You're only as good as your leader- and we have the best!
My first encounter with Kurt Kaeser was the week of our Convention in Ohio. I called the main number and he answered the phone! I thought, I had dialed the wrong number, but no. He said that everyone wanted to go over to the supplier trade show so he thought "I can surely handle the phone for an hour!".
He went on to answer my questions about placing my first order and and said "Send it in and let's see how we do". Well, 15 years later, I never looked back.
Kurt is a down to Earth fellow with nothing but a genuine interest in making Kaeser & Blair a wonderful place to work with the dedication and support of the home office team!
Kurt Kaeser is the Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Kaeser & Blair, Inc. When Kurt become CEO and President in 1996, he reaffirmed the Company’s commitment to preserve the traditions that are responsible for the longevity and success of the Company. Integrity, responsibility and reliability.
The Company’s growth strategy is focused on his dedication, devotion and orientation to providing its business owners superior service and profits in the promotional products and advertising specialties industry.
Under Kurt’s leadership, Kaeser & Blair has helped its business owners grow sales by an average of about 15% percent per year over the last three years despite significant economic headwinds. Kurt is a champion of business owner growth and constantly strives to maximize their profits and resources.
Kurt was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Wittenberg University and has worked in every function and department of Kaeser & Blair, Inc. He is the 3rd generation of his family to lead the Company.
Kurt resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Liz, his wife of 22 years. They are the parents of two grown children, Brad and Mitchell.
Whenever I'm in a room and Gregg Emmer is there, I try to find a way to sit next to him. He's one of the smartest people in promotional product sales I've ever met!
On our recent VIP trip, I asked him how to overcome the objection of people wanting to sell promotional items on their own, verses working with a company like us, where they split some of the commission?
I know the obvious, no outlay of money for orders to suppliers, no monthly or yearly fees, actual support, no collections, paid daily, our extensive EQP list and so on. He comes back immediately with "People overlook two major issues; Paying and collecting taxes on customer orders and product liability insurance".
Our home office takes care of the taxes in every state. Small independent distributors have a hard time growing online clients due to the tax issue. Imagine the time it takes to collect and pay taxes every quarter. Image trying to do that with out of state clients, where the rates are different for every state, city and county! Image a large account, like a University, handing you a purchase order and they are expecting to pay after delivery. You're either paying out of pocket until the client pays or you're not able to accept the purchase order.
As for product liability insurance, if someone is injured by a promotional item that you sold them, you could be liable. Most distributors don't give this second thought. But do most distributors have liability insurance? How catastrophic would it be to your business if in this litigious society we live in, you we're sued for damages? Glad I don't loose any sleep over that!
More than that, I'm glad to know that Gregg is a resource on our team that has only one goal- helping us be successful in the promotional products industry! Work at home, but never alone! Quoting Gregg "We work for you!"
Gregg oversees the publications and business owner marketing functions for Kaeser & Blair. He is responsible for product selection, supplier negotiations and production of our annual Best Buys Catalog, seasonal Windjammer catalog and all other specials and promotions.
Joining Kaeser & Blair in 1991 as National Sales Director, Gregg is credited with helping to grow our educational and sales programs. In 1994, he was instrumental in the creation of Kaeser’s Century Club for our top producers. He’s held a variety of leadership positions within the industry on both the distributor and supplier side of the business and has more than 30 years of proven leadership experience.
Gregg is originally from New Jersey, but has resided in Ohio since the early 1970's. He is a University of Cincinnati alumnus. Gregg lives in Cincinnati and is the proud father of five adult children.
Here's another BENEFIT of our Program- IDENTITY EDGE magazine for FREE!
Identity Edge magazine is an innovative marketing tool designed by industry professionals to inspire meaningful opportunities. IT IS DESIGNED FOR THE DISTRIBUTOR TO USE AS A FIRST CLASS MARKETING TOOL.
This is the first magazine of its kind in the promotional market that is created, published and distributed specifically for the DISTRIBUTOR'S End-User. IDENTITY EDGE puts information where it belongs…in the buyer’s hands. And, does so in an upscale approach using a technologically advanced medium.
The days of old-school, multi-column, mundane product advertising are behind us…welcome to a new age of professional, promotional marketing that can be personalized with your logo on it for maximum exposure and efficiency.Every issue will be rich in content and highly useful to your customers. Articles describing successful promotional programs, market trends, best practices and seasonal promotional opportunities. Also included will be selected ads from the top industry suppliers featuring their most popular items. All ads are blind - with no contact information or pricing. This will generate conversations with you time after time.You'll get a six month subscription FREE for up to 100 of your best clients. If your current sales are more than 100K it's totally free! If your sales aren't to that level yet, I can help! Until then, we have this program available at a ridiculous rate- far below their published rate!
The customers and prospects you provide email addresses for will receive monthly editions of Identity Edge for 6 months FREE. To continue past that time a paid subscription is necessary. K&B Century Club members will continue to receive FREE distribution (a $250 annual value).Let's connect to insure your Promo Biz continues to GROW!
We're a “rock solid” family owned and family operated business that’s been in continuous operation since 1894. We believe in people and we treat people like family. Our purpose is to help motivated and outgoing entrepreneurs establish their own independent businesses in brand awareness, promotional products and advertising specialties.
We've earned a reputation with suppliers, vendors and competitors that we're proud of. Our honest, straight-forward and proven approach has helped thousands achieve and realize the career, earnings and work/life balance they deserve.
Are you getting David Blaise Training for FREE? You could be!
We partnered with our good friends at Top Secrets to bring you are brand-new, proprietary online training system. . It is truly an online education resource containing are tested, proven, industry – specific information and advice on how to increase sales, improve profit margins and Grow Your Promo Biz.
In addition to providing you with complete digital access to our training materials from any computer in the world, we will also provide cutting-edge content designed to help you grow your sales fast. Our training library is now at your fingertips whenever and wherever you need it, simply login and begin your journey today.This online training portal is available 24/7 and contains more than 60 presentations and courses covering topics like Business Owner Success, Getting Started, Customer Acquisition, and Social Media. All workbooks, videos and power point slides included!
All of the courses are industry specific and hosted by award winning industry recognized leader David Blaise
. Our University is designed to help business owners succeed, increase sales, improve margins, and Grow their Promotional Product Business!To see MY OLD Testimonial (about 1995) and see just a small sampling of the FREE Top Secrets Training offered to you when you join us, Click Here
If you're serious about becoming a true promotional products professional, selling more, to better clients at higher profit margins- this training, as well as my support is just about all you need! Let's connect! And here's to your Success!
Here’s Judi Thilges and I at the 2017 Sales Leader Summit for Kaeser and Blair dealers in Clearwater Florida.
I love Judy! Always so happy and full of adventure. She’s been a member of Team Promoz since 2006. This is her second time to earn / win this VIP trip!
She’s the owner of J Promotions
located in McMurray Pennsylvania. Judy also has clients all over the United States, who visit her website by the same name; www.jpromotionsonline.com
You can read her wonderful testimonial about Team Promoz Here
A three night all expenses paid vacation to sunny Florida was on tap this year. Beach, sun and sand to unwind and celebrate our achievements in sales success. How wonderful to have such a fun job, selling fun -useful promotional items! More importantly, helping our clients achieve their goals. Their success is our success, truly.
Kaeser & Blair spared no expense starting from a fabulous hotel right on the beach. A Beach BBQ and Dinner Cruise on a yacht. More on the trip later.
This post is to congratulate Judi on her amazing year! To earn Legend Status sales of $500,000+ is really an accomplishment for sure!
I'm humbled that you believe I was in part responsible. Congratulations Judi ~ Your a true professional!Well done Judi!
Here's to your Success! Cyndi
We're so lucky that we have a TRUE SPECIALS flyer that is put out for our clients to save money on our most popular Seasonal items! Not many companies have such a thing.
Our Windjammer Seasonal Sales Booklet is produced every other month. This booklet has serious deep discounted seasonal specials, sure to attract even the most price
buyers out there.
The more Windjammer business you write, the more Windjammers you'll get in your monthly mailing. I suggest you:
1. Add the Windjammer Link to your Signature block for every email.
2. Announce the new flyer in your newsletter.
3. Announce the new flyer on your blog.
4. Send a hard copy catalog to all your clients.
5. Add these specials to your website.
6. Add a link to all your social networking sites- Facebook Fan page, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter, and so on.
7. When your clients ask "What's new?" now you have a great publication to send ideas and offer some incredible values for your clients!
8. Highlight one item each day on Twitter. Not just the sales price, but how to use the item or a successful case history.
The link stays the same for the current issue http://kbwindjammer.com/
In the upper left hand corner is the previous issue. Be aware that every item has its own expiration date.
Offer these amazing mini catalogs and You'll be the Star in their eyes! Don't kid yourself, everyone loves to save Money!!
If you don't have access to such an incredible sales flyer, reach out to me
Do you know the teachings of David Blaise owner of Top Secrets of Promotional Product Sales?
If not, you should! He's the true sales trainer for our industry. You can get around his site for more valuable ideas and training here: Top Secrets of Promotional Product Sales Here's my testimonial on HIS page
Cyndi’s Sales Doubled, Turning Her "Hobby" into Real Job
"I am at the blind loyalty stage with David Blaise and all of his powerful products! My personal sales last year more than doubled! Gone are the days of lower commissions to gain a new client! I acquired two NATIONAL accounts by following his advice! Again, thanks for your help. Let David know that I am so happy that I found him and his products. So is my husband who said ‘Glad to see this has turned into a real job instead of a hobby!’ I made almost 6 figures last year! And surely will do six this year!”
Cyndi Stout Promoz!
I think that was way back in 2002. I still love him, still promote him. I review his material all the time! What you might not know is, as a Team Promoz member, you have FREE Training from him!
You can log into a secure site and take classes. If you are aiming for becoming a certified adviser, you earn credits!
If you're not getting his FREE Training now, contact me
to find out more about our opportunity to help your Promo Biz Grow!
Are your client's to the "Blind Loyalty" stage with you?
We're pretty lucky to have this! I hope you'll take advantage of it!
Here's to your Success,
This article was written by my friend Danelle Brown of Queen Bee Marketing. I have added my comments relating to the promotional product biz. My comments are in burgundy.Email marketing used to be the only online method a business owner had to keep in touch with their clients and potential clients. When social media came along and made things easier, email marketing started to get somewhat of a bad rap. However, everyone should keep in mind – and this is the one thing I tell all my clients – email is never going anywhere. It is also the thing you have total control over, meaning you own your list – you do not own Facebook. It is imperative that you continue to keep in touch via email. Even if your email is not officially “opened”, the chances are it is seen anyway in the preview section of most people’s email accounts. Seeing your name keeps you top of mind. But how does a business owner make the most of their email marketing? Here are some helpful tips that will assist you in getting the most out of your email marketing. 1.Send more than just a monthly newsletter
Most email programs do not limit the amount of times you can reach out to your list in a month. So why not mix it up a bit? You can use your software to welcome new clients each month, send appointment reminders, birthday greetings, holiday wishes or even special events that your company is having. Think outside of email: what would you reach out to your clients and send them if you were mailing something via snail mail? The sky is the limit on thoughtful emails that could lead to your next sale. With all the products we offer, you can never run out of things to send- specials, new products, case histories, new suppliers, successful promotions, supplier flip through catalogs and statistics!!
2. Segment Your Lists
This is especially true if you are very specific with certain emails. For example, the topic of your blog you are promoting may be targeted to a specific group of people. Take a technology company for example. Maybe they are giving tips on something that is Windows related. That company should have at least two lists: one for Windows users and one for Mac users. That way you are sharing relevant content to your list and not annoying some of your clients with information they don’t care about. Agreed Danielle! You should have "ID Status or some other code within your database so you can send special enticements to prospects or accounts you want to reactive. You should segment them into the type of industry so you can send similar messages to similar businesses.
2. Utilize the Autoresponder Feature
This is the most under-utilized feature of most email programs. Typically there is a thank you email once someone signs up to be on your list and that is it. Take the time to set up several follow up emails. For instance if the first one is a welcome, the second auto-responder could go out a week or two later asking a specific question related to why they signed up. For example if you were selling a product, you could set up several auto-responders to go out to make sure the customer is satisfied or to see if they have any questions. Perhaps even asking for feedback can be an option. This keeps you top of mind, as well as provides good customer service. Again, very true! I call it drip marketing. Send one email, then another depending on how or IF they responded. One example, I do a "check in" each year on every product sold. Sending the first email to inquire if they need that item again, was that for a one-time event or did we need to look for a new product this year? Then a follow up a few days later, that automatically goes out saying something to the effect of "I hope I haven't heard from you because you're busy and business is booming!".
4. Make sure it is mobile friendly
More and more people check their email on mobile devices. I have seen stats that range anywhere from 50% up to 80% on my clients’ reports that show mobile devices are how the emails are being opened and read. With that in mind, you want to make sure you select a mobile friendly template, or if you are making your own make sure it is easily read on a mobile device. We are all guilty of not reading an entire email if it is cumbersome and just moving on from frustration. If it is hard to read, you will lose the attention of your audience. This is vitally important nowadays- and applies to YOUR website as well. Get that corrected right away if not!
5. Re-engage the users that did not open
I know that Constant Contact provides detailed reports on who opened and who didn’t open your email campaign. You can run a report and select all the unopened email addresses, change the subject line to see if that helps to get their attention, and send it again. The important thing is to try. People get a lot of email, so it is important to try sending it again to see if it helps your open rate – which hopefully leads to more sales! I use an amazing system that rates all activity like opens, links clicked and scores each activity. If you don't get response, yes, send again- BUT THEN CALL THEM! Especially if they are a past client! They may have opened on their cell phone and that might not be recorded. Also, if you get someone who opens it several times- call them. Inquire if they got the email. They might just have been distracted and happy you called to get that off their list! Don't forget- the PHONE STILL WORKS- and is your best option besides face to face to build your customer relationship!
6. Actually use it!This one seems simple, but it is sadly true. Everyone knows they need to send emails, but they get bogged down with what to put in them, not enjoying the process, or a myriad of excuses of why they don’t have time to get it done. Let me be clear – if you are not emailing your audience you are missing multiple opportunities to connect with them. Email is a MUST. So if you need help getting it done, then find help. Agreed! So many people, including myself get busy doing other things. It's great to be busy writing up orders, but we always have to keep our pipelines full! Whatever you use- USE IT!
In full disclosure, I am a Constant Contact fan. I have been a faithful user since 2007. I have seen a lot of changes in the way the email programs work in the last nine years. But one thing remains the same – people still check their email, and people are definitely influenced by great subject lines and dramatic images. So stop putting your email marketing on the back burner and make the most of the most precious asset your business has – your list.So tell me about your email plan. What system do you use and why?ME NOW- I switched from Act! and Swiftpage after 20+ years to Hatchbuck because of better tracking, LIVE REPORTING and many other features. I'm not their representative but would be happy to point you in the right direction of getting that set up. In JUST ONE MONTH, the system paid for itself! I had a consultant set it up and transfer my accounts into the new database. All I can say is Hatchbuck is amazing! A real CRM system that will help your Promotional Product Biz GROW- and that's what I'm all about!!
So tell me about your email plan. What system do you use and why?
Well, today's only Tuesday and I've already had five phone calls from people who are looking for promotional items for "my client".
What I mean by that, is that they call me after finding our website and found a product that their "client" would like to buy. They're out researching the web trying to find it at a competitive price so they can resell it. It's simply amazing to me how many phone calls I get like this a week.
Folks, there's an easier way!
Believe me, there is no reason for you to broker promotional products for your clients when we have the perfect solution for you to offer all the ASI & PPAI products out there. Plus, 95% of the time it doesn't cost you anything to get started!
With our program, it doesn't matter how often you run into promotional products. It could be once a week, once a day, or just once in a while. You can still do your regular business as you do now. Our program will allow you to increase your product offerings and your bottom line, by simply adding on promotional products to what you sell now.
One of the issues when you broker these items is that you lose control over your clients orders. You send the artwork to someone you don't know. You hope that they have some idea of what they're doing. You hope that they are representing a good quality product. You hope they are using a good quality supplier> You hope the supplier does exceptional imprinting on that product. What if something goes wrong?
Another issues is that our buyers are very smart these days. They too have access to the Internet and can search out the product they're looking for. Now you've taken a price that a broker has given you, and marked it up so you can make a little profit. Obviously there's nothing wrong with making a little profit, that's how you get paid for your time. But how do you answer the question when your client asks you "I found that same item over on this website for less money, can you match that?".
Think about the time involved in searching out just the right product for your client. I've known people who have searched the web for hours! They've called several places only to find out that some will broker some will not. Other companies are the suppliers and will not sell to them without an ASI or PPAI license. How much money are you really making if you spent hours to find the product and can only market up by a small percentage?
Would a toll-free number or simple inquiry with someone who would research that product for you help?
Then there's the financial side of it. You're putting up money up for your clients order in advance. You bill your client, but when the items show up the invoice is slightly different. Although this can be normal due to overruns and estimated shipping versus real shipping amount, you've already billed your client! So now you've lost money! Or worse, you have an angry client who doesn't want to pay you anymore because that's what you quoted.
And quit acting like the Avon lady! There's no reason for you to hand deliver these items because you want to see what it looks like. When you're driving all over town, you're not making money. We can teach you a secret on how to get a sample of your clients order 95% of the time.
We have many people in our organization who have a primary business such as; screen printer, embroidery house, printer, office supplies, advertising agency, graphic design and have added on promotional products to keep their clients with them.
There's simply no reason to send your clients elsewhere to find promotional products!
There's simply no reason to broker these items and make a small percentage of what you could be making for all your hard work!
If this sounds like what you're doing now, we should talk! I promise you there is an easier way!