Photo by Joe Neric on Unsplash

Have you ever had what you thought was a killer idea? You just KNOW that this action or item is going to be killer? Sometimes what sounds like a good idea, isn’t.

A distributor friend recently came up with an excellent planning document to send out in a package to some carefully-chosen prospects along with a spec sample with the prospect’s logo on it. The idea was that they would complete the form to help them make decisions about their promotions, making the distributor’s job faster and easier. Before sending out the package, though, the distributor friend stopped off in his mastermind group to see what they thought of the idea and his form.

He got a different response than he expected.

More than one group member said, “I would never complete that document.” Another person explained, “People are so busy today! I think that if you sent the form to them ahead of time, they’ll look at it and see it as more work. When people already don’t have enough time in their day to do what they have to do, they aren’t interested in one more thing to do.”

Another very valid concern was that this form is a differentiator for this distributor versus his competition. He has this system that makes working with him easy. Giving that concept directly to a prospect is to invite the prospect to share it with his current supplier causing him to lose his edge.

Since streamlining the process is a great idea, how could it be done better? In this case, the group unanimously agreed that the form was excellent, but that the distributor should only use it IN the meetings or over the phone as a way to position himself as an expert, not a product peddler. A tool like this is perfect to use to guide the conversation with the client or prospect to guide them towards promotional ideas, not just products. Then the distributor can give specific, targeted promotion recommendations to achieve the objectives, rather than just sell products, enabling the distributor to exceed the expectations of the client.

What are some other ways to streamline the process without giving up your edge?

• Pictures – Pictures sell products. All the big brands know it. They know all people are focused on pictures and videos. That’s why live streaming, videos, and photos get so many more clicks and engagement in social media. Send pictures of ideas to your clients and prospects.

• Samples – Virtual samples, physical samples, any kind of sample with the client or prospect’s logo on it will get their attention and show them that you are paying attention to who they are and what they might need to increase sales and brand awareness. Send a virtual first and offer a complimentary sample with their logo. It’s a great way to get a response and qualify the prospect better and faster.

• Ideas – No one has enough time anymore. A savvy distributor can turn that problem to an advantage by proactively sending ideas and details to prospects and clients to help them get started. Send emails with subject lines that say, “We picked these ideas just for you…” and then showcase 3-4 items that are appropriate for the client.

Do you really want to help serve your clients? Call some of your current clients and ask them what you can do to make their lives easier. Or, if they are nearby, stop in with coffee and donuts to ask them in person. You will be surprised at their answers! Most of them will jump at the chance to have someone lighten the load and you now have several tools to use.

You might also be pleasantly surprised to end the call or walk out the door with new orders!