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Kiwi's Coaching Corner

By Paul Kiewiet

About Paul

Useful tips to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. Paul Kiewiet, MAS is an industry veteran providing business and life coaching, industry consulting and facilitation, and professional development services through BrandKiwi LLC.
 

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Which Version of QuickBooks Is Best for Ad Specialty Distributors?
Mar 27, 2015

There are five versions of QuickBooks, each designed for specific applications, and the ad specialty business was not one of...



Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
In a Relationship: The Bachelor and Power Meetings
Mar 25, 2015

My mom often tells me, "Brittany, you should apply to be a contestant on the show 'The Bachelor' to find...



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Industry IT Innovation
Mar 24, 2015

A small group of IT leaders is beginning to change the technology dynamics in the industry. Two years ago, a...



Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Want to Know Who's Really Influential? We’re Going to Use Data to Find Out
Mar 20, 2015

Starting today, we are embarking on the most comprehensive search of the promotional products industry's top content providers ever done....



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
How Does Amazon’s Business Model Affect Ours?
Mar 19, 2015

Our evolving industry business model continues to be a hot topic. Recently I started wondering how an online purchasing mentality,...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Spring Cleaning
Mar 16, 2015

It’s that time of year when the world looks fresh and clean—for those of us with winters of snow, we...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
My Best Promotion: Infusing Bold Solutions & What We Do Do
Mar 4, 2015

This year, the Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable blog postings will have a common theme. Promo Marketing has asked...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
Wisdom from Lady Gaga
Mar 2, 2015

I recently watched the Academy Awards and was amazed at Lady Gaga’s tribute to “The Sound of Music.” If you...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Feeling Reluctant?
Feb 17, 2015

Have you ever felt reluctant to make a sales call, follow up with a client or attend a networking event?...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



Tell Your Story by Answering Four Questions

 

Get more opportunities by staying focused on solving problems instead of on selling stuff. We are so "me-too" in this business and then we complain about being price shopped, not given a chance to compete, being ignored, or worst of all—not even noticed.

Your problem may not be that you don't have any value to add. Your problem is more likely that you don't tell your story in a compelling way. If you will concentrate on always answering FOUR questions in all of your marketing and selling communications, you should get more attention, more interest, more opportunities and more respect.

1. What do you do? I'd like you to answer that question without using these words—sell, product, find, price, quality or service. Can you do it? Can you get three words put together without making someone's eyes glaze over? "My promotions helps organizations improve their profits, performance, people and position in the marketplace." Boom! It's what your company does.

2. What problem do you solve? Your job is to solve problems. Period. End of discussion. Find the pain. Be the aspirin. If you don't solve problems, quit wasting other people's time. This takes research into your clients' and prospects' businesses, industries and markets; and it is a never-ending quest on your part to be more relevant. "Organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources in a changing world. Reaching the right people with the right message at the right place and time requires new thinking and new solutions." Boo-YAH! You've identified a problem that you might be able to solve.

3. How are you different? If you want different results, you better start being different. That means speaking differently, acting differently and setting yourself apart from others who are chasing the same dollars. "Other promotion companies focus on selling you products or distracting you with the shiny object. They focus on finding cheap substitutes to tough problems. We take a different approach. We make recommendations based on what you need to accomplish and building upon successes." YES! You have just pointed out how your approach and world view differs from 20,000 other companies that are chasing an order. Don't chase the order. Chase the solution.

4. Why should I care? This is the most important answer that you must provide. Can you tell someone why what you do, why you do it and how you do it really matters to them? If you don't tell them "what's in it for them?" then you haven't told them any thing that matters. If you only have 10 seconds—make sure that you answer this question. "We create a strong return on investment and powerful results around sales, marketing and engagement challenges. We also like to make our clients look good." UH-HUH! They get it! You're going to help them add good details to their résumé!

Memorize these four question. Think about your answers to them. If you ever have the opportunity to answer one of these, answer all four of them instead. You must remember to set up the problem by going into very clear detail of the pain point. It is up to YOU to set up the problem. You are telling a story. It's a story where you are the hero. You will ride in on your white horse and solve the problem. Remember that no one has a promotional products problem. No one cares about your stuff. People care about solving their problems. Find the pain. Be the aspirin.

What I have described is classical storytelling. Introduce the problem and then reveal yourself as the conquering hero.

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