Doing Good—On The Cheap
Nonprofits. There are the giant ones, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, that have marketing budgets so big even most for-profit companies drool over them, and then … there's everybody else. Sadly, while doing wonderful work, your average veteran's outreach group or animal rescue isn't exactly going to have the budget for 16 full-time marketing coordinators and a sponsored awareness walk in every major city. Does that mean that they're not in the market for promotional products? Not by a longshot.
Just like in the for-profit world, there are many small and mid-sized nonprofits that would make great use of promotional products if given the chance. It's just that their budgets might be a little tighter than you're used to, but really, is that any reason for objection?
Part of any salesperson's skill set is the ability to deliver the most value for the least money. With nonprofits, you just have to crank that bang-for-buck ability of yours up to the highest setting and really make every dollar count. And if you need a little help, here are five pointers to get you started.
1. Don't Go Too Low
When working with a tight budget, the temptation may be to suggest the cheapest product you can find. It's often better however, to structure your pitch around "most effective" rather than "most affordable." Nonprofits, like any other organization, need promotional products for a reason, and it's usually not "saving money." Find the item(s) that will best fulfill that reason, then work on getting it within their budget afterward. When money is tight, companies will be much more willing to spend on something they know will work, rather than something that's just "affordable enough."
"Whenever customers are on a tight budget, we usually suggest they stick with a better product in a lower price point category than buying something of inferior quality," said Gina Barreca, director of marketing for Vantage Apparel, Avenel, N.J. "With most nonprofits, getting their message out is the most important goal so you wouldn't want to go with something so inexpensive that recipients will not wear it," she explained.