I have been the conference queen this year (luckily) and have been seeing all sorts of swag cross my path. Money and thought has been poured into a lot of them but sadly most are not strategic or memorable. Except one that was handed to me by coincidence from a recent participant in my latest workshop at the NGLCC conference in Denver this week. It was noteworthy and spoke to a lot of what I teach so I thought I would tell you about it.

Why Swag?

Swag is my word for promotional products or any other free gift that you give to your prospects in the hopes of snagging their interest in giving you a sales meeting. That’s the bottom line of a free gift. To get you in the door with a decision maker. Why does swag work to do that? Well, for one thing people love gifts. But when buyers are constantly offered gifts by too many vendors, they start getting picky. In fact, most government and corporate buyers aren’t allowed to accept gifts. Swag slides in under the Dollar amount rules of the low value of the gift. So how do we make a gift both cheap and something that stands out from the sea of others?

Stand Out

In order for swag to stand out, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be flashy or techy. Those things do raise eyebrows, but in my experience they don’t always land the meeting. The reason being that buyers might take note of the gag gift but if it doesn’t do one thing, they can’t connect why that gift should open the door for them to invest at least an hour of their precious time in a meeting with you. The one thing they are looking for is: a solution to their industry problems. Here’s what I’m talking about..

A Stellar Solution

I’ve been talking about finding out your target industry’s problems and making your marketing message all about how to help that problem for years now. So imagine my delight when I myself was gifted swag that hit all the points I’d been making for years. A digital marketing company (www.dgnl.co) generously gifted me a very attractive pencil case. On it was written “We make content happen”, which is based on the fact that most small businesses struggle with actually producing content.

Contents Are King

You’ve heard the saying content is king, well in this case, what you pack inside a swag can make or break your message. Back to the example of the one I was given. As you can see in the picture above, there was a selfie stick, face blotting papers and the most important part: Social Media On Camera Guidelines. There was a whole checklist of Clothing, Hair&Makeup and Performance tips for small business owners to look good on camera. I loved the contents of this bag because they positioned the company gifting them as a thought leader and expert in how to look good on social media.

Plan Your Swag That Sells

In order to have a swag that sells like the example here, think about who your target is and what problem you solve for them. Then brainstorm what tools or tips you can give them and in what vehicle (in a pencil bag or any other carrier). As long as you can link your swat to their pain, you will hook their interest and land a meeting.

So stop spending all the money on swag that doesn’t convert and give some meaning to your gifts to buyers. You won’t be sorry with the results…

Want to reposition your messaging to grow your leads? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch my Podcast on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk.

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