Doing it Old School

July 17, 2023

In one of our last blogs, I had touched on the fact that the most important component of any marketing campaign  would be to try and identify a potential client at the exact point in time where he or she might be wanting exactly whatever it is you are selling.

When I think of the tremendous advantages that technology will lend itself to in this present day, it makes me so appreciative. I really can’t remember the last time I actually knocked on doors to make a cold call.

I started this company approximately 30 years or more ago, and I am very grateful for the advantages that we have today since we live in a digital age where information can move around the world within seconds. I can remember back when I started, I had to get some business cards printed up and just start knocking on doors of various businesses. I would usually drive to an industrial park where the offices were adjacent to one another and that way I didn’t have to walk far from one company to the other.

Another advantage that this gave me was this. If I eventually did find someone who needed some custom t-shirts, I could reschedule a meeting, and bring over samples at a later date to more than one company at a time, all in the same proximity. This also gave me the advantage of saving on a lot of gas money and wear and tear on my car. Keep in mind that this is well before anybody even had a cell phone. Therefore, I tried to work smarter instead of harder in order to maximize my effort as well as save time.

I can still remember what I used to say when I walked in the door. The first thing I tried to do is get to the decision maker which meant I usually had to get past the guard dog, or in other words, the receptionist, who would try to filter out guys like myself as well as telemarketers. Some of these secretaries were tougher to get through than others. Assuming I could get through to the office manager or owner, I would simply introduce myself and ask them this. “If you don’t happen to need any custom embroidery or screen printing at this present time, could I at least ask you when you think the next time would be that you will be needing any digital t-shirt printing?” They would usually guesstimate about 4 to 8 weeks out when the season was getting ready to change over. They would normally ask me if I had a business card that I could leave and I would. That being said, more than not, my business card would end up in a stack of 50 or more with a rubber band around it. Unless it happened to be sitting right on top, they would forget it was even there.

I remember taking really good notes in order to create a database that would flag me, when that time would eventually arrive in order that I didn’t miss out. In my next blog, I will continue my recommendations on how to market to a St Louis screen printing audience and get into what I did in order to offset these obstacles.