By Sid Chadwick

“We called it… ‘Trinkets and Trash’….until we saw how much money we could make on it….”………Business Development Director’s Peer Group Member

INTRODUCTION:
Trinkets and Trash……?

Advertising Specialties….are not merely an extra line of revenue…..from which your customer has learned, the hard way….….”Don’t trust your purchasing dollars with anyone you don’t already have an important working relationship……to anyone you’re not important to….already……….!”

I’ll long remember the disgruntled Buyer, at a Client sponsored Buyer Education Program, who’d spent important budget dollars with an overseas supplier, rather than use her local supplier --- for them to find a reliable source, and stand behind the purchase…..for an important promotional event.

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The product she received….was not what she expected…. and she wanted my suggestions for her getting that overseas supplier to….“make things right”.

I asked, “Why did you use that overseas supplier, instead of your local supplier?” (You already know her answer): “They were cheaper.”

“Did you have a history with that overseas supplier?....Other than price, why did you use them?…How much of your time…. and time from others in your organization…. has been invested in this project…since you received improper, non-spec goods….that you paid for --- upfront?”

There wasn’t much I could offer her, except, “Try to use this experience to almost always….. use the supplier you’re already important to….”

SUMMARY:
Most organizations should be working to accomplish several central objectives:

  • Purposefully, systematically --- become more important to your top 10 – 20 customers.
  • Make it easy, inviting…. for folks to call you first, when they need something, whether or not you manufacture it. (….I love to create “IOU’s”….)
  • Develop revenue streams that require your other technology and intellectual resources, such as prepress imaging, storage & fulfillment, and web-to-print ordering --- to the benefit of both your customer’s needs…. and your company.

If you like this line of thinking, ask someone who’s experienced in researching specific targets…to identify for you the Advertising Specialty organizations --- within 10 – 20 miles of your location….say, with revenues under $500,000, or $1,000,000…….(We have three such searches in motion for clients, as this column is written.)

"Note…..some if not many of those Advertising Specialty company owners….are looking for an exit plan……and…. there could be no faster, cheaper way to move quickly into becoming part of your local  Advertising Specialty Supply Chain…….. "

“Innovation”…. has many names and looks……..and many of your customers…..will be grateful…..(…not bad, for …“Trinkets and Trash”…)

“He who desires but acts not…. breeds pestilence…”…..William Blake

 

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