10 Things You Need to Know To Become a Promotional Professional
1. All major sports teams have coaches. If you want to play in the major league, get coaching. Our industry has several good ones.
2. If you want to be good, hang around those who already are. Your regional association is where the really good hang out. Get involved, volunteer, serve. Youʼll meet the best in the industry. Youʼll find your mentor.
3. Customers remember only a few of your words. They never forget the essence of who you are. Work on who you are, more than what you say.
4. Donʼt rush to make a sale. Clients forgive a lot of the things that can go wrong with an order. A bad recommendation, a promotion that makes them look bad is forever.
5. Everything you ever wanted to know about promotional products can be learned at your regional and international associations. Read the publications from cover to cover. Attend every workshop, seminar and presentation that you can. You are lucky to be in an industry with the breadth of free education and professional development it offers.
6. This is a crazy business, but that doesn't mean that you need to go crazy. Don't go bonkers if someone drops the ball sometimes. Itʼs going to happen. I know of no long-term calamities befalling mankind because of a screwed up order. Yes, it is the end of the world, until you let go. Take the lessons from it and move on.
7. Never compete on price. No one wins.
8. Don't try to do it all. Everything you learn from reps, from PPAI, from ASI, from your regionals and from your reps shouldn't be everything you know. Take only what fits for you, your style, your market, and leave the rest behind.
9. Have a passion for what you do. It will help you get through those missed deadlines, lost packages, bad artwork, unrealistic clients, unreliable resources and those days when the entire universe conspires against you.
10. Have fun. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, why do it?