A Lanyard's Layers
Lanyards. They're great items for trade shows, convention centers, hospitals, or any of the other billion places that require ID. But, what happens when you actually have to buy some?
They're simplistic, fairly utilitarian, and sold by slew of top-tier suppliers. How are you supposed to make a buying decision when A) Lots of great companies sell them, and B) They are just things that hang from your neck? Thankfully for you (and this article), it turns our there are plenty of ways to make an informed purchasing decision with these crazy, simple-seeming neck-hangy things.
Beyond interesting decoration and material options, there are still plenty of logistical—and customer-service—distinctions between suppliers to make your buying decision a lot easier. Here are five ways you can figure out where to buy your lanyards from, and why.
1. Look for Variety in Product
A supplier who offers exactly one great lanyard ceases to be useful to you the minute a client wants "something a little different." If it seems like your lanyard business is going to be the kind that repeats, or you're getting the hang of selling them to similar buyers (say convention centers or hospitals), it's a good idea to work with suppliers with sufficient variety to sustain repeat sales. As an example (at the high end) of the kind of variety available, Marathon Mfg./Prestige Lines, a supplier based out of New Philadelphia, Ohio, that specializes in lanyards, offers over 10,000 lanyard combinations and variations. "[We] are the industry leader," said Frank Rocco, vice president of business relations for the company.
2. Fast Turnaround Time
Being able to get any product quickly is of an obvious benefit, but as an item that is a necessity in many situations, lanyards can benefit a little more. Chris Flynn, national sales manager for Fields Manufacturing, explained that the St. Cloud, Minnesota-based company has been able to use its 24-hour rush lanyards to help many clients who have forgotten they needed name-tag lanyards for an event until the very last minute.
There are a lot of sub-elements to look for when evaluating a fast turnaround time. No charge rush orders, American manufacturing, and quick order processing all play a part in getting an order quickly. Though it may seem the least important, don't underestimate the value of the lattermost element. Fields offers a lanyard that can be turned around in four hours, which is far faster than even the standard 24-hour rush.
3. Low Minimums
Not every lanyard order is going to be for Madison Square Garden. For small or mid-sized orders, being able to get lanyards at a low minimum will make closing the sale a bit easier. "The low minimums in our catalog really help when dealing with a small company, school or organization," said Flynn.
4. Quality Samples
Whether it's free spec samples, giant freebie kits filled with generic decorations and blanks, or even high-quality digital sampling, a lanyard supplier with a good sample program can be a great selling aid. Not only will you be able to test things like durability, texture and decoration quality, you'll also be able to show a client what they're getting for their money. (Note: For a free lanyard kit from Fields Manufacturing, call or email the company while referencing "LanyardKit-PromoMarketing.")
5. Available and Knowledgeable Staff
Having all the answers, all the time, just isn't possible, even for the best salesperson. There are going to be times where you need an obscure materials question answered ("Some of my nurses have a rare plastics allergy, what's the exact plastic your lanyards are made from?"), are in a scramble for a case study, need product safety data, or any other number of a billion things you couldn't possibly know. When these kinds of questions pop up, having access to a supplier sales force that is able to provide this information can make all the difference.