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Tip of the Day – Five Tips For Selling Food Gifts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

  1. Keep it low-key. Many companies aren’t looking for the lavish gifts of years past. “Let people know that food is universally accepted,” says Mike Shulkin of A La Carte (asi/30350). “Most people like the idea of a food gift and it doesn’t need to be extravagant. People who receive it won’t feel like the person who sent it was wasting their money. People don’t want exorbitant gifts at a time when jobs are being lost. It feels inappropriate.” 
  2. Sharing is caring. One of the benefits of sending food items is the fact that it can be shared among the entire office or with family and friends. “That’s a key selling point this year,” says Lauren Fox, sales and marketing manager at Fresh Beginnings Inc. (asi/55439). “Food is an item that can still show consideration and thoughtfulness. Instead of sending five different items, you can send one big one.” 
  3. Make it personal. If you know a client loves a certain type of food, these gifts can really strike a personal chord. James Robinson, CEO of Alliance Marketing Partners, is an end-user who has used food gifts because “it’s a product that is really personalized. If you can figure out who likes steak or cheese, it is more intimate. For people who are special to us, we always try to find personal things.” 
  4. See if they’ll let it ride. Juan Carlos Lopez, president of Nema Associates (asi/282191), conducted what he called a “pre-emptive strike” in June. “We’re contacting everyone for Christmas,” he says. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that many clients were continuing to spend. “Most clients are going with the same thing they sent last year. Whoever ordered food in the past continued to do so.”
  5. Make it permanent. One of the knocks against food is the fact that it is perishable. To make a lasting impression, Shulkin recommends sending it in a glass jar or a bowl. Clients can then send refills periodically. “Maybe once every quarter they can send a refill based on the season. It adds some nice continuity, plus they can include sales literature and give updates.”

From Education Adviser.

Tip of the Day – PowerPoint Mistakes to Avoid

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Loraine Antrim, co-founding partner at Core Ideas Communication, has coached executives at Fortune 500 companies as well as small-business start-ups on how to best present their sales message. Her belief: Communication is the currency in business. On her blog, The CXO Mindset (http://thecxomindset.blogspot.com/), she shares 100 mistakes that executives make when giving PowerPoint presentations. Here are 10 of those pitfalls to avoid:

1. Failure to open with an introduction that “wows” or to end with a
memorable close.

2. Turning your back to the audience when looking at a slide.

3. Pacing like a lion in a cage.

4. Reading slides word for word.

5. Lack of transitions between slides.

6. Using text so small that people in the back of the room can’t see it.

7. Spelling and grammar errors on slides.

8. Use of different fonts (lack of consistency).

9. Poor quality, too few and/or too small images.

10. Don’t have a clear message.

From Advantages University

New ASICentral Video Pages Launched

Filed under: General, site updates, Video

From the weekly Joe Show and Advantages Hot Deals Sales Tip of the Week, to Trade Shows and Events, ASI-TV covers a lot of ground and we’re really proud of our videos. So much so that we’ve decided to give them a sweet makeover and a new home on ASICentral. The following is a breakdown of all the features of our new Videos Pages:

  • Appearance. All our videos are still housed in YouTube, but you can play all of them on ASICentral in our beautifully customized video players. Each player has a main window that allows you to watch the most current video, with a list of archived videos to the right. See Example, below.

  • Branding. We’ve come up with 7 top-level categories for all our videos that shy away from the traditional name-branding of the videos for a more categorical branding. The following are the 7 new branding categories:
  1. Hot New Products (Videos from The Joe Show)
  2. Fun (Collection of humorous videos)
  3. Sales Tips (Videos from Advantages Hot Deals Tip)
  4. Industry News (Videos from Counselor PromoGram)
  5. Fashion & Apparel (Videos from Your Stitches & Wearables Fashion Sense)
  6. Media Clips (Videos from media outlets about the industry)
  7. Trade Shows & Events (Videos from the ASI Show and other Events)
  • Navigation. Once you’ve accessed our new Videos Pages, you are now within the “Videos” experience, which means you can now choose from a customized set of icons above the video players for more videos. There seven categories discussed under “Branding” are represented in the new navigation iconography and you can toggle between videos simply by clicking on the icons. See Example, below.

  • Location. By adding the Videos Page in our vertical navigation, you can always access the Videos page from anywhere on ASICentral. Just look about midway down the left navigation and you will see the following icon:

And that’s the gist of the new Videos Pages!

To access the new Videos Pages, click here.

And if you’ve got any feedback regarding the new pages, please send to feedback@asicentral.com.

— VideoVND

Tip of the Day – Understand Social Media Terminology

Filed under: Tip of the Day

To get along socially online, you’ve got to know your social media terms. Here are some commonly used words and acronyms.

DIGG – A social media site, www.digg.com is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. When you “digg” an online article, video or image, you’re basically giving it a virtual thumbs up. You can integrate a “Digg This” button onto your Web site or blog to encourage followers to digg your content. Go to http://digg.com/tools/integrate to learn how.

Fan Page – In the broadest sense, a fan page is a Web site created and maintained by fans of a particular celebrity, sport, music band, brand, hobby or cultural happening. More narrowly, the term is becoming associated specifically with Facebook, as many users now create and share fan pages on the popular social network.

Follower – People who opt in to receive your tweets, blog updates, etc. Much like being a “friend” on Facebook.

Retweet – Much like forwarding an e-mail, a retweet is simply a tweet written by one person then republished or shared with others by the recipients sending it on to their followers.

Social Bookmarking – Also known as tagging, social bookmarking occurs when a blogger or micro-blogger, for example, uses keyword descriptions to identify images or topics within a post so that Web pages and blogs with identical tags can then be linked together.

UGC – Stands for user-generated content and is also known as CGM or consumer-generated media. The content could be in the form of a video, photo, blog post, tweet, etc.

Web 2.0 – Webopedia defines Web 2.0 as a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online. Web 2.0 basically refers to the transition from static HTML Web pages to a more dynamic Web that is more organized and is based on serving Web applications to users.

Widget – As defined by www.netlingo.com, a widget is an application that sits on top of a Web site and offers users additional interactive features. Popular widgets (Google calls them “gadgets”) include photo slide shows, videos, music playlists, Post-it notes, etc. Widgets are normally added to social networking profiles, blogs or Web sites.

From Advantages University

ASI Radio Rewind: Interview With Colin Powell

Filed under: asi radio show

In case you missed ASI Radio’s unprecedented show on Tuesday — when the gang of Editors got to interview Gen. Colin Powell about leadership — we’ve got the archive ready and waiting. Just go to www.asicentral.com/radio and stream the archive of the show … or if you want you can download the mp3 and listen to it at your leisure!

Just right-click this button here  and save the file to your computer. (For more info on how to do this, click here.)

It’s a great show with some great advice from the General on leadership, so I highly recommend your ear on this one!

Enjoy, and let us know what you think about the show by emailing us at feedback@asicentral.com.

For more ASI Internet Radio Show archives, check out our Radio archives page here.

Tip of the Day – Write A Good E-Mail Subject Line

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Everyone gets too much e-mail. The key is to make people open your e-mail marketing efforts. Here are three tips to make sure that your subject line stops them from just hitting delete:

1. Write the subject line last. “It makes more sense to come back to the subject line after you finish writing the content,” says John Arnold, author of E-mail Marketing for Dummies and Web Marketing for Dummies. “Look for the most compelling topic to highlight in your subject line.”

2. Give a hint. “A vague subject line is a waste of space,” Arnold says. For example, consider a monthly newsletter with the subject line of “Bob’s Bistro Newsletter: July, 2009.” According to Arnold, “This fails to tell the recipients anything about what they will find when they open the e-mail and offers very little reason to do so. A better approach for a newsletter is, ‘Bob’s Bistro: Our favorite recipes shared.’”

3. Keep it short and simple. In just three seconds or less, recipients will either open or delete your e-mail, says Arnold. And “with only 30-50 characters, including spaces, to create a winning subject line, you must convey your most powerful statement into those few words.” – Kenneth Hein

From the 2009 Counselor State of the Industry

Tip of the Day – Approach A Competitor’s Top Client

Filed under: Tip of the Day

The clients with the budgets are the ones you want these days – even if it means going after a competitor’s loyal customer. For Geiger (asi/202900) independent sales rep John Festa, it was a local hospital. He got an appointment with the marketing director, who said that she always deals with the same people. But catching her off guard, he presented her with a flurry of samples and creative ideas and quickly got an order.

While it’s necessary to take your competitors head-on, Festa says, “Don’t talk against them. They will bury themselves.”

Another key is to do your research. To be able to prove your value over theirs you need to know your competition’s brand positioning and go-to-market strategies. Do they stress customer service or low prices? Do they offer services (like Web site design or marketing copywriting)? Once you can find these things out, then you’re more equipped to go to a competitor’s client and prove the value in a different strategy or approach.

Lastly, network hard. Good client contacts can first be made through the people you meet in networking situations. Customers are always going to complain about their vendors when they trust somebody they’re talking to. Be ready to pounce when you hear a first complaint.

From the 2009 Counselor State of the Industry

Tip of the Day – Identify A Decision-Maker At A Bank

Filed under: Tip of the Day

The financial market remains one of the top buyers of promotional products, but it can be difficult to get business out of bank clients these days. That’s why it’s important to get to the right person to have the right conversation. Fortunately, in the age of the Internet, finding people isn’t as hard as it used to be. The first step is to check the bank’s Web site, www.hoovers.com and www.zoominfo.com. You might also find some helpful information on www.linkedin.com.

Distributors should also look to local banks first, as those are the ones that are increasing their marketing efforts these days, says Tonia Allen Gould, the head of Tag! The Creative Source (asi/341358). When she was recently looking for information, she sent an e-mail from Santa Barbara Bank and Trust’s Web site. “They got right back to me. Actually, two people ended up getting back to me. I like that.”

Still, the phone always works, says Dan Wiley, the head of public relations consulting firm Lone Wolf PR. “With the Internet, you might not even have to pick up a phone, which makes it hard to make contact,” he says. “However, calling and asking will usually get you exactly what you want.”

Networking can also be the key to meeting local bank marketers. Chamber of commerce events are a great place to meet these contacts, says Gould. “They are all over the place. At the last one, I must have run into five or six bankers.”

Of course, the most obvious method can often be the most effective. “Just walk into your local bank,” Gould says. “Don’t go to a teller. Go right to the people at the desks.” – Kenneth Hein

From the 2009 Counselor State of the Industry

ASI’s Radio MP3 Download Instructions

Filed under: asi radio show

For well over a year, ASI has been broadcasting a weekly Internet radio show that can be heard anywhere on the planet so long as you have access to a computer. For 30 minutes a week — Tuesdays @ 10:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. EST — we stream the show live from our studios in lovely downtown Trevose, PA. And if you’re unable to listen to the live show every week, we have an archive of each and every show on our Radio Archives page.

But what if you’re one of the many who prefers to download the archived file as a podcast and listen to it at your own leisure on your personal MP3 player? Well, you can do that too!

Here are the instructions for downloading MP3s from ASI’s Radio pages:

  1. On either the main Radio page or Archive page, you will see small, orange MP3 icons next to each archived show (image looks like this: )
  2. Place your cursor over the show icon in which you’d like to download, and “right-click” your mouse for a list of options
  3. From the list of “right-click” options, choose “Save Target As …”
  4. Choose a directory on your hard drive that you’d like to save the file to and click “Save” – you will have to wait a few seconds before the file is fully downloaded.
  5. Now that you have the file on your hard drive, you can import the file into your digital media player application — like iTunes — simply by importing or adding the file to the library.
  6. Sync your personal MP3 player (iPod) to your digial media player and the file is now ready to be accessed!

And if you still have any questions about this process, please feel free to email us at feedback@asicentral.com anytime.

— RadioDEEZ

Tip of the Day: Succeed With Twitter

Filed under: Tip of the Day

First it was MySpace, then it was Facebook, and now the latest social media phenomenon is Twitter. For many, the idea of “tweeting” thoughts written in 140 characters or less is intimidating or, at first glance, even silly. Still, there are numerous advantages to being active in social media.

Boundless Network (asi/143717) at press time had 200-plus followers, while the company’s president, Jason Black, himself had about 400. Whenever Black sends out a message, he is communicating with all of these people who have opted to hear what he has to say. In his opinion, his personality helps give Boundless “some flavor and color.”

Tonia Allen Gould, president of Tag! The Creative Source (asi/341358), says she has just start Tweeting. And she now encourages all of her sales reps to use social media “to cast their net out. I’m a big believer in, it’s not what you know – it’s who you know,” she says. “You can use it to have a dialog with people in the industry.”

Better yet, Black says, “Marketers are the ones who are driving Twitter. It’s smart to try and make relationships with these people.”

Twitter, though, shouldn’t be used as an overt sales channel. There needs to be more of a personal element to your posts on Twitter. “I’m not looking to whore myself out all of the time,” says Black. “My tweets are about sports, politics, family and stuff that I observe that has zero to do with promotional products. People appreciate authenticity.”

Consultant Patrick O’Malley says, “Tweet only quality items. The goal should be to only tweet something that is valuable enough to be retweeted.” This means people will cut and paste your message into their entry. Join ASI’s more than 1,100 followers on Twitter. – Kenneth Hein

From the 2009 Counselor State of the Industry

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