead to the results they want, assert yourself and use PPAI research to back up your point. Say something like, “I can see why you might want to use Product A, but I want you see why Product B is a much better choice.”
It can be challenging to work with clients who keep changing their minds, can’t make any decisions or simply don’t know what they want. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, refer back to the points above to get to the bottom of the issue.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy, a full-service content provider.
Published With Permission from PPAI Media
Meet Steve Parker, an industry veteran & the Western Regional Sales Manager for The Magnet Group. I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve about his time in the industry, why he volunteers, and some compelling reasons why he plans on exhibiting at the SAAC Expo 2023 in August.
What is your favorite thing about this industry? First and foremost, it's the people. The supplier and distributor relationships I have built over the years have been an important part of my success. Unlike other industries, I have found people in the promo industry to be kind and generous with what they have. They will not only go out of their way to help you; but they ultimately want you to succeed. In this day and age, I have found this to be unique to our industry.
Why did you join SAAC? And why do you continue to support SAAC? I have a unique connection with SAAC. I am proud to say, I am a 2nd generation promotional products enthusiast. My dad started in the early 60's. Between the two of us we have 60 years of experience together.
My first experience with SAAC was going to the show in college. I really got to see SAAC bringing the community and people together by educating them formerly and informally on the promotional products industry.
What are you looking forward to at the SAAC Expo 2023? I really look forward to seeing my friends, sharing ideas with each other, and projects collectively. I am also representing a new supplier this year, The Magnet Group and look forward to presenting distributors with new products and services that will make them stand out.
Learn more about The Magnet Group and stop by their booth at the SAAC Expo 2023 in August.
Heidi Selleck ~ The Vernon Company
Well summer is officially here and it’s heating up. That means one thing . . . the SAAC Expo is right around the corner.
The SAAC Board has been working hard to create the “SAAC Experience” for 2023 in San Diego. Our featured event is “GAME ON” for Wednesday night. It will begin after the Networking Event at the close of the show on Wednesday, August 16th. We will again be enjoying the outdoor balcony setting overlooking the San Diego Bay. Your ticket comes with a buffet dinner, DJ, outdoor games, and a random draw cornhole tournament. This will be a fun event to network and develop deeper and more intimate connections with your business partners. The SAAC Foundation will also be having silent auctions and raffles for the specific purpose of granting scholarships for families of SAAC members. Purchase tickets during registration at: SAAC Expo 2023. Looking for additional information on the Expo, please go to www.saac.net/SAACEXPO
Speaking of Membership . . .
We had some great bowling events throughout Southern California in June. Between the three locations, we had over 65 members and guests participate. We have also added a new bi-weekly event called “SAAC Supplier Series”. This series gives member suppliers the opportunity to show new items, discuss selling tips and review tools to assist distributors to sell more efficiently. Information for this series as well as Factory Tours can also be found at www.saac.net. Any questions on becoming a member can be answered by our Executive Director, Christina Sanders (firstname.lastname@example.org), myself (email@example.com) or any SAAC board member.
If you have not signed up for the SAAC Show, please do so asap. We will need to give final counts to the convention center for food, beverage and meeting rooms by July 30th!!!
Look forward to seeing you in San Diego, August 16-17.
p.s. I am not that competitive, but plan on winning the cornhole tournament!!!
We all have individual goals, but what about team goals? When teams share common goals, staffers can grow from individual workers into a cohesive and unified team. Setting team goals can give everyone a sense of purpose and foster a culture of hard work. These kinds of goals can also bring people together and encourage a spirit of communication and collaboration.
Not sure how to set team goals? We’ve got you covered. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we’re highlighting a post from the Range blog that explains some best practices and tips for establishing effective team goals.
1. Look at the big picture. Whether you work in sales, marketing, human resources or another area, you should always consider your company’s overall direction and objections. Sit down with leaders in other departments to ensure everyone is on the same page. The Range post says once you have a feel for how your team can work toward the company’s goals, you’ll know how to better move forward.
2. Make your goals SMART. Just like establishing individual goals, it’s important to set SMART goals for your team. Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.
3. Let team members set their individual goals. Once you’ve set your team goals, the Range post advises letting individuals set their own goals. Most people appreciate working toward organizational goals while improving themselves in the process.
4. Build a realistic timeline and set deadlines. Find out from your team members what’s currently on their plate and any constraints they may be facing. According to the Range post, once you define a target deadline, you can create timelines with smaller, individual goals and milestones.
5. Keep your team accountable. One way to do this is by setting regular progress meetings. The Range post recommends sitting down with your team members and discussing everyone’s progress and where they may need help. This keeps the team updated and helps improve individual accountability.
6. Strive for improvement. Check in as your team progresses toward its goal. Reflect on what went well and where your team may need to improve. The Range post says this will empower employees to learn from mistakes and be more successful next time.
Setting team goals doesn’t mean employees won’t be working toward their individual goals – the two are interrelated. Individual and team goals both serve different purposes and provide direction, motivation and focus. If you want to set or revisit your team’s goals, follow the guide above.
Source: The Range blog. Range is a team communication tool for check-ins and meeting management.
Your clients just received their promo order from you. What do they do now? With some client education, you can show them the ins and outs of their new products and help them achieve the results they desired when they first bought from you.
Taking time to provide customer education is one of the most important actions you can take. Molly Hocutt, a content manager at Livestorm, says if you want your clients to stick around for any length of time, you need a solid customer education process in place.
What exactly is client education? According to Hocutt, it’s simply providing your clients with the knowledge to help them use and understand your products better. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we outline Hocutt’s thoughts on the many advantages of customer education.
Faster, more efficient onboarding. A strong customer education process creates a faster, more efficient customer onboarding process, Hocutt says. Teach your clients about the promos they’ve just received and the best ways to use them. Doing so helps provide value early in the onboarding process.
Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Another reason to prioritize client education? You’ll be helping your clients have a better experience and get better results with their promo. Plus, Hocutt says clients who experience the value of your product are also more likely to keep using it and exploring additional ways that it can help them. A repeat, satisfied customer is much harder to lose than a new one who is frustrated.
Increased engagement. Whether they’re using logoed writing instruments, branded apparel or custom tech gifts, when buyers know how best to use promo, they’re more likely to explore all the way to use the items. And the more they engage with the product, Hocutt says, the likelier they are to use it for the long haul.
Reduced churn rate. Customer education is important for reducing churn rates, according to Hocutt. This is because churn is almost always the result of a customer not getting sufficient value from a product compared to what it costs. She says a well-developed customer education strategy helps clients overcome challenges they encounter and allows them to experience the value of your product.
Positions you as an industry leader. Investing in client education helps show your promo industry expertise. As you provide trainings and information for your customers, you’ll be building a loyal fanbase who will tell others about it. As your loyal user base grows, Hocutt says so will the word-of-mouth marketing done by them.
There are several ways to educate your clients, from creating short education videos to sharing e-books or documents. When you prioritize customer education, you set yourself up to enjoy the benefits above.
Source: Molly Hocutt is a content manager at Livestorm. She oversees written content production and focuses on lead generation and organic website traffic.
Published with Permission for PPAI Media
James W. Huller, 84, of Henderson, Nevada, passed away on May 16, 2023. Born August 28, 1937, Jim worked as a multi-line representative in the industry for Monahan & Associates as an account manager before retiring and moving with his wife, Linda, to Henderson in 2008.
Jim served on the Specialty Advertising Association of California board in the early ’90s prior to becoming SAAC board president in 1992.
“Jim Huller was a dear friend of mine,” says Robert Collins, Collins & Associates. “He was a wonderful, kind and generous person who cared about our industry. He always gave of his time to assist anyone that needed encouragement and guidance, serving as a mentor to many. He will be missed by many.”
James Huller, Linda Huller, and Robert Collins
James is survived by his wife, Linda T. Huller; sisters-in-law Joan W. Huller and Sharon Caldwell; brother-in-law, William Smith; nieces and nephews Karen, Tim, Lynn, Sheila, Scott, Kevin and Darcie. The family will observe private services and burial in his hometown in New York. To express your condolences to the family, visit https://www.scheppfamily.com/memorials/james-william-huller/5200450/index.php.
Meet Rena Ashfeld, CAS, Sales Director from Spector & Co. in St-Laurent, Quebec. I had the opportunity to check in with Rena recently to see why Spector & Co. joined and plans to exhibit at SAAC Expo 2023.
Why exhibit at SAAC?
Spector & Co. opened a 100,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art warehouse facility and merchandising studio minutes from the Las Vegas strip in December 2022. We are shipping approximately 75% of our products, including drinkware, pens, and notebooks.
You can read more about the opening of the new facility here: Spector & Co. Opens New 100,000 sq. ft. facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For us joining SAAC and exhibiting at the SAAC Expo 2023 places Spector & Co. in front of industry distributors on the west coast with fresh ideas and products. Distributors that we might not be able to reach from the east coast.
Learn more about Spector & Co. and stop by their booth at the SAAC Expo 2023 in August.
Heidi Selleck ~ The Vernon Company
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH5) reviews PPAI materials during a meeting Wednesday with Andrea Kramer and Michael Steeb of Findlay, Ohio distributor City Apparel.
The resumption of in-person interactions with congresspeople was a welcomed return on Thursday during PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day, held live on Capitol Hill for the first time since 2019. But the industry’s talking points on the day also had a familiar feel.
As LEAD’s name suggests, the first objective is always to inform senators and representatives about the size and importance of the promo industry. It represents a $25 billion sales market in the U.S. and employs roughly half a million Americans. Of the industry’s 38,000 companies in the U.S., some 98% are considered small businesses.
Beyond those important figures for representatives to understand, the industry’s advocates drilled down on four primary talking points that have been vital to the industry going back to L.E.A.D. 2022 and earlier. Along with reading material on PPAI’s positions, volunteers left sample products with representatives and their staffs, including Promotional Products Work branded tumblers, hand sanitizer and more.
A mix of regional association representatives from industry companies of all sizes and types, as well as PPAI staffers, L.E.A.D. participants brought up the same key messages in each meeting.
Promotional Products Work
Promotional products are the most cost-effective, memorable and longest-lasting form of advertising, participants told their representatives. The same marketing medium legislators use as part of their election campaigns can make a profound difference in the lives and businesses of constituents. Included in the message:
Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) Online Act
The nature of this industry’s complex supply chains and quick orders make compliance with the COOL Online Act (S. 1421) practically impossible. PPAI understands the importance of traceability. The Association has numerous resources available to help its members conduct their own supply chain mapping. However, adhering to these requirements poses challenges relating to dual sourcing, diversifying global supply chains, and fluctuating supply chains.
The Industry’s Ask: We appreciate the bipartisan spirit and Congress’ intent to increase visibility into supply chains. PPAI understands and supports transparency as well. We have been educating our members about supply chain mapping and traceability. However, PPAI asks Congress to provide for the flexibility to identify multiple countries of origin for unfinished products sold online.
In this industry, salespeople willingly and intentionally choose to be independent contractors instead of employees. Promotional sales consultants have the ability to be their own boss, run their own business, and control their own destiny.
We’re not in the gig economy and we take no issue with a majority of the PRO Act (H.R. 20). Our only concerns with the bill involve the ABC test and the broad definition that classifies all workers as employees. Unlike the members of the gig economy on which similar labor law proposals have focused, the relationship between independent contractors in the promotional products industry and their distributors is mutually beneficial for both parties.
The Industry’s Ask: Uniformly applying the worker reclassification provisions, or ABC test, will have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of jobs and businesses in the promotional products industry, depriving them from earning an income. Our industry is not the focus of the proposed policy change, therefore, we request an exemption.
Global Value Chains
Most of our products’ value is added domestically in pre‐production and post‐production
The Industry’s Ask: Please keep the unique needs and interests of the promotional products industry in mind when considering legislation that impacts the success of our industry, for example trade policy that unintentionally raises costs for small businesses and consumers.
Written by Josh Ellis, PPAI Editor
Published With Permission From PPAI Media
Every salesperson needs a clear mission, which is why every sales team needs a compelling mission statement. This is an important tool in guiding your sales team toward a common goal. It can give them direction, focus and inspiration.
Josh Gillespie, the director of enterprise sales at PandaDoc, says leaders should think about their team’s purpose, values and ambitions when creating their mission statement. In a post on the PandaDoc blog, he points out some effective mission statements.
For instance, American Express focuses on its customers and services, stating its mission to “Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.”
Want to create an inspiring sales mission statement for your team? Keep reading this issue of PromoPro Daily, where we share Gillespie’s guidance on how to write a great one.
Identify your team’s main focus. What is the ultimate goal? For example, you might define your sales team’s primary purpose as getting new customers, retaining existing clients or generating revenue.
Answer essential questions. Gillespie says it’s important to think about the values that guide your sales team’s actions and decisions. Put some thought into what your team does and why they do it. Also consider what your team hopes to accomplish.
Put it all together. The next step in crafting your sales mission statement is to piece together your ideas into a cohesive phrase. Get creative and have fun, he says. Try incorporating different words to capture your team’s personality. Instead of using industry jargon, work in simpler language that paints a picture of what your team does.
Spread the word. Now that you’ve written and finessed your sales mission statement, the next step is to get it out into the world. Add a page on your website for the statement, Gillespie says, and include it in social media profiles, job postings and press releases. Use promos in a company-wide campaign to highlight your new statement.
Review periodically. Your sales mission statement shouldn’t stagnate for years. You can always tweak it and adjust it so it evolves with your team. Gillespie says it’s a good idea to refine the statement every so often to ensure it’s clear, impactful and straightforward.
A well-crafted sales mission statement can pave the way for your sales team, helping align their efforts with your company’s overall goals and values. When you follow the guide above, you can create the ideal sales mission statement for your team.
Source: Josh Gillespie is the director of enterprise sales at PandaDoc.
Are you looking to add a few good sales reps to your team? Maybe you’re building a team from scratch, or perhaps you’re reinvigorating a team that has lost its spark. Either way, this isn’t a task that should be taken lightly.
Renowned sales expert Anthony Iannarino says that sales is the lifeblood of any company. Without a strong sales team, it doesn’t matter how great your organization’s offerings – you need a group of standout sales reps with ambition and drive to keep your company growing.
How do you begin to assemble a high-performing sales team? Read on. We share Iannarino’s expert guidance in this issue of PromoPro Daily.
1. Develop a competency model. Iannarino says this is simply a set of skills and successes that clearly define what strong performance looks like on your sales team. Reps need to know what success looks like if they’re going to excel. When outlining your competency mode, Iannarino recommends including the skills sales reps need along with character traits such as discipline and accountability.
2. Find the right reps. Once you know what you’re looking for, go out and find the right people. Make sure you include the traits and competencies you’re seeking in your job description. Don’t be afraid to consider less-experienced reps. Iannarino says it’s more important to look for people with the right attitude and mindset.
3. Use the right sales approach. The best salespeople in the world will struggle to succeed if they aren’t using an effective, modern approach, Iannarino says. Make sure you define an approach that will create maximum value for your customers and prospects.
4. Keep up with regular sales training. Don’t neglect training once your sales reps get their footing. The sales environment is constantly shifting, and prospects’ expectations are always changing. You can counter this, Iannarino says, with regular sales training.
5. Provide one-on-one coaching. This can help improve each individual rep’s confidence and performance. Think you don’t have time to coach? Iannarino says this is a big mistake – you don’t have time not to coach.
6. Clearly communicate goals and objectives. This is key in building an exceptional sales team. Iannarino advises creating a set of team goals around creating opportunities and generating wins. Then, make sure to communicate those goals clearly so everyone knows what they need to do to succeed.
Always take time to build your sales team in the right way. Don’t rush the process but go through the steps above to ensure you’re recruiting top-tier talent.
Published with Permission From PPAI Media
Source: Anthony Iannarino is an author, speaker and sales expert. He’s the founder of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting firm.
Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) 6442 Platt Ave. # 2001West Hills, CA. 91307
p:818-600-1340 e: firstname.lastname@example.org