Finding Your Spark

Finding Your Spark


How are you doing today?

“Eh… so-so.”

“I’m hanging in there.”

“Not too bad.”

These common responses are symptoms of a big problem. Your fire has gone out. Maybe you never had one in the first place, but if you want to succeed, I mean really want to succeed, you MUST rekindle it. Without out it, days drag on, projects become boring, and your work and life suffer.

Starting a fire from nothing is not only daunting, it’s impossible. So, begin with something simple, a spark. A spark is the excitement that you feel when you find a great new product for a client, the rush you experience after a great meeting or the boost you get from a positive email. One spark is all it takes and sparks can be found everywhere if you know how to look for them.

You can find your spark by:

  • Having an honest chat with a successful colleague
  • Remembering why you got into the business in the first place
  • Thinking about your family and loved ones
  • Reading uplifting blogs or articles
  • Making a change in your job focus or career
  • Completing a SWOT analysis about your career and your life

Sparks can be found everywhere, but only you know where to look for yours. You have to be open to honest self-reflection. How did your fire go out and how can you rekindle that passion?

The most important thing you can do is admit that your passion and drive have petered out. This can be very tough to admit. Most of us want to truck on and work through it. That’s never the answer. Address your issue right away and immediately start searching your life for your spark. When you do find it, be sure to take better care of yourself and the fire that drives you.


Best Practices for PPAI Expo Success | Attendee Edition

Are you planning to attend the PPAI Expo? Make the most of your time (and survive Las Vegas) by following these simple tips.

Begin your show preparation at least a month before the event. This is when you call your clients to discuss their marketing calendar and promotional products needs. These clients’ needs will become your shopping list for the show!

Set appointments with suppliers to discuss specific client projects. This one-on-one time should be focused, fast-paced, and impactful. Make the most of your time!

Have manners.

  • Don’t block the aisles.
  • Don’t interrupt a supplier or sales rep because you’re in a hurry.
  • Don’t linger in a booth and dominate a supplier’s time.
  • If you’re looking for free stuff to ship home for the kids… really?

No need to visit every vendor, especially if they visit your office regularly. Look for the suppliers you don’t see often.

Ask suppliers about their best-selling products and hottest markets.

Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking between 5-8 miles!

Everyone has a saturation point when you just can’t look at another cap, mug, or pen. When you hit this point, do yourself a favor and call it a day.

At times the nightclub or the craps table may be calling your name. If you can’t say no at least be sure to turn in early.

Follow these time-tested tips and you’ll be able to get the most out of any industry trade show. Happy shopping!

Want to help an exhibitor make the most of their PPAI Expo experience? Send them our post on the topic!


Best Practices for PPAI Expo Success | Exhibitor Edition

The PPAI Expo is upon us! Haven’t started planning for it? Didn’t get the results you wanted last year? Do not panic! Follow these simple tips and you’ll be on the track for PPAI success!

Smile! Social media and email won’t help you here. Your smile is your brand. Practice it and use it often!

Make eye contact! We’ve attended well over 100 product shows and are always “hooked” into a conversation when an exhibitor makes eye contact and smiles! Who can resist a friendly face and a smile?

Act like you really want to be exhibiting. When you or your show staff don’t want to be part of the exhibit team, it shows. Save the time and money and stay home.

Have a purpose! Use show time to build on friendships and business relationships. Know your top 25 clients and know what you want to discuss with them. Make a personal call to your top 25 the week before the show. Set a time and reason to talk. Probe for homework, quotes, and spec sample needs. Your booth should not be a place to sling out catalogs, but a place to wrap up deals.

Don’t sit in the corner of your booth checking email! We’ve all send hundreds of exhibitors who were relieved to see us pass their booth without stopping. The point of the show is to draw prospective clients in, not turn them away.

Spring for the padded carpet in your booth. Your clients will stay to talk longer and your feet will thank you at the end of the day.

Look sharp! Whether you wear a suit, business casual, or jeans and a pressed shirt, dress like you mean business! Impress your clients and take pride in your appearance.

Stock up on breath mints and hand sanitizer. This should be self-explanatory.

Follow-up on your show promises. If you said you would send a sample or spec or special pricing or resolve a problem — do not fail to deliver!

Have a great show and enjoy Las Vegas!

Want to help an attendee make the most of their PPAI Expo experience? Send them our post on the topic!

Secrets of Promo Sales Superstars

Secrets of Promo Sales Superstars

Sales SuperstarThroughout our careers, we have worked with many sales superstars.  From our observations, they have all shared some unique habits that set them apart from average producers.

Sales superstars view “No” as a temporary condition to be worked around or solved. “No” isn’t a stopping point or ending; it is a bump in the road to “Yes”!

Superstars are client-focused and work as the client’s advocate for pricing, terms, delivery charges, and quality control. They work as an extension of the client’s team to achieve and contribute to a common goal. Whenever they help their client achieve their goal, the superstar wins.

Follow-up habits fill the superstar’s day. They spend their time servicing the sale and the client to be certain that every order is done right and delivered on time. They check and check again to get everything right.

Superstars are driven to maintain a higher lifestyle comfort zone than most sales reps. They like nice homes, great trips, and expensive cars. Since money allows them to maintain this comfort zone, they are money-focused.  Always remember that it’s a lifestyle the superstar wants, not a dollar amount.

Admittedly, sales superstars have a tendency to be a little quirky, but their success gives them the right to be quirky! We would take a small team of eccentric superstars over a large team of average producers anytime. The superstars are just much more driven to achieve.

If you have a sales superstar on your team, consider yourself lucky!  Give them the tools they need for success and watch them go.  Watching a sales superstar in their stride is a thing of beauty!