1. Target end-of-year honors. The end of the year is a big time for organizations to reward their top performers. Whether providing custom awards or simple thank-yous, this period offers lots of selling opportunities.
2. Promote new beginnings. Whether with a simple calendar for customers or a more elaborate “welcome back” gift for employees, getting clients to think about ways to promote an optimistic message and a fresh start in 2011 can inspire sales.
3. Add value to an item. Look for ways to tie in a discount or offer that can bring a customer back later in the year. Tom Kaufman, president of Kaufman Promo (asi/239350), is working with a convenience-store client to include a coupon in each of the hot-drink mugs it sells to customers in the early months of the year.
4. Play the long game. Developing awards that can be collected from one year to the next is a great way to ensure the same client returns over time. “We try to emphasize continuity programs,” says Kami Arnold, manager of Arnolds for Awards (asi/124160). “It can be bookmarks, ornaments or a series of porcelain plates, but make it a set.”
5. Let the cold weather get customers (re)thinking. Sometimes the freeze of the winter can get customers to order things they otherwise wouldn’t. “You may have a difficult time selling caps to some customers during the year, but the same people who won’t buy caps from you will buy stocking caps and mufflers in the winter,” says Philip Davis, president of Your Extra Specialties (asi/365375). He has found that the winter gives him an opening to sell smaller apparel items to these customers throughout the year.