This Industry is the Pits!
And I mean that in the most loving way possible. Can you describe what you do without using the word "products?" Can you write a pre-approach letter to get an appointment without ever referring to a specific or a general laundry list of products? Instead of being the advertising equivalent of a Chinese restaurant menu with a long list of "stuff" you can sell, how about you start talking about what solutions you can offer? Here are six of them:
APPRECIATION. What organization doesn't have the need to show appreciation? Everyone should be regularly letting their customers, suppliers and associates know that their efforts are appreciated. Nonprofits need to show their thanks to donors, members and supporters in the community.
RECOGNITION. Did you know that 65 percent of American workers report that they received ZERO (zilch, nada, none, no) recognition in their workplace in the last year? This according to a Gallup organization study cited by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton in "How Full is Your Bucket?", may explain why so many workers are unhappy, disengaged or looking to change jobs. Help your clients recognize the behaviors that they want to see repeated.
MARKETING. My definition of marketing in the new economy is: "Turning Strangers into Friends; Friends into Customers; and Customers into Raving Fans." You have plenty of tools that will pique a stranger's interest in your clients' offerings, creating an image and trustworthy personality for their organization. You can help them make friends with their prospects. You have incentives and value-added extras that can help them turn those new friends into new customers. You can suggest ways to make the transaction experience so incredible that those customers become evangelists for your customers' brand. Yes! You're a brand builder!
PRESENCE. Promotional products extend your customers' presence beyond a specific location, event or promotion. Create a presence through long-lasting, appreciated brand impressions that start conversations, create word-of-mouth advertising and provide an implied endorsement of your clients' products and services.