Sixty-two percent of customers purchase promotional items — bags, mugs, a custom canopy, pens etc.– from only two to five distributors. If you want to attract these consumers, you need to outrank your competition. Here are five tips on how to become the go-to distributor for promotional products.
Like a good friend who always takes your call, it is true for your customers. If a consumer orders a printed custom tent, for example, choose a supplier with a quick turnaround time — and one that won’t leave you in the lurch — and manage customer expectations with a realistic time frame for product completion. While you wait for materials to arrive, engage with consumers in the interim. Provide a rendering of the printed pop-up tent so customers know what to expect.
You might specialize in promo products such as badges or t-shirts or pens — one type of item that’s become your bread and butter. However, carrying multiple products will interest more customers and provide you with a steady stream of income. Providing a niche is one thing, but putting all your eggs in one basket could spell disaster for your business. Another vendor could swoop in and corner your market at any time.
“There are many reasons to add new products — or line extensions — to your company’s product mix,” says marketing expert and author Kim T. Gordon. “In fact, line extensions may be the answer to building sales and moving your company in a whole new direction.”
Optimizing your website for mobile browsers proves lucrative. Smartphones and tablets drive 56 percent of traffic to websites, with the average time spent on a mobile site clocking in at three minutes and five seconds. Mobile optimization is booming: 80 percent of consumers use their smartphones to shop online, and tablet users account for the highest add-to-cart rates on websites with an online store. Don’t be left behind — make products available for purchase on your mobile site so customers don’t have to place an order on a desktop.
Excel at Customer Service
Waiting to speak to a customer rep is a pet peeve shared by most consumers. Moreover, 77 percent of adults say the best indicator of customer service is when companies value their time. Don’t leave your customers hanging: Pick up the phone quickly — 15 percent of callers hang up after just 40 seconds — and thank the customer for waiting. “Long wait and hold times also mean lost sales, bigger service issues when they do come up, and customers who are ready to jump to another provider at a moment’s notice,” says customer experience strategist Adam Toporek.
Reward Customer Loyalty
Incentives — think discounts, loyalty points, and freebies — boost brand loyalty and encourage customers to shop for promo items with you again in the future. Ultimately, these incentives boost retention rates — the number of customers who stay loyal to your products, services, and company as a whole.
Currently, it costs five times more to find new customers than it does to keep your current ones and reducing customer defection rates by just 5 percent could spur profitability by as much as 125 percent. Brand loyalty has far-reaching effects too: 61 percent of customers say they would tell their friends and family about an experience with a distributor.
Want to become the go-to vendor for promo products? Stay confident and believe in your business. Following these steps will help you outsmart your rivals, generate leads and accelerate sales. Good luck!