Promotional Product RFP

How to Handle Promotional Products RFPs

“How do I respond to a Promotional Product RFP in order to win it?”

This question has been asked by every sales representative, sales manager, and distributorship owner in the promotional product business.  Each response will reveal a secret ranging from how you vaguely answer the questions, to the use of unique packaging of the RFP response, to don’t respond to RFPs—run!

There are many questions that come before, “How do I win an RFP?”  Due to the heavy commitment of resources to reply, present, implement you must be sure you understand all aspects before agreeing to respond. Here are some of the questions you need to ask before you even start on an RFP:

  1. Why were you or we asked to participate?  Do we have a business relationship with the customer?  Was our name drawn from a hat?
  2. What do we know about the client?  Are they solid financially?  Why are they leaving their current provider?  Are they a good business partner?  Do they pay their bills and let us make some money?  Do they or a third party pay the bills?
  3. Is this a B2B program or B2C?  Average order size?  How do we bill and collect?
  4. Is there inventory involved?  Will they agree to own inventory on the front end or agree to a back-end commitment?  Can we afford to fund the inventory?
  5. Do we have the technology needed to integrate with the customer’s systems? If not, what does it cost?

Do your homework before you ask your company to support your efforts to win an RFP.  If you cannot answer the questions above, it’s unlikely you will ever get to the question of, “How do I win an RFP?”

Holiday Promotional Products

How To Boost Your Holiday Sales

Before you start your Annual Sales & Marketing Plan, there is still time for a few holiday orders! Most clients have a strong needs to holiday promotional products. While many clients purchase the same gift for everyone, others take a tiered approach. Today I will discuss converting the “one gift fits all” buyers to “tiered” buyers. In the process of this conversion, you will show the client the value you bring to the table and increase your holiday sales.

How do you go about getting additional orders from a client who already placed their holiday order?

  1. Put together a list of $15-$25 quick ship gift items and a list of $35-$50 apparel items from your favorite suppliers.
  2. Review all client orders on which they purchased the same gift for all recipients.
  3. Call your gift buyers and give them an update on their pending order and make the following pitch”

“Hi Jane, I know you bought the $5 pens for all of your customers, but what do you plan to give your Top 50 customers—the ones who really move the needle for you? We have a great selection of $15-$25 gifts that your big buyers will really appreciate.”

  1. Call your buyers who haven’t purchased anything for their employees and make this pitch:

“Hi Steve, I noticed you didn’t buy anything for your employees this year. We still have time to get them a nice jacket or sweatshirt for the employees who really come through for you. They just love getting logoed apparel this time of year. And it really helps to improve employee relations.”

Some sales rep might say “this sounds like I’m trying to sell them something.” Well, if you aren’t trying to make a sale you are in the wrong business! Success with this sales technique can bring you a nice bundle of holiday cash.