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A Look Back… #1


Looking back to when I came to the Promotional Products industry in 1984, I am overwhelmed by the changes that I see today. Our world was very different and moved at a much slower pace.  Relationships with clients were more personal and everybody had a few more minutes to share with others. Many of those early clients have become lifelong friends. 

 -Online catalogs were Microfiche with a reader screen (I still have mine in the attic)

-Twittering was the chirping of a bird

-Orders were faxed or mailed usually overnight with artwork to suppliers

-Acknowledgments of orders were mailed to clients

-Artwork was usually B&W only and had to be color separated with registration marks with colors specified clearly.

-Clients supplied their artwork frequently on logo sheets to be cut and pasted and mailed with orders.

-Orders were prepared on the typewriter (note: Don Jones, my husband and partner was light years ahead of me and was preparing his orders and client acknowledgements on his McIntosh computer)

-Filing cabinets were filled with catalogs

-Personal visits to clients were much more frequent to gain approval of art, specs, etc. as there were no virtual samples.

 A very different world to say the least…Better or worse is a matter of opinion –having been there I can say I feel it was more rewarding.  There was a rapport established with clients that cannot be accomplished with emails and faceless communication. 

 My advice to anybody entering the industry today:  Don’t let yourself slip into the mode of becoming an ‘order taker’….Be proactive in suggesting products to be used as a vehicle for communicating what the client wants to say to his audience.  Make suggestions and become a “counselor”…add value to your services over and above the product.  Get involved with industry associations, meet your peers and learn from each other. 

 Happy Prospecting and Selling!

 Marsha Jones,MAS

Lee Wayne Corporation         





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