Inside PPAI: Distributor Tactics And The Year Ahead Explored in Recent PromoPolls


PPAI’s PromoPolls, conducted twice-weekly, have gauged member opinions on a wide variety of industry and business subjects since its mid-2020 launch. The poll, included in every issue of PPB Newslink and on the PPAI Media website, provides an anecdotal snapshot of insights on key issues. 

Here are some of the poll’s findings conducted in late January and early February:

  • Looking ahead to 2021, 44 percent say they are most looking forward to in-person trade shows and networking events, while 31 percent say a fresh year of sales goals and opportunities, 11 percent said calling on customers in person and eight percent said getting the team back in the office.
  • Several recent poll questions queried distributors on a range of their business practices. Asked about their main source of new clients, slightly more than half (52 percent) of respondents said referrals, 14 percent said email and website inquiries, 12 percent said networking and business organizations, and eight percent said cold calls.

  • Another question asked distributors what they considered their most valuable sales tool. Thirty-six percent said virtual samples, 16 percent said random samples, 16 percent said supplier websites and eight percent said catalogs. PromoPolls also asked distributors which market they expected to be their top performer in Q1, and health care came out on top with 31 percent, followed by education (19 percent), construction (12 percent), real estate (six percent) and nonprofits (six percent). A quarter of respondents said the markets they were targeting were not on the list.

  • PromoPolls also asked industry professionals if their company is making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees. Forty-two percent said no, 26 percent said yes, and 32 percent of respondents said the decision hadn’t been made yet.

To learn more about the polls’ findings, participate in the latest polls and see how industry peers have responded to other topical questions, visit Suggest questions to be considered for future polls by emailing


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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