How to Get Started Selling Promo Products
Promotional products are everywhere. Personalized pens, mugs, hats, and even stress balls are popular giveaways. Many of the customers coming to you for printing are already using promo products they’re buying elsewhere. Why shouldn’t your in-plant get a piece of the pie?
A new article in Wide-format Impressions notes that the barrier to entry for selling promotional products is relatively low. The story outlines how printers can get started in this business.
The main thing to know is that you don’t have to print these items yourself. Doing that would requires significant investments in equipment. With thousands of different types of promotional products and printing methods varying between each type, in-plants would have a difficult time identifying, purchasing, and finding room for the right decorating equipment.
Luckily, the promo industry is already structured to accommodate this, notes the article. Few promotional suppliers sell direct. Rather, they manufacture and decorate products, relying on distributors to work directly with customers.
Once you’ve decided to add promotional products, how do you actually start selling them? First, get input from customers about how often they’re purchasing promo items already. After you’ve identified the product categories that make the most sense to offer, start making a list of suppliers that carry those products. (A simple Google search is usually enough, but you can also try free resources like In-plant Impressions’ sister publication, Promo Marketing’s, annual Top Suppliers list.) Make some calls, find out what each supplier carries.
Then let customers know you’re now offering promo. One way to do that is to look for creative ways to combine it with the printing they are already sending to your shop.
Treat promotional products not as a simple add-on, but as a missing piece that can unlock the full potential of your customers’ overall print marketing and advertising strategy.
Related story: How to Become a Promo Products Distributor
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.