Positioning Promotional Products: The restaurateur’s approach

Learn how to whet your customer's appetite for the "side dishes" of your business.

Promotional products are often seen as either appetizers or desserts, not the main course or signature entrée. Let’s assume for a moment that you are pursuing the perfect prospective client – one who already has a well-established internal service and recognition program – and you’re chopping away at it, but no chips are flying.

Maybe you need to whet their appetite and show them the type of quality, service, and attention to detail you routinely provide your customers. Determine if there is an opportunity to sell them an order of ad specialty items to satisfy their unmet need for having a dependable purveyor in the area. One word of caution: don’t use promotional products as a loss-leader (selling them something at your cost) just to get your foot in the door. Most customers in that scenario will expect the same tremendous bargain when it comes time to give you a shot at their awards business. In this case, promotional products are just another item on the “appetizers and starters” menu.

Likewise, if you have a loyal, regular customer who has a need to complement their recognition program, promotional products may just be the right dessert to finish off their meal.

Restaurateurs generally offer appetizers and desserts at nominal prices – and slim profit margins – to generate greater revenue. Consider this: have you ever gone to a restaurant for a meal and only ordered an appetizer or dessert item? Probably not. Sure, it may be worth going out of your way for, but even the best small dish is just a lead-in to the steak and bottle of wine that you really came for.

-Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer

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