Selling Big with Technology
Recurring sales, sometimes called "annuities" because of predictable and cyclical occurrence, are an important part of the print and promotional industry. A car dealership orders the same calendars every year, a rec softball league the same T-shirts, a bank the same order of pens—these orders can add up quickly for a distributor, and can become an important and reliable source of income in an otherwise unpredictable industry.
But what if you want to sell these companies more? Say the car dealership would also like an order of decorated coffee mugs as part of a holiday gift for its staff? No big deal, right? You help the client find some mugs they like, get a quote from the supplier, handle their artwork, and seal up the order. But what if they also want to order decorated floor mats for their repair shop? And they maybe aren't interested in buying, but would like to get a quote? And they'd also like to look into branded air fresheners, decorated pens, and maybe some new uniforms for the sales staff?
Now, imagine that all those requests are happening at random times, at quantities that are sometimes small and sometimes large, and sent by multiple people on their staff. The marketing manager needs new direct mail pieces, the owner's secretary needs crystal awards, the garage head needs another order of branded gloves. Now imagine that it isn't just your car dealership client that's like this. It's the softball league. It's the bank. It's the school, the deli chain, the brewery. Are you starting to see where this is going?
Selling "deep" to clients is an oft-recommended sales strategy, but also one that, applied at enough depth and to enough clients, will eventually collapse against the weight of practicality and logistics. Either you hire additional staff to keep up with the orders that are at the very bottom of selling deep—the orders for 25 more branded caps, 200 new decorated envelopes and 15 more uniforms—or you start leaving money on the table. Unless ... there's a third option?