Whose Fault Is It?
Philip Peden, business relations administrator at Newton Manufacturing Company commented:
"Your article makes me want to ask a few questions: Do customers only want to know price and product when speaking to promotional products salespeople?"
"Do customers care about how the value of the product can be increased tenfold if you focus on the message, design and experience of giving an imprinted product? Or when it comes to promotional products, do they just want their logo on as many inexpensive products as possible?"
"Are customers open to discussing marketing campaigns and branding strategies with their promotional products sales people?"
"It's easy to say you bring value to the sale, but its far more challenging and time consuming to actually follow through with it. Salespeople that can overcome the stereotype of 'trinkets and trash' will differentiate themselves from the pack and thrive in a commodities-driven market and hopefully get the respect that they deserve."
Glen Rapoport, partner, Proforma Instant Promotions astutely notes:
"This is a multi-dimensional problem. However, I can assure you that the blame falls squarely on our side, not the client side. When we engage in selling products, we've already lost the battle. It does not matter that these products have intrinsic marketing value—if we are selling only a selection of products then this is the result. What is needed is a proper business discussion with the client that is followed with proposals that encompass turnkey solutions beginning with stated objectives, outlining strategy, specifying execution and concluding with metrics."
"If you don't want to be perceived as a seller of stuff, you need to expand your offering to include all the necessary components to be able to deliver complete promotional campaigns—that is how you establish value and take the focus off of price. It becomes very difficult to cost compare a complete proposal versus a selection of products. Educating your clients on the value of promotional products, great service etc., is not a differentiator nor is it really adding value, it barely sets you apart from the online sellers. In order to add value you have to CREATE value!!!"