If you’ve ever attended a home party or vendor event such as a craft show or county fair you may have received a giveaway from a direct sales consultant who wanted to give you something to promote her business. Good idea, yes? I agree, but I have always wondered why some consultants use products other than their own to promote their business? I don’t have an answer. But let’s explore this practice further.
I’ve seen consultants who took the time and expense to make up labels with their contact information and then wrapped small candy bars with their labels. This would be clever if they were in the chocolate business or even the customized label business. Though if you sell bakeware or candles why would you use candy as a giveaway?
Further, if you sell lotions and potions, wouldn’t it make the most sense to give away a sample of a popular moisturizer? Or if you sell herbs and spices, wouldn’t you want to provide potential customers with a sampling of your top selling chipotle mix?
Some companywide forums are full of posts from consultants requesting promotional items such as chap-stick, bearing their consultant contact information. If you sell cosmetics and you’re offering a sample of your own product line, this is a fabulous idea. However most times these requests come from consultants who sell children’s toys, books, and nutritional supplements. I have to wonder why these consultants aren’t using something within their own product line to offer rather than someone else’s lip balm.
There are some businesses that may not be conducive to offering a sample. If you sell pots and pans, you’re certainly not going to offer up a sauté pan as a sample. Although there are a number of giveaways that you could use that are relevant to your business. How about some recipe cards or a wooden spoon? At least you’re staying in the same industry.
Think about the bottom line. Think about profit margin. Think about whether or not the activity you’re going to participate in will increase sales – that is, sales of your own product line. Clever and yummy will only take you so far in business. If the action you take today won’t lead you closer to the next customer, hostess, or recruit, it might be time to rethink your action plan. If you’re a direct sales independent consultant, you’ll do well to stick to offering your own product line.
If you don’t sell candy, don’t use it as a giveaway.