Surviving the Holidays

The end of the year arrives, predictably, at the same time every year. And yet clients consistently find themselves caught off guard! For most distributors, the year’s end ushers in a mixed (Santa’s) bag of good, bad, and ugly: profit surges (good), dwindling stock (bad), and an unrelenting work pace that keeps you glued to your email until EXPO rolls around (ugly).

While we can’t single-handedly solve every holiday season woe, we can certainly ensure you’re primed for success. Below are our (updated) strategies to sail through the holidays. 

Just remember: you’ve got this.

Start Right Away!

In the promo industry, it’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays. Below are some pointers to kick-start your journey.

  • Budgets: Are you familiar with your client’s fiscal year-end? If they follow the calendar year, they might face a “use it or lose it” dilemma–budget that must be spent, or it vanishes next year. Capitalize on this by launching an email campaign to those clients nearing the end of their year and their budget. Urge them to place orders now for timely invoice processing.
    Begin with’s holiday section for inspiration!
  • Social Presence: Ramp up your social media campaigns RIGHT NOW. Clip gift ideas from our collection of holiday catalogs. If you get them thinking now, you’ll be in their thoughts come gift-giving time.
  • Value Adds: This is when you propose options like kitting, drop shipping, and customization. These enhancements bolster your earnings and deliver exceptional experiences to end users. However, remember these demand times–bring them up early!
  • Self-Promotion: Waiting till year-end to thank your clients is a heartfelt gesture, but it’s less impactful when everyone’s doing it. Your token of appreciation is likely to get lost in the flood. Instead, send your appreciation early while simultaneously prompting them to finalize their own orders.

Get In the Mix 

For when things are moving and grooving, but you still have some slackers who are behind. It is time to inspire.

  • Strategic Links: Don’t underestimate the strategic positioning of inspiration links. Embed a favored catalog in your email signature or introduce a holiday collection on your website. But don’t stop there. Consider holiday-themed links on invoices or even a QR code in your office lobby. Subtle reminders of novelty go a long way.
  • Favorites in Action: Have you explored these fantastic products firsthand? Order samples, test them out, and snap pictures (or venture into videos if you’re daring). Share these visuals on your social platforms. Nothing validates recommendations firsthand experience.
  • Be Prepared: Get ahead of the rush by contacting your suppliers early. Have a few great solutions in your pocket with deep inventory and good production to make sure that you are ready when someone isn’t sure what they want. Set your go-to options as a signature in your email, so you don’t even have to retype when someone asks. 

Whoa, the Holidays Crept Up!

The last-minute “I need something NOW!” requests are inevitable. We’ve all encountered them, but it’s never too late, even in the eleventh hour.

  • Set Deadlines: Establish clear order-by dates for different item availability. This approach reinforces stock accessibility and production timelines, tackling tight schedules head-on.
  • Action Mode Activated: Refer to the “Be Prepared” section above, but with a turbo boost. This is your chance to shine. Swift responses can make or break the situation. Assemble holiday lookbooks with reliable partners boasting live inventory. This facilitates quick availability checks and ensures smooth progress.
  • Graceful Denials: Sometimes, what clients desire just isn’t feasible. It’s a tough lesson, but being honest is essential. When saying “no,” pair it with a positive alternative. For instance, “I can’t provide a fully custom beanie, but how about this stylish vegan leather patch?” This positions you as an advisor, not just an order-taker.
  • Unified Effort: No one operates in isolation. From supplier allies to assistants and production teams, a network supports your year-end success. Don’t forget to express gratitude. These folks back you up, and recognizing their role now paves the way for mutual collaboration next year.

Navigating this demanding season isn’t easy, especially with businesses rebounding, but, together, we’ll overcome and thrive.

Ready to unwrap even more holiday inspiration? Follow us on Instagram and YouTube for more on the latest holiday catalogs and flyers.