Promo Close-Up - Ready for Launch

A Distributor Listens And Then Delivers

HALO Branded SolutionsWhen a company in the dental industry wanted to promote its product launches, it needed an eye-catching way to advertise. So Halo Branded Solutions (asi/356000) account executive Wendy Coffey got to work.

"This is a longtime client of ours," says Coffey. "The buyers wanted two kits of branded promotional items with a common theme for two separate product launches. We brainstormed and decided to promote two bundles of the dental equipment products with two different kits." When the client came to her with beach-themed ideas for the campaign, Coffey got quotes from Halo's top suppliers and then put together a winning sales presentation.

Nancy Bleeke, president of consultancy Sales Pro Insider, Inc., believes that Coffey demonstrated collaborative selling skills. "Instead of just identifying the needs of the client and then presenting her suggestions, she involved the client in identifying the solution, and had a successful sale because of it," says Bleeke. "She demonstrated that she valued her client's ideas, opinions and experience."

The first kit that Coffey helped develop featured a "Wrap It Up" theme. It included a performance T-shirt, a backpack, a water bottle filled with a variety of power bars and Vitamin-C packs, plus a towel and a workout band for resistance training. To the client's delight, the second kit had a beach flavor to it and contained a Frisbee and beach ball to match the "Paradise Bundle Breeze" tagline.

Bleeke points out that Coffey used her expertise to take the client's ideas and connect them to quality promotional products. "The client didn't need to worry about not having product available," says Bleeke. "The success led to more than a win-win – it lead to a Win3 – where Wendy, the client, and the end-users who received great kits all came out as winners."

Coffey feels the sale was a success because she played a consultative role. "It was pretty clear what they wanted from the start," she says. "The only significant challenge was finding the correct mix of items that worked for the promotion and the budget."

In the end, Halo distributed 2,200 total kits to the dental company's clients and earned $48,700 in revenue. "The process went very well," Coffey says. "There were no real challenges to speak of. Everything flowed smoothly."

Bleeke notes that Coffey's sales strategy was sound and a good model to follow. In this case, here was the winning formula: First, asking the client questions and secondly, continuing to look for feedback throughout the selling process.

"This strategy may seem more cumbersome as you will hear ideas that aren't viable, but in the long run, involving your client will earn you more than the extra time it might take to work through all the ideas," says Bleeke. "By encouraging them to be a part of the solution, you will make them valuable in their own organization and make yourself valuable to them. Giving value in the sales process leads to repeat sales, great referral possibilities and a really happy client."