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An Offer You Can’t Refuse?

A tactical offer can benefit suppliers, distributors and end users, but only if they know about it, says Phil Morgan.

Whether it’s a price discount or something extra free, who doesn’t love bagging a bargain? But when it comes to our industry, does the same apply?

Do discounts and other offers help to close a sale of promotional merchandise or are there other more important factors to consider? As a supplier in this industry, we’re always exploring innovative ways to engage with our customer base.

Over the years, we’ve run a variety of offers, such as exclusive discounts, reduced prices, voucher incentives and prize draw. Without sharing too many secrets, these have often been very successful.

But the question is, what really works for the distributor? With thousands of products on the market, how can you ensure the one you have a special deal on works?

A supplier may be looking to push a certain product range or service but the chances of distributors benefitting will depend on what their end-user customers choose for their campaign. If distributors are pushing pens to their customers, then a discount offer on drinkware isn’t particularly relevant.

That’s why suppliers look to distributors to push these offers and ‘pay it forward’. Distributors have the power to take this market forward in a defined direction. They can shape the direction of their business growth, by using supplier offers to full effect.

And it’s easy for distributors to do that, either by using end-user versions of email campaigns, getting the message out there via social media, or just getting on the phone to let customers know about an excellent short-term deal.

Even a simple advert on an email signature can generate awareness of products or offers.

To be honest though, no matter how good the incentive, the very best offer will always be a guarantee of quality, excellent service, good lead times, strong relationships, guaranteed stock levels and innovative products.

I don’t think there’s any discount deal that’s ever worth the compromise on these standards. Wouldn’t you agree?

Phil Morgan is CEO of SPS EU

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