My Best Promotion Rewind: Revisiting a Summer of Distributor Advice and Success Stories
It always seems like summer flies by. As we celebrate the approach of fall, let’s look back at some helpful stories and advice we gleaned from our distributor friends as part of our ongoing My Best Promotion feature. We talked handling mistakes, landing long-term accounts and more. Let’s hit the rewind!
Our first highlight is from Kevin Lloyd, consultant for Safeguard, Allentown, Pa., whose dedication to prospecting and cultivating customers helped him solidify one of his most successful accounts.
Kevin Lloyd: The one that sticks out in my mind is, we had our local hospital I was calling off and on. The person was receptive—she was a nice lady. For about six or seven months, I was just leaving information and catalogs. One day she called me and it turned out we got the account. And it’s been our top customer for probably the last eight or nine years. Their sales vary. Some years it’s as low as $30,000, but others it’s as high as $100,000. We do a lot of business with them, and it was basically just a cold call situation where the lady appreciated me stopping by, and one day her promotional products guy in New Jersey got aggravated, so she said she wanted to deal locally. ... Just outside of our normal customer profile, and it was a good account for us.
Once you have clients you’ve been working with for a while, it’s good to go the extra mile for them. Bill Feldberg, chief marketing officer for Something Inked, Nashville, Tenn., did just that for a couple of major retail clients, Sears and Kmart, who needed more than 80,000 items. Feldberg and his team made it happen, and it helped the stores launch
re-branding efforts across all of their locations.
Bill Feldberg: As they continue to rebuild and regain their position in their market, we’ll be right there with them helping on future projects. We love helping people beat the odds, so the complexity of this project—the many moving parts with over 425 locations and ship-to’s—was a task in itself, let alone all the various components.
Things don’t always go swimmingly, though. Mike Button, senior account executive for Portland-based Tricor Brand Communications, ran into an artwork issue with a supplier. Despite the mixup, Button said he’d still do business with the supplier in the future—a testament to the need for cooperation and patience in the industry. But he had some advice for distributors who face similar situations.
Mike Button: Make sure you understand the information. My team didn’t fully understand the process with this paper proof. So make sure you understand it. Get knowledge. [The supplier] could have disclaimers all they want, but if they’re not telling you exactly what the disclaimer means, you’re kind of in the dark once you’ve actually seen the product.”