Awards & Engraving

August '19

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A&E AUGUST 2019 • a-e-mag.com 83 Sales & Marketing One other important factor is that the prospect needs to be assured you are going to deliver on time, every time. Our prod- ucts are perishable; they need to be there on time because they may be presented in front of hundreds of people. In many scenarios, they say we only have seconds to appeal to the prospect or we miss our chance. Now that we have determined that our marketing approach will and is changing for the most part, we need to recognize who and what we want to sell and why. ESTABLISH AND BUILD YOUR OFFERING Those of you reading this article are nat- urally tilting your thoughts toward selling recognition and promotion-type products. But is that enough? Our websites are now (part of ) our store and it would seem we need to focus our offering on what our core clients need in order to be a one-stop shop for them. We don't have to add square footage to our store in order to offer more products. There are many advantages to appealing to the client as a one-stop shop. First, it helps having one location that satisfy the client's needs. And if we have available what the prospects and clients need then we eliminate competition and control the sales cycle. Remember: every time we sell a product or service with that add-on, we increase our bottom line and appeal to a great scope of the buying public. Another point worth thinking about is that by offering products and services that are outside your regular line, you might just reinvent your business. Nearly 35 years ago, I bought a successful trophy operation in our area. Their business was doing well, and they had several major accounts. So, what was wrong? Nothing, but the owner bought a new laser (no one else in the area had anything like it) and then went to Western Electric and offered to sell personalized wooden telephone cases utilizing laser engraving. This turned into such a large account and the owner had so much business so quickly that he sold the awards section of his busi- ness. This turned into one of our better buys in the 44 stores that we have acquired over the years. Tip: Start looking for what you can add to your offerings. Look outside the box and think of asking your existing clients what else would help them with their events. Think of attending a trade show outside your field. FINDING THE BUYER Do we invite the buyer to our busi- ness or go to them? Of course, if we sit at our desk in Louisville, Kentucky and have someone on our website from Miami, you might think it difficult to have them come to your office, but the fact is with your website, this is possible. But how do you drive your market to the website? This is the important question, because you can assemble the best website, but if no one looks at it then you will strike out. How do you drive the buyers to your website? You must do your homework and learn where those you want to attract to your website go for their information. And there may be several places they shop for information. Some accounts might be recruited from advertising in magazines, while others might have a need to be contacted with direct mail or a personal phone call. In some cases, you might need to attend trade shows as an exhibitor, but this can be expensive and often takes a few years to be identified as a legitimate vendor. The point I am making is that there are going to be many ways to do the right thing, but they all cost time and money and you need to spend your advertising/ marketing dollars in the right place for your company. Tip: It is imperative to the success of our business to determine the buyers we want and then do the research to con- nect with this group. While nothing is a guarantee, good research can increase your chance for success. Your success may not be immediate — it takes time and repetition. You must build a positive relationship that drives the prospects and buyers to your site. Obtaining a new client is often a struggle; it has to do with timing. I want to stress the importance of persistence and staying with your plan to succeed. If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000; e-mail me at stephen@a-1awards.com; or write me at Stephen L. Capper A-1 Awards, Inc. 2500 North Ritter Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46218 A&E

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