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3 Ways To Promote Yourself Using Promo Items

December 31st, 2011

In this post I’m going to discuss 3 ways you can leverage promotional products to your advantage. While the information presented here may not be groundbreaking by any means, every now and then it is a good idea to refresh what we already know.

Today, advertisers have more opportunities to spread their message than any other time in history. With so many choices available, the marketing process can seem overwhelming at times. For instance, if you operate a business that does not have global reach (think Coca Cola) it is not wise to try and brand yourself like the big boys. Leave the branding to advertising agencies; you need to focus on selling your goods and services.

Assuming sales mean more to you than branding, let’s talk about the core fundamentals every single brick and mortar relies on to build its book. Before I proceed any further I want to clarify what it means to brand one’s self. The easiest way I can explain it is think about the full color perfume advertisements that appear in national magazines like Cosmopolitan. Every one of them is the same: a beautiful woman is shown alongside a bottle of perfume. The only words on the page are the name of the perfume and the company who makes it. There is no offer; no call to action; no direct response mechanism. That is what I am referring to when I mention branding.

Core Fundamentals

What are three aspects of the sales cycle that every business, no matter the industry or scope of work, depend on to survive?

  1. Qualified prospects need to be converted into paying customers.
  2. Sales agents need to follow-up (the variables hardly align immediately, right?)
  3. Referrals are the lifeblood of most successful business operations

So how can promotional products assist the average business owner with these three areas of the sales cycle?


For starters, promotional products help you get noticed. Used properly, promotional items can get your foot-in-the-door and past the gatekeeper. Remember to hand out useful promos that serve a purpose, can save your prospects time or money or can make their life easier in any way.


So you got a foot-in-the-door what now? You gotta follow-up, right? Considering it takes around six touch points before a prospect is converted into a customer, not following up on your leads spells doom. The idea is to be creative with promotional products. You don’t have to buy 500 or 1,000 pcs of a specific promo. Consider breaking up your budget into different levels: high priority prospects should receive a more expensive promo item than a lukewarm lead. Here’s an idea I’ve seen work time and time again:

Imprint your company name and phone number/web site on a giant pencil and add a catchy slogan like, Pencil me in for a meeting. Think the person you send this to won’t answer your call? Promotional Pencil


It’s only fitting I end this blog on the subject of referrals. Did you know most sales professionals don’t ask their clients for referrals? When you think about it that’s crazy. The best way to introduce yourself to a potential customer is by name-dropping. No one is going to be rude to you if you say so and so thought it would be a good idea if I introduce myself.

So why do most people overlook this obvious way to add more clients to their roster? Is it because you are ashamed to ask? Is it because you don’t know how to ask? Do you think it will offend your customer? When is the right time to ask for a referral?

Where do promotional products fit into this mix? So glad you asked. Send your target customer a promotional food gift (everyone likes chocolates) or an executive gift (leather bound journal or personalized metal pen) along with a note. A week after they have received their gift send a letter to your customer thanking them for their continued support and all the other pleasantries. Somewhere at the end of the letter, ask for the referral. Make it easy for them by including a note card they can fill out, and a self-addressed envelope.

In retrospect, promotional products can help you get through to prospects easier, build your client roster and help you get referrals. There is a reason why promotional products have the lowest cost-per-impression of all other forms of advertising mediums (save billboards). Simply put, when used correctly…they work.

Enough talk. If you are serious about marketing with promotional products call (866) 751-PROMO to get personalized service from one of our qualified promotional product specialists.

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