Filed under: General
Hi there, everybody! Do you have a question about an ASI product or service? Ask me! If you are interested in learning neat tips and tricks about ESP and other products, read this column! And hey, if it generates a question or an interest in another topic for next time, email me!
This is the new one stop location for all things ASI Knowledgebase, from member benefits to product searching, the sky is the limit – so sit back and let the learning begin!
Filed under: Fun, Sales Tip
This week’s sales tip, provided by Advantages magazine, reminds us that clients have other options when it comes to buying. It is important to form a special bond that the client can’t get from anywhere. Check out this new sales tip and let us know what you think - how do you form connections with your clients? Post comments here.
your clients can buy from anyone or any catalog or website. But making an emotional connection with your clients can work wonders in forming bonds they won’t break for a cheaper price. Share stories that will interest them. Remember their big life events. Send handwritten notes.
Filed under: Fun, General, Uncategorized
On February 5th, Karen DiTomasso – vice president of sales for ASI Show – celebrated 26 years with ASI. We recently sat down with Karen to find out what 26 years has meant to her and what the future holds. Find out how she started in a world of Medical Technology specializing in Oncology to working in sales, and what her favorite promotional product is.
Q: What is your title and job description?
KD: I am the vice president of sales for ASI Show. I manage a team of seven account managers with a lot of interaction between myself and the team. I deal directly with the customers, helping our suppliers to get the best ROI from our tradeshows, Roadshows and hosted buyer events. I attend all the shows, walk the floors, and interact with all the suppliers. My team also sells exciting keynote sponsorships with a recent big highlight this past Dallas show with President Bush where we had four sponsors. My team ultimately is responsible for selling an audience to our suppliers and it is important to our exhibitors who invest in our shows that we have quality attendees.
Q: What was your position when you first started?
KD: I originally started with a company that the Cohn family owned called Medical Data Institute. It was a mirror image of what ASI was doing for the promotional product industry, but for the medical equipment industry. I started there in sales and moved up to president. I transitioned into the ASI Show while I was still running Medical Data Institute. I was asked to spearhead and oversee both the supplier and distributor side. When our shows started to grow it required having the distributor team separated under other direction, so I stayed with the core supplier sales team. I started out as supplier director of sales and worked my way up to vice president.
Q: What do you like about your position?
KD: I enjoy the customer base and love interacting with both the distributors and suppliers. We built some great relationships and I’ve developed some good friendships. I came from a medical industry, so all of this is different for me. I grew into an area of sales which is what I always wanted to do so it gave me an opportunity to grow. I also love the products. There are products for everything in this world that you could possibly want.
Q: What is one promotional product that you must have?
KD: One of our exhibitors had a stretchy band that you put around your waist when you are power walking or at the gym, and you can put your cell phone in it or glasses so you don’t have to hold anything. I just saw it and thought I want one of those!
Q: Which is your favorite ASI Show?
KD: Orlando is the flagship show. It’s the first show of the year in the industry and it’s our largest show.
Q: What has it been like to work here for 26 years?
KD: I can’t believe it’s been 26 years! I’ve had so many opportunities in 26 years that has really kept it creative and different. It’s almost like starting a new job every two weeks – it’s fresh and that’s what I love. Every year brings on new challenges and more opportunities. The Cohn family has been very supportive and a great family to work for.
Q: What does the future hold for you here at ASI?
KD: We have new leadership here at ASI Show and are going to be developing more products. We are looking at different ways to bring suppliers and distributors together, not necessarily trade shows, but more organized power meetings. I am so excited because all of these things are off-shoots from the trade show and this will help our members to make more money. We launched a Hosted Buyer event in October 2012 where we go out with a select group of supplier and distributors and give them 20 minutes of one-on-one, to build programs, relationships and business. We have four of these coming up.
Q: What would you be if you weren’t vice president of sales for ASI Show?
KD: An Interior decorator. I change everything in my house every year; the color, the accessories.
Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?
KD: I have a beach house and we try to use it all the time, even in snowstorms if we can. I prefer to be down by the beach in the winter, when no one is around, where I can put a hoodie on, walk by myself and relax and ride my bike.
Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
KD: She is no longer with us, but Natalie Wood. I was so in love with the movie West Side Story. We would just have to bleach her hair blonde.
– Interview by Lauren Medina
February 26, 2014
Filed under: Sales Tip, Uncategorized
According to the sales pros over at Advantages magazine, you can build a relationship with clients through contests. Check out this new sales tip and let us know what you think - do you agree? Post comments here.
Engage clients through fun social media and e-mail contests. Ask them to name a product or come up with uses for a product and they won’t feel any pressure to buy. But you will be building relationships.
Filed under: Education, Fun, General, Tip of the Day
Data breaches and security seem to be in the news a lot lately. LinkedIn and Target were recently hacked, and now Apple has come out and admitted a serious security flaw in its mobile operating system.
Now more than ever, distributors have to be absolutely sure that their customer information is protected. Counselor’s cover story for March is all over data security and how you can protect yourself. Read on for more, and in the meantime here are the Top 10 worst passwords to use.
February 19, 2014
Filed under: Sales Tip
For whatever the reason, orders get screwed up. It’s an inevitable fact of doing business in any product-based industry like ours. But just because you err doesn’t mean you can’t fix the situation, or even improve your image in the long run. This week’s sales tip, provided by Advantages magazine, gives some sound advice on how to fix a sticky situation.
Is the order screwed up? Don’t despair. There are steps you can take to save face with your clients, and maybe even become their hero. Why not try the following? If you know a product the client requests is of poor quality, try to point them to something that’s, perhaps more expensive, but a better choice in the end. The cheap product will likely leave them disappointed. Turn it around quickly. Don’t play the blame game, just fix it. Deliver the new items in person. Let them keep the botched order if they want. Call your suppliers. They want to help you out of a jam.
Filed under: General
Multiple accidents involving as many as 100 vehicles closed the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-276 between Routes 611 and Route 1 in Bucks County for several hours last Friday. Jennifer Shinberg, an ASI employee, was one of the many people caught in the middle of it all. She shares with us her experience of being stuck in traffic for six hours with her 22-month-old son Tommy, and how she went from feeling panicked to relief after seeing the community come together to help.
Q: How did your day start?
JS: I was on my way to work at ASI with my son, Tommy, where he attends day care. There was snow overnight but the speed restrictions on the turnpike were lifted so I assumed the roads were fine. Once I was on the roads I quickly realized they were terrible. Everyone was going slow but all of a sudden I heard a noise and then all the cars started to stop. We just thought it was traffic but after about 40 minutes we heard the sirens.
Q: How did you feel once you realized the severity of the situation?
JS: The first thing that went through my mind was I need to feed Tommy. I had packed some snacks for the day so I gave him those. But then the worry started to kick in that I don’t have water for him and I don’t have a diaper for him. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. As time went on I was getting more worried about him.
Q: How did the community come together during this time?
JS: After a while everyone started to get out of their cars and walk around. At this point strangers were helping each other and seeing if anyone needed anything. There were even people in the neighborhood buying food at the stores and coming down the side of the overpass and giving it out. One woman noticed me and my son and offered us a yogurt and some water. Three hours later, a fireman knocked on my window and offered me water. I asked him if he had diapers and he went asking around for some. Another guy came over to me with a bag and gave me diapers and changing pads. I was so thankful I could have cried. I knew at that point we would be okay. It was great to see the community come together. We all just took it in stride and everyone just helped everyone out.
Q: What have you learned from this experience?
JS: I am just so thankful my son was okay. I am definitely more prepared now. If you look in the back of the car now you will find a container with diapers, wipes, water, snacks and a change of clothes for Tommy.
– Interview by Lauren Medina
Filed under: Education, General
An ASI employee used her CPR training to help save a life during an otherwise routine client dinner in Dallas. Christine Hutkin (at right), an exhibitor account manager for ASI Show, was leaving an Omni hotel restaurant when she saw a man fall flat on his face.
“Clearly, he’d passed out,” Christine recalled. “Someone said ‘He’s not breathing!’”
Christine, who began working at ASI in August, remembered the Red Cross CPR training she’d gotten while employed at the Bucks County Courier Times, and sprang into action.
“I did what anybody would do,” she said. “I didn’t think about it. I did what I remembered.”
Seconds later, the man sat up and began talking. The EMTs arrived a few minutes later.
Christine said she got certified because, “You never know when you’ll be in that situation.” And as the mother of three young children and a youth group church leader, she wanted to be sure she was ready.
For info on CPR classes, check your local Red Cross office. Certifications are good for two years.
February 12, 2014
Filed under: Sales Tip
Is e-mail evil? According to the sales pros over at Advantages magazine, it can be, especially in the morning when you should be focusing on your top priorities of the day. Check out this new sales tip and let us know what you think - do you agree? Post comments here.
DON’T check e-mail in the morning. It might seem counterintuitive, but doing so can be problematic for several reasons. “E-mail sucks you into all sorts of things that aren’t crucial — you open your inbox, see 50 new messages and boom an hour is gone,” says Jill Konrath, a sales expert and the author of SNAP Selling. “You’re responding to what other people say, reading an article someone sent, or looking at LinkedIn because one of your connections got a new job.” Instead of letting these new messages dictate how his or her day begins, a sales rep should dedicate their first hours in the morning to what they deem to be their highest priorities. This gives the salesperson a greater say in how the day unfolds and what gets done.
Filed under: General, Profile
Get to know some of your peers! In this month’s Advantages magazine Profile feature, Danette Gossett — President/CEO of Gossett Marketing (asi/212200) — dishes on everything from best advice to childhood ambitions. Enjoy!
- I went to college at Old Dominion University and got a degree in marketing management with a concentration in market research.
- My childhood ambition was to be a marine biologist.
- I got into the promo products industry because I had been in corporate America and was making millions for others and decided I could do that for myself. Then I saw a niche with promotional marketing where I could use my marketing expertise, be creative and make money.
- You might be surprised to know that I worked in Finland for a multinational corporation developing their brochures for English-speaking countries.
- The best advice anyone has given me is always be prepared – do your research and anticipate the questions you might be asked.
- We love doing custom-designed products. Our top supplier partners support us when we’ve got another unique idea. Most recently we designed a very differently shaped USB and beach bag for the introduction of a new cruise ship.
- My proudest recent achievement is qualifying for the “sales” trip to Napa Valley from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
- On my days off, you will find me playing golf, doing yoga, going fishing, walking on the beach or just working around the house.
- My theme song is “Not gonna Change” by Swing out Sister.
- If I could trade places with someone for a day, it would be Sandra Bullock.
- My favorite websites are Amazon.com (for the shopping), YouTube.com, upsidethinking.com, sethgodin.typepad.com, bates-communications.com
I’m really bad at: crossword puzzles
Favorite color: red
Favorite food: my mom’s lasagna
Astrological sign: Scorpio
Most recent movie I saw: The Blind Side on DVD.
Five Things I’m Loving Now
1 - Weekends away
2 - Reading
3 - Time with my friends/family
4 - Writing
5 - Golf
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