The recent Sawgrass Ink newsletter had a link to a great article by Jimmy Lamb about the fact that increasing the revenue that comes from an existing customer is less expensive than finding and keeping a new customer. It seems obvious that if you master and offer more decoration techniques you should be able to increase the items that you sell to your customers and therefore increase your income.
While the article concentrates mostly on helping those who embroider increase their product offerings through offering sublimation, the question in the article can also apply to those who already sell sublimation products. For a lot of us, the tendency is to stick with the tried and true, which isn’t a bad thing, but also doesn’t lead to increased revenue. Sometimes you have to branch out and come up with new items to offer your customers. Chances are they won’t come to you saying they want something new, but if you can present them with something cool, they’ll most likely buy it. As I’ve said before, we all need to think outside the box.
Take, for instance, mousepads. As was mentioned in the article, they make a great place to put a restaurant menu. They would also be perfect for office supply stores, listing popular products, or even as a place to put a company phone directory. How great would it be to have a mousepad with a company directory from your favorite vendor sitting on your desk. There would be no worries about losing their information. You’d just have to look at your mousepad and dial.
A mini license plate is another item that has more uses then you might think. You can, of course, use one as a license plate, but they also make great identification signs for retail displays and trade show booths. They could be used as a number plate for house numbers, or made into unique nameplates for an office.
Canvas bags can also have a lot of different uses. You could sell them to high schools and colleges to give away to students as logowear. Health food or whole food stores could use them as an alternative to plastic or paper grocery bags. Book stores could put their logo on them and sell them as part of a “bag full of books” reading promotion for kids. Outdoor stores could pack them with outdoor products and sell the bag as part of a kit. Since the bag can be customized, the possibilities are endless.
The main thing to remember is that the customer isn’t going to be familiar with all the items you offer and all the things you can do. Spend some time talking to your customers and learning about their businesses and how they plan to promote them. Think of yourself not just as a garment decorator or promotional products salesperson, but as an advertising advocate. If you can show your customer how they can use the products you sell to create an advertising campaign, you’ll not only create increased revenue for you, but increased revenue for your customer as well. It’s a win – win situation, since people tend to keep coming back to those who help them be successful.