The Giving Season
It may be the tail end of August, but the holiday season is right around the corner. One of the biggest stresses that comes with the season is sending and spreading that holiday cheer. To save you some of that stress, we came up with eight tips to get you through the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Consider Gifts that Can be Shared
"Over the last 20 years we have seen a trend toward more businesses sending larger gifts to be shared by everyone in the office, while fewer businesses are sending gifts to individuals," said Tom Riordan, president of Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, Wis. Maple Ridge Farms sells large baskets of cheese and sausage, chocolate assortments and gourmet towers, all of which can be shared within an office.
2. Be Proactive with Food Gifts
Don't wait for clients to find out you can sell food. Tell them. "Intuitively, buyers think of mail-order catalogs and retail stores for food gifts, not distributors," Riordan commented. "Don't wait for them to ask about food gifts (they most likely won't); be proactive and explain that you are the best source for food gift programs," he said. It is your responsibility to bring new ideas and promotions to the client and show them that you are the source for food promotions.
3. Sell Food with Samples
Supply samples from different edible promotion suppliers and let the food speak for itself. "Put a sample in the hands of the buyer—a sample that they can taste," advised Riordan. "Delicious food nearly sells itself."
4. Think Ahead
While some of us shake our heads at the appearance of Halloween candy in grocery stores in August, Traci Pegg, sales manager, Royal Crest Promotions, Golden, Colo., takes a different stance on early holiday marketing. "An average cycle of three to four months is needed to give enough exposure to the programs in order to attain maximum results in holiday program placements and sales," she said.
Early ordering is great for exposure, but also for ousting the competition. Don't forget you're not the only distributor placing orders. "The fourth quarter holidays (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas) represent nearly 95 percent of our annual business," Riordan stated. "We receive half of our orders for the entire year after November 12," he added. With large amounts of orders being processed well within the season, play it safe by getting them in before the holidays get into full swing.