"Hey, That's Me!" - How Branding Holds Power in Promotional Products
Imagine it: You're at a social event with people you see irregularly—maybe a couple of times a year, maybe once a year, maybe less. You recognize another attendee and approach them, commencing small talk. At some point in the conversation, they give you a sheepish grin and say, "I'm sorry, I'm just terrible with names."
Now imagine that you're at the same social event and recognize another attendee. You approach them and they greet you by name. Small talk commences and they refer to you by name throughout it, then use it again when you say farewell.
Assuming they're identical otherwise, which person would you be more apt to speak to in the future?
Which person would you rather do business with?
One of the first things taught during leadership training is to learn—and use—people's names. Using names builds a personal connection; it shows that you're interested in them as an individual and engaged in your relationship with them, that you're taking the time and making the effort to know who they are. Remembering a person's name demonstrates that they are important to you—and who doesn't want to feel important?
There is a quote from Dale Carnegie's How to Make Friends and Influence People that is ubiquitous yet so valuable it's worth repeating:
Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Although Carnegie was referring to individuals, it applies to businesses, as well. The key concept for promotional products, after all, is promotion, which leaves you as a distributor in a position to offer that recognition in a way that they can't get from big-box or online retailers.
One way to emphasize this on your sales calls is through the use of spec samples, which provide your client with the opportunity to not only see a sample of the product but to specifically see how the product looks with their logo. This not only shows them exactly how the final product will look, but can also provide the same thrill of knowing that they're not just another account to you but rather an important client you're willing to put in extra effort for. Spec samples can open doors you didn't expect and provide enormous ROI.
Your ROI aside, what about your client's? Promotional products have myriad advantages over unbranded items, first and foremost of which is that it puts their brand out there, the brand that they've worked hard to establish and take pride in. Promoting their brand makes memorable connections that unbranded items just can't provide, and a company whose name isn't remembered is a company that doesn't get business.
When you offer the opportunity for a company to have their name and brand recognized, you're providing the sweetest and most important opportunity for that company. Everyone wants to feel important and you have the means to achieve that. A little extra effort can go a long way!