A re-run of an old MASH caught my attention recently. Colonel Potter sitting by the bed of a solider softly states, "son about the only thing a man can call his own in this world is his ethics and when he sells those out, well, he has nothing". In our line of work we make ethical decisions on a daily bases.
1- Do we tell a client when a product is not a good quality or lasting performer; YES.
2- Do we help our clients meet their objectives: YES- On a budget? We would look for solutions that fit your needs. We might suggest buying the flag pole at the local big box store to save cost for a custom flag because little things add up. We want to grow with you.
3- Do we offer marketing assistance? YES, In the price of our products& services, backed by 10 years of marketing experience and an earned mastery of knowledge with CAS certification.
5- Do we partner with reputable suppliers? YES We've join with our industry to support a code of conduct. offering you "peace of mind" when purchasing products for marketing.
What's left? Much more- we host shows at your location because you can't make it to our showrooms, we look for ways to solve problems when you've made an error in ordering, and we volunteer as well as give back to the community that supports us. We also admit when we are at fault, say we are sorry, then seek solutions.
Number 5- this is a sticky one.
Do we freely provide access to our newsletter tips, blogs, key dates and supplier showcases? YES! Education is important to us, the more you know about trends, products and marketing strategies the better partner we are for you.
There are thousands, yes thousands, of promotional providers for us to source products. After careful vetting we add in new suppliers to our favorite providers because we seek the best resources to our clients. Sometimes that even means dropping a favorite when they are experiencing consistency issues.
While a competitive price is important, would you be surprised to know that price is not at the top of our list for what we seek in a relationship?
We can all shine when an order is perfect- How does a supplier handle a problem? How quickly? How difficult do they make the resolution process; will that effect our clients?
Communication- Do we know promptly there is an issue with the order, stock, imprint, delivery time? Does the supplier already have a solution?
Does the supplier care about our business? YES If the supplier does not care about us as a partner, they won't care about our clients either; partnership for growth. We win, they win, we are heroes and failures together.
How do we know they care? Remember that master chef class analogy?
Our key supplier relationships put energy into our business- everyday.
- They have representatives that answer emails late at night and weekends or advocate for us with the company to help you when we need a solution fast.
- They ask how they can help me help you.
- They admit when they are at fault, ready with solutions.
- They help us shine even when we or you have made an error.
- They make virtual images, send samples or provide spec samples to help showcase what they can offer.
- They stand beside us when we host shows. They partner with us in associations that offer opportunities for us to invite you to showcases to see new products and trends.
Many of our suppliers represent companies with over 30-40 years of experience in building brands. These are companies that produce products that assist the shoestring non-profit to the Fortune 500 company. What makes them extra special? They value education too. They share abundantly and freely, real stories for how their products have impacted the advertising and marketing efforts within a variety of industries.
Our ethics keep us steadfast to suppliers that help us distinguish our company from the ease of a key stroke on-line search for the "lowest price". We choose to partner with suppliers that offer our clients "more" even when a competing supplier might have a lower price; YES. after-all, they shared their time, their resources and their mastery of knowledge so we could grow together.