Recognize $1,000 Prospects
When the folks at Promotional Marketing asked me to write an article with tips for finding new promotional products clients, my first thought was: open a window and look outside—there they are. Dial any random number—there they are. Swing a dead cat and see who it hits—there they are. This is one business that doesn’t require looking under rocks or great detective work to find new prospects. They are literally everywhere. Every business, organization, neighborhood, event, team, school and group is a prospective promotional products client. The problem is not finding them; it is connecting with them and ultimately having a few of those infinite prospects become meaningful clients.
Ah! There’s the rub. That second to the last word: meaningful. Why not sell 500 refrigerator magnets to a plumber? Sure, you can sell 50 T-shirts to your neighborhood swim team once a year. Of course, you can sell 12 dozen golf balls to your next door neighbor. Absolutely, you can go right ahead and sell 100 tooth-shaped pens to the dentist that fills your teeth. Go ahead and sell a case of matches to the deli around the corner. There are some people who will walk past the little orders. I take them. Why not? I’m not too busy to make a quick $100. The question is, does it have to be a “quick” $100? Yes, it does.
If you spend too much time chasing $100 prospects you’ll miss the $1,000 prospects. I have found that the larger orders are usually easier to close than the small ones.
For one thing, the plumber, the dentist, the swim team mom, the restaurateur and your neighbor are most likely making their big promotional product purchase for the year; it had better be just right. The plumber, the dentist, the swim team mom, the restaurateur and your neighbor have no idea what a set up charge or a PMS color match is; now you have to spoon feed the prospect into becoming a client. The plumber, the dentist, the swim team mom, the restaurateur and your neighbor are also most likely using their own money; I do much better selling to people that are using OPM: Other People’s Money. I am not saying that buyers are more frivolous with OPM, but it sure is a lot easier to spend. If you are looking for new clients, think twice about prospects that don’t have access to OPM.