Tips for Partnering with a Promotional Products Distributor

Finding a promotional products distributor to partner with your marketing department to assist you with your awards ceremony, trade show give-a-ways, and client gifts can sometimes be a daunting task. A trip through your local yellow pages or a search on-line can sometimes find you calling many businesses that either doesn’t answer their phone, or you end up talking to a representative that doesn’t know much about the products they are supposed to represent.  Here are a few tips to make finding a promotional products distributor that you can feel comfortable working with throughout your project and possibly one you come to rely on for all of your promotional and corporate gift needs each and every year.

  1.  Look for a distributor that answers their phone and can answer your questions confidently, or at least honestly assure you that they will find out the answer and follow up with your question.
  2. A good promotional products distributor will keep you in the loop at all times during the course of the order.  This does not mean they will email you every day to tell you how the order is going, but will send you emails at key times throughout your order. These would include:
    1. When they have received an order acknowledgment from you, and they provide you with an approximate time frame for when you can expect to see an image proof.
    2. Following up with you on questions about the order and make sure you provide art in the correct format or offer to send it out to be vectored (at a minimal cost of course).
    3. Contacting you once they have sent you a proof to let you know to be looking for it and follow up with you if you do not turn the approved proof back to them in a timely fashion.
    4. Providing you tracking the day after your order ships so you can track your package and see who signed for it, when it reaches your specified destination.

Other ways that a promotional products distributor may help you is their ability to show you a wide range of products to fit your project needs. There are so many different products in the market place and a good distributor will know and recommend products that they believe will work for your type of event, or tell you when a supplier is not a good fit, or has a bad reputation in the industry.

Many distributors have a catalog or website that showcases many different supplier lines. Promotional distributors usually do not get to select who is presented in the catalog because they purchase these catalogs from either their association or an affiliate agency where they may be a member.  It is up to the distributor to steer you away from the suppliers in the catalog that have a reputation for less than stellar quality and show you an alternative with a supplier they are confident will provide you with a quality product and deliver it to you in time for your event.