Would You Buy from You?
Have you ever thought long and hard about what it would be like to be a buyer of promotional products? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a while and think about what it would be like to be them. Why would they want to partner with you? When you can answer that question in terms of the benefit to them, you will be well on your way to having a unique value statement and differentiating benefit.
What would it be like to have an administrative position wearing a lot of different hats and spending most of your time on projects totally unrelated to promotional products. Maybe two, maybe four, maybe six times a year, your boss asks you to source the giveaway for the trade show, or to buy team shirts for the sales meeting, or to plan a company picnic, or get writing instruments and padfolios for the training department.
Where would you go? What kind of help would you be looking for? What would be your objectives? In situations like this, the buyer’s ultimate objective is going to be to look good to the boss. They want an easy, complete, smooth and seamless transaction. Can you deliver this better than the Internet? Can you make them feel like a professional? Will you remember to be totally upfront about all costs—setups, color matches, proofs, shipping and potentially overruns? Will you explain the processes and lead times and alternatives in a way that will make the buyer be able to impress their coworkers?
If the customer has to keep going back to their boss to explain extra charges, why extra lead time is needed or any other friction points, the customer is not going to be enjoying the experience that you are delivering.
Here’s the deal. On your worst day, you need to be excellent. Your objective is to satisfy the customer’s objectives. Period. Make them feel good about their decision to work with you. You earn your profit by delivering a smooth, professional experience that makes them want to come back for more.