Awards & Engraving

September '19

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56 • A&E SEPTEMBER 2019 Awards shops can also move outside the schools themselves, focusing on local busi- nesses that sponsor teams. "Sponsor and school plaques and trophies that the spon- sors can display are always appreciated," Avenson points out. Offering recognition items to local sponsors such as restaurants is a great way to enhance sales. Moving beyond recognition products, Garcia states that there has been growth in apparel and gift-type items in the school sports segment. "We do see apparel in the sports side of awards in the school market, (particularly) high school," she adds. "Gift items are a great add-on — mugs, apparel, lanyards, and anything that can be branded with a school/team name." SLAM-DUNK SUCCESS It's not enough, however, just to stay on top of purchasing and style trends. Without a solid sales pitch and a little creativity, awards retailers will still fall short with school sports sales. The good news is there are a lot of ways to make sure your business scores the sale. "Offer free local delivery. Take awards back for a small credit," O'Neill suggests. He also recommends offering last-minute services for forgotten needs and using promotional products to get your name out there. And if price is a concern, use that topic to your advantage. "Most people want to have the best product that they can afford," Avenson points out. "Let them know that although price is the main object, they need to think about what something will look like in a display cabinet." Help bolster that image by supplying samples customers can hold in their hands — they will notice an immediate difference. Price points can also help build a sales presentation. Think the "good, better, best" mentality. "Have several different products that run the gamut in price," Garcia suggests. Offer smaller, lower quality products for a lower price point then move up the ladder. The customer will not only see the difference in quality, but will then feel like they can find the items that are best for their needs. Don't be afraid to add some color to your sports recognition products — it gives them a unique presentation that stands out among the competition. IMAGE COURTESY UNISUB Colleges generally have a higher budget so can spend a little more in higher quality awards products for their sports programs. IMAGE COURTESY PRISM CRYSTAL

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