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Promotional Products Customer Creation Tips

Updated on February 20, 2015

Promotional Products Customer Creation - Expand Your Client Base Through Awareness

Adding new clients to your existing customer base is challenging, and even more so when first starting out. If promotional products is a spinoff of an existing business, there is the benefit of drawing from an already established pool of purchasing agents, but you need to expand your promo client base by making customers - existing and new alike - aware of your fledgling advertising specialty division. It's your first step in promotional products customer creation.

While referrals and word of mouth are your best advertising and recruitment methods, there are other things you can do to get the word out.

Secrets to Selling Promotional Products

Local Ripple

  • Have your local business magazine or the business section of the newspaper run a feature on your new promotional products division. This will bring local awareness and start the ripples of new promotional products customer creation and sales. People need to know your service is available in order to use it, and the more people read and hear your name, the more apt they are to call you for help with their promotional needs. After all, it's not the products they call you for, it's your service.

PPAI Video on Consumer Reaction to Promo Products

World Wide and World Wide Web for Promotional Products Customer Creation

  • Issue press releases - online and offline. Never hesitate to use article marketing as well. Spread the word and increase your reputation in both mediums. If you're not a writer yourself, find a good one to compose an intelligent and professional press release and develop a media/press kit. This increases your exposure locally and world wide.

Reach Out and Touch Clients and Potential Clients

  • Publish a monthly newsletter. Profile the person or people that are pertinent to helping your promotional products customers. Help them to get to know your company on a more personal level. You may want to consider also inserting an article highlighting an existing client or case study. I would recommend ensuring that you have the customer's blessing before publishing anything about them and their organization. Start building solid relationships by presenting an informative and open, welcoming stance. Insert copies of your newsletter with your invoices and catalogue mailings. Don't forget to add a signup option on your website for those interested in learning more about your company before making a decision about using your services. You may want to also make it available for reading on your site.

Get Creative

  • Get your creative juices flowing and forget convention. Consider sending out birth announcements for your new division or company, add neon announcement blurbs to your invoices if promotional products are a spinoff for you, or to quotes, letters, etc.

Referral Rewards

  • Reward customers for referring new clients and make sure they know why they're receiving their gift to motivate them to do it again and again. Put the word out in your newsletter, on your website, wherever, that people can receive something by making referrals. It doesn't have to be an expensive incentive, and can even take the form of a dollar amount off their next order, or a small gift.

Place a Free Ad

  • Put an ad on Craigslist, Kijiji, Highland Classifieds, etc. It's free and you just might snag someone who would not have otherwise heard of you. This is particularily practical if you're starting a new business or have a very limited budget.

Build Credibility

  • Join the major promotional products associations and put the logos on your invoices and website to add credibility. Also have things set up so that clients can search product databases and request quotes at their convenience online. PPPC and ASI, for instance, can bring you clients from their site when a customer searches for a distributor to buy from. The customer can then poke around through the product offerings and submit a request for pricing without having to call.

Group Rates

  • Give groups special pricing. For example, keep the mark-up for charities at a reduced percentage (assuming there is no sales rep commission being paid from it). Naturally, you do not mention the percentage to the client, only tell them that you will take care of them regarding price. As these organizations tend to be multi-layered, the different departments do their own ordering. If one purchaser is happy with you, that person will tell the other purchasing agents. This does take time for the relationship to build and ripple, but it's worth it to become their sole supplier.

Insinuate Yourself

  • Become an active member of your local Chamber of Commerce, and other business networking groups. If you're the type, don't forget the service groups. Get involved, endear yourself, get your name and services known. You'll build trust and relationships along with your reputation.

Rev Your Rep

  • Under promise and over deliver - a big rep booster. Delight existing clients and they'll want to tell everyone about you. Build up your reputation as the ‘go to' company for promotional products. Your efforts will have a ripple effect, but remember it can take some time so don't be discouraged. It is never wasted effort if your name is being spread. You're not just building a client base, you're also building company awareness and reputation.  It's all part of the promotional products customer creation process.

PPAI Statistics on Promotional Products

© 2008 Shirley Anderson


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    • profile image

      rameshscm 8 months ago

      Thanks for the informative post & for providing us this great write up, Keep it up.

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    • profile image

      Jermy 3 years ago

      Awesome post.You got great point which seems to come up in experience..very useful post.

    • profile image

      Elina gilbert 3 years ago

      great post. thank you

    • profile image

      sam 6 years ago

      really informative stuff, i got a starting point to promote my business, thanks a lot shirely

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, Benz B! I lived and breathed promotional products for 20 years, so this stuff became second nature. I hope it can help others increase their customer base. :)

    • Benz B profile image

      Benz B 8 years ago

      Wow. You are really on your stuff. Great job breaking all of this down for us.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank-you, Ron! Since it appears that you are in the biz, it's even more flattering, I appreciate the comment.

    • profile image

      Ron 9 years ago

      Really nice article Shirley. This is extremely helpful!

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Steve. Hope some of the info is of help.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      There is a lot of great information here. I will have to bookmark this one, thanks.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Mike!

    • BIG Mike profile image

      BIG Mike 9 years ago from Greece

      Wow - awesome article and definitely one to follow :)

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Annette. Hope is helpful.

    • Annette Rozen profile image

      Ann Martin 9 years ago

      Useful and succint, thanks for the great advice!

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Dorsi. Many businesses sort of fall into promotional products because their clients start asking for them. You're right, they're fun, stressful at times, but never boring. It's something new all the time.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 9 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      We sold promotional products for awhile alongside our sign business, and it was a great marriage- it would have been more successful if I could have devoted more time to it- but I actually had too many jobs on my shoulders at the time in the sign part of it and it never took off-Promotional products are great cost effective advertising tools, without a doubt- and they are SO much fun!Great hub!

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Silvalinings!

    • silvalinings profile image

      silvalinings 9 years ago from Richardson, TX 75080

      Excellent article, Shirley! This is why I'm a fan!

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Compu-Smart! It was twenty years in the making. :)

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK


      You have put together some extreamly usefull tips and advice to implement which certainly sounds like it comes from your experience!!


    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Paul. I hope it helps people grow their business.

    • pkmcr profile image

      pkmcr 9 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Shirley there is some excellent information here for anyone looking to market their services or products.

      Take Care