Tommy: Some people may say we’re killing the environment, and that is actually not true. We actually have pamphlets and information printed in our industry about why we need to be cutting down the trees. One thing people don’t realize is, there’s reservations of trees that have been around for hundreds of years strictly for that. There are also harvested areas for paper companies, also known as “managed forests”. These are essentially detailed models built that allow trees to be harvested sustainably. Each tree that is cut down, several more are planted or naturally regrown in its place keeping the environment stable. Another one is print marketing and mailing are ineffective. It doesn’t work anymore. Nobody opens mail. That’s completely wrong. You got to know what you’re putting in the mail. Regular postcards may not work for you as even I toss them. But when I get something with weight to it, something attached to it, something laminated on it, oh, I’m tearing it off. I’m seeing, I’m looking. That’s attention getting. And so there are ways to do that as well. Those are some of the myths that I definitely can squash and have the research to prove them wrong.
JC: Any misconceptions that people also have? Like maybe, it costs too much, or takes too long, and that doesn’t work in my industry.
Tommy: Yep. They do. What if I can’t resell them? Because they’re going to buy t-shirts to resell, or sweatshirts and they want to sell, or what if I can’t sell them for enough markup to make a profit? What will others think about me and my company’s image if I do this? Is it going to be a quality product that’s going to hold its value over time? And what if it doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do? So the way I debunk those myths is by getting them samples of products before they purchase. So, if you already have a sample of the product and you can now see the quality of it, now I don’t have to worry if you like it or not . So, you’ll know if it’s going to stand up and hold up right before you’re actually buying several hundred, or whatever it is of them.
Tommy: I have learned that you have to ask questions to find out what they really want. I’ve been in this industry for 35 plus years, and I never asked questions when I first got in sales for the big company. It was always about just making a sale. Hey, I know what I got. I know I got the best stuff. I know what I’m talking about. You need to buy from me wrong, wrong, wrong, even though all that may be true, it’s the wrong way to go about it. And it’s the wrong way to approach it. So, I try to ask the right questions now. And the biggest thing is I let them talk. When I’m with a client, I ask a question, shut up and let them talk. And then I take what they’re saying and use it to their benefit. I may ask them, “What is your biggest pain point when ordering any products with your logo on it”? Do you ever get samples of what you’re about to pay for before placing the order?
JC: What else do you do to get them past those fears?
Tommy: Well, we talk about their colors and branding methods. A lot of people in this industry don’t even know what their colors are. They don’t even know what their own Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are. Some people don’t even have PMS colors assigned to them and they don’t even know it. And that is because they’ll have a designer design them a logo. The logo looks good. Oh, I love the orange and the red. Oh, it looks so good. It looks good together. Yeah, that looks great. Problem is the designer didn’t assign it a PMS color. They assigned it a mixture and they mixed it with C, M, Y, K and or RGB or a hex code. All three of them convert to each other, the problem is they don’t all convert specifically to a PMS color.
Tommy: There’s a converting tool you can use, and I see this very often. I’ll say to people, what are your colors, and they reply; oh, I don’t know what they are, but I can get my color palette. Okay, great. Then they’ll send me the color palette that the designer put together and it’ll have all three of those codes, the C M Y K, RGB and the hex code mix, but it will have no PMS color. Then I’ll go and I’ll put in the code to any one of those three converters. And it will come back out with three different PMS colors. Which one do you want? You know, cause it’s basically saying your mixture is closest to this blue, this blue and this blue, how am I supposed to know what you want? And then the kicker is I throw it back to them and they’re like, oh wow.
Tommy: I guess I got to ask the designer, so we throw it back to the designer. Now the designer has to pick which one of those PMS colors, he was actually creating those codes too. And I will not do any work until that is done. Because other than that, I can’t keep you consistent with your branding. And I’ve done that for clients. It has happened before where they did not know what their PMS color was. And I have literally taken the codes, showed them what the closest ones were and said, you tell me what to use. And then they’ve always responded. This is the PMS color to use for that mix. And now we have a base to go by.
JC: Oh cool. And there’s some mistakes that they make. When they’re looking for a company, or looking for products to promote their businesses, what are those? What pitfalls do they fall into?