While there are certainly plenty of success stories, making the transition from another field to the promo products industry isn’t easy for everyone. The climb becomes more difficult without detailed, methodical training, says Josh Frey, an industry salesperson with more than 20 years of experience. To help newcomers overcome startup hurdles, Frey started The Swag Coach Program (asi/340317) – a Geiger-affiliated (asi/202900) training model that provides aspiring promo pros soup-to-nuts instruction on how to launch and build a successful ad specialty business.
Based on his experiences and work developing the program, Frey says new distributor training should focus on the sales cycle and developing a thorough understanding of the order process. It should entail teaching about product categories, pricing strategies, the industry supply chain, and how to identify and build relationships with trusted suppliers.
Training should also focus on how to identify and target prospects and markets, including insight on leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn to make connections, says Frey. Learning strategies for nurturing client relationships and staying top-of-mind is paramount, as is instruction on goal-setting and how to develop and execute a realistic plan for achieving objectives. Advice on time management and formulating routines that help get the wheels of success turning should also figure into the mix.
Ideally, training should help newcomers establish and understand the infrastructure they’ll need to process orders efficiently. “If you’re disorganized, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed,” he says.