Succeeding in the Give First Economy

Reading Time: 4 minutes


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.

What If We are a Media Company?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the things I am adamant about, is that in today’s society, everyone is a media company.  (Yes, Gary Vaynerchuk says this too).

If you are a car dealer, you are a media company that also sells cars.  If you sell insurance, you are a media company, that also sells insurance.  You get the idea.  I believe you need to think like a media company.  You need to create content that people want to consume.  That act of acting like a media company will create an audience, and then you will be able to sell them something (or convince them of something).  You will have gained their trust. I believe that.

But despite that belief, Hasseman Marketing has not consistently been acting like it.  Don’t get me wrong.  We create content.  My hope is we even create content that our customers and peers like.  But we have lacked the type of plan and consistency that I would like.   So starting June 1st, my goal is to fix that.  It’s time to up my game.  And in this short blog post I wanted to outline my plan for what will be coming up the next 30 to 60 days.  I would love feedback, thoughts and suggestions if you have them!

1.  The DMJ Podcast is coming back:  I started doing the DMJ Podcast at the beginning of this year on Mondays.  My goal was to test it out and see if people enjoyed it.  After the first 12 weeks of the year, I took a break.  The feedback was good…so I am bringing this back on Mondays.  It will be here on this blog and wherever you get your podcasts.

2.  Delivering Marketing Joy:  The staple of our content creation is our interview show Delivering Marketing Joy!  That will keep coming and will be hosted at as it has been.  If you have suggestions on guests, email us here!

3.  Brand-ecdotes:  Again, we played with this series and we want to bring it back.  Here is a link to one of these.  We welcome Promo Pros to weigh in on what they love about Promo.  Let us know if you want to take part!

4.  unScripted Podcast:  This award winning podcast with Bill Petrie will keep coming at ya every Friday.  It’s hard to believe we have done 100 of these!  Don’t worry…more to come here.

5.  New Blog Posts:  This is the new curveball into the mix.  Get ready for me to create a new blog post every business day!  Some will be short.  Some will be a bit longer.  But the goal is to provide value to our customers, prospects and peers all of the time.  And we think this will be a way for us to do that!  So please check back.  Read them.  Comment.  Give feedback.  And by all means, help keep me accountable!   Why would we do all of this?  Because we believe we are a media company.  Get ready for us to start acting like it.

Want to make sure you never miss an update?  Sign up for our VIP newsletter here.  Oh and if you just want to shop online, you can do that here.  Either way…thanks for reading.

Customer Retention with Promotional Products

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Let’s start with a statistic that should really make you think.  Studies show that 69% of customers that leave you (as a customer, donor, supporter, etc.) will do so because of “perceived indifference.”  They will leave you because they simply don’t think you care.

Seriously, think about that.  Nearly 7 out of ten lost customers come down to the fact that you didn’t show them that you gave a crap about them.

This statistic both frightens and excites me. On one hand, it means that my customers could leave me because I have just been careless and lazy.  It means that if I am not careful, my competitors could swoop in and take my revenue…just by caring more!  Am I doing enough to show customers (regularly) that I do sincerely appreciate their business?  Are you?  That can be scary.  On the other hand, it is an entirely fixable (and improvable) situation.  If I am not doing enough to show them, I can fix it!  It is totally within my power to do so.  That’s a good thing.  I don’t have to wait for some cosmic shift in the economy, or some other outside force to change.  I can do it all by myself.  I just need to care more!

On the third hand (is that even possible?) I see this as an opportunity.  It means likely that most businesses are NOT caring enough about their current customers.  That means I (and now you) can create systems that allow you to gain market share…through caring!  How cool is that? So how do we do it?

Let’s talk about some very concrete ways to make sure your customers know they are appreciated.

Send Cards

It’s funny.  Sometimes the things that make a big difference in your customer’s eyes are the simplest.  Send your customers a card on their birthday.  Send them thank you cards for their business.  Send them a holiday card.  Send them a thanksgiving card.  Most people open their mail standing over the trash can, because all we get are bills and junk mail.  A heart felt thank you card really stands out.  The reason most people don’t send out cards regularly is they lack a system.  Let’s face it; most of us have good intentions.  But those intentions go out the window when we can’t find the right kind of card, or we can’t find a stamp, or we don’t have the person’s address.  We need to schedule a specific time each day (or week) that we send out cards.  One of my favorite practices is to try to create a reason to send out at least one thank you card each day.  Sometimes it will be for a purchase that a customer made.  Sometimes it will be just because someone helped you.  It’s a fantastic practice.  Two things will happen.  First, your customers will NEVER think you don’t appreciate them.  And second, you will have a better attitude about life.  If you spend every day trying to find something to be thankful for—guess what—you will become more grateful.  That’s not a bad side benefit for doing something to help you increase your business!

Quarterly Thank You Program

If you are like most businesses, you have 20% of your customers or clients that produce 80% of your sales.  It’s not a universal rule, but it is surprising how often it is true.  So those 20% are the clients you REALLY want to show that you care.  So in addition to sending them a birthday card, a thanksgiving card and thank you cards, you want to reach out and “touch” them at least once a quarter.  So establish yourself a budget.  How much are you willing to spend over the course of a year in order to say “thank you” to these top clients?  Remember, these are your bread and butter.  This is probably not the time to go cheap.  This number will be different for every business, but in my experience, you don’t have to break the bank. Got it?  Now just for argument sake, let’s assume this number is $100 per year.  You are willing to spend $100 over the course of a year to say thank you to these top clients.  Now just divide that number by 4.  So you have $25 per quarter to get some sort of gift to give to these clients.  This is more than just a gesture.  This promotional gift will not only show your appreciation for them.  It will also showcase your logo and remind them each and every time they use the gift that you are a great company to work with! Now just tailor the gifts to your audience.  You are now touching these clients 4 more times a year with a great tangible piece of appreciation.  How does this work?  Let’s give you an example.  Let’s say you are an insurance agent that has a wide variety of customers.  You have business professionals, farmers, families and more.  This diverse group of customers gives you an idea of things you do and don’t want to give.  So your quarterly gifts might look like this:

Quarter 1:  Roadside Safety Flashlight.  This makes sense because you are not only promoting your brand, but you are showing you care about your client on the road.

Quarter 2:  High End Travel Mug and Cooler Bag.  This is a cool combo because your clients might be thinking of vacations or road trips for the warmer months.  Great way to remind them that you are with them through the miles and smiles!

Quarter 3:  BBQ Set.  At this point they will be in barbecue season with tailgating just around the corner.

Quarter 4:  Executive Calendar and Tumbler.  These two gifts are sure to stand out in the office and the home.  Obviously these are just a few ideas to get you thinking.  There are thousands and thousands of options.  But these are some cool things that transcend generations and gender.  *Also, here’s a quick tip to make this easier for you.  Get with your promotional products consultant (that’s us!) and tell them your plans.  Then see if you can order all of these at once.  Ask to see if they will ship them about a month before you need them.  This will allow you to budget a bit.  And it will “poof” create a reminder system so you remember it’s time to say “thanks” again to your clients.  When the boxes arrive it’s time to start! There are lots of ways to thank your clients.  These are just two.  Feel free to get creative and have some fun thanking your customers.  You will be glad you did!

This post is an excerpt from the book Delivering Marketing Joy.  To learn more you can order the book on Amazon here.   Want more great content like this?  Sign up for our VIP list!  Get access to our weekly content and special deals…by simply going here! 

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