I've been asked to teach a class on how to handle a promotional products order from beginning to end to ensure the best possible outcome several times over the years. Who is my audience for this class? My “competitors.”
I've taught this topic at two different promotional product industry trade shows as well as a webinar for my industry non-profit organization where I gave my “competitors” my method to tracking orders for successful outcomes.
Why would I give my competition one of the secrets to my success? After all, isn’t having a reputation for completing promotional product orders that are consistently of high quality with a great imprint and on-time delivery part of the reason that Lev Promotions is where it is today?
Well, yes. But that’s certainly not our only secret; nor do I believe that everyone in that room who got my handouts and actively participated in the class will implement their own version of my system. Heck, a couple of people in there thought it was a complete waste of time. I wonder if they'll reconsider the first time they have a major snafu that costs them a client and the money for the job.
I wholly believe that there is plenty of business out there for everyone. There are people and companies that are better served by working with me, just as there are those that I will never be able to adequately help because I just don’t understand their business model or personalities don’t click. Even if I could work with everyone, where in the heck would I find the time?
Given that, I believe that it’s important to elevate my profession to the highest possible standard so that people see the intrinsic value in the marketing products and services that we provide. If my profession is more highly valued, then my expertise within that profession is worth even more.
If I can teach my competition to be more professional in the way they handle their business transactions; or, if I can mentor someone new to the industry to bring them up to speed faster, ultimately it reflects well on the industry as a whole and I will reap the benefits. It's the reason I commend on posts in industry Facebook groups so often (some might say, I need to shut up already!).
What have you done to make your industry more professional/respectable/trustworthy? Why not reach out to someone you know in the business who’s struggling or new and give them a hand? You don’t have to reveal all your secrets, jut give them the basics and let them run with them.