Question: Preparing to Impress

A Distributor Asks: I need to do a 10-minute presentation to a networking group about my company. I haven’t done this before. I’m looking for some insight on what I should be focusing on, tips, advice, etc. to present my company in the best way possible.


I rarely share products. I give sales and marketing tips. That establishes you as an expert in your field.

Scott Yudin
Independent sales representative
Cornerstone Promotional Products
Fort Worth, Texas
PPAI 280160, D1

I just did one a few weeks ago. I started by spending about two minutes on myself, my family and my pets. Then I moved on to my business, how I built it and why I do what I do. Then I walked them through the whole order process, from idea to delivery, and finished with showing them the final product. It was an easy 10 minutes and I presented in front of 70 people. As a result of the meeting, I wrote about $10,000 worth of new business with 15 new clients.

Pat Buchberger
Proforma Premier of Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
PPAI 196835, D13

Talk about the power of promo, living brand embodiment, high touch in a world of high tech and transcending click culture with real-world marketing that clients want, keep and use. Mention the top trends in swag: retail looks, fabrication and decoration techniques, along with a few quality product ideas. Pass a few case studies about your clients and the prospective client will be thrilled. There’s no need to focus too much on product. It’s what the product does that counts.

Rich Patterson
Patterson Brands
New Westminster, British Columbia 


A Distributor Asks: It has been awhile since I’ve refreshed my elevator speech, and I’m curious as to what others are saying, doing or using to leave an impression. Any tips or tricks to share?

With respect to your elevator pitch question, I think storytelling is the best way as it’s relatable to the right audience. The format is something like this: “I help ____ (identify client or market) to ____ (identify clients’ goals).” The pitch might change depending on how you want to position yourself and who you’re speaking with, but a description of “why” you do what you do always trumps what.

Jae M. Rang, MAS
JAE Associates Ltd.
Oakville, Ontario
PPAI 561178, D4

“I’m a know-it-all in a niche industry.” The initial response to my elevator speech is a smile or laugh, followed by questions. What’s the industry? What makes you a know-it-all? I can then explain I’m a consultant and expert in the request for proposal process specific to the promotional marketing industry.

My tip is that you don’t have to explain in detail in your first reply or self-intro. And as you craft your “speech,” remember that our industry is about marketing and branding, about delivering impact for corporate logos. Suppliers might share that they’re in a “service” industry and expand how they create, imprint and deliver branded merchandise.

Have two responses ready: one that’s a bit of a teaser, thus inviting questions and another that’s more direct (but still interesting.) Choose which one to use depending on time, place and listener.

Marsha Londe
Tango Partners
Atlanta, Georgia
PPAI 353210, A1

Do You Have An Answer?

A Distributor Asks: Well, it’s time for us to consider an exist strategy. Given our distributorship is home-based, we have very little in the way of equipment, buildings, etc. I was wondering if there is a basic formula that one could use to approximate the value of the distributorship (client accounts, files, etc.). Any thoughts or strategies would be appreciated concerning this process.

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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