I recently sat down with two of our consultants, Andy and Jen, to talk about their communication process with customers and prospects when developing solutions for their promotional product projects. Both have had much success as experts in this industry, so I asked them to come up with some advice they would give to both parties involved in the process.
As a customer or prospect we advise the following:
- Plan in advance.
- We suggest beginning to discuss a potential project 3-4 weeks before the event. Any closer to the due date may limit your options of products, eliminate your ability to see proofs, and potentially increase charges for the order.
- Be specific with your request.
- Help narrow down the search for the perfect product by revealing the demographics of your audience, the medium by which you will distribute the product, and any other details that could help pick the
right product (what have you tried before, what you definitely do not like, a possible theme for the event, etc.)
- Trust the company enough to disclose your budget for the project.
- Bottom-line: It saves time when searching for a product. Just because the salesperson knows the max you’re willing to spend doesn’t mean they will use all of it. They may even find a product for less that will end up saving you money!
- Be open to suggestions other than what you originally had in mind.
- Experts have had experience with many different clients for many different projects. They know what works and what hasn’t worked in specific circumstances and can guide you in the right direction based on your objectives.
- Act as a consultant.
- Be willing to invest yourself as a partner in their marketing department even knowing there won’t be compensation until an order is placed. Give your advice openly about successful promotional products and new trends.
- Work as a team with other employees in your office to complete projects.
- Try to have multiple people working together that the customer can rely on during the entire process of their order-from tracking the item, helping create the design, sending proofs, and confirming shipment.
- Utilize the experience of other experts within your company to understand new industries that you choose to do business with.
- Use a system for every project to increase accuracy amongst projects and clients.
- Following the same process for all projects and clients will increase the accuracy of your work.
- Fix any mistake that happens with the project.
- Even if only 1 shirt out of the entire order has a small defect, correct and replace the error. Your customer will appreciate this act and view the project as a positive experience overall.
Take these tips into consideration the next time you meet with your promo products consultant. We hope it will lead to a smoother experience and more successful results.