Awards & Engraving

August '18

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48 • A&E AUGUST 2018 W elcome to the first edition of my new column. I can't wait to bring you my take on sales, marketing, and some of the things that have worked for me and others. My passion for sharing this information stems from my belief that a rising tide raises all boats. A special thanks to A&E magazine for giving me the opportunity to share this information with you all. THE RISING TIDE OF BUSINESS By Aaron Montgomery Let's kick this off with some strategies for making yourself as a singular supplier to your customers so you can stay out of the dreaded commodity world. We have all been told, "I can get this from your com- petitor cheaper," and if your only reply is to lower your price, you have fallen into the commodity bucket. PRICE PROBLEMS Merriam-Webster lists one of the defi- nitions of a commodity as "a good or ser- vice whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (such as brand name) other than price." That sounds ter- rible! Smaller profit margins? Who wants that? The customers have decided all of the providers offer basically the same value, so price becomes the major deciding factor. Think about anything you buy based solely on the price; gasoline, internet ser- vice, groceries, and even personal com- puters have fallen into this trap to an extent. When purchasing a new computer, most people now look for the memory, processor speed, or screen size and could care less about buying a Gateway or a Dell — they just want the cheapest one that fits their needs. How did those computer companies make themselves a commodity? They spent years selling their features and benefits. They had nice glossy spec sheets with all of their computer terminologies that half of us didn't even understand. They talked about themselves and their The Commodity Bucket Aaron Montgomery has been involved with the garment decorating and per- sonalization industry since 2000 and the digital printing industry since 1997. He is very actively involved in the industry trade shows via speaking, attending and exhibiting for the last 17 years. He also writes articles for the industry magazines and blogs on topics that include marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating techniques. He is dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed. You can find Aaron co-hosting the industry's oldest and most listened to Podcast - 2 Regular Guys ( You can also find blogs about a wide range of topics on his own website at Avoid falling into the commodity trap

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