It still amazes me that the first thing people ask when you visit a store or host training is ‘do you have any pens or notebooks?’. It was the same when I first started training over 12 years ago. Can it be that pens and notebooks are in such short supply, or have we not found a better promotional giveaway in over a decade? I have just purchased a series of client giveaways, and in my search for the unique and useful I have received so many cheap and tatty samples that I am starting to believe that budget sacrifices ROI. If it’s cheap and breaks then it cannot be a motivator, as my Nan used to say ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.

So we decided to go for some higher value products and order less, but then ask for more of store colleagues in return for them. The result? Competition! Staff started to compete with each other to be the best brand ambassador, their listening was deeper, their engagement was better and best of all the testing showed better knowledge retention. Win-Win all around. So I encourage everyone to listen to your Nan and give something of value but expect more.

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