When selling supplies to offices and other workplaces, differentiating yourself is key. Not only are you competing against your peers for sales, but also against an enormous and efficient retail marketplace (see Amazon.com or Walmart) as well as the (justified) corporate mentality to keep budgets at a utilitarian minimum. In such a competitive and overcrowded marketplace, making yourself and your services stand out above and beyond the rest is your only hope of making significant sales.
But how best to break away from the crowd? "That's hard to say," said Bob Finn, CEO of Cincinnati-based Finn Graphics Inc. "It depends on who's most imaginative really," he said. He emphasized being as creative as possible, remembering that things like pens, calendars and drinkware are not just products, but vehicles to carry a message.
We here at Promo Marketing are all about message. To get you started on your creative office product journey, below are five tips to pull you away from the commodity pack and make you stand out to your clients.
1) Ditch the Pen Book
A subtle shift in how you present pens to clients can make all the difference in breaking buyers out of the commodity product mindset. "Try to avoid the old pen book that overwhelms clients with a presentation that 'throws everything against the wall and hope something sticks,'" said Bill Mahre, president of ADG Promotional Products (parent company of Windmill Planners and Saratoga Pens), Lino Lakes, Minn. Instead of the pen book tactic, Mahre recommended figuring out what a client is looking for in a pen in terms of price and marketing purpose, then offering a small selection of fitting choices. "There are many options, so if you clearly understand a client's needs you can create a very specific plan of action which makes it easy for them to say 'yes.'"