Promo Close-Up - Something to Talk About
A Distributor Builds Business And Relationships
Husband and wife team Jeff and Dawn Van Beck have built their company on relationships. Their firm, Sarasota, FL-based J&D Professional Services, specializes in elder moves, estate settlements, case management and guardianship – a business niche dependent on referrals.
“Their biggest sources of referral business are estate attorneys and bank trust departments,” says Timothy Holliday, vice president of Children’s World Uniform Supply (asi/161711), also based in Sarasota.
Holliday met Jeff Van Beck several years ago through a local BNI chapter. The professional relationship they’ve developed since then has been a benefit to both J&D and Children’s World. “I work with J&D Professional Services on a regular basis to find unique promotional items,” Holliday says.
Among the most successful promotions for J&D are a truck-shape stress reliever from Ariel Premium Supply (asi/36730) and Slinky adhesive notes from Tradenet Publishing (asi/91760). “I chose the items after talking with the Van Becks about their target market and what they were trying to accomplish,” says Holliday. “They are both great discussion items, which is what they were looking for so they could get in the door and then have their name stick around and make impressions.”
When Jeff Van Beck delivered the stress relievers to a local trust officer, the promotional items instantly won attention. In fact, the trust officer liked the stress relievers so much he took Van Beck to meet his colleagues. “Now J&D Professional Services has done business with all five of the trust officers at that company,” says Holliday. Children’s World distributed approximately 500 adhesive notepads and 250 stress relievers through the promotion.
Josh King, founder of Tinderbox Consulting, believes that the promotional products offered to prospective clients worked as lead generators because they were unique. “Jeff used the stress relievers as conversation starters, not deal closers,” says King. “He didn’t rely on the truck alone to generate the lead. He put some well-crafted conversation behind it as well.”
Holliday agrees that even the most interesting products by themselves won’t win over end-buyers. Distributors, he thinks, need to deliver campaigns, not just items that could easily be found on the Internet. “I love challenges like what I did with J&D because they let me be creative and offer something that other salespeople probably wouldn’t,” says Holliday. “It also certainly gives my customer a good reason to deal with me, instead of just picking a product and ordering something online.”
King points out that Children’s World Uniform Supply can now demonstrate to future clients how they provide value. “They don’t just sell promotional products, they sell ideas,” says King. “They help their clients cultivate leads and prospects. Children’s World Uniform Supply is in the business of supplying conversations to customers like J&D Professional Services.”