Many Times It’s the Presentation That Makes the Sale

Receiving a gift is one of those times that you truly feel special. You can hardly wait to rip open the wrapping and uncover the treasure inside. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the gift and other times, somewhat underwhelmed depending on what you were expecting. One thing that stays constant however is the presentation of the gift in the first place. If it was wrapped you knew someone took the time to conceal the item and add some fun to the festivity, if unwrapped, there is a slight hesitancy of what could be inside. Unless, for women that unwrapped box is a “Robin’s Egg Blue” with a small white ribbon. For the uninformed men out there this is the distinctive packaging from Tiffany’s. Think presentation means something now? Buy an empty Tiffany’s box online and place something other than Tiffany jewelry in there and see what happens…

Like Tiffany’s, many upscale department stores use a similar approach by utilizing much heavier wrapping paper and their own designer boxes. Jewelry comes in crushed velvet boxes for a reason, who wants to receive a ring or bracelet in a plastic bag? If you think about it, you can remember the last time you received a gift wrapped in heavier paper or presented to you in a unique fashion? You expected more and usually were rewarded for those expectations. All of these examples lead back to our title – Many Times it’s the Presentation that Makes the Sale.

Presentation is probably one of the most over looked facets in the marketing world. When it comes to delivering the product a lot of work goes into the packaging: design, color, shape, functionality, etc. This is great for when the product is sold but what about the initial contact with the prospect, many times weeks or months before the product is even ready for sale? What about the beginning of the overall sales cycle when you are introducing your company as a viable source for your prospect to turn to for their needs? Brochures, folders, web content and white pages provide much needed information but what impact do they make on the recipient, no matter how carefully they are prepared or colorful to the eye. In the recipients mind these are only words chosen to represent your product or service, nothing memorable to take away.

Right now you are probably asking “if the packaging the product comes in and the brochures and web information are not part of the presentation – what is?” To get to that let’s look at what is pretty common knowledge when it comes to first time meetings. They say that the average person gathers their first impression about someone in the first three to ten seconds that they meet. How much can the average person read in three to ten seconds? Sure they see the colors and design but they get things like this everyday in the mail that they never read. How can you really pull them in?

Promotional products have always had a stigma to them, often called “Chotchkies, Trinkets & Trash and just plain Giveaways” and in the context that most businesses use them these titles are rightly earned. However, if used correctly and given in a manner that they should be used, many of these items can become the key to anchoring your name and that of your product and service to the minds of your prospects and clients.

Just to give a product away with your company name on it means little to the recipient, those that see the product in use will see your company name but gather little information, if any, beyond that.

Let’s look at another scenario. Mr. or Ms. Prospect is attending a trade show where you have a booth and are handing out the holy grail of promo heaven – a t-shirt with your logo on it. Mr. /Ms. Prospect stand patiently in line to get their badge scanned. A line that is most pleasing to the marketing director, as people are coming to the booth. Mr./Ms. Prospect have their badge scanned, using political correctness, ask to have information sent to them, grab the loot and stuff it into their bag and are off to find their next treasure. Upon returning home they pull the shirt from their bag and stick it in the laundry to be done later. A few days or weeks go by and they pull out the shirt they so gallantly waited for and triumphantly wear it to the gym. If they wear it regularly the company logo will be viewed almost 60,000 times in a single year, a marketing coup. What about Mr. /Ms. Prospect, they do not see the logo that often, what did it do to help them purchase your product? How were they really affected by the free giveaway?

Now scenario two is set up in a similar way, Mr. /Ms. Prospect wait patiently to get their badge scanned, request info and place the shirt into their bag, etc. Only this time your marketing team has attached an “anchor card” to the shirt label. A simple card that reminds Mr. /Ms. Prospect of the product or service you were at the show promoting. Nothing too wordy, a mention of the product name and three or four bullet points of the things it does best and on the other side a memorable tie in to the show or the product name. Now Mr. /Ms. Prospect return home pull the shirt out of their bag and toss it… wait, what is this attached to the shirt? Can’t wash it with this card attached. Enterprise Content Manager… yeah saw that demo at the show; let me keep this as a reminder to follow up. SPLASH! The anchor has been dropped and they still wear the shirt and give you 60,000 logo views. Big difference between scenario one and two and scenario two cost you far less than a load of laundry to add. Scenario two could have even been carried out further by adding a call to action to the tag to visit your web site to sign in and see if they won a prize. Anchor aweigh.

The same scenario can be carried out with virtually anything you present to clients and prospects as a gift, a simple reminder of why you are there and what you can do for them. Warming up the dreaded cold call is another opportunity to let presentation set the stage for a successful reason to meet. Presenting a thought provoking package with a value added gift and message inside will go much farther than a blind call and rambling on about what you do and why you are the best. Ask a question on the outside of the box and then simply answer it on the inside with the inclusion of an item that ties into your offering. Remember the three to ten second rule; this is where first impressions are made. The packaging and presentation get you in the door; the included gift merely greases the wheels of progression. With thousands of products to carry your logo and brand, choosing one that anchor’s your message and presents the most thought provoking reaction is key to the outcome of your marketing and sales actions. Presentation makes the target a prospect and helps sales capture a new customer. When you meet the parents of your prospective mate or partner you look your best – should business courting be any different?

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