Put yourself in this scenario. You get a phone call from the State Troopers “association.” Association is the key word here. Your senses are heightened. “Is something wrong? Are they looking for me?” Then you start to get a sales pitch to put your business card on a magnet or calendar.
What just happened? This guy acted so serious, almost like he was a State Trooper, talked about how important it is for you to support those who serve, and now he’s selling magnets?
The Easiest Advertising Advice
Here is the easiest advertising advice I can give you. Say, “Thank you for calling. We aren’t interested,” and hang up. If you want to give money to an organization, calendars, t-shirts, and magnets aren’t the way to do it. Send them a check.
My company takes hundreds of calls like this every year for our clients. We play the bad guy who says “no.” If there was any advertising value at all, we would consider it. The truth is that 99% of it is pure garbage.
Why is it garbage? No one will see your business name because it will hardly be used. Who fights for free t-shirts at games? Kids. Do they wear oversize t-shirts? No. Do their parents want a T-shirt that has mopped the bleachers? No. It gets thrown away. I could give you hundreds of examples, but you get my point.
Here’s the next garbage factor. The team or organization that this is supposedly supporting will probably only receive 20-30% of the money you spent. The company selling the product to you keeps nearly all of it. Nice right? Again write a check.
The ultimate garbage factor is this: It could be a total scam. A company says they are selling for a nonprofit, but the nonprofit has no knowledge of the company, and hasn’t authorized any sales. This recently happened with a local school district and it happens more often than you know. Again, if you want to give money, give it directly to the organization.
The companies selling this stuff have only one interest, their own. Don’t play along with them.