Marketing and Selling Before The Internet

August 18, 2023

Okay, let’s circle back to about a week or so ago, when I was telling you about how I used to market and sell back in the day before technology gave us the cell phone and the internet. I touched on how I used to drive to an industrial park where the businesses were right next to each other or at least in very close proximity and proceed to knock on doors and just asking the business owner, if I could please have a chance to quote the next time he was in the market for some digital t-shirt printing or custom embroidery. Typically, he would tell me that they didn’t need anything right at this very moment, but if I would leave him a business card, he would be happy to give me a call when that time would eventually come. I would reply yes, here’s my card. I would also mention to him that, if I can’t give him a better value than what he’s currently getting there’s no reason to switch, but if he would at least give me a chance, I would try to come up with some kind of incentive in order to make sure it would be worth his while to give me a chance.

I can remember taking good notes and creating a database where it told me to come back in a month or two after the season changes over. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was, when I would give him a call at that point in time, and he would tell me he already ordered or I would happen to just stop by and I noticed everybody was wearing new shirts. The point is this. Even after he told me he would give me a shot, he didn’t. I asked him if he had my business card still and it would normally end up somewhere in the middle of a huge stack of cards with a rubber band around it and he forgot it was ever even there. So in order to offset this challenge, I started making magnets with my company logo on it. Unlike a business card that would just get stacked in a deck, my magnet would normally end up on some type of refrigerator or at least a file cabinet and it would keep me on their mind. I remember getting much better results with this approach.

The point I’m making is this. When you break down the components of any marketing or sales campaign. The hardest part of the equation by far is to find somebody who needs whatever it is that you happen to be selling at that time, whether it be custom screen printing or embroidery or anything else for that matter. The second most critical part of that equation is to close the sale. All this really means is that you need to create some kind of incentive to give you an edge over the other St Louis t-shirt printing companies that are quoting on the same project. In other words, create some kind of perceived value that is going to be strong enough to give you a foot in the door and then make the most of it.