In October, I left the promotional products industry that I had been involved with for over 15 years. I have hundreds of friends and relationships that I've developed through the years. Most of which are kept alive thanks to Facebook, Linkedin and hopefully the occasional face to face meeting.
It wasn't a surprise to me that for the first few weeks as people found out about my leaving the industry that so many of my acquaintances offered to provide any promotional products I needed. It wasn't even a surprise that so many people who hadn't spoken to me in so long only wished me well so that they could remind me they could meet my needs. No, what surprised me was the fact that only 1 promotional products business person did anything more than ask.
Mike Rodin, of Impact Promotional Marketing in Iowa, has not once asked for my business, but the first promotional products order I place will be with Mike. The reason is simple. Mike has earned my business by actions. My first week, I received a "goody box" full of items imprinted with the Impact logo. Useful items ranging from pens, padfolio and other useful office items. It was a great gift and very nice to receive in my new office. Since I hadn't yet raided the office supply cabinet, I've been using imprinted items from Impact every day. Very smart!
I called to thank Mike and then he asked for my logo. I told him I didn't have the budget to buy anything yet but he insisted. The day before Christmas, I received a package of nicely embroidered high quality items with my company's logo on it.
Mike has done more than ask for my business, he has shown me why he deserves it and created a loyalty to him before I ever place an order. Mike's investment of time and items was more than a few bucks but wasn't a huge investment overall. If more salespeople offered value first to earn business, I think they would spend less time chasing deals that never occur and losing deals to lower price competitors.
My compliments to Mike Rodin and his team at Impact Promotional Marketing in Iowa for their approach. Mike has been a friend for many years and now will be a vendor as well.