The Power of Positive Reinforcement
These expensive gifts might seem like one-time purchases, but Harper insisted they are not. He urged distributors to push program selling in this area. "What many distributors are unaware of is how often their customers go to retail outlets to purchase awards," he said. Distributors can grab this missed revenue by assuring their clients they can provide gift items regularly. To help stay in the front of your clients' minds, Harper suggested working on several projects at once so they'll think of you when an award ceremony comes up.
Even with the impact of the electronic market taking hold of most niches, sales for watch gift programs are strong. "Companies that truly understand the benefit of corporate gift programs keep them going even in tough economic times," said Mark Abels, president, Selco, Tulsa, Okla. He noted that the size of programs or amount of gifts may fluctuate, but the programs remain. He commented on the continual appeal of jewelry, specifically watches, in a computer-crazed world. "Watches are personal items that make a statement about the individual," he said. "When it is given as an award, it becomes a symbol of achievement and most people appreciate the recognition and enjoy showing it off."
According to Abels, the current trend in watch sales is larger watches. Silver and stainless steel remain the most popular color and material. Also, matching male and female styles are preferred for business gifts. The difficulty with matching styles and buying jewelry in general is finding the right fit. "Most metal bracelets come oversized so the recipient can either size it themselves if it is close or have links removed," explained Abels. Even though a perfect fit would be preferred, most end-buyers do not want to take on the extra expense. "We have tried programs to pre-size watches but most buyers did not think the extra tracking and cost was worth it," said Abels.