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5 Tips for Nailing Down an Appointment

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Tips for Getting An AppointmentHaving trouble getting that appointment? Don’t fret, you’re not alone! It’s a very common obstacle for sales reps, but one they need to overcome if they are to succeed in this — or any — industry.

In a recent Advantages article titled “Get The Appointment,” Jean Erickson dishes some great advice on not only how to get to the buyer, but how to nail down a meeting. Read now, and in the meantime here are 5 great tips for securing an appointment, from Advantages Advisory Board members:

  1. “Send a gift to warm up the follow-up. This usually results in a positive outcome. If that fails – vodka.” – Seth Weiner, MAS, president and CEO, Sonic Promos (asi/329865)
  2. “Call on a Friday morning, when people are happiest! If you have to leave a message, follow up with an e-mail and a LinkedIn connection so they can see your bio and photo before they decide to respond … helps with credibility.” – Nicole McNamee, director of new business development, POP Solutions (asi/359180)
  3. “Have a plan on how you want to approach the client and know your agenda before making contact. My agenda is to develop a relationship so that the prospect eventually orders from me. I may need to actively engage a prospect at least five times, on average, before they  make a purchase, and securing the appointment is only one of those ‘touches.’” – Tonia Allen Gould, owner/founder, TAG! The Creative Source (asi/341358)
  4. “Send a package ahead of time. Call at an appropriate time. Have your 30-second pitch ready on why you deserve the appointment.” – Pat Cavanaugh, president and CEO, Cavanaugh Marketing Network (asi/159262)
  5. “Don’t give all the details over the phone. Most people give all their ideas over the phone and the appointment opportunity is wasted. Tell them you have a concept that can increase sales or achieve their objectives and utilizes a product or solution you can provide. However, you want to meet to see if it is a fit.” – Mark McCormack, owner, Proforma Identity Marketing Group (asi/300094)

5 Tips to Get Started with Pinterest

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Get Started with PinterestStill think there’s no strategic business reason to be on Pinterest? Think again.

According to Jason Miles, co-author of Pinterest Power: “In the last few months, they [Pinterest] rolled out a set of business-oriented changes. The most important one is that their terms-of-service policy has been updated. There is now clearly a terms-of-service policy for businesses, and one for personal use.” 

So what does this mean for you? Well, now you can join with a business objective in mind and start using this social network to your advantage. Counselor’s February issue has an excellent case study called “The Marketing Power of Pinterest” with more info. Check it out now, and in the meantime here are 5 tips on how to get started with Pinterest:

  1. Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly 
  2. Contribute, Don’t Just Consume 
  3. Provide Valuable Info
  4. Make it Personal
  5. Conduct Market Research

3 Ways Promo Products Support Crowdsourcing

Filed under: Tip of the Day

CrowdsourcingMerriam-Webster defines “Crowdsourcing” as: the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.

This month’s Advantages magazine devotes an entire section to this growing trend by offering ideas, tips and advice on how promotional product professionals can take advantage of crowdsourcing. Click here to read the article, and in the meantime here are 3 ways promotional products can support crowdsourcing:

  • If your client wants to encourage contributed content for its website or collective customer feedback, design a promotional product that will drive a crowd to a brand-sponsored blog or social media page. For example, imprinted Web keys, which store a URL and take the user to a website, are easily distributed and highly effective.
  • If your client wants to increase participation in a product design program, offer a range of incentives that reward participation. Inexpensive giveaways that show membership in a brand’s design community prompt registration and develop a sense of belonging. More valuable incentives can be awarded to those contributors whose ideas are used in the development of an actual product. Customers who contribute to product development are likely more loyal consumers.
  • If your client is a nonprofit interested in crowdfunding, distribute friendship wristbands that are imprinted with both an awareness message and a Web address at which small online contributions can be made in support of the cause. Give away two bracelets so that the recipient can spread the word by sharing one with a friend.

Save The Date – Exclusive ASI Radio Interview with Christopher Gardner

Filed under: asi radio show, The ASI Show

Christopher GardnerImagine being homeless and living in subway stations only to one day find yourself a very successful entrepreneur and millionaire. Sound like the script of a Hollywood movie? Well, it was, and it’s based on the life story of Christopher Gardner, the keynote speaker at this year’s ASI Show Chicago and special guest on ASI Radio on Tuesday, February 26!

From The ASI Show website:

As owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, Gardner has built a successful career in the brokerage and investment field. He’s also the author of the autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, a New York Times and Washington Post best-seller – and the inspiration for the acclaimed movie The Pursuit of Happyness, in which Will Smith starred.

Want to know more about how Gardner rose from the streets to be such a successful business person? Then you don’t want to miss this show!

3 Tips for Blogging Success

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Wearables

Tips for Blogging SuccessAnyone can start a blog these days, but how can you turn yours into a successful one?

Well, a great start would be to know who your audience is and to deliver useful content to them. Or else, what’s the sense, right?

In a recent WearablesBusiness Toolkit” article, well-known industry bloggers like Bobby Lehew (Robyn Promotions) and Mark Graham (Rightsleeve, Inc.) weigh in on how to increase customer loyalty and attract new customers simply by creating and maintaining a valuable blog. Eager to learn more? Then click here! And in the meantime, here are 3 tips for success from prolific blogger Brad White (Boundless Network):

  1. Commit: Writing a blog is not a one-time experience; it is a continuing process. If you don’t have proper time to work on it, don’t do it.
  2. Read blogs: There are some really great blogs out there that can provide good examples.  Don’t copy what they do, but get a feel for how other bloggers approach the craft.
  3. Publicize: Use your existing social media channels to promote the blog, e-mail it to people who would find your content valuable and ask people to share it.

5 Helpful Branding Tips

Filed under: Tip of the Day

You’ve heard the term a million times before, but what exactly is a “brand” and how does it relate to your business?

Well, this month’s “Business of Wearables” column in Wearables magazine by Ryan T. Sauers answers all your branding questions, including how to explain your brand to others, a neat acronym to simplify branding, and 5 helpful tips the industry should consider as it relates to this concept. Check this article out now, and in the meantime, here are the 5 tips:

  1. Refrain from saying that “promotional products are still relevant.” Of course they are. The market has simply changed, as has the entire world. I argue that such products are more useful than ever – and trust me, I spend a lot of time in the social and new media world.  
  2. Please don’t get caught up with feeling you must refer to yourself as a “marketing” or “communications solutions” company. This should be what you do, not what you are. 
  3. Don’t become overwhelmed with social and emerging media. Always remember it is all about the psychology, not the technology. These are simply new ways to communicate. If used correctly, they are assets, not threats. They are tools, but not the only tools, in your marketing mix.
  4. Determine what it is you are best at, embrace it and then build and promote your brand around it. Shout it from the mountaintops, print it, e-mail it, tweet it, etc. Always be authentic in all of your communications.
  5. Remember, your brand is that “extra value” you provide and the reason a customer stays with you over similar competitors or offerings in the market. 

Get Sales on LinkedIn – 4 Tips

Filed under: Tip of the Day

LinkedIn TipsFor those of you on LinkedIn, I’ve got a question for you: How much sales volume have you generated from the social network?

If your answer is “Huh?” then you’re really missing out on tapping into this powerful tool.

In this month’s “Online Success Guide” in Stitches magazine, you’ll not only get tips on how to generate sales and foster relationships in LinkedIn, but you’ll also get great advice on everything from souping up your SEO to the best custom apps for doing business. So don’t delay, read this article now! And in the meantime, here are 4 tips for LinkedIn success:

  1. Be a starter, not just a joiner. Sure, joining a variety of different LinkedIn groups will help you expand your network. But starting an industry-specific group “is one of the most effective ways to get your network excited and engaged about a specific topic, all while driving traffic to your site and increasing sales,” Lewis Howes, co-author of LinkedIn Working, writes on Entrepreneur.com. 
  2. Participate in LinkedIn’s Questions and Answers. “This feature is a powerful way to establish yourself as an expert and expand your network,” says Annapolis-based Quintain Marketing (asi/303131) owner and CEO Kathleen Booth, who teaches classes on maximizing LinkedIn’s potential at ASI Shows. With Answers, you can respond to any question posted by other LinkedIn users. If you answer questions well, your responses may receive high ratings from others, which could result in LinkedIn recognizing you as an expert and displaying your name and link to your profile on the Answers home page for all LinkedIn members to see. 
  3. Start a company page. This is a centralized location where millions of LinkedIn members can go to stay in the loop about your shop’s news, products, services, business opportunities and job openings. The page provides a chance to highlight what you do, engage with followers, drive word-of-mouth and more.
  4. Use Targeted Status Updates. Once you have a company page, you can use the Targeted Status Updates feature to direct updates to specific audiences. This helps make sure that certain people see specific content. The Targeted Status Updates feature includes analytics for each post that show the number of impressions the specific update received, the amount of clicks it got, and more.

Counselor Hot List Nominations Now Open

Filed under: Counselor Awards

Counselor Hot ListSo … just how hot are you?

If you or someone you know is doing something unique, hip, fun or trendy in the industry right now, then Counselor wants to know! From PromoGram:

Counselor is looking for nominations of people for its annual Hot List. We’re on the lookout for anyone in the industry who is taking an interesting approach to business, shaking up the status quo or simply networking like a maniac at all hours of the night. We’re in search of those people who are making the industry a unique marketplace that’s fun and energetic.

Send an e-mail by Friday, February 1, to Karen Akers at kakers@asicentral.com explaining why your nominee should be recognized on Counselor’s Hot List. And, please make sure to include a picture of the person you’re nominating.

What are you waiting for?! Get busy nominating! And if you’re interested in seeing results of the Counselor Hot List from the past 5 years, click here.

3 Tips On Connecting with Prospects Through Twitter

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Twitter TipsContinuing through Stitches magazine’s “Online Success Guide,” I’m really digging the data. For instance, did you know?

  • The percentage of consumers who search for local business online is 97%
  • The estimated size of the gamification market in 2016 is $2.8 Billion
  • Facebook pages that are updated 1-2 times per day receive 40% higher user engagement than pages that update 3 or more times a day

Great stats and advice, especially if you’re looking to connect with customers online this year. Check out this story now, and in the meantime, here are three Twitter tips that’ll help you connect with prospects:

  1. Tweet with personality. People do business with people they like. 
  2. Be helpful. People do business with people who are helpful. 
  3. Use Twitter for market research. Twitter can be a useful tool for better understanding your customers and what people think about your business.

4 Tips On Improving Facebook Engagement

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Facebook Engagement TipsLooking to tune up your online efforts in 2013? Then look no further than Stitches magazine’s “Online Success Guide“!

In this tasty tutorial you’ll find tons of tips on everything from SEO and gaming to insider tools on the big three networking sites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

So what are you waiting for? Ramp up your online success knowledge now, and in the meantime here are 4 tips on how to improve Facebook engagement.

  1. Always post photos. Brian Carter, a brand advocate for PageLever, reports that Facebook pages generate more engagement from photos than videos, status updates or links. “In fact, photos get as much as twenty times more engagement,” he wrote recently on Mashable.com.  
  2. Create questions, contests and calls to action. Want people to comment on your posts? Ask them for their thoughts. Questions invite dialog, and are perhaps the easiest way to get responses. Similarly, posts with a specific call to action tend to ramp up engagement. This could be as simple as posting a humorous photo of a stereotypically exhausted office worker in a cubicle, with the caption, “Like and Share if you’re ready for the weekend.” 
  3. It’s about quality, not quantity. Research from Buddy Media, a social enterprise software solutions company, indicates that pages that are updated one or two times per day receive 40% higher user engagement than pages that post three or more times per day. Think of it this way: Over-posting is the equivalent of an annoying talk-a-holic who keeps jabbering at you; sooner than later, you tune out and ultimately ignore them altogether. 
  4. Get your timing right. Dan Zarrella, an award-winning social media scientist at HubSpot and author of three books, reports that the best times to post on Facebook are noon and a little after 7 p.m.; post shares spike at those hours. The best day to share on Facebook? Saturday. (Check out Zarrella’s webinar on the topic here: www.hubspot.com/the-science-of-timing.) In fact, the American Apparel post about the Halloween Costume Contest covered earlier was posted on a Saturday.

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