How To Use Promotional Products To Grow With Target Accounts

If you read this blog on the regular, you might be thinking something like this.  “Okay I get that you need to retain customers (we talk about that here). I understand you need to grow within your current client base. But at some point you need to get new customers to grow as well!”  

You’re right.  Now more than ever…we need to find new ways to create new revenue.

So let’s focus on that now…with Target Accounts. I think this is one of the most powerful ways to grow your business.

Promotional products are most effectively used when they are targeted.

That is why this concept works so well. Let’s start with the concept.

First, you want to create your “target” list. I have also heard this referred to as the Dream list, Bullseye List, and Bucket List. Regardless of the name, you want to create the list of 100 perfect prospects for your company. These are the exact kinds of clients you want to do business with. I base this list on a number of factors. They include proximity, kinds of businesses, reputation for payment, culture and more. You are going to know the factors that are important for your ideal customer. This is the kind of customer where successfully getting just one of them, will quickly affect your sales numbers!  If you want to dig into this more, check out our free 5 day marketing course.

This is a powerful step for a couple of reasons.

First, as I just said, this Target Customer is the kind who can REALLY impact your sales. They have the wherewithal to purchase what you are selling…in big numbers. Second, it is MUCH more cost effective to market to 100 people than it is 10,000! You can be much more personal, targeted, and relentless!

Now, DO take the time to get them on paper (or in your CRM if you use one). When getting them recorded, make sure to include all the pertinent contact information. This will keep you from “creating reasons” not to follow up. You will have all the information at your fingertips…so no reason not to call!

By the way, this first step is a huge one. Take some time and don’t skimp on the information. You will be glad you have it right in the long run.

Now that you have your list it’s time to create your plan.

I recommend breaking your Target list of 100 into more manageable numbers, like 5 or ten at a time. This does a couple things. First, by breaking the numbers down, you make the list more reasonable to follow up with. In addition, once you have gone through the first 5 (all the way through the process) you have your next 5 all ready to go. You will be glad you did. On more than one occasion I have made the list of only 5, and then when I got through it, got stalled because I had to start the “target list” all over.

Once you have the Target List created, it’s time to make the impact with these great potential customers with promotional products! Now it’s time to have some fun.

If you have chosen wisely (and in this case, I mean big!) you will need to understand that these are clients that most people would want! So they probably have “everyone” marketing and selling to them. That’s the bad news. The good news is, most people are being lazy when reaching out. They are sending letters, or cold calling or some other “shot in the dark” sales technique.

Since you don’t want to blend in with the other wannabes, you need to create a creative campaign that will stand out. I recommend a “three tier” campaign for that. This means you will send 3 creative mailers—one after another—until the follow up.

You really need to stand out here. Don’t just send a letter. If you want fantastic results, you need to set out to make a fantastic impact.

Let’s go through a fictitious example:

Let’s say my friend Bill has a Home Improvement store that focuses on carpet and paint. Though he certainly wants every “do it your-selfer” to think of him, he can make larger sales AND repeat sales if he focuses his marketing efforts on contractors. They are in the market for his products over and over. So Bill might make his Target List starting with contractors he wants to do business with.

This is when the project can really be fun. Here are some ideas for mailers that he might send:

Mailer 1

He sends a box with a nice measuring tape with his stores logo and phone number on it. It would need to be a nice one if he is sending it to a contractor. They won’t appreciate junk on something like that! With the measuring tape he might include a letter asking if their current supplier is “measuring up” on service and price. He might include other verbiage about having “room for growth,” and their specialty being the “height of service.” You get the idea. Have some fun to tie the letter to the item.

Mailer 2

In the second mailer, Bill might send a Giant Pencil. This is really designed to get his attention and make them smile. The letter might include something about “penciling him in for a meeting” or “having trouble finding time to source carpet.” You really want to get the clients raising eyebrows here.

Mailer 3

Finally he might send a nice travel mug with an offer to buy him a cup of coffee. In the letter, explain how you know they are “on the go” and you respect their time. Bill might also promise to keep the business relationship “hot” by giving leads back to the contractor. Then it’s time to let the prospect know that Bill will be following up (if they haven’t called already).  Tell them your intention here.  Don’t beat around the bush.

Now you might be thinking, “Wow! This is a lot of money to throw at one prospect.” And you are right. This is probably $40 to $50 per prospect here. But you also need to remember that these are clients that can spend thousands and thousands each and every year. So their impact can be well worth it. It’s also worth noting that you are not going to spend this much chasing each customer…just the Target list!

Now the procedure becomes simple.

First, choose your 3 to 5 first Target Accounts. (Make it a number you KNOW you can follow up with). I tend to choose them based on the ones I am most excited about working with the soonest. This will give me the most motivation to get this process rolling.

Second, once you have chosen the Targets, send out the mailers. I tend to space them out a week apart. This is a bit of a long sales cycle. But it ensures that they will have time to digest the message, even if they are out on vacation, business travel, etc.

Third, just like any business process, the fortune is in the follow up! You must work the phones now to get your appointments with the Target List. If you have done these mailers right (and been creative) you will have a great deal of success.

Be bull-headed in your follow up though.

You have invested a lot of money on these prospects! Work hard to get some time in front them now!

If you have chosen wisely on your promotional items and your themes, you will not only have made an immediate impact with your Target list, but you will also have the chance to have long term advertising with them as well!

If you want more information on how you can use Promotional Products To Grow With Target Accounts, please head here to learn more about us.  Or just skip that step and head here to schedule a time to chat.

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.