Awards & Engraving

February '18

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A&E FEBRUARY 2018 • 15 business go? Of course, the answer is you have no chance of success. The clients who are good and buy consistently are what keep your business running in a positive direction. These clients pay their bills on time and are manageable and trouble free, for the most part. These are the golden apples that allow our business to be successful and present us the opportunity for growth and satisfy our needs along with those of our employees. A client that presents us with orders that can be plugged into our system with little or no stress make our business run smooth. These are the clients everyone wants. Of course, not all clients are trouble free, but keep searching for the right combination that works for you with your system. Learn to replace the trouble clients with trouble- free clients—run your business your way. Let's look at how to address your cli- ents, how to select a segment of clients to search for, how to develop new accounts from these contacts, and how specializing can help your business grow quicker and reduce your stress in selling. SIGNATURE PRODUCTS ARE A GREAT BRANDING TOOL Each sector of our client base will have a variety of wants and needs that we need to address. The products we need come in sev- eral areas. First, I have found that you need a signature product that is unique to you and your firm, a product that is different and sets you apart from your competition. This might be a product you produce in house or it might be a product you work with a manufacturer on who offers you a specific territory or product line. But it must be something you can be identified with or a product that brands your firm when you are attracting new prospects that come to be clients. Once you have the product you must: Know what your client base wants: When I started our business selling horse shows, I realized that the average person in the horse business had some form of sub- stantial income, because this was a hobby that was rather expensive. And each of these people had connections in their business life that could lead me to other business besides my core horse show business. But it was up to me to let them know I could do other things. So m e o f t h e h o r s e p e o p l e w e r e demanding and wanted different products for other sports like little league baseball. I started looking for different types of products like imported horsehead sta- plers, fireplace irons, trivets, silver plate hollowware, records by Dale Robertson on the history of the American Quarter Horse, special custom-made mailboxes, and hundreds more items that made up my line called the "Horseorama Collection." I even imported Icelandic Pony Horsehides, which were different and drew attention to my collection. This is only a small number of products that I brought together. It was a lot of work and expensive for me at the time, but my line was one-of-a-kind. I called this select collection the "Horseorama Collection" so that the prospect would remember me and A-1 Awards—it was a way of branding my line. The point I want to make is I had to have something different in order to appeal to this unique group of buyers. In addi- tion, we started hand-making rosette rib- bons, and the clients loved the line. The rosettes were more expensive than others being offered, but they sold because they were the best. You can be the cheapest and sell some accounts or you can be the most expensive and you, too, will sell an ele- ment of the public that wants the best. Both scenarios can and do work. It is a choice by the business owner as to the direction they want to go. I have seen both programs work well. Know where to obtain the best price for your product line: It can be difficult to locate products that are unique yet afford- able, and what works in one area might not work in another. For the most part, you must attend different trade shows, like jewelry shows, sign shows, gift shows, and others. If you only attend trade shows in your field, you make your selection from the same place all of your competition attends in order to assemble their lines. If your product line isn't different then two factors will likely determine if you make the sale. One determination is the price, and then, of course, the other is the service. I have met two people in our industry who think the same way about attending different trade shows as I do. One is Gino Zarvarella of Gino's Awards in Cleveland, Ohio. Gino started in 1950 and turned 90 years old on October 17, 2017 and works every day. Another traveler to various industry trade shows in Mike Montecalvo of Lamont Awards & Apparel in Spencerport, New York. Mike has great vision and is always looking for a better way to make something. He has traveled with Nora and I to China in search of new and different products. Learn to take your business to the next level by searching for a better mouse trap that will satisfy the needs of your client base and help your business be different. Brand your business in a unique way so that the buying public doesn't forget you. If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000 or e-mail me at or write me at Stephen L. Capper A-1 Awards, Inc. 2500 North Ritter Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46218 Stephen Capper, along with his wife, Nora, and their daughters, Jami and Toni, owns and operates A-1 Awards, Inc. in Indianapolis. He has been associated with the awards and recognition industry since 1958, and has given numerous seminars since 1979. Sales & Marketing A&E

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