How one promotional product opened a very large door

Several years ago, my favorite promotional pen was discontinued. I began the search for a replacement,  using the same criteria I use researching products for clients. Good price point, adequate imprint area, high quality, comfort, color, and so on.

I ordered numerous sample pens from several suppliers, and “test-drove” them all. Some were eliminated from contention right away. Others stayed on my desk for further comparison.

Although I really wanted a purple pen to match my logo, none of those samples made the cut. Either the grip was uncomfortable, the color wasn’t just right, or it didn’t write well. I kept coming back to one particular pen. It felt great in my hand, had a comfortable rubber grip, wrote well,  and cost substantially less than many other pens in its category.

But it was silver. Although it wasn’t purple, I could do a purple imprint. I was sold. And, fortunately, so have many of my colleagues and clients.

In addition to selling the very same pen to numerous clients in a variety of colors, the pen became my entrée to what has become a very good client.

Here’s how:

I always go to networking events heavily armed with a supply of pens. While others are passing business cards around, I give out pens. People love receiving gifts, no matter how large or small. In addition to giving something useful that people can continue to use long after the event ends, it helps me stand out. Plus, it’s another way to illustrate the effectiveness of promotional products.

So, there I was at a networking luncheon, all set to pass pens around the table while I do my 30-second “elevator” pitch. One of my colleagues interrupted me saying, “I have one of those pens, and I love it. People in my office are always trying to take it.”

Unsolicited third-party endorsement. You can’t pay for advertising with that kind of impact.

And it gets better. About two weeks later, that same colleague called me and told me to call the head of human resources at her company. She had already passed my name along, because the company buys very nice gifts every year for its seven hundred (yes 700) employees!

After that, it was up to me to build the relationship, which I did. However, I would never have had the opportunity to cross the client’s threshold if not for that one pen.

Want to find a way to help get you in the door? Contact Jeanie Communications and we’ll create a plan.

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