Pens.  Post-it Notes.  Memory Sticks. Coasters.   We tend to think of these as the easy answer for promotional items because supposedly all business owners and organizations need them.  A Pat Doyle Truism is that all business owners and organizations need the right quality promotional item that accurately represents the business and helps add to the bottom line.

You see, promo items, licensed apparel, gifts, awards, and full-scale campaigns can and do solve business problems and that makes for a healthier organization:

1. Are your clients calling you first, second third…last?

Move to the front of the line by giving a promotional item that is reflective of your business’ culture AND relevant to the client.  Pick an item that is useful so that it is readily in view when the client may need your service. This brand recall trick is valuable.


2. Are you getting lost amidst your competitors…both those in your neighbourhood and online?

Start getting calls by circulating a promo items that show your value proposition – you know – that “thing” that makes you stand taller than all your competitors and gives you visibility. And pick something that is so interesting that people will show it at the coffee bar, and have it in view at their desks. This strategy builds buzz, and prompts people to seek you out.

3. Do you need your employees to get on board with a change? 

Make your teams champions of change. Adopting change happens at different times for everyone. That’s why creating a culture shift in a work environment or implementing a new process takes time. More time means more expensive. Speak with your promo expert and have a special item or package created that reminds people about the change. The more useful that item or package is, the more likely your team is to use it and the more likely your employees are to encourage each other to get on board with the change.

4. So busy building that you’re losing what you’ve built?

Shut the back door and keep your clients. Quality service and products, top customer service, and good price points help you get the business, but are you at risk of losing clients because of some fierce competition? Don’t wait for this to happen. Send your valuable clients special thank you items that show them how important they are to you and your business.  This builds loyalty, and that helps people stay with you rather than slip out the back door.

5. Do your sales go up and down with the energy and enthusiasm of your sales team?

Get your sales team running! Sales is a competitive sport…seriously. Develop incentive plans that reward salespeople in a progressive way. Reward each goal or sales tier with a coveted gift  -- one that will be visible to the full sales team. We’re not talking about a wall plaque here (although they do have their uses), we’re talking about something that a top salesperson will be proud to use or wear. It may be a different style of shirt (in the company colours of course), or a special custom-designed recognition piece like a hand-crafted one-of-a-kind miniature guitar. Other salespeople will want to reach that sales goal too and they will run to catch up!

The key to using promotional items to solve business problems is to work with an experienced promotional person who will take the time to thoroughly understand your organization and find or create the best solution for you. And, opt for a promotional company with international buying power – they often have access to more products and can use their size to negotiate better prices.

Pat Doyle owns Proforma Promotional Products of Canada. For 25 years, he has been working with small, medium, large, and global organizations, finding real and tangible business solutions. At Pat’s showroom (one of the largest in Durham Region aka East GTA), first consultations are free.


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