Find Little Risk in Company Rewards
On the supplier side of the industry, Angela Wurst, marketing director for St. Paul, Minnesota-based Crystal D, shared the same opinion as McCloskey. Wurst explained, “The distributor who faces an end-buyer who is reluctant to start an award program can use facts to support the need for a recognition program.” It’s a matter of distributors not just pushing the latest crystal piece, but instead looking at the overall situation. Wurst believes distributor salespeople should be prepared with “facts that support the need for recognition programs [and] how recognition can improve morale, decrease turnover rates, and increase productivity levels. All of these factors have a positive effect on a company’s bottom line.”
Daniel Berkowitz, president of West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Picnic Plus by Spectrum also sees value in preparedness. Berkowitz advised a distributor to “set yourself apart from the plethora of everyday inexpensive and disposable products in the market. A distributor can present to their clients a marketing strategy of value and uniqueness not always found in this industry.”
Wurst also emphasized demonstrating an investment in a giving program’s worth. “Distributors must believe in the power of recognition. After the distributor believes in recognition, the sale is easy.” Quoting the 2008 WorldatWork survey, Wurst stated 64 percent of all companies have a recognition budget. “Distributors just need to ask for the business,” she noted.
Thoughts that count
Within any proposal, the distributor should include non-product-related messaging. “Everyone thinks the average person is motivated by ‘things,’” said McCloskey. “Actually,” she continued, “studies show this is not true. People have a need for a combination of the ‘warm and fuzzies’ and ‘things.’” As self-evident as it sounds, she couldn’t stress enough that distributors need to remember to bring sentiments of gratitude into their selling propositions, to work alongside the tangible rewards.
“Examples of non-monetary results are pats on the back for doing a job well done. Many people are motivated by just being recognized for their efforts,” McCloskey said. “I normally build in a program where employers recognize their staff through a handwritten card, e-mail, company bulletin board, newsletters, banners, signs at [the] reception area, staff meetings … the list can just go on.”