"[Smart distributors] survey all areas within the client (marketing, manufacturing, compliance, etc.) to understand what they value from their supplier," he said. "They identify their pain points when it comes to labeling and packaging needs and then present a complete solution. This tends to lead to a longer sales cycle, but the distributor is rewarded with a satisfied and loyal client. The value-add pays off in the long-term."
Sometimes, unexpected obstacles arise. Reid pointed to label failure as one of the biggest problems distributors face.
"Determining how the label or tag is used and what the product encounters in packaging application, distribution, and use in the market place is critical to avoiding label and tag failure," Reid said. "Using a standardized questionnaire to make sure all possible issues are discovered in advance before providing a solution is essential. The answers to these questions provide necessary details that tag and label vendors need to know in order to provide the best product and pricing."
Larson agreed that many problems can be avoided by thorough research and technical knowledge of the products. "Labels and tags seem like simple products, but they can get complicated," she said. "Educate yourself by touring your label manufacturer's facility and asking questions. Contact material manufacturers and work to understand the different face stocks and adhesives.
"Understand how artwork needs to be prepared for print, such as outlining text and the differences between four-color process and PMS colors," she added.
In doing so, you just might get a sale that sticks.