When you think of a successful distributor, what comes to mind? You might think of annual revenue, customer count or number of employees. But, in this day and age, success should also be defined by how generous you are as a company. You’re probably asking yourself what that has to do with being a successful distributor—let me explain.
Generosity is pausing your typical business operations and giving back to the community or your employees. You can do this in a variety of different ways, like volunteering time, donating money to charity or hosting a toy drive. Similarly, you can even go the extra mile by sponsoring an event or donating keychains or tote bags to a nonprofit with a small budget in your community. Of course, these ideas are only some of the possibilities out there. At the end of the day, the opportunities are there, you just have to find ways to display your generosity.
By becoming a more generous leader in the industry, you’re infusing humanity into every relationship you build. This is important since 91 percent of consumers will switch to a brand that supports a good cause and has similar prices and quality. Non-generous distributors can potentially lose customers to more charitable ones because the promo industry is full of consistent quality and pricing. That means, the more generous you are as a distributor, the more customers you’ll retain in the long run. Furthermore, generosity also has the power to expand your marketing strategy and improve your staff’s job satisfaction.
Building relationships is a key factor when it comes to being a generous distributor. When you engage with your community, you create a ripple of benefits that affect you and other local businesses as well. Without networks and loyalty, you can’t prosper, especially since distributors gain 82 percent of their business from referrals, according to an ASI study. Gaining positive relationships will lead to recommendations and guarantee your company thrives.
By donating to an event or even sponsoring one, you’re creating a quality relationship that can eventually lead to a loyal one. With most companies losing 45 percent to 50 percent of their clientele every five years, retaining customers isn’t just vital, but also necessary. Giving back to other companies, especially charities or mom-and-pop shops, says, “Hey, I started out small too. Let me lend a helping hand!” Then, when it’s time for them to purchase promotional products, they’ll think of you and your generosity. With over 30,000 distributors in the industry, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you gained a new and devoted customer.
Grows Your Business
When it comes to being a successful distributor, your biggest goal should be selling tons of promo products. One of the easiest ways to ensure you meet this goal is by being more generous in your community. In 2018, promotional products ranked as the No. 1 most effective form of advertising to prompt action over four generations (millennial, Generation X, baby boomer and Silent Generation). Imagine if you generously gifted stress balls to a local startup for its grand opening, or partnered with your favorite charity by throwing a food drive. No matter what you do, you’ll leave a lasting impression with those who might need promotional products, helping you gain more customers and increase sales.
Overall, by helping another company, you’re expanding your marketing network and getting your name out into your community, which will mean more business for you. Now, whenever a local business needs promotional products, they won’t have to search on Google to find some. They’ll automatically think of your company since they already worked with you. This is vital for your marketing efforts, especially since the average web user won’t scroll further than the first five listings on a search engine results page. Remaining active in your community can eliminate this pitfall and relieve some of the stress that comes with search engine optimization (though this still remains high priority, of course). Tackling the battle head-on and making an impression with businesses in your community, will help grow your company externally and financially.
Increases Company Morale
While it’s important to be generous toward your community as a distributor, it’s also essential to be giving toward your staff. Companies with low morale often experience higher rates of turnover, negative attitudes and poor job performance. If you’re generous to your employees, you show a sense of hospitality that encourages teamwork and positivity, and provides an overall friendly environment. Additionally, increasing company morale is critical for business because when your staff is happy, so are your customers.
Offering your employees paid volunteer days or matching employee contributions to their favorite charities is only one way to tip the generosity scale. Another option is to show support to your team members in times of need. For example, if you find out an employee was diagnosed with an illness, you can opt to donate money to a foundation trying to find a cure, or extend their paid leave to help cover unexpected incidents like these. Since only 56 percent of millennial sales reps and managers in the promotional products industry are satisfied with their employer, a lack of generosity could be the difference between keeping a great employee or losing them to a competitor.
Overtakes the Competition
Not every distributor will be able to donate money to a charity or give away products for free, and that’s OK! You shouldn’t make a $500 donation if you only have $500 to your name. It’s best to give whatever you can afford, whether it’s money, time, knowledge or promotional products.
Consumers are more likely to buy from companies that actively give back. For example, Maker’s Mark, a bourbon-whiskey distillery, teamed up with nonprofit organization One Warm Coat where it donated over 20,000 winter coats to people who didn’t have one for frigid temperatures. The campaign alone drove 26.41 million impressions across social media outlets, resulting in 40,000 new followers. People want to support businesses that are actively trying to make a difference. As a distributor, partnering with a nonprofit could not only increase your presence on social media, but also generate leads and increase your website traffic. This could help you outshine the competition, especially since gaining customers through social networking is on the rise for companies.
Overall, being generous has its financial perks, but on a personal level, you’ll feel great knowing you’ve built a positive brand that’s making a difference. If you want to see your sales increase, build more loyal relationships, improve your company’s morale, and surpass your competition, try becoming a charitable leader in the industry. You won’t be disappointed!