Top 10 Ways I Focus on Increasing My Total Gross Profit Dollar Volume

Most of us in this industry earn our income based on the gross profit margins of each sale we make and the percentage of that gross profit dollar margin we keep.  The problem with our industry is the hyper focus on this percentage commission split and the lack of focus on increasing the total gross profit dollars.  And yet it’s focus on the total gross profit dollar volume that will increase your personal income.

And just how do you go about increasing the total gross profit dollar volume on your own sales?

Here are the top 10 ways I focus on Increasing my Total Gross Profit Dollar Volume …

1. I push the products from my preferred suppliers that give me EQP or better.

2. I upsell on every order that I can.

3. I build relationships with outside sales reps of preferred suppliers I work with.

4. I push quarterly specials and clearance deals that add value to my client relationships and give me better gross profit margins.

5. I let others handle the admin/back office work so I can focus 100% of my time on building client relationships and sales.

6. I negotiate with suppliers for larger orders ($5K+ NET cost deals)

7. I have Gross Profit Dollars as my daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goal and I post it at my office, over my desk, so I remember what I am focusing on.

8. I position myself as an expert in the industries I sell to … playing less of the price game and allowing me to execute on #1.

9. I cross sell by asking my client if other buyers in their company want to get in on the order and save money.

10. I try to sell “necessity” products to my clients – e.g. uniforms, name tags and products that are a part of their supply chain (vs those used for marketing/recruiting/etc).

Thanks for taking the time to read this coaching point.  Ping me if you would like a complimentary coaching session to discuss how we can increase your total gross profit sales volume. You can also contact me at josh@swagcoach.com to learn more about the benefits of The Swag Coach® Program. 

Top 10 Proven Methods I Use Today to Sell $1M+

1. I ONLY Spend My Time on Sales-Related Activities – I don’t call factories (other than for price negotiations).  I don’t collect past due accounts and I don’t deal with proofs/tracking/etc.  I meet with clients and prospects.  I network, volunteer, and socialize in circles that can connect me to business and sales opportunities for Swag Coach and On Sale Promos.
 
2. I am Organized – I use Drop Box to keep my client files organized.  I know what they have ordered in the past, what I have proposed or priced before and where things are. Being organized helps me to quickly and easily make sales. It also allows me to efficiently track my progress.

3. I Use a Weekly Sales Scheduler & Track Goals – I created a weekly calendar which breaks down what I am doing every day into hourly chunks.  It ties directly into my goals.  It helps me focus and get back on track when I lose focus.  It also tells me what I should be doing from a sales activity standpoint and who my targets are.  I set goals and review them constantly.  Some of these goals include sales, gross profits, # of meetings with decision makers and proposal pipelines.  Keeping track of my progress helps me stay focused and motivated.
 
4. I Sell Strategically – I choose a target market (or 2), learn the buzz words for that industry and then sell myself as an expert in that area.  I am not offering everything to each client.  I am a professional and present myself as a marketing partner who can help my clients do their job better, faster and more effectively, because I KNOW their market.
 
5. I Leverage Social Media – I connect with my top clients and contacts on LinkedIn.  I then ask them for referrals to their networks.  I share what’s going on with my business and life so it is about more than just asking for business.  I share my goals online so my network can help me achieve them.  Check out my LinkedIn page and you will see what I am talking about.
 
6. I Hook People Up – in a business way!  When I see or read about a topic that might interest a client or prospect, I forward it to them.  If I meet someone who could be a good contact for my clients, I make the introductions.  I give referrals and help others with their own businesses and careers.  I mentor and coach.  I pay it forward.  It’s all about the give and take.  I convey good karma and energy … while staying top of mind with my network.
 
7. I am Incredibly Responsive – When I meet with a client or prospect, I thank them and include a summary of the meeting, within 2 hrs of the meeting or at least the same day.  At tradeshows I recap my leads the minute the show is over and send follow ups. Often times while the show is still going on for my client.  Do you know how many times someone who is buying from me will thank me for being so quick to respond?  I deliver on the same type of service I would expect and my standards are very high. 
 
8. I Use eCommerce and Technology to Grow My Sales Pipeline – At the click of a button, any one of my clients or prospects can order a free sample from my website.  Within 3 minutes, I can place an order for my client online and close the sale.  I automate the thank you and follow up process (where appropriate) by using technologies such as Hubspot.  Buyers are getting younger and younger and have grown up on the internet.  What are YOU doing, from a technology standpoint, to make it easy on your clients and prospects to buy from you online?
 
9. I Build Long-Term, Meaningful Relationships – I have clients who have worked with me for 15+ years.  Not a few of them, hundreds of them.  I am focused on building relationships because with the relationship comes the sale.  I don’t even ask for the sale.  For example, I take my clients to lunch and it’s a tradition that they choose the restaurant. I tell them to pick someplace nice that would be a treat for them. Some place they typically wouldn’t go.  It’s something they can look forward to.  It’s also a chance to connect and learn about one another.  What are you doing to build long-term, meaningful relationships?
 
10. I Focus on Scalable Sale Opportunities – Think about growing clients that you can eventually offer a company store to or orders you know will come back over and over because you are in the supply chain.  The more the client grows, the more your sales grow.  But only if you manage the relationship correctly.

Did you notice one thing I DON’T DO?  I will give you a hint … it has to do with the price of the product.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! If you would like to schedule a call to discuss this approach with me in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

Top 10 Best Practices for Successfully Coaching Mompreneurs

1. Be an Accountability Buddy for your Mompreneurs – I use Drop Box to keep my client files organized.  I know what they have ordered in the past, what I have proposed or priced before and where things are.  This allows me to quickly and easily make sales.  My team must be responsible for keeping their client information organized as well. Especially when it comes to balancing everything in their lives between work and family.

2. Don’t let Them Get Bogged Down with the Administrative Tasks of the Sale – I don’t call factories, other than to negotiate better pricing.  I don’t collect past due accounts and I don’t deal with proofs/tracking/etc.  I assign these tasks to others so I can focus on what I do best.  I recommend my mompreneurs do the same.  One of the most important parts of the business is to meet with clients and prospects, network, volunteer, and socialize in circles that can connect you to business and sales opportunities. Focus on the revenue-generating activties and hand off the rest.

3. Help Them Set Goals – Setting goals gives us all direction and a barometer around which we can measure our own success.  It's not just about making the sale, but making it profitably, and and feeling a sense of purpose, pride and accomplishment in our work.  I created a weekly calendar which breaks down what I am doing every single day, into hourly chunks.  It also ties directly into my goals.  I set goals and review them constantly. This helps me focus and get back on track when needed.  At any given time, I know what I should be doing from a sales activity standpoint and who my targets are.  

4. Organize & Plan Out Their Schedules with Them – Controlling your own schedule has it's own blessings and curses ... yes you can do whatever you want whenever you want, but in order to be effective I believe you have to get into a rhythm.  By using simple calendar tools, I help my team break down their days into time blocks taht work for their own individual schedules. With time blocks mapped out on their schedule, they are able to more easily stay on task and focus.  And get know when they are getting off track so they have something to pull them back on task. 

5. Encourage Them to Use LinkedIn to Ask for Referrals – I connect with my top clients and contacts on LinkedIn and then I ask them for referrals to their networks.  I share what’s going on with my business and life to make it about more than just asking for business.  I also share my goals online so my network can help me achieve them.  Check out my LinkedIn page and you will see what I am talking about.  I encourage my team to reach out to their contacts on LinkedIn to build their clientele and their visibility within the industry. As we all know, word of mouth marketing can be a powerful force. 

6. Motivate your team with Regular Sales Contests – in a business way!  I generally have a sales contest with my team about once every 6 weeks to keep them challenged and motivated. Some previous Sales Contest ideas have included… New Business, Sales Volume, Specific Supplier and Profitability Level.  Although the contests may be different, they all have one thing in common. They are all results and gross profit driven, since that is the bottom line in any business. 

7. Take Them to your Client Meetings & Go To Theirs – When I meet with a client or a prospect, I will circle back to thank them (and summarize meeting notes) within 2 hours of the meeting or at least the same day.  At tradeshows I summarize my leads the minute the show is over and send follow ups, often times while the show is still going on for my clients.  By bringing my sales reps to my client meetings and tradeshows, I reiterate the importance of following up with the client by my actions not just by my words.  At their meetings, I get a chance to see them putting their knowledge into action. 

8. Use eCommerce and Technology to Grow Their Sales Pipeline (and Yours) – At the click of a button, any one of my clients and prospects can order a free sample from my website.  Within 3 minutes I can place an order for my client online and close the sale.  I automate the thank you and follow up process (where appropriate) by using technologies like HubSpot.  Technology is very important these days, as buyers are getting younger and have grown up on the internet.  The mompreneurs I coach utilize these same technologies to assist their clients with online purchases. 

9. Help Them Build Long-Term, Meaningful Relationships – I have clients who have worked with me for 15+ years.  Not just a few clients, but hundreds of them.  I am focused on building the relationship with them because with that comes the sale.  I don’t even ask for the sale.  I share my personal relationship-building examples with my sales reps to illustrate how crucial this best practice really is.  For example, taking my clients to lunch is a tradition. They get to choose the restaurant, so it’s something for them to look forward to.  It’s also a chance to connect and learn about one another.

10. Focus on Scalable Opportunities – I teach my Mompreneurs to think about growing the client relationships that can then into company stores and contract.  Or repeat orders because they are servicing their clients "supply" needs.  Getting in with a client relationship that has large growth potential is a great opportunity to be a true marketing partner to that client relationship.  And grow your business as their business grows.

If I can be a resource for any of this, or if you’d like to schedule a call to learn more about me and the benefits of The Swag Coach™ Program in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

Top 10 Best Practices for Successfully Coaching Sales Reps

1. Be an Accountability Buddy for your Sales Reps – I use Drop Box to keep my client files organized.  I know what they have ordered in the past, what I have proposed or priced before and where things are.  This allows me to quickly and easily make sales.  My sales reps must be responsible for keeping their client information organized as well. What they do affects me so I must hold them accountable.

2. Don’t let Them Interact with the Factories – I don’t call factories, other than to negotiate better pricing.  I don’t collect past due accounts and I don’t deal with proofs/tracking/etc.  I assign these tasks to others so I can focus on what I do best.  I recommend my sales reps do the same.  One of the most important parts of the business is to meet with clients and prospects, network, volunteer, and socialize in circles that can connect you to business and sales opportunities. My sales reps know this and do likewise.

3. Use Technology to AUTOMATE Best Sales Practices – I created a weekly calendar which breaks down what I am doing every single day, into hourly chunks.  It also ties directly into my goals.  I set goals and review them constantly. This helps me focus and get back on track when needed.  At any given time, I know what I should be doing from a sales activity standpoint and who my targets are.  I expect my sales reps to do something similar with a system that works for them.  By taking these steps, everyone keeps track of their progress and stays focused and motivated.

4. Organize & Plan Out Their Schedules with Them – Using the technology outlined in the point above, I help my sales reps break down their days into time blocks. With time blocks mapped out on their schedule, they are able to more easily stay on task and avoid getting bogged down by mundane tasks, such as constantly checking their email. I encourage them to automate whatever they can in their schedule.

5. Encourage Them to Use LinkedIn to Ask for Referrals – I connect with my top clients and contacts on LinkedIn and then I ask them for referrals to their networks.  I share what’s going on with my business and life to make it about more than just asking for business.  I also share my goals online so my network can help me achieve them.  Check out my LinkedIn page and you will see what I am talking about.  I encourage my sales reps to reach out to their contacts on LinkedIn to build their clientele and their visibility within the industry. As we all know, word of mouth marketing can be a powerful force. 

6. Motivate your Sales Reps with Regular Sales Contests – in a business way!  I generally have a sales contest with my reps about once per quarter to keep them challenged and motivated. Some previous Sales Contest ideas have included… New Business, Sales Volume, Specific Supplier and Profitability Level. Although the contests may be different, they all have one thing in common. They are all gross profit driven, since that is the bottom line in any business. 

7. Take Them to your Client Meetings & Go To Theirs – When I meet with a client or a prospect, I will circle back to thank them (and summarize meeting notes) within 2 hours of the meeting or at least the same day.  At tradeshows I summarize my leads the minute the show is over and send follow ups, often times while the show is still going on for my clients.  By bringing my sales reps to my client meetings and tradeshows, I reiterate the importance of following up with the client by my actions not just by my words.  At their meetings, I get a chance to see them putting their knowledge into action. 

8. Use eCommerce and Technology to Grow Their Sales Pipeline (and Yours) – At the click of a button, any one of my clients and prospects can order a free sample from my website.  Within 3 minutes I can place an order for my client online and close the sale.  I automate the thank you and follow up process (where appropriate) by using technologies like HubSpot.  Technology is very important these days, as buyers are getting younger and have grown up on the internet.  My sales reps utilize these same technologies to assist their clients with online purchases. 

9. Help Them Build Long-Term, Meaningful Relationships – I have clients who have worked with me for 15+ years.  Not just a few clients, but hundreds of them.  I am focused on building the relationship with them because with that comes the sale.  I don’t even ask for the sale.  I share my personal relationship-building examples with my sales reps to illustrate how crucial this best practice really is.  For example, taking my clients to lunch is a tradition. They get to choose the restaurant, so it’s something for them to look forward to.  It’s also a chance to connect and learn about one another.

10. Focus on Scalable Sales Opportunities – I teach my sales reps to think about growing clients they can eventually offer a company store to. Or repeat orders that they know will come back over and over because they are in the supply chain.  The more the client grows, so too do their sales, but only if they have managed the relationship properly as outline above.

If I can be a resource for any of this, or if you’d like to schedule a call to learn more about me and the benefits of The Swag Coach™ Program in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

The Swag Coach Business Model

The Swag Coach™ business model is a model built around my own personal likes and dislikes as it relates to the swag biz. I shed all of the parts I despise and focused on the pieces I love most.  It has helped turn me from a hater into a lover of the industry!  It’s not for everyone, but if you like the same parts of the business that I do, then you are going to love how we roll.

Our model was established on the following key ideas:

  1. Coaching – I get paid to train, coach and mentor newbies to the business (we call them MVP’s).  I make money from the coaching fees they pay AND from the sales they make.
  2. Technology – We developed an eCommerce platform so our clients can buy online OR our licensees (PRO’s and MVP’s) can place online orders for their clients. Orders can be placed quickly, in less than 3 minutes.
  3. Outsourcing – We plug into a back office partner (currently Proforma) that provides us with amazing customer service and our accounting support. This leaves us free to build relationships and sell more volume.  We also have more time for our families and away from the office.
  4. Recruiting – We are looking for people who want to earn residual income streams beyond their own sales.  By bringing in newbies (MVP’s) or experienced sales reps (PRO’s) who “get” our business model, we allow them the opportunity to grow their swag biz beyond themselves and their own sales. Those who like doing things differently in this industry, such as leveraging technology, collaborating and sharing best practices and building residual income streams, are great candidates for this business.

The reason I now love the business is because I have created my own way of doing things. A way that speaks to me and works for me.  It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I can tell you it has never been more fun nor more fulfilling for me than it is now.  The PRO’s and MVP’s I coach agree as well.

Regardless of the way you go about sales and building your business, consider focusing on the parts of the business you love most and spend your time “playing the game” there.  Delegate the parts you dislike.  You DON’T have to do them regardless of what people tell you.  There are plenty of resources in our industry (and outside of it), who are best-in-class, that will handle those parts of the business you don’t enjoy.  Trust me.  I know firsthand!  I built an entire model around it!

Ready to take that next step? If our model speaks to you, consider a new way of doing business in this industry.  I would be happy to schedule a call to learn more about you and share some of the benefits of The Swag Coach™ Program in greater detail.  My direct email is josh@swagcoach.com

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Quick Outsourcing Comparisons … Before Outsourcing vs After Outsourcing my Back Office Work

Before I outsourced my back office, my distributorship consisted of my own sales and a handful of sales from part timers.  Collectively we sold $650K in sales and our margins were around 34%.

Since outsourcing my own sales have more than doubled and my average gross margins have increased by 43%.  Plus I have built a network of reps (I call them Swag Coach® Licensees) that contribute to over 60% of my annual income.

Here’s a quick comparison so you can see what I am talking about:

MY INCOME …                                        Before Outsourcing (2000-2005)      After Outsourcing

SALES FROM ME                                                        $625,000                                 $1,500,000

SALES FROM MY SALES REPS                                  $25,000                                    $3,500,000

AVG GROSS MARGINS                                                   34%                                             43%

TOTAL GROSS PROFIT DOLLARS                              $221,000                                   $2,150,000

MY COMMISSION SPLIT                                                100%                                             55%

SALES REP COMMISSION SPLIT (40%)                     $3,400                                       $602,000

COMMISSIONS EARNED ON MY SALES                     $221,000                                    $354,750

COMMISSIONS EARNED ON MY SALES REPS           $5,100                                         $225,750

ACCOUNTING/BOOKKEEPER COSTS                        $30,000                                             $0

SALES SUPPORT PERSON COSTS                             $30,000                                             $0

OFFICE EXPENSES                                                     $24,000                                             $0

Personal Income (before taxes)                                $131,900                                      $580,500

 

Not only has outsourcing been an impetus in helping me to more than triple my personal income, but it has absolutely impacted my “freedom of schedule” and time spent on the parts of business and life that make me the happiest.  Check this out:

TIME SPENT ON …                                 Before Outsourcing (2000-2005)      After Outsourcing

SELLING & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS*                 30%                                                 70%

ADMINISTRATIVE/OFFICE WORK                             30%                                                 0%

MANAGING OFFICE EMPLOYEES                              10%                                                  0%

COLLECTIONS/CASH FLOW TASKS                          10%                                                  0%

PERSONAL/FAMILY THINGS                                    20%                                                 30%

Look at the areas I have now been able to focus on.  On average I spend 70% of my life working my business and 30% of my time on personal matters most important to me.  I control both areas and can dip in and out as I choose.  This may fluctuate based on my week but the reality is 100% of my time is focused on the things most important to me.

If you dig deeper into my sales and where they are coming from, it’s obviously not just my own sales.  I now have the time to focus my energies on the BUILDING & GROWING pieces of the business, including:

OF MY TIME SPENT ON SELLING/BUILDING …    Before Outsourcing               After Outsourcing

NETWORKING/VOLUNTEERING                                    5%                                           15%

MEETING WITH CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS                90%                                          40%

GENERATING LEADS ONLINE/OFFLINE                        0%                                          10%

RECRUITING                                                                     0%                                          10%              

TRAINING & COACHING                                                  0%                                          25%

You know what the common denominator is for every single one of these activities?  They are all revenue generating activities with a laser focus on growing my annual gross profit dollar volume.

Now you may say … “Yeah Josh, but if you were selling $1.5M in sales running the business yourself and keeping 100% of the commissions then you would be making more money”.  You would be right. However, the challenges I faced, that many of you probably face as well, are time and the “mental freedom” and discipline to focus on growing the business. 

Why?  Because when I was doing it all, even with a staff, there were simply too many distractions getting in my way. These distractions were affecting my ability to sell and grow the total gross profit dollar volume.  I also couldn’t figure out how to make the cash flow work.

Since outsourcing, I have been able to take the time to properly train and effectively coach my recruits, all newbies to the industry.  I have been able to make time for shadowing and sharing leads and clients, to help them grow their own sales and be successful.  Their success is my success.

But most importantly, through outsourcing, I have been able to grow my business with my vision intact while creating more time for myself and my family. 

If you are the kind of distributor owner or sales rep like me with a wide array of clients, you love selling but hate the back office and are looking to grow your business and total gross profit dollar volume by leveraging outsourcing, then I am more than happy to share my experience and chat! Email me at josh@swagcoach.com for more information.

My Idea of a Lifestyle Business

Today is my wife’s Birthday.  We’re going to lunch, then the movies and later celebrating dinner with the kids and extended family.  Why am I telling you this?

#1 – to give a B’day shout out to her! “Happy B’day Kate!”

#2 – because I have the time and freedom in my schedule to carve out and be present for the most important events in my life. 

THAT is the freedom of being an entrepreneur.  And owning your own business.  To be able to schedule around whatever it is that is important to you in life. 

For me, taking the day off to celebrate Birthdays is a big deal.  Taking the day off to celebrate whatever I want, when I want, is also a big deal to me.  One of my core values is “Appreciate Life” and this is one way I go about doing it.

The beauty of being in the promotional swag business IS this freedom to work from wherever and to set your own schedule.  It’s not to say I don’t work hard and service my clients better than anyone else in the business.  I believe I do and have repeat clients from 15+ yrs who I would argue would agree.

Rather, it’s to say I am in control … of my career, my life, my schedule.

Yesterday I sat down with Jake, one of the Swag Coach licensees I work with.  We were having lunch discussing the business.  I was asking Jake how things were going and he mentioned having to be out of town for 2 weeks to attend to a family medical situation.  For his girlfriend’s family!  You see, his girlfriend couldn’t take the entire extended time to be away for 2 weeks but Jake could because he works virtually.  And he controls his own schedule. 

You might think Jake would be done traveling for the rest of the year, but you would be wrong.  He has plans to travel to Chicago, Tuscon and New York just before Thanksgiving!  All the while working as he has scheduled, making sure to service his clients without missing a beat.

I have a lot of entrepreneur friends.  Many have much bigger businesses than I.  They describe me as a “lifestyle business owner” and in the past this used to really bother me.  I took it as if “lifestyle” business meant “small business”. 

It’s not about size (okay, I won’t go there).  It’s about freedom.  And if you want to compare who has more of this, then I will put my business model against anyone’s.  I would be hard pressed to find a friend of mine who said I wasn’t living life.  This is why I love the swag business and teaching the best practices I have learned over the years (the hard way) in figuring out how to work smart and efficiently, focusing on the parts of the business I truly enjoy that make me money.  And affords me freedom.  So that I can have the choice and time to live my life and be present for the events and things most important to me.

Like celebrating my wife’s Birthday!

Josh

Is It All About the Commission Split?

I love making money.  I really do.  And I love this industry because not only can I make money on my own sales, but I can make money on other people’s sales. I literally make money in my sleep!

Even though I am very proud of this income model I have built, today I want to talk about commission splits.  You see not only am I making money, I know HOW I am making it.  Do you?

Most of us in this industry earn our income based on the gross profit margins of each sale we make and the percentage of that gross profit dollar margin we keep.  Right?  I’m guessing that’s how you get paid.

Let’s review a sample sale together so we are clear on the terms I am talking about.

Scenario:  You make a $1000 sale of water bottles.  Your sales margin is 40%.  You currently get a 50% commission split of the gross profit dollars earned:

$1000                    Sale Amount

40%                        Gross Margin (what you sell these water bottles for)

$400                       Gross Profit Dollars ($1000 sale - $600 of Cost of the Water Bottles)

$200                       Your Commission Split (50% of the $400 Gross Profit Dollars)

I’m hoping we are now speaking the same language.

So, back to my question … Is It All about the Commission Split?  I am not here to tell you the split doesn’t matter because of course it matters.  Rather I am suggesting that you focus on something that very well may matter way more … the total gross profit dollar volume.

Let me say it again … FOCUS ON THE TOTAL GROSS PROFIT DOLLAR VOLUME.  Stick with me …

The problem with our industry is the hyper focus on this percentage commission split and the lack of focus on increasing the total gross profit dollars.  And yet it’s focus on the total gross profit dollar volume that will increase your personal income. 

If you are not focused on this, then you need to be.  Because this is HOW you make money.  It’s this number I would argue that you should be hyper focused on.  Why?  Because it’s how you get paid!

And just how do you go about increasing the total gross profit dollar volume on your own sales? Check out my blog for the Top 10 Ways I Focus on Increasing my Total Gross Profit Dollar Volume. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at josh@swagcoach.com to learn more about the benefits of The Swag Coach® Program. 

How YOU can Build Residual Income

Below is a 10-step guide to building residual income the way I did it. I realize you may run your own sales and distributorship differently than I do. Given that, take what you want from this list, and apply whatever tools you currently use. 

Step by Step Process for Building Residual Income:

Step #1: Free Up Your Schedule - Do what you need to do to get the non-revenue tasks and administration off your plate. Outsource it (which I do), or hire an assistant (not a fan but it’s an option). This will allow you to focus your time exclusively on selling, recruiting, and coaching. Be diligent and focused on the time spent on these money-making tasks and you will generate revenues for yourself and your business.

Step #2: Document Your Daily Selling Routine - If you know how to sell and build long-term client relationships, you need to document your process in order to effectively teach it to your recruits. The more detailed your training documents and onboarding processes are, the quicker you can onboard a sales rep (or in my case a Swag Coach™ MVP), and start helping them sell. 

Step #3: Set Up a Training Program - Take your documented processes from Step #2 and roll out your own training program. Don’t worry. You don’t have to have everything figured out on at the beginning. Document what you learned getting started in the business. You can add additional information as you train recruits. Organize it in a way that flows easily and can then be used again and again as you take on more recruits.

Step #4: Set Up a Sales, Order, Lead, and Commission Tracking System - You HAVE to set up a central location through which you can track business activity - records of past and current orders, activity for sales and pipeline activity that your reps are working on. Set up a way to be able to track client relationships you hand off, as well as clients your recruits bring to the table.  This is a way to “keep your finger on the pulse” of your business.

Step #5:  Take Your Business Online - Buyers are getting younger and most have grown up with the internet. Buyers EXPECT to be able to search AND buy swag online. You have to have an online presence so buyers can find you. Ideally, a platform where they can place their orders as well. We developed and now use a patent-pending process technology platform that allows us to place orders for our clients online in less than 3 minutes. It is also eCommerce capable so our clients can order online themselves.

Step #6: Start Recruiting - Make a profile of the type of person you think would be a good fit.  Think about how you can market to this person. When I started out, I went for people with business experience and a network they could leverage. I can teach them the business if they bring the network and work ethic.

Step #7: Help Them Launch Their Business - Once your recruit is trained, let the business community know they are open for business. Leverage social media to announce their new business or role, depending on how you set them up. Introduce your recruit to your clients you plan on handing off to them, and get them building lead flow.

Step #8: Coach Them Every Week - I am a big fan of sharing best practices. Good salespeople are always learning and improving their skills. Helping your recruits with ideas for opening doors and closing deals will help them grow their sales. You will earn money from their sales as well. I set up a weekly coaching call for my recruits for the same day and time, scheduled out for at least 3 months. I provide an agenda to make the call productive, and help them stay organized.

Step #9: Feed Them Leads - Newbies to the industry are not going to sell huge volumes overnight. Regardless of their networks, it takes time. Keep them motivated by handing off accounts they can work, make money from, learn from, and help grow. It may feel like you are giving money away, but the return on your “investment” will be well worth it. Especially if you find an A player to work and grow your client accounts, along with their own.

Step #10: Check Your Bank Account - There is nothing more fun than watching your bank account grow! I have a system where I can see every time an order comes through from one of my Swag Coach™ licensees. Sometimes I need to actually turn it off because it distracts me from the other things I need to do. Once you have the system set up and working, you will know the feeling I am talking about!

Good luck! If you would like to schedule a call to discuss this approach with me in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

How to Successfully Coach Sales Reps

I love coaching sales reps.  It’s ironic considering I didn’t think I could even sell when I first started in this business at 22 years old.  I also didn’t think I could, or would, ever coach others in the industry. You see, I have no formal sales training and no formal industry training.  I had to learn by trial and error, making a ton of mistakes along the way and learning from my own experiences. So along the way I created a top notch process for sales coaching which I have highlighted below:

Continuous Learning is Important - I used to think that to be a coach you had to know everything and have all the answers for the sales rep you are coaching.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  I do know what I am doing, due to a ton of first-hand experience, however, I am always learning as well.  I learn from my current clients and my current licensees that I coach.  I add to my “coaching arsenal” every single day, making me a better coach to those I work with.  Be they licensees I coach on sales growth or those I coach on how to be a coach.

Keeping up with Product Lines and Best Sales Practices is Essential - I am a front line guy.  I have my own clients.  That means I have to keep up with the products.  I have to know how to sell effectively, utilizing best sales practices and “tricks” to open doors to new client opportunities.  Being able to close deals and sell volume profitably are a must.

Practicing what you preach is Crucial - I practice what I preach, every single day. It keeps my coaching process fluid, evolving and improving as I learn more from my own client base.  And from my team members’ clients that I help them coach. People learn more from your actions than from what you say, especially if there are big discrepancies between the two.

Do you think my approach to coaching could help you grow your sales?  

Do you think you could learn the process and become a coach yourself?  

If the answer is yes, I have just shown you two ways to generate income for yourself in this business – on your own sales (you already know this) and on other people’s sales (you may know this but do you know HOW to do this).  This IS the Swag Coach™ model we have built over the past 3 years. We work it every day to support our lifestyles and families.

Not your typical industry - I have to say, this is an interesting industry to work in.  Most people who work with a coach don’t want the coach to be out there selling for fear the coach will steal their accounts.  So they end up being coached by a person who doesn’t have real time industry sales experience.  In fact, most reps in our industry avoid collaboration due to their fear of someone stealing their accounts. 

Collaboration can be a good thing - By working with a coach that has their own clients, you are learning from a pro.  What you will learn will help you grow your client base and sales.  If you are good at what you do and have been in this business for 5+ years (or maybe less), you probably have more client accounts than you can handle yourself.  I do.  I can’t service them the way I know how to and I can’t grow them.  By thinking about this business in a collaborative way, I have not only doubled my overall business, but have created a residual income stream that will continue to grow over time.  That’s my retirement plan.  What’s yours?

Do you know how many clients I have stolen from the reps I coach?  ZERO

Do you know how many clients I have handed off to these same reps I coach?  100’s

Speaking of collaboration and sharing, check out my blog post in two weeks for my personal and most current, best coaching practices. I hope you find them as effective as I have in growing sales.

If you would like to schedule a call to learn more about me and the benefits of The Swag Coach™ Program email me at josh@swagcoach.com.

Don't Be a Hater!

Are you a “hater” when it comes to the Swag Biz? Maybe “hater” is too strong, although that best described my feelings towards the industry a few years back. Can you relate to any of the following things that frustrated me about the swag industry?

Administrative Tasks - I hated being responsible for all of the administrative tasks. They frustrated me, were boring and unproductive and cost me precious time and money.

Future Sales - I hated the constant worry about where my next sale would come from. It got to the point where I wouldn’t vacation or take any time off due to my fears of losing money or my clients going elsewhere. Not a healthy state to be in.

Competition Issues - I hated being anonymous, in an overcrowded industry. Everyone was considered the “same” by the buyer and treated as such.  Being nickeled and dimed over best pricing was a constant hassle. I wasn’t valued for my customer service or creativity.

Outdated Methods - I hated being in an antiquated industry many refer to as “trinkets and trash.” Things are done a “certain way,” even if they are old school. The use of technology really doesn’t come into play and the buyer perception of swag sales reps is often one step above a used car salesperson.

Blending In - Lastly, I hated being just like everyone else, at least in my mind. Being told I had to play the game a specific way just didn’t work for me.

There had to be a better way. You see, I consider myself an entrepreneur and business junkie first.  A creator and innovator, always looking to approach things in a different way and make them my own.  I was different from everyone else and definitely NOT okay with being told what to do (I probably get that from being the youngest of 3 sons).  I like being different and taking the road less traveled.  It’s a part of my reason for being, my WHY, as Simon Sinek would say. The Problem - I was in an industry where I knew a ton, was making a great living and had the most experience.  Despite all this, I felt stuck with no way out. I was constantly grouching about things I thought I had no control over.

The Solution - After 15+ years of complaining and hating, I thought … this is really wearing me down, not to mention my wife, my friends and my kids. What can I do?  I decided to make a serious attitude adjustment and change my circumstances. I launched The Swag Coach™ Program in 2012 and my swag career was reborn.

Ready to learn more?  Email me at josh@swagcoach.com. I would be happy to schedule a call to learn more about you and share some of the benefits of The Swag Coach™ Program.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

A Swag Coach's Shout out For Showdown Displays!

I am a front line guy.  I develop the relationships and nurture them with the buyers and prospective buyers as best that I know how (shameless point - I also teach people how to do it as their Swag Coach).  I work very hard to service my clients’ needs for promosand as a result, I am fortunate enough to get repeat business.  There are things in my control (e.g. sourcing the right product) and there are things out of my control (e.g. actually making the product).  I know if you are on the sales side of this business, whether as a distributor rep, or a supplier rep, you get this right.

I believe, at the end of the day, my client is coming to be to make sure that whatever product (or promotional swag) they order, they expect it will get produced correctly and delivered on time.  I get this because it’s the exact same expectation I have from our supplier partners.

Today I wanted to share a recent example of why it’s so important to choose the right suppliers in our business, and to take a moment to give a shout out to Showdown Displays

Recently a big ad agency client of mine asked me to produce a tradeshow display for their client, the local lottery.  They gave me their requirements and I ended up showcasing a few options from Showdown.  After the usual back and forth, they settled on a product and we processed the order, all the long notating a firm event date.  No doubt this scenario is nothing out of the ordinary for most of us, right?  Here’s where things got a little dicey …

The buyer from this agency was the owner of the agency and my first time working with her.  This is a big client of hers and naturally, she was, from the outset, wanting to make sure we could deliver for the event.  The perfect display.  Matching the artwork provided, delivered on time.

So we did a virtual proof, then a test strip and hand held this order every step of the way with Showdown and their customer service team.  The display shipped on time, client confirmed receipt and it arrived 2 days before the event.  All good, right?  WRONG!  When the client opened the package the product was far from perfect.

During production, 2 problems happened:   1. Somehow a spec of dirt got printed into one of the panels of the display.  2.  The wrong color was matched for the base of the display and didn’t 100% match the top portion.  Neither of these were deal breakers but both detracted from delivering what my client and I both expected … perfection.

The client called me and asked what, if anything could be done.  I made no promises but did ask for photos of the problem and we then immediately took it to Showdown.  BY this time it was the end of the business day, leaving one day to fix, re-produce and overnight ship in time for the event.

And this is EXACTLY what Showdown did … they reprinted the two components, overnight shipped on their dime and did what my client and I both expected and do for our own clients … they solved the problem and ended up delivering the correct product, on time, as ordered.  Needless to say, my client was thrilled, as was I.

I get no one or company is perfect.  Mistakes happen.  It’s all about being proactive and finding solutions to the mistake to quickly and effectively remediate the problem, for the sake of the long term relationship.  So many times in our business, there’s a “chew’m up and spit’m out mentality”.  A vendor messes up, then it’s on to the next one who carries like products.  Pricing is better, you move your business.  You get one chance and that’s it.  The loyalty is hard to come by.  You know the feeling right as no doubt you have a client (buyer) who has treated you this way, right?

To me it’s about building long term, meaningful relationships and appreciating those relationships when things go well or even when things don’t go as planned. Not just from the clients who buy from us, but from the vendor partners who make the products.

And that’s why I am giving Showdown Displays a shout out today!

Josh

5 Simple Ways I Use Technology to Help Me Sell More Swag

Let me start this off by saying that I am a sales guy, not a tech guy.  Nor social media guy.  That said, I assumed both could help me build my promo business but had no clue how to go about implementing them.  Or for that matter, even figuring out which technologies and social media outlets were the best to use.

And I had one other huge problem… I was deathly afraid to have to learn something new.  And possibly add to my already overloaded plate of things to do.

So, I figured I would find someone who could DO the work for me.  I remember meeting with an entrepreneur friend of mine with a successful tech startup and asked him … “Mike, do you know anyone I can hire to help me implement some ways to get my clients to buy online and generate internet leads for my business”?

You see, while I was afraid of technology and social media, I was even more afraid of being “left behind”.  In Washington, DC (where I am based), I watched all of these businesses around me growing much faster, online, and I was stuck doing business offline, in an “old school” way.  I knew if I wanted to position my swag biz for the 21st century, I needed to incorporate technology into my strategy.

So back to my friend Mike … here’s what he said … “Josh, I know a ton of people who can help but I wouldn’t hire anyone until you learn the technology yourself.  How can you hire and manage someone else when you don’t know how to use it yourself”?

Wow, did THAT get me thinking.  You see, my approach is all about finding best-in-class people to help me grow my business.  And then outsourcing to them.  Ultimately I don’t want to DO anything I don’t want to do.  But to get to that stage, I actually, like a true entrepreneur and small business owner, need to KNOW how to do everything.

So I dug my heels in deep.  Real deep.  And starting learning the very basics of social media sites like LinkedIn, as well as incorporating technologies into my own business like HubSpot (inbound marketing).  Albeit timely, and sometimes painful, I began to build an online presence that I could use to then drive my own buyers, and prospects, back to my own distributor website.

And the results … you tell me if you think it works:

10 new leads per week, closing 50% of these buyers we had no relationship with.

$100K in new sales last year from our efforts with potential to now take these relationships off line, and build them, and turn them into over $500K of business.

I am sure you already use technology and social media to make your job easier and promote your business to your clients and on the web right?  But the question is … how do you utilize it to make your client’s job that much easier?  And get them to buy over and over from you?  Here are my 5 best practices for doing just that…

Top 5 Ways I Leverage Technology to Make Ordering Easier for our Buyers

  1. My Clients & Prospects Can Order Through Our Website with an “Amazon.com–like” experience … I don’t call factories (other than to negotiate better pricing), I don’t collect past due accounts and I don’t deal with proofs/tracking/etc.  I meet with clients and prospects, network, volunteer, and socialize in circles that can connect me to business and sale opportunities.
  2. My Clients & Prospects Can Re-Order at The Click of a Button – I use Drop Box to keep my client files organized so I know what they have ordered in the past, what I have proposed or priced before and where things are so I can quickly and easily make sales.
  3. My Clients & Prospects Can Order Free Samples Through Our Website – I created a weekly calendar which breaks down what I am doing every single day, in hourly chunks.  And ties directly into my goals.  This helps me focus and get back on track when I lose focus.  It tells me what I should be doing from a sales activity standpoint and who my targets are.  I set goals and review them constantly.  Sales, gross profits, # of meetings with decision makers, proposal pipelines and more.  Again, this helps me track my own progress and stay focused, and motivated.
  4. My Clients Receive Personalized, Automatic Follow Up Thank You Emails Once Their Order is Delivered – I choose a target market (or 2), learn the buzz words for that industry and then I sell myself as an expert in that space.  I am not offering everything to everybody.  I am a pro and present myself as a marketing partner who can help my clients do their job better, faster, more effectively, because I KNOW their market.
  5. My Clients Receive Personalized, Automated Referral Request Emails which Generate Leads for My Business – I get LinkedIn with my top clients and contacts, and then ask them for referrals to their networks.  I share what’s going on with my own business and life to make it more than just about asking for business.  And I share my goals on line so my network can help me achieve them.  Don’t believe me – check out my LinkedIn page and you will see what I am talking about.

While we ended up developing our own technology platform, and plugging it into other technologies like HubSpot, the reality is we simply took industry “best practices” and automated them with technology. 

Always happy to share more on this topic, from a sales (not techy) perspective, if interested.

Thanks for taking the time to read this coaching point from The Swag Coach®

If I can be a resource for any of this, or if you’d like to schedule a call to learn more about me and the benefits of The Swag Coach® Program in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

3 Ways I Continue to Grow My Own Sales in the Swag Biz

I have been in the sales business for 20+ years and one of the ways I still earn money is through promotional and apparel sales (www.theswagcoach.com).  I also earn residual income from other people’s sales.

When I first started off in this business, I had a lot going against me. I had no corporate work experience (I was only 22), no contacts (other than friends and family) and no money to do any marketing. It was all about hustle, focus and consistency.  Being proactive and doing what it took to service my clients.  I had to get my foot in the door for a chance to bid and hopefully "win" the business.

By staying top of mind with clients and prospects, before I knew it, I was getting repeat orders and repeat buyers.  Sound familiar?

SO … whether your promo sales are $100K or $1M+, the same rules apply today … hustle, focus and consistency.

Hustle – Get off your coach and go SEE people!  Every day of the week.  In person.  Present them the “latest and greatest” products you found at the ASI or PPAI show.  Ask them to coffee or lunch.  If you want to be successful, build long term, meaningful relationships with your clients by getting face time with them.  Period.  I meet with clients and prospects, network, volunteer, and socialize in circles that can connect me to business and sale opportunities.

Focus – You are an entrepreneur whether you know it or not.  What you eat depends on what you hunt and kill.  It’s all up to you and your efforts.  How do you stay focused so you are effective?  For me sales is all about rhythm.  How do you build a rhythm into your daily and weekly routine?  I use a weekly sales scheduler and track goals. I created a weekly calendar which breaks down what I am doing every day into hourly chunks.  It ties directly into my goals. 

ConsistencyAre you consistent in your sales efforts?  If you want to know … ask your clients!  When was the last time a client told you they JUST ordered something because they didn’t know you offered that product(s)?  It ticked you off, right?  Well, look in the mirror and you will see the person to blame.  Here’s a hint, it’s not your client.  What are you doing to consistently stay top of mind with your clients, so that they come to you as a resource, not just for a specific product?  Here’s when I knew I was staying top of mind with my clients … “Hey Josh, I wasn’t sure if you could get me this product but I thought of you first before checking elsewhere.  Let me know if you can help me source this…”.  Want to know how I do it?  Check out my blog post in two weeks for the Ten Proven Methods I Use to Sell.

Good luck and come back soon! If you would like to schedule a call to discuss this approach with me in more detail, I am always available at josh@swagcoach.com

Work Ethic + Customer Service = $ales Growth

Work Ethic + Customer Service = $ales Growth!

 

I’d like to share a personal story about my son Maxwell who is 12 years old ...

I’m not gonna lie … my boy is motivated by money.  He is one of those people who really likes having money and will work to the bone to earn it, and then save it.   And he has a killer work ethic.

Here’s an example … we live just outside of Washington, DC and as you may have heard/seen in the news, we recently got hammered by “snowmageddon 2016” in the form of 30” of snow.  As we all know, this amount of snow for any kid means snow ball fights, sledding and tons of fun, right?  Of course, just not for my boy …

After being out all day with his friends (presumably having “fun” in the snow), Maxwell comes home and drops $200 cash on the table.  He tells me he and his buddies went door to door getting shoveling jobs, and worked from 10am -5pm shoveling driveways.  I was speechless.  I couldn’t help myself and went in for the big bear hug … what a kid!  What a work ethic!  What an entrepreneur!

What does this have anything to do with starting and owning your own business and selling promotional products you ask?  EVERYTHING!

You see, my son is reminding me that it’s all about the work ethic.  As an entrepreneur peddling the swag, I know that if I want to be competitive, and win sales, I have to work hard.  And “outwork my competition”.  You see, I KNOW if I can outwork my competition, I WILL make sales and grow my business.  Guaranteed!

Not just me, but anyone in my industry.  It’s actually a pretty simple formula for success. 

So below are the top ways I tap into my work ethic to compete, and win, in this business:

10 Ways I Leverage My Work Ethic in the Swag Business:

  1. I am super responsive.
  2. I am proactive – with ideas, samples, deals and solutions.
  3. I anticipate – in order to guarantee my orders deliver on time and the client is thrilled.
  4. I am extremely detail-oriented – I make sure the details for my orders are correct, which makes my client happy and keeps me profitable.
  5. I focus on closing sales – moving the prospective buyer into an approved order.
  6. I use my time wisely – handing off the back office and administrative work and spending time building long-term, meaningful relationships with my clients and prospects and network.
  7. I hook my clients up – with gifts, articles of interest about their industries, free lunches and more.
  8. I am consistent – in my effort, my approach and my work schedule.
  9. I follow through on my commitments to my clients – I do what I say I will do.
  10. I get into a work and sales rhythm that works for me – and helps me be consistent and thrive.

I am always happy to share more on this topic and other tips for crushing it in the swag business. Email me at josh@swagcoach.com, to schedule a call to learn more about me and the benefits of The Swag Coach® Program.

Josh Frey

Why I Outsource My Back Office

I think I am a pretty rare breed amongst sales reps in our industry. I can sell AND I can handle the details when it comes to back office work like proofs from factories, reconciling the supplier bills, accounting, payroll and general customer service. 

The problem is I HATE dealing with the parts of the business that don’t make me money. And as you may recall, I make my money by focusing on increasing my total gross profit dollar volume.  This involves sales, business development and being out with the clients and prospects.

When I ran my own distributorship, I was spending 75%+ of my time on the things that distracted me from the sales and didn’t make me money … employee issues, cash flow challenges and general back office administrative tasks that seemed to be never ending. So, almost 10 years ago I decided to outsource my back office. 

Sure I could handle all the work myself and keep 100% of the gross profits. But I hated doing it.  And I couldn’t figure out how to make the cash flow work, no matter how hard I tried.

My theory (which proved to be correct) was that if I could free myself up to focus on the parts of the business I loved (selling, training and coaching) and hand off the rest, I would generate more sales and gross profit dollars.  Ultimately making me more money AND helping me find enjoyment and fun in this business.

By outsourcing the back office, it has freed me up to be super focused on my clients and implement best practices for growing my sales and my business. It also has freed up my schedule to allow me time to “think” and try new strategies for growth. It’s afforded me the freedom of schedule and “bandwidth” to create. Thus giving my clients/prospects better ideas for their promotional needs, giving my licensees better ideas and angles for opening doors and closing deals, and last but certainly not least, giving me the idea for building a residual income model for the promotional products business.

Doing the Parts of Sales that I Love and Handing off the Rest

How great does this sound There?

In a recent post I shared a story about choosing the parts of work/business you love and not just doing the other tasks because I was either good at them or felt I was the only person in my business who could do it- sound familiar?

So here’s the next step – identify the parts you don’t enjoy and figure out a way to hand them off!

I have built my entire swag business and career around the parts of business that I enjoy most (like coaching, relationship-building and business strategy/art of the deal) and that make me the happiest, and have outsourced the parts of the business I simply don’t like, even though a few I am pretty darn good at (like order processing, accounting, inventory management). 

So where has this gotten me you ask…well, aside from the mental anguish I no longer battle on a daily basis, and the enjoyment I get from the work I am doing because it’s the work I WANT to be doing, I am also making 5X more money now vs what “I was great at” and doing back then.

Here’s a quick personal exercise.  Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle of it.  On the left, put the header “Work Things I Love” (to do).  On the right, put the header “Work Things I Hate”.  Take the money component out of it and really be honest with yourself… what really are the things you love?   Are you tracking me?  Like below…

 

Work Things I LOVE   Work Things I HATE

Art of the Deal    Cold Calling

Coaching & Mentoring   Office Politics

Sales with a Focus on Profit  Waiting to Get Paid on Sales I Have Already Closed

Being “Out” meeting/networking     Stuck at a Desk doing Admin work

Smart Technology Manually having to Do Everything in this business

Getting Referrals    Dealing with Accounting Inquiries

Partnering with Best-in-Class people Dealing with the idiots in our industry

Making $ on Other People's Sales Cash Flow Stresses and losing sleep 

See how easy it is to identify the things in work that make you happy and you enjoy?

Can you claim to be spending at least 75% of your time on these things?  Can you even do that the way your sales job or business is structured?

Why or why not?

So how do you go about incorporating them into your everyday work life, or begin looking for a career/business change that can check those “Love to Do” boxes for you?  I can show you how I did it!

Networking Tips While Peddling The Swag

 

Networking Tips when Peddling the Swag

Today I want to talk a bit about networking.

Networking is a critical part of growing your business, especially in such a large and competitive industry like ours. You could probably attend a networking event every night of the week if you wanted to. But what you will discover is that most of these events are a waste of your time.

I am not saying networking groups like BNI and other lead share and chamber groups are not worth, because they are, to a degree... if you know how to work it.  But let's be realistic, you’re in a room surrounded by other people who are more concerned about selling THEIR stuff to YOU than hearing what you have to offer them!

I want to share some insight on how to choose networking events that will benefit your business so you can stop wasting your time. You want to “cast a net” to prospective clients.

You want to position yourself as the go-to-guy (or gal) so when your client is ready to buy you are there. You’ve already built that relationship.

Many people playing the business game will attend chamber of commerce events or go to local networking events to get the word out on what they’re offering. They are not taking a strategic approach. They are going about it blindly. They are hoping to get lucky and acquire some incoming leads.

So here’s the thing…I’m not just going to any networking event. I’m going to the networking event where my prospective buyers hang out.

I’m going to auto manufacturers events because that is a market I specialize in. Where do real estate property managers hang out? That’s where I’m going to go because they are another target market.

Go where the people (buyers) in your chosen, targeted industry go and build relationships with them!

Our business is all about relationships. When it comes time for your client to place an order, if they have a good relationship with you AND think of you as an expert in their industry, they are going to remember that and they are going to call you.   

So stop wasting your time. Go directly to the source, your buyers, and network there.  Here's a laundry list of ways to get engaged within your targeted industry ...

Top 5 Ways to Network with your Targeted Buyers

#1:  Go to THEIR local events.

#2:  Volunteer at their events or on their local Boards.

#3:  Exhibit at their local or national tradeshows.

#4:  Become a member of their local or national trade association.

#5:  Learn their Business and become an Expert in what THEY do.

Networking is not about telling people what you do or what you are selling. It’s about building meaningful, long-term relationships based on trust. Don’t just see these people as buyers. See them as human beings, each with their own dreams and fears. How can you relate to them? How can you be of service to them? 

I take the same approach when it comes to networking as I do when it comes to selling.  I target niche audiences where I can build long-term, meaningful relationships.  And as a result, I have been able to build client relationships that are now going on 20 years.  Everyone knows building a solid book of business in this business is about long term relationships and repeat orders.  This is my approach.

So get out there and start building some targeted, meaningful relationships and watch your sales skyrocket.

Thanks for taking the time to "listen" and have a good one... 

Josh, aka The Swag Coach™