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Tip of the Day – 7 Ways to be Indispensable

Filed under: Tip of the Day

7 Ways to be IndispensableWhen it comes to work, everyone likes to think they’re indispensable, but are you really? (Things that make you go hmmmmm ….)

This month’s Advantages magazine went in search of ways industry distributors can really set themselves apart from the competition and ensure their clients won’t be looking anywhere else. In the article titled “7 ways to be Indispensable,” Advantages lays down some important strategies for sales reps to follow. Want to keep your clients around a long time? Then follow these 7 strategies:

  1. Give Them a New Idea
  2. Share Interests
  3. Be a Friend
  4. Dig Deeper
  5. Offer Additional Services
  6. Offer Industry Insight
  7. Be There in a Pinch

For the complete breakdown of all 7 strategies, click here.

Poll Results – Do You Text and Drive?

Filed under: Poll Results

OK, I’ll admit I still do it occasionally but certainly not as much as I used to (especially since it’s now illegal). I can’t help it though, the temptation always there at my fingertips, beckoning and teasing me with every passing minute.

What am I talking about? Texting and driving, of course.

For millions, it’s an addiction that can be as dangerous as any drug. And if you happen to have a smartphone and drive, well, then you’ve already got the the ingredients for this growing problem.

Which got me to thinking … how many people actually TWD? So I decided to set up an informal poll on ASI Central which would give our users the opportunity to vote anonymously. The results? Stunning. Surely our users would vote honestly — after all this isn’t Facebook and you wouldn’t be incriminating yourself by writing something like, “yeah, man, every day!” attached to your account — so I figured the results would be greatly in favor of this dangerous practice. But alas! With over 60% of the votes, our users voted “No” to texting and driving!

Here’s the complete breakdown, including chart, to the question Do you text while driving?: (TOTAL VOTES: 213)

  • Yes (82 votes, 39%)
  • No (131 votes, 61%)

Do You Text And Drive?

Tip of the Day – 5 Ways to Sell T-Shirts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

5 tips to sell t-shirtsIf I thought good and long about it, I’d really have trouble determining which T-shirt of mine was my all-time favorite. See, there are just so many and are so unique — the simple, comfy pennlive.com logoed one I wear to the gym; the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Champions one I show off from 1994; or the stylish Les Paul Gibson guitar one I wear with a corduroy blazer — it’s just so hard to decide!

What they all have in common, however, is that they just so happen to be one one of the most popular forms of promotional products, second only to the pen, according to the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study.

T-shirts have mass appeal, and their popularity continues to grow. A recent article by Wearables magazine titled “The Ever-Growing World of T-Shirts” (by Marc Held, sales director at supplier Bodek and Rhodes) discusses just how flexible and adaptable the popular apparel has become, and provides some valuable advice on how to juice up your sales with them. Check this article out now, and in the meantime here are five ideas to sell them. Enjoy!

  1. First, think ringspun cotton. Soft is in, and it will give the T-shirt a very soft feel. One of my favorites (which is usually ringspun) is the pigment-dyed tee. It’s made to look like it has been washed many times and has a faded look. I always ask people, “How many navy T-shirts do you have?” This is something different that will stand out, and it’s a great idea for events, parties, corporate wear and resorts.
  2. It’s an election year. Why not suggest American-made T-shirts? In Presidential Election years, made in America sells four times more than in the average year. Think police and fire departments, education, political clients, unions and construction workers.
  3. How about fashion? Yes, fashion is here, and lines such as Next Level, Bella and L.A. T offer great alternatives to the basic T-shirt styles. Put one of these styles on top of the order, and your customer will wear it or give it to someone who will. I suggest burnouts or tri-blends.
  4. Don’t forget about organic. We will be talking about the environment forever. When the recession hit, organic did not go away; it just hibernated for a little bit.
  5. Finally, the performance T-shirt. Polyester is a favorite among many of your customers. Polyester does not shrink or fade, and it often wicks moisture, so it keeps you dry. Plus, over the past few years, the basic poly tee has dropped in price, and most decorators can easily print on poly.

Tip of the Day – 5 Benefits of Selling Eco-Friendly Apparel

Filed under: Green, Tip of the Day

Eco ApparelWhen it comes to the environment, I like to think that I do my part. I recycle, take mass transit when I can, and turn off the water when I brush my teeth. I’m good like that.

And with Earth Day rapidly approaching, it got me thinking about the industry and how some people, despite the perception that it can pricey, are really making an effort to sell “green” products. In fact, this month’s Wearables University (in Wearables magazine) has a great little fabric tutorial on the five benefits of selling eco-friendly apparel. Check this edition out now, and in the meantime here are the five benefits:

  1. Absorbent and airy: Bamboo, hemp and organic cotton fabrics breathe, helping the body to cool naturally. These fabrics also absorb moisture and wick away perspiration from the body. Quite simply, they are nature’s performance fabrications.
  2. Hypoallergenic: Because organic fabrics are made from crops without the use of chemicals, they’re better for babies, children or adults with sensitive skin. Some eco-friendly fabrics (such as bamboo and hemp) even deter bacterial growth.
  3. Soft hand: Organic cottons and silky bamboo fabrications are extremely soft and pleasant to wear. Hemp gains a lovely hand after several washings, much like a well-loved linen.
  4. Sun protection: Some eco-friendly fabrics, like those made of bamboo and hemp, are naturally UV-resistant.
  5. Strength: Consider the durability and tensile strength of hemp, which has been used in rope and ship sails to withstand wear and the elements.

From the Runway – New York Fashion Week

Filed under: Fun, General

With its “Look Book” feature, each issue of Stitches magazine goes in search of the latest in fashion finds from the runway. Billed as a “guide to what’s hot and new,” today’s “Look book” fashion finds could be tomorrow’s hot promotional apparel trend. Don’t miss this month’s edition: New York Fashion Week, written by Julie A. Cajigas.

And here are some fashions items from this month. Enjoy!

Delicate Detail


Let’s get lacey. Oscar De La Renta combines detail with drama to achieve this high-voltage runway gown. The bodice, neckline and straps feature a delicate black lace, bringing attention to the model’s shoulders and face. Choose lace, crochet and other intricate fabrics to take outfits and accessories to the next level.

Polka Party


Walking down the A Detacher runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this look confirms that polka dots are once again hot. Polka dots might remind you of childhood fashion (or perhaps ’80s fashion), but when used in the right color palette, or in moderation, polka dots can add a lovely femininity to any ensemble. Choose polka dots to adorn an accessory, layer with solids and spice up basic black. Polka dots don’t always have to be the star of the show. They make a wonderful peek-out lining for jackets and bags alike.

Delicate Detail


Pantone has named tangerine as 2012’s hot color — and the 2012 runways are full of this juicy shade. Here, Sherri Hill paired tangerine with a cool sherbet orange in this stunning gown. “Tangerine is a new, different, refreshing color,” says Susan Gagainis, brand consultant for Geiger (asi/202900). “And, men can easily wear tangerine, too.”

On the runway, tangerine is often selected as an allover garment color, but can also be paired with other shades. “The color looks great with other shades,” Gagainis says. “Head to the opposite side of the color wheel and consider blues, teals, greens, browns and reds as complementary colors.” When decorating tangerine garments, choose a color that stands out and stands up to this bright, bold color.

Color of the Year


Couture and retail looks were shining and shimmering their way down the Mercedes-Benz runway in preparation for a glowing spring/summer 2012 fashion season. The look? Fabrics that shimmer and glimmer. “Shiny fabrics are great for spring and summer because they are soft, feminine and fluid,” says Jennifer Tsai, vice president of operations and Lilac Bloom designer for Tri-Mountain (asi/92125). “As the weather warms up, women can ditch the chunky knits of winter and slip into slinkier fabrics and more flattering silhouettes.” Seen here on the Ralph Lauren runway, these glowing garments are appearing in various metallic shades along with blush pink and pastel green.

Plastic Fantastic


Spring showers will bring summer flowers – and a bevy of runway-ready rain gear, including this gorgeous jewel-tone jacket from the Irina Shabayeva spring 2012 show. Outerwear always has a high perceived value, making it a great gift, giveaway or incentive – and outerwear is never more important than on a cool, rainy day. In addition to leveraging the trend by providing a fashion-forward raincoat, decorators can put clients’ marks on a unique umbrella or even provide a printed plastic poncho for their outdoor events.

Vote Now! Best-Designed Promotional Products

Filed under: Awards

PensDistributors, a special notice from Counselor magazine:

The results are in: Counselor magazine has selected the finalists for its annual Product Design Awards. Here’s where you come in. Please click here to vote for the products that YOU think are the best designed, considering both aesthetic appeal and functionality. You can select up to three products in each of the 14 featured categories. It only takes a few minutes, and your input is very important to us!

The winners will appear in the May 2012 issue of Counselor. Thanks very much for your help.

So what are you waiting for? Exercise your rights and get votin’!

Tip of the Day – Dealing with Rude Sales Co-Workers

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Rude SuperstarWhat happens if your top salesperson is also a top morale-killer in the office? That’s the question Counselor magazine posed to their experts in this month’s Blueprint article titled “When Superstars Attack“.

In it you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to effectively deal with someone who, while they may make a ton of revenue for the company, can be off-putting and rude to co-workers. The following are the four basic steps: (article contains detail for each step)

  1. Identify Behavioral Patterns
  2. Get Over The Fear Of Confrontation
  3. Appeal To Their Ego
  4. If Nothing Changes, Cut The Cord

And if you have to cut the cord, the article also contains four strategies on getting new hires up-and-running quickly. So check it out now, and good luck!

Tip of the Day – Optimize Your Online Presence

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Facebook FangateWhen it comes to your social media plan, how optimized is your online presence?

If you were quick to jump on the social media bandwagon but have yet to see any measurable results, you’re not alone. Many companies put the proverbial cart before the horse and create Facebook business pages before they even have a plan in place. A recent “Business of Wearables” article by Kathleen Booth presents some great ideas on how you can get the most out of your social media presence which can ultimately impact your business in a positive way. It’s a quick read, so check it out now. And in the meantime, here are 5 secrets to optimizing your online presence:

  1. Don’t Make It All About You
  2. Develop a Brand “Personality”
  3. Ask for the “Like”
  4. Integrate Your Social Accounts
  5. Let Them Know You’re Out There

And remember, this isn’t Field of Dreams here – just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come!

Tip of the Day – 5 Spring Fashion Trends

Filed under: Tip of the Day

PajamasAhh, spring. A time of rebirth, better weather, baseball and, of course, fashion trends!

This month Wearables magazine went in search of the five hottest spring fashion trends, why they’re in and how you can sell them. Titled “Spring Fashion Preview,” it’s a hot read and I suggest it to any apparel distributor who’s looking to sell their clients something new. BONUS: this issue also includes some of the hottest new products from suppliers, including the Tri Pepper Tee and Lap Blanket! In the meantime, here are the five trends (without detail) for the season … enjoy!

  • Yellows
  • Nylon Strap Watches
  • Zigzags
  • Neon Bags
  • Pajamas

Poll Results – Do You Agree With Plastic Bag Bans?

Filed under: Poll Results

Another ASI Central poll, another surprise result … well, at least in my opinion.

On Feb. 15 — coinciding with the controversial news that the city of San Francisco expanded its plastic-bag ban to include hardware stores, gift shops and eventually restaurants — we launched a poll asking our users if they agreed with the banning of plastic bags. Given that a bag ban would bode well for our industry (re-usable promotional grocery bags could fill the void of plastic bags) but struggling with whether our users would agree with more government control, I eventually concluded that a majority of our users would vote “Nay” on this ban, thinking it would be something to the effect of 60/40.

Alas, not only was I wrong but the majority of our users voted in favor of the ban, to the tune of 52%.

Here’s the complete breakdown, including chart: (TOTAL VOTES: 227)

Do you agree with plastic bag bans?

Yes: (118 votes, 52%)
No: (109 votes, 48%)

Poll Results - Do You Agree With Plastic Bag Bans

Take the newest poll on ASI Central — Compared to three years ago, customer loyalty today is? — by clicking here.

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