Awards & Engraving

April '20

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54 • A&E APRIL 2020 Sales & Marketing making money in shipping. This had this audience spending almost an hour talking with each other about how to make profit on shipping. The first seminar didn't introduce the idea of shipping being a profit center. It can be a great profit center for your business if you start shipping any volume. This reminds me of an account I sold to a national insurance company many years ago. In my want for a big sale, I was too aggressive in my pricing to have enough profit for the effort that was in the product. But when the client said yes to the order and started asking if we could do the distribution and packaging of the awards, it was then that I realized that was the source for a greater profit than I had thought was possible. This involved all of the following, which I was charging for each service, and the client had no problem — they expected to pay for that service (and they didn't get any bids for that service): • The giftbox • The thank-you letter, which was per- sonally signed by the CEO • The shipping carton • The individual confirmation of each item • The shipping schedule, which was coordinated with each recipient who received the awards within hours of one another A note of interest: it wasn't this insur- ance company account but a state account where I introduced the process of serial numbering the items to make them col- lector items. This was a successful idea in closing a large order, and the client loved it. Also, as you expand and want to grow, the ways in which you approach and offer various shipping solutions can be a great addition to your business. Choosing the right ship- ping partner(s) will be a decision you need to prepare for. I suggest you start preparing and learning about the choices available to you now. There are several options: • Single packages • Air shipping • Pallet shipping • Half and full container shipping • Several other options Tip: A meeting with a couple of your shippers (meet separately with each ship- ping company) can be fruitful for you and the direction of your company. You might find that single packages and air shipments are not necessarily the best deal from just one company. This meeting will do several things to help educate you. First, you will learn about your ship- ping options as to cost, savings, and you can advise your clients how they can save money. It might even be important to have a company that you can take your shipping to up until midnight. Second, keep in mind that these ship- pers are people who have knowledge of the pulse of your local area and they know businesses that can use your service. These representatives, if you impress them, can be a walking, talking advertisement for your business at no cost to you. These sales repre- sentatives often talk to the decision-makers of small businesses that can help you. If you have already done this and it has been a few years since setting everything up, it might be time to revisit this issue. About four years ago, we did it and saved over $63,000 the next year, so it can be worth taking the time to study this impor- tant issue. This series of articles is designed for shops with one or two employees, but it is also for those who are established and might need to reevaluate their position in the marketplace. Our businesses change, and we must all be ready to make the small adjustments and major additions and subtractions that will make the big different in our success. If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000; e-mail me at; or write me at Stephen L. Capper A-1 Awards, Inc. 2500 North Ritter Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46218 A&E

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