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This is an excerpt from the book Delivering Marketing Joy.  You can find that here.  

“The person that gives the value first has the leverage.”  Gary Vaynerchuk

We are living in a “Give First” economy.  That is my belief.  I believe that the person, salesperson, entrepreneur or company that has the strength to provide value first, will win…long term.  The Give First economy does NOT mean the good old boys network.  It does not mean that just because we play golf together you have to buy from me.  It’s about value.  It’s about providing more than you are paid for.  It’s about doing business “the right way.”  Push vs. Pull:  Why?  Because times have changed!  Since the beginning of marketing and advertising, we have lived in a “push” world.  The company that pushed their message out the strongest and the loudest won.  But with the onset of the internet (and social media) that has changed.  Consumers have the ability to tune us out.  They have the ability to shut us off.  The power in the relationship has changed.  So we need to pull customers in.  We need to “give first.”

“Life is an echo.  What you put out you get back.  What you give you get.”  Zig Ziglar

But here is the great news, when it comes to Promotional Products:  this plays right into what our Promo is all about.  This medium is built on the idea that we provide something of value first, so that we might be able to earn your business.   “Okay,” you might be thinking, “I believe you.  I need to give first.  But what does that mean?”  Great question.  We are going to dig into some real things you can start to do today in order to impact your business.  But be forewarned, these are going to seem like common sense.  They will seem simple.  But here is a very important secret:  simple is not the same as easy.

“The greatest distance in the world is the distance between “I know” and “I do.” 

So let’s dig into the steps for building a business that succeeds in the Give First Economy.

Give Joy:  That’s right.  Give out Joy.  The world needs more of it.  Studies will tell you that 89% of everything you see in the world is negative.  With social media and the culture today, my guess is that number should be higher.  We are a culture that is drowning in the negative.  That’s the bad news.  But the good news is, it’s pretty simple to stand out.  Just be positive.  Give out Joy.  By being the person that spreads good into the world, you have the ability to not only stand out…but to be the kind of person someone WANTS to be around. You will be different.  And in the mind of the customer, better is not better…different is better. Pro-Tip:  Do an audit of your personal social media pages.  Look at the last 10 posts.  If 4 or more can be “perceived” as negative, then you are likely seen as negative.  Be on the lookout for ways to push out joy!

Give Praise and Thanks:  Here’s a scary statistic:  69% of customers that leave you will do so because of perceived indifference.  They will leave because they don’t think you care.  Yikes.  But you can do something about that.  Take the time to send real thank you notes.  Stop by when you are not selling something just to say thanks.  Be grateful for your clients business.  You be pleasantly surprised by the response. Pro-Tip:  The best organizations and sales professionals send thank you cards.  Most don’t.  If you are not, start there.  If you have mastered that, gather your client’s birthdays.  Send them a birthday card…they will not be expecting that!

Give More Than They Pay For:  Seth Godin says that if you want to be remarkable, you need do something worth remarking about!  This is a simple, but totally under-used way to make people appreciate and remember you.  Simply provide more value than your customer is expecting.  When you do this, consistently, your customers will find you remarkable.  Pro-Tip:  The next time you have a large order, add a little “something extra” to it.  Maybe this becomes a future sale…maybe not.  But you will have provided more than they paid for…and that WILL pay off.

Give Content:  This is a very important piece of the Give First success plan.  That is why I post a lot about content creation.  Social media and content (creation and curation) are great tools to use to provide value up front to customers and prospects.  What does this look like?  It might be as simple as sharing an article that would be helpful to your client base.  It might be a fun video about your staff.  It might be pictures of your team having fun.  There are tons of ways that  content can help you provide your customers and prospects value. What it is not is selling first.  Too many entrepreneurs, sales professionals and organizations try and use social media to “push” their message out.  You have likely seen them.  They simply say “buy from me, buy from me, buy from me” and never provide value.

Pro-Tip:  Think of ways to tell your story and provide value through content.   Are you a writer?  Do you like to take pictures?  Are you a talker?  Think about what you most enjoy…and get ready to provide value there. The fact is, there are tons of ways to win in the Give First Economy.

But what about the most obvious? Give Promo Premiums:   Are you using promo to help to grow your business?  We have been preaching that you need to provide value to your customers and prospects first…and this is the perfect tool.  So before you go any further, its time to think about how you will use promo to grow your business. Pro-Tip:  Create a quarterly appreciation plan for your Top 20% of customers.  This will give you an excuse to reach out and provide value every 3 months.  It shows them you appreciate their business and (when done right) provides a long term advertising piece right where they are.

If you need help on any of these topics, let us know.  We would love to help you talk through it.  And make sure you never miss an update, sign up for our VIP newsletter here.   Oh…and if you want to just jump to shopping, you can head here.