To get into the academic awards market, visiting the schools and establishing relationships with the right people is essential. I suggest tapping into one of your existing contacts to make an introduction for you. Be sure to bring samples of products you have done for others and plan your visit by checking out the organization’s website, Facebook page, and other resources.
The best way to make the right connections is to simply call up to the school and ask for the person in charge of ordering the awards, then set up a meeting. Customers are more likely to do business with you face-to-face rather than over the phone. Establishing a close business relationship with this person can ensure you many orders over the years.
When meeting with potential clients, you should have a lookbook with pictures of their options and examples of past orders. This allows the customer to see the quality of your work and visualize what kind of awards and designs you could provide for them.
-David Gross, Condé