March 7, 2011
Each year, ASI conducts the most comprehensive and important research about our industry to create the Counselor State of the Industry report. But we can’t do it without you.
All we ask is that you take 10 minutes to complete a survey. And you could win some great prizes just for participating. There are distributor winners chosen at random for prizes totaling $1,500 in Master Card gift cards, and suppliers can win one of three full-page ads in an ASI publication of their choice.
Why is the survey important? Because of the in-depth reporting each year on key sales, marketing and operational metrics used every day by industry practitioners. Nowhere else do you get the scope of this detailed information about our industry. And it’s free to ASI members.
If you’re a distributor, you can link to the study here. Suppliers can link here to their survey. If you’d rather fill out a paper version of the study, email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you the .pdf you can mail back to us. But hurry, the deadline is March 25.
Thanks so much for taking the time to help the industry gather this important research. If you have any questions, please shoot me an email.
– Larry Basinait, executive director of research services
February 9, 2011
With escalating concern for product safety and compliance in our industry, there couldn’t be a better time to announce that ASI – in conjunction with our Safety and Legislative Advisory Board – has selected Intertek as its exclusive partner for product quality and safety solutions. And, ASI has negotiated a preferential rate for members to save 20% on all services related to safety testing and compliance.
Just this week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) extended the enforcement date for testing of lead content in children’s products to December 31. That means U.S manufacturers will be required to have CPSC-approved third-party certification for children’s items to prove that products they produce or import contain no more than the allowable limit of lead.
We gave a lot of thought to this issue and worked closely with the ASI Safety and Legislative Advisory Board before selecting Intertek, the accredited world leader in testing, auditing, inspection and certification of consumer goods across all product lines. How will Intertek benefit your company? By helping you answer questions like the ones below:
Click here to get more information on how Intertek can work with your company for product testing and to sign up for Intertek’s consumer newsletter. To read our press release, click here. And if you have any further questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Karyn Coates, ASI’s director of member benefits
October 27, 2010
Here in the Philly area, we are still stinging from what was a debacle of a weekend in Philadelphia sports. The Phillies choked and fell to the Giants in game 6 of the NLCS, and the Eagles – well, I don’t know what the heck happened there – but they managed to blow a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter and lose to the Titans.
Hey, congrats if you’re a fan of either one of those teams and good luck to the Giants and the Rangers in the World Series.
While we’re on the subject of winners, let me get to what brings me here, now that you’ve allowed me to vent. We’re holding our second annual Advantages Sales Rep of the Year contest and we’re adding a spot for sales support staff this year too. So I ask:
Are you the next Advantages Sales Rep of the Year or do you know one? Or are you Advantages FIRST Sales Support Person of the Year or know one? Our January issue will be devoted to Advantages Sales Superstars and we want your nominations ASAP.
Recognize outstanding sales performance in yourself or others.
In 2010, did you come up with something really creative that led to a huge sale? Did you have the largest sales volume in your company? Did you go way over 100% of your quota? Have you gone above and beyond for a client or your sales reps? If you think you or one of your colleagues should be a contender, e-mail me.
The winner will receive gifts and praise and bragging rights for the year. Oh and you will also have a magazine profile to show all your friends and family. Now doesn’t that sound special? Send either your 100-word-or-less entry or, if you’d prefer, your video nomination (you can even sing it or recite it in poetry; I’m pretty much up for anything), along with a high-res image if you have it available: email@example.com.
It’s time to toot your own horn or nominate a worthy colleague. Looking forward to hearing from you!
– Kathy Huston, editor, Advantages magazine
August 30, 2010
I recently had the honor of accepting the Gold Award for service on behalf of ASI at the 23rd annual Proforma Convention and Family Reunion in Las Vegas. This is the second year in a row ASI received this prestigious recognition.
This award, which is voted on by owners, is particularly gratifying because it recognizes the hard work and dedication of over 400 ASI employees who create, develop and support the many business tools and education resources Proforma owners use every day to grow their sales.
I’ve had the privilege of being one of ASI’s contacts for the Proforma organization for more than 15 years, and I’m proud to be a part of the relationship we’ve developed. At the conference, I spoke to many owners who raved about their ASI services and support – and it reminded me of how fortunate I am to be a part of the ASI team.
To read the press release, click here.
Proforma is the second-largest distributor firm in the U.S. and now has more than 1,500 personnel using ESP to help clients with sourcing, idea generation and presentations. Proforma LogoMall sites get close to 1 million hits each month from end-buyers shopping for promotional items and ideas.
Here are a few of the great comments I heard from owners:
“I could not run my business without ASI or ESP,” said Sherry Novelli of Proforma Cornerstone Concepts. “My ability to source products for my clients and quickly turn those products into an online presentation has been the most invaluable tool for operating my business. I love you guys and the partnership we share.”
“Without ASI and LogoMall, I would not be able to share with our customers such a vast number of available products,” said Sherry Kennedy of Proforma A-Z Specialties. “The office loves ESP because we can search for current pricing or product information and have immediate results. I cannot tell you how many orders I can attribute to both of these products.”
“My business has benefited tremendously from the many technology tools that ASI offers,” said Luis Ostos of Proforma DCS. “Our clients love the option of being able to do product research on their own time, from anywhere, by using LogoMall. And ESP Web offers my team the same flexibility, at the office or on the road, to research and present to our clients the information they request quickly and professionally.”
Thank you, Proforma owners – we will continue to work hard to bring solutions that drive more promotional sales. And, congratulations to all my colleagues at ASI for the great support you provide our clients each and every day.
Heather DiPrato is ASI’s senior VP of distributor services. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 25, 2010
Are your clients, family, friends and colleagues contacting you more frequently on your cell phone or by text message? Landlines, what are those?
I recently spent a few days in New York visiting family (yes, I’m a native New Yorker transplanted to Pennsylvania). At dinner one night, I was amazed at the number of people either talking on their cell phone or feverishly texting – something I try to avoid. Seems those of us who are “hooked” never turn our phones off because we’re afraid we’ll miss something.
With cell phones and wireless technology being a major mode of professional and personal communications, having the ability to cut monthly costs is a welcomed opportunity – an opportunity ASI members are taking advantage of through an exclusive discount program with Sprint.
I’m thrilled to tell you we recently negotiated even better discounts* that enable members, their employees and families to save even more.
No worries if you’ve already enrolled – your account will automatically roll over to the new enhanced rates. You won’t have to lift a finger to save even more on your wireless services.
If you haven’t enrolled yet, put your phone or blackberry down and click here to get started.
Please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com, with questions, comments or suggestions regarding ASI’s Member Benefit programs.
Cathy Martino is ASI’s affiliate relations manager.
*Discount does not apply to Simply Everything Plans and Mobile Broadband plans.
June 11, 2010
What would you say if someone offered you a complete customer service center – for free?
That’s exactly what ASI is now offering distributors who buy our 2011 Spectrum catalog. In December, the first 100,000 Spectrums will come complete with an 800 number on each page that leads to an ASI call center. When end-buyers need info on any of over 500 products, a representative will happily provide it.
Better yet – the ASI representative will then contact the distributor to let them know they have a hot lead and an interested client.
There’s no additional cost. The catalog just needs to be preordered before August 4. For more information, click here to read our press release.
With this latest program, distributors can better market themselves as a sophisticated, full-service operation – no matter their company size. And suppliers now have a way to track the performance of their advertising in the catalog.
Spectrum is already one of the most recognized catalogs in the industry, and the 2011 edition will still feature all of the qualities that make it so successful:
• “Customer Favorites” section, highlighting the most popular products
Spectrum, which prints in November with a total circulation of 625,000, is just one of nine customized catalogs offered by ASI as sales-generating tools for suppliers to advertise a wide variety of products and for distributors to sell, market and promote their brand.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-546-1350 if you’re interested in learning more about the program. Since we’re printing a limited number, this will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so I urge to be the first to take advantage of this special program today.
Dan Brown is ASI’s executive director of distributor services.
June 4, 2010
Does your jaw drop to the floor each time you open your credit card statement? One comment I often hear from members is they’re getting “killed” with additional merchant account fees.
You may not know, but there are two types of merchant account rate/fee structures:
Ours is a B2B industry and most cards used are key-in business/commercial cards. With most merchant accounts being the “tiered” type, the majority of transactions fall to the higher non-qualified (NQ) rate, which can be as high as 4% or more, depending on the processor/provider. Yikes!
An ICP account eliminates all of those additional mid and non-qualified fees. However, ICP pricing is traditionally limited to large volume merchant accounts ($120,000-$250,000 in annual processing volume). Now, this is no longer the case, thanks to a new and exclusive ASI member program.
To help members save even more, ASI affiliate Access Group has agreed to offer all ASI members interchange plus pricing, regardless of their processing volume. You can even get a free, no obligation savings comparison to see how much you will save by switching to the ASI member program.
The comment I hear the most from members who have switched to Access Group is “Wow, I’m saving at least 30% on processing costs each month.” Some bigger member companies who switched are now saving as much as $40,000 annually.
Be sure to take a few minutes to look into this great ASI member benefit, get your savings comparison and let me know what you think.
Click here to request your free, no-obligation savings comparison to see how much you can save with the ASI member merchant account processing program.
In addition to discounts on merchant account processing, ASI members save on shipping, equipment lease lines of credit, wireless services with Sprint™, graphic and design services, and much more. Visit http://www.spotasisavings.com/ (asicentral username and password required) to learn more about how your ASI membership can save you thousands each year.
Please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com with questions, comments or suggestions regarding ASI’s Member Benefit programs.
Cathy Martino is ASI’s affiliate relations manager.