Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes
You don’t need super powers to help your clients. Although we all have those days when having super powers wouldn’t hurt.
However, despite us all wishing for telekinesis, teleportation, or time control, you don’t need any of those things to be a hero to your clients.
You just need these 5 skills – each will make you look awesome and leave your clients in admiration.
Research is the best kept secret in the industry - a secret weapon if you will. Research the company, the industry, their competition, and upcoming news and events. You will still learn about them and what they need and want; however, do so while looking great because you did your homework. When you do your research, you can ask in-depth questions and provide insightful guidance.
Hence, by doing your due diligence beforehand, you’ll impress your prospects and have a huge springboard to jump off from to soar.
Active listening is one of the most in-demand skills in the world, but few have it. Why? Because it is hard. You are giving your full attention to the speaker. Providing verbal and non-verbal cues that you’re listening; not just waiting for your turn to talk again.
You must listen to your client’s needs before jumping into your “pushing product” mode. Or, rather than that, listen and provide unique solutions.
When you actually listen, you don’t come off as the usual McPromoland product-pusher, you will rise above all as someone who cares about their goals, needs, and wants. Someone who can actually save them in their time of need.
When you were utilizing your active listening skills, were you also learning?
Being able to learn is an under-rated skill and “superpower.”
As a promotional products distributor, you must learn about the company, branding, history, needs, goals, and other elements of the client and project. You need to know how you can best help them, but also learn about them as a company or organization.
Otherwise, how else are you going to be positioned to best advise them?
At every meeting with them, you should have the goal to learn something new. Whether that’s about their company, new goals, them making any changes, or even if they’re having an open house in 6 months. Learn something new by asking questions. Get into the DNA of the brand.
Build relationships, ask questions, and learn as much as you can – you will gain their trust and respect. And when it comes to a project, you won’t need to read their minds because you’ll know already or be able to ask questions for what you need, which they will appreciate and keep coming back for.
Communication means more than letting someone know that a project has shipped.
It’s about letting them know when something isn’t going well, when the project is going swimmingly, or when you have further questions. Communication also lives outside of current projects or programs.
By checking in with your clients regularly and asking what is going on with them, you’ll develop a trust-relationship, as well as remind them that you are available to assist with various types of projects. Because as you know, if you aren’t selling a particular solution to them, you can bet someone else likely is.
So, it may seem impossible and crazy, but keep communication channels open. Be honest and open about what is going on with the project, but also don’t forget to regularly check in and discuss what’s going on with the company and look for other opportunities to assist them.
There are two parts when developing a strategy.
For the first, you must understand what the needs are for the company and how this project fits into their goals. Which could mean buying branded shirts to deliver a consistent brand message, developing unique custom awards to increase patent creation in the R&D department, or getting tradeshow products to hand out to expand brand awareness.
Each promotional product has a reason to be ordered, but understanding, as well as putting thought and consideration on what best fits the needs and goals for each project is where a promotional products professional comes in. You have the knowledge and experience on what solution best fits the needs and goals, so work with your client to find the best strategy for them.
However, after you’ve made your recommendation, how do you track your results? How do you prove that your knowledge and experience is worth it? How can you hold yourself and others accountable? That’s the second part when developing a strategy for your clients – tracking your results.
By doing so, you know you’ll be able to keep the client and increase orders because you are good at what you do. You provide unique solutions with thought and take a consultative approach. Now, in the strategy phase you just need to also prove that your work provides growth and helps the company’s goals - by tracking the data and results of your promotional product campaigns.
With your client, you decide on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as landing pages views, coupon usage, or a unique hashtag for the event. Then, you decide on what the ROI should be. What do both of you want to see from this campaign? Learn more about tracking results for promo campaigns here.
By strategizing the solution and tracking the campaign, you’ll be a hero because your client partner won’t have to fight to keep you on. They won’t have to scramble for numbers to justify working with you. Instead, it will be easy to prove to the higher powers that you are not only helping, you are a vital asset. You are assisting them to meet goals, have an in-depth knowledge of them and their industry, provide unique solutions to their problems, and are overall irreplaceable.
So, in the age of superheroes, understand that you don’t need fantastical superpowers. You just need unique skills that few other promotional products distributors utilize. And if you do, you will stand out from the crowd and be an irreplaceable asset to their team.
In the meantime, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.