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
February 5, 2014
Filed under: Sales Tip
In a weekly blog post, we’ll be featuring some valuable tips from Advantages magazine on how to improve your selling. This week’s tip: The “Good, Better, Best” approach:
Use the “Good, Better, Best” approach when presenting promotional product solutions. For example, if you’re presenting shirts you might choose a basic version (lighter fabric weight, few style details but very cost conscious); a moderate option (mid-weight with quality perks such as double-needle stitching) and a high-end choice (luxury fabric such as microfiber or heavier cotton, plus fashion details such as trim or special buttons/closures).
Filed under: Fun, General
On January 3, Ron Ball — senior VP of Supplier Sales — celebrated his 36th anniversary with ASI. We sat down with Ron to find out how things have changed since 1978. Take a walk down Memory Lane with Ron and find out what few people know about him (Hint: Think Boy Band) and how he never thought he’d be a salesman.
Q: What is your title and job description?
RB: Senior vice president of Supplier Sales. I work with suppliers. I sell them advertising, the ASI publications and digital.
Q: What was your position when you first started in 1978?
RB: I was hired into the marketing department by Marvin Spike. After working in marketing for some time, Marvin — who was my mentor at the time — said I belong in the sales department. I didn’t want to be in the sales department because I thought all salespeople were shysters, like car salesmen. After almost two years of Marvin constantly saying I should join sales, I finally decided I would take him up on it, and I became a sales associate. It was all uphill from there.
Q: What do you like about your position?
RB: I like everything about the job. My favorite thing is talking to clients, they’re just wonderful. I also like the challenge of selling. When I came in with the marketing department, I thought selling was a slippery kind of thing, but it wasn’t. Selling is an interesting path to take because you are constantly thinking of what you can do to help people, and helping people is the thing that I like.
Q: How has your position changed over the years?
RB: Originally I worked with Don, who was my boss, and we would put on these Saturday afternoon sales meetings, which people just loved (laughs). We would actually videotape the meetings, which was new for that time, so we had a whole library of sales videotapes. The meetings were crazy because everyone was pissed they had to be here on a Saturday. We worked very late those days.
Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
RB: When I first started, Norman’s father Maurice just bought the company … he was such a gentleman. Norman was an easygoing kind of a guy, and still is to this day. The company was young and small – about 30 people — but growing quickly. We were in an old skating rink in Trevose, PA. The atmosphere was just about the same as it is today. It was very family oriented and everybody felt as if they were family, and they were. It’s been a lovely ride here. Everybody has been wonderful to work with. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way and I’m just happy that everything worked out.
Q: How have you changed as a person?
RB: I’ve gotten a lot older, I’ll tell you that much (laughs). I think I’m more tolerant of people now. I’m more tolerant of the way people work with each other, too. I can attribute that to getting older.
Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
RB: I think a lot of people don’t know that I sang with a group called The Dovells when I was a teenager. There were four of us and we sang rock ‘n’ roll. It was basically a local group, but we got quite a bit of coverage throughout the United States. The group was still singing when I was applying to college, so I made the decision to go to college and dropped out of the group.
Q: What is your best memory?
RB: There used to be about 30 or 40 of us who would go to shows and we would fly all over. I remember being interviewed by Norman for end-of-year interviews and I said, “Norman, I would like to get my pilot’s license and become the pilot for the company.” He thought I was crazy and said, “No, I think we will stick with what we’re doing right now.” I thought I was nuts, but I said it anyway. It was very funny.
Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
B: Jonah hill. He’s a funny guy and I pride myself on being a funny person.
– Interview by Lauren Medina