Making Contact

08 Aug Posted by in Swag Projects | Comments
Making Contact
 

In an industry so saturated with promotional product distributors, especially over the World Wide Web, it has become increasingly hard each year to catch the attention of new clientele, let alone acquire and retain them for the long haul.  When I started in this industry 13 years ago, all of our clients were face to face.  Daily meetings, running around town, showing samples in person was the norm.  Did the internet ruin personal contact?  Perhaps, but we still believe in the personal relationship with each and every one of our customers while staying on track with technology.  Most buyers these days appear comfortable shopping for the best prices and aren’t as interested in having just one “go-to” person to rely on for all of their marketing needs.  One day they could be ordering pens & sticky notes with us and the next day they could order calendars with another.  Our approach has always been that, if we can just work with a customer once, we could WOW! them with our speedy response times, attention to detail and good, old-fashioned customer service values.  Then, we would have a firm chance at working with that same customer again and again, until a trusted relationship between end-user and distributor is formed; one where the customer brings their needs directly to their contact for fresh ideas and concepts and one where pricing isn’t shopped around but rather trusted with confidence that it is, indeed, a fair price for the product.  As if that wasn’t hard enough in itself, what’s even more difficult is actually getting our name, not only in front of that customer but doing it at a key decision making time for him or her.

 

Each month, it seems, we have these chats where we discuss what the best way to reach out is.

 

  • We have done email blasts but most people don’t even open the email.  Think about it: how many unrequested emails do you get per day?  Now, how many do you actually take the time to open and review?  I, myself, am guilty of getting blasts from varied vendors, day in and day out, and removing them from my inbox, aiding it in looking that much less cluttered.
  • We have sent out postcards with promotional pricing or discounts but, if that postcard does not land in front of the right person, it’s as good as pointless.  After each mailing, dozens upon dozens come back to us for any given reason USPS deems fit.  If, by some lucky chance, it does get delivered and then reaches a purchaser or decision maker, it still has to be timed just right so that it doesn’t become misplaced or forgotten between the time said person received it and the time in which they are ready to re-up on printed swag.
  • We love to do actual mock ups and send those out to different locations.  While it is probably our most successful method, it is also the least cost effective.  Yes, people love seeing their logo printed right there in front of them on something they can touch and feel but, it stills all boils down to budget and need.
  • Then there is the good ole classic phone call; it’s the original business to business marketing method.  It has proven to work in the decades past but, in today’s day and age, who still uses a phone to talk shop?  Most people are on the road or traveling, only utilizing their mobile device to skim their emails or check in with the office periodically.  If it isn’t face to face, verbal communication appears to have seized.  This era is all about the written word.

 

So tell us… When a potential business partner wants to get in touch with you, what’s your preferred method?  What are some of the most unique ways you’ve been reached out to?  What about some of the worst?  We’d love to hear from you!

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