Corporate Specialties Receives AIA Velocity Award
Growing sales in any economy is never easy, but increasing revenue by more than 50 percent in a recovering economy is even more remarkable. With a nearly 58 percent sales growth during the 2012 calendar year, Corporate Specialties, West Bloomfield, Mich., has been awarded the AIA Velocity Award, Category 2, at the recent AIA National Sales Summit.
The Velocity Award recognizes AIA's fastest-growing owners, represented by their percentage of business growth compared to the previous year within their sales volume category, with a minimum starting sales level of $250,000 required to qualify. Category 2 recognizes Velocity winners with sales in the range of $750,000 up to $1 million. Valerie Hayman Sklar is one of more than 300 AIA owners who, in in 2012, collectively reached more than $136 million in sales for AIA Corporation.
While Hayman Sklar admits good luck played a part, much of the sales increase came from both direct mail and email marketing campaigns. But she attributes the majority of her success to making a philosophical change to the way she approaches her business.
"I switched from working in the business to working on the business," she said. "I began really looking at the big picture and spent more time streamlining processes to improve customer service. Each person buys differently, so I incorporated as many touch points as possible-from regular updates on specials to sending birthday gifts. Consistently being in contact along with a personal touch has made all the difference."