May 17, 2021
One day while sharing my challenges with growing my business my father interjected with some “Jedi-like” response that completely stumped me and had me thinking “who is this man” I thought I was talking to dad. It was like Yoda giving Luke SkyWalker advice. It went something like this:
Take a pipe son, filled with water, water should pass through it but never stay in it.
If the water sits still it becomes stagnant and it stinks.
The pipe is the conduit, it makes sure the water gets from point A to point B.
The pipe (you) gets wet but doesn’t keep all the water.
The water must continue to move and flow, like a current that’s why it’s called currency.
(change water to money, read again)
I’m in the business of encouraging givers as a promotional products dealer. I sell swag so it can be given out and received with open arms, smiles, and everyone's happy. Right? NO, that’s not always the case. A significant percentage of promo items are discarded because they're cheap, not useful, or just the wrong usage. I share this comparison with my wife frequently.
If a cheap soda costs 79¢, a candy bar cost $1.59, a 33¢ pen isn't exciting anybody.
But, if the cheap pen is used in the office as people come to appointments and are filling out papers it makes complete sense. So always ask yourself is it too cheap? How would you feel about receiving it? When you put it in that light you’ll make different marketing decisions. By always keeping in mind that this item is a small reflection of your business and you can’t change someone's first impression. It’s always a better idea to get 2 good items rather than 5 cheap items. But if you can handle a great item go for it.
At Phoenix820 we buy our promotional products for 3 main reasons:
Some of the swag items we keep on hand are Swiss army knives, coasters, premium pens, and first aid kits, sewing kits, and notebooks. When we’re doing seasonal winter gifts we send out corkscrews and bottle openers, custom cookie mailers, and calendars. As reminder items, we tend to send small compact promo items like customized jar openers, or mints just because they’re easy to mail or carry in my messenger bag when I’m networking. Always give more than you take.
I’m a believer in the law of sowing and reaping. I understand that a closed hand can not receive. It’s impossible, just try it. I thought so. Or as my uncle said, "A closed mouth don't get feed".
I understand that some businesses give to non-profits and local charities, but let’s not exclude your customers, employees, and referral partners from this abundance of generosity. You work alongside these employees all year long, and “Mrs. Fran” from the chiropractic office sends referrals every week. Let’s not forget that handyman from your networking group, he sends so many referrals.
These people are your people. Are you getting what I’m putting down? I thought so.
Find a way to be that conduit, that pipe, mentioned previously. Allow business and generosity to move through you and watch how your business and temperament improve. People will happily work for you and do business with you and it’s not manipulative. Giving always precedes receiving.
Be well That’s it for now.