July 4th Promotional Products

Apron

The 4th of July is coming up. Of course it is a day in which we all celebrate the birth of our nation, but it can also be a day to celebrate your brand! Give your customers and employees one (or more) of the promotional products listed below – they’re perfect on the 4th and all summer long:

Caps: protect your customers’ skin with an embroidered cap.
– Beach Towels: your logo can be huge on these!
– Sunglasses: it’s always great to have an extra pair.
– Coolers: ideal for picnics or days at the beach.
– BBQ Tools: yes, you can put your logo on these too! Great for, well, barbecues!
– Hand Fan: they’re inexpensive and have a large imprint area.
– Sunblock: put your logo on high quality sunblock, something everyone should use.
– Matches and Lighters: your employees have to light their grill and sparklers.
– Koozies: they work for beer or soft drinks.

If you’d like some additional ideas, contact the Gossett Marketing team! Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

And to get you excited about the holiday, watch this amazing fireworks display on YouTube:

Great Promotional Marketing Tool

UM Sunglasses
Although we try to make it as easy as possible, I understand that purchasing promotional marketing products can sometimes seem like a daunting task. You’re generally buying thousands of items at once, so you definitely want to get it right! No one wants 2,500 bags in a color that clashes with their logo! The good news is, we are now able to provide “virtual samples” prior to your order. These virtuals show a particular product, in the color that you prefer, with your company’s logo in the location and colors that you’re considering.

Virtual samples are a great tool that we can offer, at no cost, for most of our promotional products. So if you like to look before you leap, ask your friendly Gossett Marketing representative for virtual samples prior to placing your order!

If you look above, you can see a virtual that we provided the University of Miami for some really fabulous sunglasses. The virtual below was for Royal Caribbean International – it’s a notebook with several different imprint methods. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’d like to see some virtual samples for items that you’re interested in, leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail!

Royal Caribbean Notebook

Presidential Promotional Products

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

Recently I wrote a post about the importance of online promotional products stores. As I mentioned, they are a great internal tool because they help keep a brand’s identity consistent. They are also ideal for those organizations who want to sell imprinted promotional products in order to both make money and to promote their cause. Although I had not thought of these online stores in terms of presidential campaigns, it makes perfect sense that people in that (endless) race would have stores of their own.

I recently opened Yahoo and stumbled upon a very thorough article documenting the importance of promotional marketing items to presidential campaigns. Its author, Olivier Knox, has done a very thorough job of researching and explaining this to readers. Click here to check out his article and be sure to let me know if you’ve seen any memorable campaign souvenirs on your own. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you have to admit that “Hillary’s Hard Drive” is awfully amusing!

Networking with Friends

photo from www.videoinspiration.net

photo from www.videoinspiration.net

In this blog I ramble on a lot about the importance of networking, how to go about networking, what to do if you hate networking, etc. Yeah, I’m kind of a networking know-it-all, but I very often forget to mention the most obvious resource: friends.

A good friend recently had a birthday and we celebrated with a big brunch. 15 of us sat outside for hours enjoying a water view, mimosas, and each other’s’ company. A delightful afternoon was had by all, and during our leisurely brunch we realized that we should all be doing business together! Our group involved a finance guy, a doctor, a couple of lawyers, a PR person, a pharmacist, a promotional marketing products distributor (me!), and a medical equipment guy, just to name a few. Between the 15 of us, there were definitely some opportunities to work together now or later, referrals were mentioned, and introduction meetings were planned. Funnily enough, though, it had never really dawned on any of us to connect on a professional level! These are, after all, the people who have seen me at my worst – and vice versa.

Anyhow, I have been remiss in my networking with friends; therefore, I have never really mentioned doing so on this blog. So go out and have a nice long meal with your oldest buddies. You will have a great time, and you might just realize that your friends could be an excellent business resource.

How Promo Items Lead to Networking

photo from calendar2015.loveitsomuch.com

photo from calendar2015.loveitsomuch.com

You know how I always tell you that promotional products are smart giveaways because they help your customer remember your name? Well I’m not lying! For the last few holiday seasons Gossett Marketing has sent a single-page annual calendar to our customers in lieu of cards. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked into a customer’s office and seen it tacked to their bulletin board, meaning that they see our company’s name each and every time they glance at it. Well, last week – months after the calendars were delivered – I received an email from a customer that read, “Just want to let you all know that the 2015 calendar card you sent for the holidays is a great help and useful. I look at it every day to help me schedule things throughout the year without having to flip through a monthly calendar.”

That email let me know that our own giveaways are working!

You might wonder why I am using the networking portion of our blog to sing the praises of promotional marketing products when the latter subject has its own category. You see, the prom item that we sent to our customer months ago inspired her to reach out to me. She was then at the top of my mind and when I had a vendor meeting later on, I saw a new item that I knew she would enjoy. I got her a sample and, lo and behold, she ordered it! Essentially, my promotional product spurred networking and got me a sale!

Preparation: The Key to Networking

Shaking Hands I believe in being prepared for networking events. Think of them like a job interview. The first thing you want to do is sell yourself in your elevator speech (click here to read my previous post on that topic). Then it’s important to learn about the person with whom you are connecting: does it seem like he or she will benefit you or vice-versa? It’s like figuring out whether a position in a new company will work for you. Then it’s time for the end of the interview, when my least favorite question arises. Much like I find, “Do you have any questions for us?” to be a stumbling block, when a new contact asks, “What can I do for you?” I sometimes have a hard time answering immediately.

To get over my fear of “What can I do for you?” I’ve come up with a couple of stock answers that work for me. My go-to is to ask for referrals. As you know by now, Gossett Marketing is a creative promotional products distributer. While I believe that every company needs some sort of promotional products, not every person within that company is going to be buying them. Let’s say I’ve just met a doctor from the Jackson Memorial Hospital. When he asks what he can do for me, I’m not going to tell him I’d like a free yearly physical; instead, I’d ask him to please refer me to his department’s marketing director. Or if he seems to know several people at the event, I’d ask him to introduce me to them right then and there.

If the person with whom I am networking does seem to be someone with whom I’d do business, then my “What can I do for you?” answer is always the same: I suggest that we schedule a meeting. We generally do not set a date then and there, but it opens the door for a future appointment. I also make sure to follow up with that person the next day – don’t drop the ball when someone wants to meet with you!

Those are two really easy stock responses to what I find to be a difficult question. Of course, if you are a networking pro who doesn’t get tripped up when put on the spot, go ahead and be daring with your answers! But having these two in my back pocket makes me infinitely more comfortable when meeting new people – like a job interview, in networking preparation is key.

Why Matches are Still Pertinent Promo Products

photo from www.typetheory.com

photo from www.typetheory.com

Today was the first time this year that I’ve actually had a good blog post topic at the ready. And then I saw something even better online, which is weirdly annoying in light of my recent writer’s block. But I have never accidentally stumbled upon such a perfect piece regarding promotional marketing products, so I feel compelled to share this ASAP – it’s “A Brief History of Restaurant Matches” from Eater.com. While this is a bit of a long read, it shows just why and how match books of all things have remained relevant promotional products, even as fewer and fewer people smoke.

Click here to read about these inexpensive little promotional items. Then maybe consider them for your next giveaway.

Slam Dunk Promotional Marketing

photo from www.hurricanesports.com

photo from www.hurricanesports.com

Having season tickets, my husband Nick winds up going to a ton of University of Miami Men’s Basketball games. He enjoys them because the team is generally pretty good, he bumps into a lot of friends, the arena is close, and who doesn’t enjoy junky sporting event food?! While he attends many a game, Nick rarely takes any of the free promotional products that are occasionally given at games (we do not need any more promotional items or UM-themed stuff); however, the team recently honored former player Shane Larkin and he came home with the bobble head!

The somewhat-creepy likeness of this now-Knicks player wound up in my kitchen and I’m ready for him to move along, but for some reason I feel guilty throwing him away – maybe because his gently-moving head seems to shake in dismay when I go to toss him in the garbage. The thing about me is that I’m not one for dust collectors. Give me a promotional product that I can use (a shirt, a water bottle, a cap) and I’m happy to do your marketing for you by sporting it all over town, but I don’t really care for having more branded stuff just sitting around at home.

Fortunately for the ‘Canes, not everyone is like me. Very many people out there love sports memorabilia or collect bobble heads or just love Barry Larkin’s kid enough to want to have him sit on their desk for the foreseeable future. That means that they will be displaying the image of Shane Larkin in his Hurricanes uniform and hopefully inspire people to go to games!

To be a little broader on the topic, people really like bobble heads. They love to touch them and to, well, make their heads bobble. I suspect that when most receive them at, say, a college basketball game, they will keep it for a little while. They might ultimately give it away or just throw it out, but they probably let it hang around for a while. And if they ultimately become collectors, then your giveaway might stay in their display case forever. That’s a slam dunk! Easy marketing with promotional products!

Wonderfully Weird E-Mails

photo from yofrizz.blogspot.com

photo from yofrizz.blogspot.com

I’ve been communicating with one of my vendor’s customer service reps this week and she sends emails that are unapologetically wacky. The one she sent on Monday had a glittery GIF that says “I Heart Monday” and the note started “MONDAY MONDAY! Alohaaaaa…” and went on from there. Tuesday’s email was equally as wacky and included the line “Did someone say Two Steppin’ Tuesday!?!?!?!?!” and all of the different lines of text are in rainbow colors. As a professional businessperson I should hate these emails, but I have to say that I surprised even myself – because I don’t!

In this networking/business section of our blog I probably come off as a little uptight and/or cranky. I tell you guys how to dress for events, how to compose yourself at meetings, where to find new business contacts, etc. and I really do focus on being polished and professional. The emails I’ve received from my rep are anything but that, so you would think I’d be horrified. However, they have made me smile from ear to ear since I received them. I’ve also shown my coworkers each and every one of the kooky notes, and they’ve liked them too; therefore, whether or not it was intentional, my vendor is getting a good amount of exposure among promotional marketing products salespeople.

While I am not planning on sending any rainbow-colored emails anytime soon, I’m definitely not mad that I have received some. They were a fun change of pace from most of the mundane pricing letters I find in my inbox from other vendors. I’m definitely not saying that you should start sending emoji-filled emails to your clients, these were just a wacked-out little anomaly that I wanted to share with my readers.

Biz Tip: Be Nice to the Right People

photo from www.smiley-faces.org

photo from www.smiley-faces.org

I’ve said before that being nice is a powerful tool, and I still believe that to this day. But as someone focused on networking and growing my business, more powerful than just being a kind person in general is being nice to the right people. And no, that does not mean that you should suck up to your dream client, but it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to be extra-friendly to his or her assistant.

It’s disappointing to meet someone at a networking event, have a great conversation, follow up with him or her, and then be ignored. In that sort of situation, it would behoove any good networker to do a little digging and find a way to contact their business target’s assistant. And when I say “do a little digging,” I do mean a little – all you’d have to do is call the office’s main number and ask to speak to Mr. So-And-So’s admin. I’ll bet you will get through.

So once you have found this person, what do you do? I’d suggest telling him or her who you are, where you met their boss, and ask them to take a message. Then be sure to lay it on thick with the “thank you’s,” “I appreciate your help soooo much,” and the like. That might be all it takes to let your message float to the top of the pile!

If your efforts to reach out to your business contact via his or her assistant are successful, then continue your targeted niceness! Call the admin back and thank her again for her help. Then, when you actually set your meeting, be super friendly when you meet the assistant in person. Heck, you can even bring her one of your promotional marketing products as a gift – an engraved cell phone charger is always a good touch!

So, as a businessperson it always pays to be nice. And if you happen to be nice to the person who can get you an appointment with a potential new business contact, then you are definitely doing it right!

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