The One-Two Punch: How to Compete with Big-Box Companies and Direct Sellers for Holiday Sales

The winner

Education and salesmanship will help secure more 4th quarter food gift sales!

The fourth quarter is quickly approaching, and chances are your clients are already starting to think about their year-end holiday gifts. Approximately, 50% of all businesses purchase food gifts for the holidays. Unfortunately, the promotional products industry gets less than 10% percent of the business food gift purchases for two reasons: First, most business gift buyers are unaware that they can purchase their food gift programs from their promotional products distributor. Secondly, most distributors do not present food gifts to their customers for the holidays.

In order to compete with the big-box companies and the direct sellers that are taking the lion’s share of the gourmet food gift business in the fourth quarter, you will need to two-step approach: Education and Salesmanship!

Before your clients head off to the big warehouse stores or start surfing the internet to shop directly from online storefronts, there are a number of important issues you can make them aware of. By educating them on the benefits of using you for their gourmet food gift needs, you give them something to think about. Chances are they never considered the impact this change could make. Here are a few simple things to think about…

By purchasing through you, your customer's logo on the gifts will showcase their brand!

By purchasing through you, your customer’s logo on the gifts will showcase their brand!

Gifts from mass merchandisers and warehouse chains can send the wrong message to the recipients! They will not have your client’s logo, and are made up many months in advance so they aren’t very fresh or tasty. Because the gifts you can offer are packed to order, the exceptional quality and freshness will positively promote their image. Most of their gifts will not include mailing cartons for easier distribution, and they will rarely ship directly to the recipients. When they do ship, they often include special offers and catalogs with their gifts. Ordering through you is more convenient! Individual shipment and card insertion are available and you’ll develop a cost-effective turn-key program… not just sell gifts to them. Let them know that you will help them promote their company and their brand!

Just as important as educating your clients on the benefits of ordering their food gift programs through you is the way you present the gourmet treats. Keep the following key points in mind when making your food gift presentations:

  • Schedule your presentations for just before lunch or supper. Strike when your customers are the hungriest.
  • Ask about budget and price points prior to suggesting gifts
  • Query about last year’s gifts. Were there any problems?
  • Discuss method of distribution. Bulk to one location? Or direct to each recipient?
  • Bring samples to generate more enthusiasm and confirm your claim of higher quality.  Use samples to show the difference. Better yet – use a spec sample!
  • Discuss available discount programs offered by many suppliers.

It’s easy to overcome the “I can buy it cheaper” objection by combining client education and your salesmanship.

Your Mission: Make every client aware that you are their best source for gourmet food gift programs!

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