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Four Best Practices To Boost Your Outbound Sales Strategies

With inbound sales, your prospects are already at least somewhat familiar with your company. They may have filled out a form on your website or messaged you on social media. Outbound sales differ in that the communication begins with you—the sales rep. Instead of the prospective buyer reaching out to you, you are the one making the first contact.

It can feel a bit intimidating trying to create an effective outbound sales strategy. But there are some tried-and-true methods that can help you boost your success, according to Travis Tyler, a marketing content specialist at PandaDoc. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Tyler’s four best practices to improve your outbound sales.

1. Actively participate in social selling. Tyler says that social selling leverages social networks like LinkedIn and Instagram to connect with potential customers outside of more traditional forms of contact. Social channels can be great tools to get more leads and accelerate your sales cycle. Just remember to be social — not overly salesy. Aim to create and share content that addresses your target audience’s biggest pain points. Focus on building relationships, and those connections could eventually lead to a sales call and a closed deal, Tyler says.

2. Embrace the power of email. Even with all the many social media channels, email remains a powerful way to connect and engage with prospective buyers. People tend to keep (and use) their email address for years, while they may go back and forth on various social platforms. To boost your outbound sales efforts, use email to create personalized outreach for different marketing segments.

3. Be smart about automating. No matter what outbound sales campaign you decide to run, automation is crucial to reaching out to as many people as possible, Tyler says. However, it requires a balance. If you rely too heavily on things like form emails or templated responses, you risk coming off as impersonal. You don’t want an automated system that runs itself. Instead, strive to automate workflows and menial tasks. This can give you more time to add a personal touch and connect in more meaningful ways with prospects.

4. Soften your approach. Tyler says that faceless and impersonal tactics do not belong in a modern outbound sales strategy. This means avoiding spammy emails and cold calls and being upfront about why you’re contacting a prospect at a specific time. If done incorrectly, this can come across as spammy or creepy. Customers don’t necessarily want to be contacted just because your software tools tracked their IP address when they visited your website, Tyler says. However, if customers are openly voicing concerns or you have a solid, logical argument for getting in touch, then your team can leverage those buying signals to convert deals in real-time.

Succeeding at outbound sales may feel complicated, but the right strategies can be extremely helpful. You can keep your approach authentic and effective by considering the points above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Travis Tyler is a marketing content specialist at PandaDoc, an SaaS software company.


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Nine Tips To Avoid Wasting Time In Meetings

Nearly three out of four professionals say they waste time every week due to unnecessary meetings, according to Atlassian, and 45 percent say they feel overwhelmed by the amount of meetings they attend. Some meetings are valuable and necessary. They unite teams, whether in person or remotely, for brainstorming, goal-setting and discussion.

However, not all meetings are worth pulling away from your work. If you feel like you get called into meetings that may not make sense for you to attend, it helps to know how to respectfully decline them. Ted Kitterman, an editor of PR Daily for Ragan Communications, has compiled a list of nine ways to politely decline the meeting invites that roll into your inbox. We share his suggestions in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Question the meeting’s objective. If the meeting has a fuzzy objective or doesn’t have one at all, let the organizer know you won’t be a value-add, Kitterman says. There’s no sense sitting in a meeting that doesn’t have a clear purpose.

2. Be direct. You can also help take back your time by asking the meeting organizer why you are included. This isn’t necessarily a rude question, Kitterman says, but rather a way for you to learn how you can contribute.

3. Find out which colleagues are attending. If the meeting contains mostly people from other departments, there’s a strong chance your presence may not be needed.

4. Suggest a replacement. However, if someone from your department needs to be in a meeting, offer up someone to go in your place. This can help a less-experienced employee gain more visibility while freeing up your schedule, Kitterman says.

5. Assure the organizer you’ll follow up. You may not need to attend this particular meeting, but that doesn’t mean you’re not available to help with a project or request.

6. Address the agenda in an email. Kitterman says you can often circumvent the meeting entirely by quickly addressing the issues for discussion in an email or Slack message.

7. Hop on a quick call. If you don’t want to come across as rude in an email, jump on a call with the meeting organizer.

8. Block off time on your calendar. This strategy works with the caveat that you will review the meeting summary and offer input as needed.

9. Start a conversation about your company’s meeting culture. If you feel like you are swamped with meetings, it may be a good time to talk with your boss about how you can create a healthier meeting and scheduling culture. Maybe that looks like scaling back on the overall number of meetings or being more selective in who attends these meetings.

All-hands, town halls, check-ins, regroups and other meetings can quickly overwhelm your work week. You can take back control. Consider the tips above to avoid wasting time in meetings.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Ted Kitterman is an editor of PR Daily for Ragan Communications.

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Benefits of Selling Branded Merchandise for Your Business

Benefits of Selling Branded Merchandise for Your Business

By: Christina Duron : The TJB American Business Magazine

Are you considering adding branded merchandise to your retail or online store? No matter the size of your business, branded merchandise is a great option for all kinds of businesses. Discover the benefits of selling branded merchandise for your business to understand how it can work for your brand.

Boosts Brand Recognition

Selling or giving away branded merchandise is an effective avenue for boosting brand recognition. Think of your branded T-shirts, hats, and other merchandise as mini billboards. When customers wear and use your branded merchandise, they’re sharing the image of your logo and brand name with everyone they encounter. This makes branded merchandise even more effective than a stationary billboard because your products are mobile. More eyes on your branding and logo mean an increase in your brand recognition.

Acts as Cost-Effective Marketing

One of the biggest benefits of selling branded merchandise is that you can acquire it easily and at a fair price. Many manufacturers offer merchandise in bulk for a discounted price. Once you get your branded merchandise, you can use it to promote your business by selling it in your store or online, promoting it on social media, and more. The merchandise also makes a great prize for social media giveaways and free gifts for your online or in-store customers.

Expands Your Products

If you plan to sell your branded merchandise in your store or online, then you should know that these items make great additions to your product lineup. If you’re looking for new products to spice up your inventory, try choosing from the many diverse types of merchandise available. If clothing and apparel items don’t fit your business, try branding water bottles, notebooks, and other practical items. However, almost any business can benefit from adding apparel items—even small accessories like hats might be just what your customers want.

Helps Your Business Stand Out

Merchandise can also help your business stand out. You can set your business apart from the competition by creating and marketing your own brand of products in the form of merchandise. All kinds of businesses can expand their marketing this way. Even apparel stores that specialize in accessories and clothing can stand out with their own branded merchandise. Branded merchandise helps your apparel store stand out from the rest of the competition while expanding your product selection at the same time.

Have these benefits of selling branded merchandise for your business helped you decide? Offering branded merchandise in a store is a fantastic marketing opportunity for any business, and you don’t want to miss out.

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Six Ideas To Reconnect With Lost Leads

As every seasoned sales professional knows, not every lead turns into a sale. You may have hundreds or even thousands of prospects who didn't convert. Whether they return your calls or emails, or they said they weren't interested, you may be tempted to move on completely from these potential buyers.

However, it might be worth trying a few strategies to re-engage them. This is because most buyers need about five follow-up contacts before finally deciding to buy. By reaching out again, you can potentially win some of these lost leads back, says Flori Needle, a writer for HubSpot Sales Blog on Promotional Consultant Today as they discuss a few Needle's ideas for re-engaging lost leads.

1. Survey your lost leads. Keep it simple by asking where they stand with your company-- are they still interested or no longer interested at all? If they are not interested anymore, what caused them to lose interest? Either way, you'll find out which leads could benefit from nurturing and why some leads just aren't that into your business anymore.

2.Maximize trigger events. These can be anything that creates a sales opportunity with your leads, Needle says. Whether it’s a new location opening, an acquisition or even someone opening your email, these trigger events create opportunities to reach out again.

3. Share relevant content. Try combining this strategy with the one above. Send your lost leads an article or new product information that makes sense for their current situation. Needle says this can help you increase your chances of closing a deal because you’re giving them resources that can help them solve their pain points.

4. Reach out in new ways. If you typically call your prospects, try connecting with them in fresh ways. Needle says switching up your mode of communication works because it’s unexpected. Your leads are used to hearing from you in one way, and you can capture their attention, leave an impression and stay top of mind by mixing it up. This simple switch may inspire your prospects to start a conversation with you again.

5. Try retargeting. Staying in front of potential buyers online is another powerful way to reconnect with lost leads. Retargeting ads appear when prospects browse online and remind them that you’re there and have something to offer them, Needle says.

6. Start from scratch. Although you already have some relationship history with your lost leads, it can sometimes be helpful to start from square one. Reach out and ask your leads what has changed since you last spoke and listen to their new pain points. This allows you to tailor a new strategy to better meet their needs. Essentially, restarting from zero allows you to put all your cards on the table and start a relationship that is more likely to end in a sale, Needle says.

If you have a lengthy list of leads that didn’t work out, try some of the strategies above. You may not convert every lead into a buyer, but you’ll likely win some new business. And remember what Needle says: Lost leads don’t have to be lost forever.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers.


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Seven Content Marketing Trends To Watch This Year

Seven Content Marketing Trends To Watch This Year

Compiled by Audrey Sellers Source: : Barbara von der Osten | PPAI Media

Content marketing can take on many forms, from blogs to videos to podcasts. When you create and publish content your audience finds valuable, you can help show your expertise and stand apart from other businesses. Your content can also help you get found on search engines and generate leads.

Whatever kind of content you create for your business, it helps to stay current on the latest trends. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’re sharing a few insights from Barbara von der Osten, a writer for Rock Content, on some key trends in content marketing. Read on to learn how you can make the most of your content this year.

1. Include more interactive content. You know those polls and quizzes you see on social media? Aim to include more of these in your content marketing. These allow you to engage your audience, gather useful insight and capture leads. Some other ideas for interactive content include guides as animations or expandable reports, says von der Osten.

2. Focus on empathy. This is the year to refocus on your clients and prospects and ensure you have them at the center of your content marketing. What do they need and want from you? What motivates them to take action? According to von der Osten, when you know these answers, you can create helpful content that evokes relatable emotions in your audience.

3. Embrace video marketing. Video isn’t going anywhere in 2022. In fact, von der Osten points out a HubSpot survey that reveals that 59 percent of marketers already use video in their content marketing and 76 percent say video is their most effective content format. Why is video so helpful? Because it captures attention and creates deeper connections.

4. Think hyper-personalization. Brands like Stitch Fix and Netflix are already using this approach with their content marketing. It requires going beyond using someone’s name to tap into their preferences, wants and needs, says von der Osten. You can embrace hyper-personalization in your content marketing by exploring artificial intelligence or using automation to create unique interactions with individuals.

5. Use more visual content. Written blog posts are the gold standard in content marketing. However, you can elevate your approach by attracting and engaging prospects with visual content like infographics. According to von der Osten, well-designed visual content can increase engagement and help you expand your reach.

6. Mix in more audio. Podcasts aren’t new, but von der Osten says they will continue to trend higher during 2022 and beyond. This kind of audio content lets listeners tune in while they are doing other activities like commuting or exercising.

7. Optimize for voice search. Another key content marketing trend this year is optimizing content for voice queries. Instead of writing for keywords such as “best promotional products for real estate agents,” you should now create content that answers questions like, “Hey Alexa, what are the best promotional products for real estate agents?”

Content marketing is always evolving. Whether you refresh your strategy to incorporate some of the trends above oryou double down on what works well, the main components are still the same. You should know who you want to reach with your efforts and what you want to accomplish with your content.

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