From first-aid kits to flashlights, safety items are useful to everyone at some point, so providing these products gives end-users much-needed security. "Generally speaking, people like to feel safe, and the gift of safety accomplishes that," Michael Gisser, executive vice president of Superex, Toronto, Canada, said. "And it also shows your clients—maybe more so than with another type of promotional product—that you really care, because it's not something that sits and gathers dust but it's something that's [for] personal use that will help keep you safe or make life easier by having a really, really useful product," Gisser added.
Here are four tips to consider when selling safety products.
1. Pitch to Virtually Any Client
While top safety markets include transportation, insurance, real estate, construction, manufacturing and health care fields, there are also a lot of other categories to consider. "That's the beauty of safety items. [They are] truly across all markets," Gisser said. "We're all human and we all want to feel safe."
Gisser advised that safety products work for any industry when used as premiums, thank-you gifts or awards. His company received an order through a distributor for portable power stations from a real estate agent who gave them to clients after they purchased a home. "It went a long way—not just a house but a safety solution to go with it, and I was told it was very successful and well-received," he said.
Safety items can also tie into fundraising efforts, Brenda Cameron, marketing manager for Justin Case, Atlanta, Ga., mentioned, citing a parent-teacher association's search for an item to sell for its annual spring fundraiser. The PTA previously raffled off tickets and sold chocolates, but one year it was raising money for a school playground. "The distributor presented the Justin Case first aid wallet, a practical way to tie in the 'summertime bumps and scrapes' with the new playground," she noted. Every student sold 12 kits at $15 each, and the school raised more than $5,000 for the playground.
2. Look for Quality
While a safety product may be a great option for your client, Gisser advised that not all kits are the same. Some components that aren't domestically made may be poorer quality, including flimsy auto booster cables, plastic—as opposed to metal—tire gauges and too thin emergency blankets. After all, you don't want to sell a safety product that may not actually be safe.
3. Consider Power-ups
While the power station has been around for more than 30 years, its newer, smaller relative—the power bank that charges smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices—has become a popular seller, too. It is a hot item because it offers users a different sense of security. Aside from a phone's possible use in an emergency, this product also has expanded the safety category. "It's not always about being safe," Gisser said. "It's also 'Is a product really useful?' and 'Does it make life more pleasant?' because if we're always just preparing for safety, what's the use? Life should be sweet a little bit, too. And being able to charge your smartphone and have it right then and there so you can continue whatever you do with your smartphone is nice."
4. Focus on Usefulness
End-users hold on to items they find useful, so prepare them for situations they may encounter with versatile items, such as a first-aid or emergency/survival kit, which can be refilled to extend its lifespan. "These are items that everyone should have on-hand for peace of mind, and can cover everything from minor cuts and scrapes around the house, to more serious situations such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and snowstorms," Cameron said.
Keep in mind that safety products are practical and functional, and therefore will be used over a long period of time, providing a constant and fond reminder of the brand. "When selling safety products, distributors should focus [on] the 'goodwill' factor," Cameron mentioned. "The recipient is going to appreciate and feel good about receiving the product, and that feeling will be attributed to the company that gave them the product."