It's A Big, Bad Jungle Out There…

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It’s a business jungle out there, and there are many predators! You may find the “price slasher,” who kills profit margins to gain business, or lions and tigers, the large, powerful companies able to strike quickly and effectively. Be cautious around the slimy snakes that lie, cheat and do anything to survive. Remember, in today’s increasingly competitive market, it will be those distributorships that distinguish themselves from the competition that survive.
While there are many strategies to accomplish this, one tool is often overlooked.
The fact is, building a business is all about building relationships – and enhancing them is a very effective marketing tool. This includes clients, employees and vendors: Having strong relationships with these three groups is critical to any company’s success.
Obviously, no one can survive in the business jungle without clients. But people often forget the importance of having quality relationships with their employees. These are the people who help make things happen. As you grow, regardless of your organization’s size, you realize that you can’t do everything yourself. You must work with others.
Suppliers also play an important role in our success. How about the vendor who went the extra mile to get something out at the end of the day to meet a critical need? We certainly need our employees and vendors!
Good companies understand the value of nurturing business relationships and taking critical ones to a deeper level. If we can grasp this concept, we will be best positioned to not only survive in the business jungle, but to thrive.
Accomplishing this can actually be quite simple. Here are a few things that you can do to enhance your business relationships with your clients:
Send thank-you cards after completing an order.
Taking this a step further, consider sending a personal note for other circumstances, such as when someone you know in the business community achieves an award or a notable accomplishment. This would include clients, as well as prospects. We recently sent a handwritten note to compliment a client on the remodeling of their business. Two days later, we received a call from this client looking for items.
Another idea is to consider the “kid connection.” When you are doing apparel items for clients, don’t forget their kids! Years ago we came upon this novel idea while imprinting shirts for a customer. We knew that the owner’s son, who worked in the business, was having a child. So, during the order, we decided to imprint their logo on an infant onesie. The impact was astonishing! While the clients were happy to get the company shirts, they flipped for the onesie!
It instantly took the business relationship to a deeper place. We now keep a few children’s garments with our logo in stock as gifts for associates and their families. It sure doesn’t hurt our relationship when a client’s child wears an All American Marketing shirt! Something like this transcends the business relationship and puts it on a more personal level. This is something your business predators may not understand, thus giving you a competitive edge.
To further stress the importance we place on relationships, we have created a marketing piece that clearly documents the elements that make up a quality business relationship. This marketing tool acts as a mission statement, explaining our company’s values. We address integrity and truly caring about being of service to our clients, whom we also consider friends.
In addition, this marketing tool also acts as a business-qualifying vehicle. The idea is that you can weed out those clients that are perhaps looking for the lowest price and nothing more. These would be those prospective customers who are not at all interested in the important principles that make up a quality, mutually beneficial business relationship. How much time do you have to give away to these people?
This article was written by Jeff Solomon for Corporate Logo Magazine. Reprinted with permission.
Jeff Solomon, CAS, BCF, is the president of All American Marketing Group and Promotion Solutions, an affiliate of HALO/Lee Wayne Corp., and the founder of For more information, visit

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