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Promo Talk: Terry McGuire, HALO Branded Solutions

Candid opinions from industry pros.

Terry McGuire

  • Senior Vice President of Marketing and Supply Chain
  • HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000)
  • 31 Years Industry Experience

What I Wish I Knew When I Started …
That I’d be in this business for more than 30 years. I certainly would have been much better behaved the first five or 10, and I’ve been trying to repent ever since! I am glad I was savvy, or lucky, enough to respect what the “old timers” back then had to say, because it gave me great perspective very early in my career on how to treat difficult situations, challenging people and different points of view.

What Frustrates Me the Most …
Over-inflated egos. The most successful people I’ve met have usually been the most humble. They understand they don’t know everything, don’t have to know everything, and that no one would care if they knew everything anyway.

If I Were King of the Industry…
I’d tell suppliers that distributors aren’t trying to hose them, and would tell distributors to stop trying to hose suppliers. The fact that we have demanding, intense clients doesn’t mean we have to treat each other in a demanding, intense fashion in order to get the job done. I would institute and strictly enforce the Golden Rule.

What I Wish I Could Say to a Client …
“You had four months to prepare for this event and you’re seriously calling me the day before because you want 10,000 pieces imprinted and kitted by 10 a.m.?”

Best Advice I Received …
The late, great Denny Hansen lived by the mantra, “It’s not a matter of who’s right; it’s a matter of what’s right.” While I’ve had to remind myself of that too often, it’s always ended well when I’ve gone into a difficult situation with that in mind.

What Suppliers Can Do Better …
Following up is infinitely more important than showing up.

Most Overrated Trend …
Thankfully for my mortgage payments, it’s NOT the value and power of promotional products, which is still very strong. Beyond that, it’s the obsession on how to reach young buyers. Buyers aren’t getting younger, we’re just getting older. Stop treating millennials like they’re a mystery from outer space.

Stereotype About Salespeople I Hate the Most …
That it’s an easy job because this stuff practically sells itself. It doesn’t. Every successful salesperson I know works their butt off and is measured by their clients on the last order they did for them – a tenuous, challenging reality.

 McGuire recently participated in a cancer fundraiser by giving HALO employees the opportunity to tape him to a warehouse wall.