My Best Promotion
Providing a service, rather than just product, is a sales strategy often cited as a way to not only close deals with large clients, but also to make yourself indispensable to your customers in general. Michele Adams, owner of Proforma Global Sourcing, Tampa, Fla., shared a great example of how providing a service instead of just product can make you a vital (and well-compensated) partner with a big client.
Hired by Office Depot to source, pack and distribute a gift bag meant for teachers who attended promotional breakfast events the chain was hosting across the country, Adams faced a complex logistical task. Not only did she have to source 150,000 bags (for which she chose an insulated lunch tote from Bag Makers), she had to balance all the donated contents of the gift bags (made up of donations from seven different Office Depot vendors, such as 3M and Sharpie), and deal with a staggered distribution schedule (a national promotion, the breakfasts were held on different times and dates). She also faced the challenge of packing, labeling and shipping all items.
Considering the promotion involved 1,350,000 items (the bag, the seven items from each vendor plus a vitally important coupon book meant to drive attending teachers to Office Depots after the breakfast, all multiplied by the 150,000 order size), her success was no small feat. By being able to handle a complicated logistical problem while also sourcing product, Adams was able to close a large deal with a big company that is likely to become a repeat customer.
Promo Marketing: What made this such a successful promotion for you?
Michele Adams: Well, I think it was the fact that we had a solution. Because obviously there were a lot of logistics behind this, so it's not something they can easily go out and source elsewhere. I think we provided a lot of value-added services.