Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here's How We're Different!

On Monday at 11am, we received a call for a potential order of 3,000pcs of a soft stock bear.  The delivery timing required that the order be done domestically, however, the end user’s requirements were much more involved than a typical stock order request.  By 1pm, the Sales Team had received 5 more calls and emails related to this same project – some from familiar customers and others from new customers.  Each distributor customer was clearly working on the same project and knew that the project was out for bid, but each gave us just a little more information as to the project details, customer’s requirements, and ultimate promotion.   To add a little more complexity to this project, the end user had required all the pricing and photos of options to be submitted by 3pm the same day!  As stated in our strategic objective, “Our success is driven by a team of professionals that listen to customers needs and understand the importance of good communication. “ 

They wanted a very soft bear, but they wanted this bear to have a portion of his fur removed and a patch in the fur stating their tagline, “I donated some of my softness to Caress”.   We discovered that the end user was a Furniture company that was promoting the softness of their new carpet brand, Caress.   We worked with our cosmetology department (Beckie) to take some bears home and try several methods shave a portion of Peter Bear’s fur.  To meet the customer’s request for pricing and pictures by the 3pm deadline, we also manipulated a flock saddle and calculated pricing and labor costs to glue the patches.   We did, however, let our customers know that we were exploring some additional options overnight which included stitching, shaving, or cutting.   Beckie returned in the morning with the results of her “hairdressing” as well as created an option with some hand-stitching.   Jenn typeset artwork and Terry helped us transfer the logos onto our patch and ribbon to present photos of a spec sample to help “sell” the idea.   We presented the ideas and updated pricing to our customers on Tuesday and received some very positive and thankful responses. 

We learned that we were one of, if not the only company, that was willing to help our distributor clients with this urgent request.   One of our customers from IPromoteU told us that Steven Smith, Vitronic, and Fields (all our ASI competitors) would not go any further than offering a bear with an imprinted t-shirt which was not what the customer wanted.   While we do not know the end user’s final decision on this potential order, we worked together as a team to meet 6 distributor company’s requests when our competitors were not willing to do this.  What a testament to our Strategic Objective which states, “Everyone understands how their work brings value to the organization.”  Our teamwork to understand the client’s needs, present creative ideas, and meet their time frame has helped us toward a trusted relationship with these clients which could amount to success far greater than this potential 3,000pc order. 

-          Betsy Socci, Sales Manager

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