5 Problems You Can Solve
Here's the deal: Problem solvers always make money! No matter what the industry. No matter what the economy is doing. No matter what. If you can get out of the product-selling business and into the problem-solving business, you will always be in demand and you will always be able to make money. Here are five problems that you can solve.
1. Declining or stagnate employee morale. Companies who have employees who are not happy and not engaged with the business are companies that need a solution. Unhappy employees are likely to turn away customers. They are likely to leave the company, resulting in replacement and retraining costs. They are more likely to be injured on the job and take more sick time. Create programs that reward the behaviors that will turn this around. People need to have friends at work and to speak positively about each other and about the company. Engaged employees feel appreciated and can turn a company around. Research has shown that companies that rank among the best places to work outperform others financially. (Commit to learn about employee engagement.)
2. Increasing health insurance premiums and workmen compensation rates. Healthy employees save a company thousands of dollars in health insurance costs. Safe workers save their companies millions of dollars in insurance premiums and liability costs. You can solve this problem by recommending programs that reward healthy living and safe work habits. Wellness programs provide rewards for smoking cessation, weight loss and commitment to fitness programs. Safety programs are all about catching people exhibiting safe work practices and rewarding them. Both types of programs are more effective when communicated with promotional products and when they have meaningful rewards. (Commit to learn about wellness programs and safety programs.)
3. Lack of customer loyalty. Many companies are looking for ways to get customers to order and reorder consistently without shopping around every time they are in the market. Loyalty programs recognize and reward shoppers, whether they are distributors, dealers, retailers or end-users, for making purchases. Problem solvers in this area put together programs based on frequency of purchase, size of purchase and purchase cycles to continuously engage buyers. Most of us are familiar with airline and hotel loyalty programs. Apply these principles to business-to-business opportunities using promotional products and premiums as the incentives. (Commit to learn about loyalty programs.)
4. Dwindling trade show effectiveness. Many organizations exhibit at business-to-business or business-to-consumer trade shows. These face-to-face sales opportunities can be extremely effective as they bring buyers and sellers together in an environment where the buyer can experience the product and the people behind it. They are also very expensive. The cost per impression of this medium may be the highest of the available options. The cost of customer contact, however, is extremely low when compared to individual sales calls. The trade show exhibitor has the expenses of the booth space, the booth cost, shipping, personnel, travel, hotels and entertainment. How can they maximize their return on investment? They can get the most bang for their buck if they can make sure they see the right people and spend quality time with them, can tell them their story, and make sure they remember them after the show. You can help them by structuring the right invitations to the right people to get them to attend the show and actually talk to the exhibitor. You can help them achieve this by recommending ideas that will make their theme memorable, that will turn their exhibit time into an experience and by providing lasting reminders of that experience. (Commit to learn about trade show marketing.)
5. Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers and customers into raving fans. The new definition of marketing describes the number one problem for any organization: How do you make your offering likable and approachable? How do you earn the trust and business of your new friends? How do you deliver an experience and results that make them want to tell their friends? If you frame your presentations around these three objectives, you will become not just a swag salesperson, but a professional marketer. We make friends by caring about others, by being authentic, by showing interest in the needs and aspirations of others. It is exactly the same for any business or organization. By recommending products that are relevant to the needs of the target end-users, you help your clients be likable, approachable and friend-worthy. Recommend purchase incentives that help make your customers' prospects comfortable and eager to do business with them. These would be items that are desirable and that take away some of the risk of that initial transaction. Ask your customers what they are doing to make every customer interaction a memorable experience and make suggestions for what they can do to make their customers want to recommend them to their friends. (Commit to learn about marketing and advertising.)
If you're willing to commit yourself to continuing education by spending an hour per week on research and reading, to attend the great education and professional development being offered by your regional association, by PPAI, by ASI and even your suppliers, and by logging in to the many available webinars around these topics, you can become a problem solver. If you choose just one of these five problems and commit to becoming the best problem solver in your world, you will rock your world. You will rock your sales and you will rock your income. Find the pain. Be the aspirin.