How to get the best out of your promotional staff
By: Jean-Paul Diaz-Caneja
Reading time: 4 min

Your promotional staff are a gateway – or a brick wall – to your brand. First impressions count, and promotional staff who do their job well will bring you new clients.  And, on the downside, underperforming promotional staff are bad for business.

How your promotional staff attract and interact with potential clients can be the difference between failure and success. So it makes sense not just to recruit the right mix of personality and skills, but to do the stuff you need to do to get the best out of your staff. So here are our top tips on how to spot a great candidate, and what to do when you’ve recruited them.

What to look for:

Some people are naturals. They’re great with people, ooze reliability and honesty, and usually have the confidence and personality that shine alongside your brand. So look out for:

  1. Emotional intelligence: How do they treat you, online and in person? Do they act and react appropriately? You want your promotional staff to engage with potential clients the right way; to know when to push a little, when to hold back, how to find out what a client really wants, how to hold a great conversation and to know when to shut up.
  2. Personality: this doesn’t mean you should pick the all-singing-all-dancing extroverts. Your client base is diverse, and your promotional staff team should reflect that. A pleasing personality is always welcome. But remember in an interview situation, your candidates may be nervous and not show themselves at their most confident best.
  3. Quick to learn:  promotional staff must be knowledgeable about what you’re selling, yes, but they also need to understand how to transfer your brand into real life. It’s not just about wearing the company t-shirt. They’ll need to be quick learners to grasp the brand, the product, as well as the motivations of your target audience. And being able to think on their feet is desirable, too.

How to get the best from your promotional team

Happy staff are great salespeople and the trick is to keep them engaged, not just in their day-to-day responsibilities, but in how they feel about you as an employer. Engaged employees are more productive and creative, they stay longer (because they’re happy – no brainer!) and have fewer absences.  Try:

  1. Top quality onboarding
  • Clarity is key. Make sure that the who, what, where, when and how of their role is very clear. Will they need to travel? Who’s in their team? What’s the pay? It’s important to get the basics right.
  • Make them feel welcome and part of the team: send a welcome pack before they start, and try out a buddy system for new starters.
  • Treat them as equals. New recruits are an excellent source of feedback on what your business looks like from the outside. Be open to ideas, and create an environment where questions and ideas are encouraged and rewarded.
  1. Making it interesting
  •    Develop their skills. It’s important that your promotional staff have excellent product knowledge, but many people, millennials especially, see skills development in general as a motivator. They’ll feel valued if you take the time and resources to upskill them. Try developing skills like teamwork, communication, initiative, negotiation and leadership, a perfect promotional skills toolbox.
  •    Perks, perks, perks. Who doesn’t like a perk or a treat? Again, staff who feel valued are more engaged with their job. Looking after staff after a long day at an exhibition with a good meal, a nice hotel and perhaps time off in lieu are just some simple ways to say, “thank you, I value what you do for the company”.

A little effort in picking the right people then looking after them will keep paying you back in the long term.