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Fourth in a series
In this series, distributor owner and sales coach Josh Frey answers frequently asked questions on a wide range of sales topics. 

Let me start off by saying I am a sales guy, not a tech guy nor a social media guy. That said, I assumed both could help me build my promo business, but had no clue how to go about implementing them or, for that matter, even figuring out which technologies and social media outlets were the best to use.

And I had one other huge problem—I was deathly afraid to have to learn something new and possibly add to my already overloaded plate of things to do.

So, I figured I would find someone who could do the work for me. I remember meeting with an entrepreneur friend of mine who has a successful tech startup and asked him, “Mike, do you know anyone I can hire to help me implement some ways to get my clients to buy online and generate internet leads for my business?”

You see, while I was afraid of technology and social media, I was even more afraid of being left behind. In the Washington, D.C. area, where I am based, I have watched all these businesses around me growing much faster online, and I was stuck doing business offline, in an “old school” way. I knew if I wanted to position my swag biz for the 21st century, I needed to incorporate technology into my strategy.

So back to my friend Mike. Here’s what he said, “Josh, I know a ton of people who can help but I wouldn’t hire anyone until you learn the technology yourself. How can you hire and manage someone else when you don’t know how to use it yourself?”

Wow! Did that get me thinking! You see, my approach is all about finding best-in-class people to help me grow my business and then outsourcing to them. Ultimately, I don’t want to do anything I don’t want to do. But to get to that stage I, like a true entrepreneur and small-business owner, need to know how to do everything.

So, I dug my heels in deep—real deep—and started learning the very basics of social media sites like LinkedIn, as well as incorporating technologies into my own business like HubSpot, MailChimp and a CRM system. Albeit timely, and sometimes painful, I began to build an online presence that I could use to drive my own buyers and prospects back to my own distributor website and generate leads for me and my sales team.

I am sure you already use technology and social media to make your job easier and promote your business to your clients and on the web, right? But the question is: how do you utilize it to make your client’s job that much easier and get them to buy from you again and again? Here are five simple best practices for doing just that.

1. My clients and prospects can easily order through our ecommerce website with an Amazon.com–like experience. These orders automatically integrate with our order processing systems.

2. We leverage company store technology to help my clients who have lots of employees (and locations) centralize the purchasing of their marketing supplies (which leads to numerous repeat orders).

3. We set up custom landing pages for industry niches to educate those buyers on how others in their industry use promo vendors as partners to make their lives easier.

4. We offer free samples (as a lead capture) on our website.

5. We have an automated “thank you” and “referral request” email campaign that launches after each order delivers. It asks our clients for referrals in return for free gifts, discounts, etc.

There are quite a few promo industry technologies and platforms that you, too, can utilize for your promo business to generate leads and scale your promo sales. If you want to discuss a few, please reach out to me.   


Josh Frey is founder of Falls Church, Virginia-based distributor On Sale Promos and the Swag Coach Program. He is a 25-year industry veteran and front-line sales coach. Josh@swagcoach.com. Visit TheSwagCoach.com to register for his next Distributors Helping Distributors show and learn more about his promo coaching programs offered.