I just found this on one of the promotional sites that I often visit. While I didn't write it, I wish I had. It has some good reminders that we all might benefit from.
In good times, in bad times and in between times, the same rules apply. If you want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will make excuses.
The future of our industry is not in some new technology or exclusive new product. It’s in the minds of the people. The mentality that holds many people back is due to “elephant thinking.” Elephant
thinking stems from when a baby elephant is strained for the circus.
The baby elephant’s leg is chained to a pole in the ground. The baby elephant wants to get away. He pulls and tugs, but he can’t escape – the chain is too big and the pole is too deep in the ground. So he stops trying. As he grows up, he just assumes he can’t get away. Today, he’s a six-ton elephant. He could sneeze and pull out the chain, but he doesn’t try.
Circus trainers say they can put a piece of string around that six-ton elephant’s leg and he won’t break away. This assumed constraint (string around the ankle) is a belief you have based on past experiences, embedded in your mind at a very early age. Your parents, your siblings, your friends and your environment have all shaped you, along with things you were told you could or could not do. These same constraints are still around in your life today.
We all have invisible walls in our own minds that keep us from getting to our full potential. These walls keep us from seeing problems as opportunities. They keep us from going after what we want because we think we just can’t do it.
The first step is to admit you have a string around your ankle.
Some of us have a three-inch thick steel shackle around our ankle holding us back from some amazing things. This string needs to be broken or you will be old and gray, wondering “what if?”
I see everybody attending all the same classes, the same presentations – we all
have the same need to be motivated by an outside force other than ourselves.
These classes promote “sales techniques” that will increase sales, new “team building” that will revolutionize your workforce, and marketing expertise from self-proclaimed experts that increased an old account by 1,000 percent.
All this info means nothing and does you no good if you are not in the right
It goes in one ear and out the other. You don’t need a new sales or a marketing consultant to help you increase your exposure. You need to sit down and work on yourself. You need to work on the most powerful tool you will ever have the ability to use – your own mind.
The saying “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” has nothing to do with love. It has to do with trying something out and seeing if it will work or not. It’s about taking that opportunity and failing, rather than not taking a chance at all--”What if?”
The first step in getting out of this mindset is to get out of the blame game.
Stop blaming your spouse, your kids, your job, the government, the economy or whatever else people complain about to rationalize why they are not where they want to be. Too many people are in the complain-and-blame mindset, and it’s holding them back from simply taking action and making things happen. Those people who take action on their ideas, whether they fail or succeed, will be so far ahead that everyone else won’t be able to catch up.
By Charley Johnson, President of Pay it Forward Foundation, http://www.pifexperience.org/
1. Physics teacher used an imprinted yoyo in class. He
demonstrates such phenomena as momentum, centrifugal force, gravity, tension,
1. Yoyos are great attention-getters at a trade show, because they are an active, moving item, and will draw people into your booth. You can exchange a yoyo for their business card and you will have added a new prospect to your call back list!
2. Glow in the Dark yoyo adds excitement to a night time event. Imagine trying to do yoyo tricks in the dark!! You can see the yoyo clearly, even on a dark night, and your skills will shine.
1. The organizers of a rodeo offered SPF 30 Sunscreen lotion as a fund raiser for this amateur event. The rodeo was held outdoors in 106 degree July heat, and no cloud cover. The people who used the sunscreen reported that they experienced no sunburn at all during the two day event.
2. A bank held a golf tournament for its business clients, and offered spray sunscreen (SPF 30) as a gift to the players. The players said the spray sunscreen allowed them to keep their hands from getting slippery, and the sun protection was great. With a minimum order size of just 100 units, the bank continues to order custom labeled sunscreens for each outing it holds.
1. Pocket spray sunscreen (SPF 30) is perfect for people who travel. It fits perfectly in a handbag or pocket.
2. Stick sunscreen (SPF 30) is great for quick sun protection without the mess. It will keep nicely in a golf bag or purse,and is odorless and non-greasy.
1. Golf tournament … sun visor as a promotional gift for the players.
2. An Ohio bank gives a sun visor to customers who open a new checking account, decorated with the bank’s two color logo. Used this way, the wearer makes the bank’s logo highly visible.
3. A South Carolina beach resort gives sun visors to each guest, and the guests take them home as a memento of their visit.
4. A radio station in Austin TX used an amethyst visor imprinted in gold metallic in a summer promotion, and the visors were visible all over town.
1) Set your goals
2) Who is your target market?
3) Determine your budget
4) Select promotional items related to your business, organization, or branding
5) Give useful, quality driven items. Items that the ‘end user’ will actually use.
Step 1 Set your goals. It seems that many businesses go into buying
promotional items with little thought or planning. This is fine, if you have an
unlimited budget for marketing and you do not have to show that your marketing
was effective. Most businesses do not have unlimited budgets and the money spent
on marketing and promotion, needs to do SOMETHING.
The SOMETHING is the goal you set for your marketing. Maybe your financial
status indicates you are behind in sales from the same time the previous year
so, you set a marketing goal to increase sales to last years level. A goal
can also be to increase revenues from the previous year or quarter. Your goal
can be anything you want. You need one though to tell if your promotional
giveaway was successful.
Step 2 Who is your target market? This is a critical step because 95
year old men are not interested in the same things as 30 year old men. So, it is
important that you take your customer files and divide customers into
categories. The categories can be whatever you want but, a sample of a category
is related to money spent such as: one time purchaser, loyal customer, high
dollar spender. You could also set your category related to money spent and age.
The categories are limitless.
Step 3 -Determine your budget. Now that you have all of your
customers divided into categories, you might want to consider selecting a
different promotional item for each category. The high dollar spenders are not
going to be excited about a $3 item while the one time purchaser might be really
OK with it. To decide how to distribute your budget, put a dollar figure with
each level in your category until they total your budget. Give the highest group
the most money and then work down through the other levels.
Step 4 Select promotional items related to your business, organization,
or branding. Given the figures you have estimated for each level of customer,
look for promotional items within that budget range. If you find you can not
give high enough quality to pens to the highest group, with the money you
budgeted that category, then think about either going through and lowering the
other categories. Another option is to decide to only target one or two of the
levels at this time and pick up the other level when the marketing budget has
Step 5 - Give useful and quality driven items. The promotional items you
giveaway will be a reflection of your business integrity so - you want to buy
the highest quality your budget will allow. Giving away fewer items is
better than giving away more and looking like quality is not important to you.