Want to stand out from the crowd? Follow the examples set by these two industry distributors.
One of Millennium Marketing Solutions’ (asi/379074) self-promotions was so successful it won an award for best product at a trade show. When visitors came to its booth, the company would engage the prospect, and during the conversation, President Janice Tippett and her reps would pull out their phones with the Millennium-branded credit card case. They’d then point out the item’s key features: it could hold cards, act as a phone stand and also could have headphones wrapped around it. The Millennium team would ask prospects for their phones, and then attach a case to it, so the item was put into use before the visitor even left the booth.
The product got a lot of attention at the show and drove traffic to Millennium’s booth. It was the first time the company had used this product, but it was so successful, Tippett says Millennium plans to feature them again this year. “Three months after the show, I was at a client meeting and the card case was still on her phone – with my logo and website on it – for all of her coworkers and visitors to see,” Tippett says.
When Don Sanders once impulsively wore a pair of vibrant, customized NIKEiD sneakers to an industry trade show, little did he know it would become his signature calling card. “So many people asked me about them, I wore them everywhere until the sneakers wore out,” says Sanders, the owner Don Sanders Marketing (asi/318050). He ultimately found someone to create brightly colored leather shoes and now has 11 pairs that he wears regularly on his calls.
Sanders uses the shoes as a tool to help qualify prospects. “If you like my shoes and are fun and open-minded, we will get along, and that’s who I’ll choose to work with. If you think what I do is strange, I won’t be able to communicate or work with you,” he says.
Sanders’ shoes are pictured on all of his self-promotional items, which typically include cleaning cloths, car coasters and jotters. He uses self-branded cleaning cloths as his business card. When meeting prospects, he pulls one out of its pouch and cleans either their glasses or cellphone. He then recommends prospects order some with their own logos. “I sold 21 orders that way last year. It shows I am colorful and creative,” says Sanders.
He only gives out the cloths or other self-promo items to those he determines are real prospects. He won’t waste time with “shoppers” who choose a distributor solely based on price. Sanders’ self-promotional approach appears to be working. “We’ve averaged 43% profits on our orders since we started,” he says.