Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. is now Custom Specialties LLC

To our valued clients:

Ad Trends Advertising Inc. has seen steady growth over the past 25 years, thanks in large part to our relationships over those many years.  Today, I am proud to report that as of March 1st, we have Full Color CSI 312Cmerged with Overland Park, KS-based Custom Specialties LLC to create one of the region’s leading providers of client-branded promotional, marketing and advertising services. Over the next couple of months we will be transitioning to the new business operation platform.

By joining forces, we’ll create a larger purchasing group that will allow us to provide our clients with more competitive pricing on corporate apparel and the promotional product line. At the same time, we’ll be able to support advanced ordering and tracking systems which will streamline the ordering and delivery process for you.

The company will operate as Custom Specialties and will retain showroom space and offices in both Blue Springs, MO and Overland Park, KS.  As with any big change like this comes some speed bumps but I want to assure our clients that we are making every effort possible to minimize any issue during the transition. I want to thank you in advance for your patience.

Ad Trends’ journey over the past quarter-century has been a memorable one, and we are grateful for the continued support of our loyal client base. Today, with more resources than ever, we are very excited about what this opportunity represents in our ability to better serve each of you moving forward.

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Print Thermo BackpacksBackpack Thermo Bags

Thermo Backpack Bag for wellness programs

Perfect for day trips, sporting events, wellness programs, seminars and much more.
Features: 80 GSM premium non-woven polypropylene backpack with insulated interior compartment with Velcro® closure, small interior utility pocket, external mesh knit pocket, 1-inch reflective stripes, black draw cords, and carrying handle.

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Custom Glitter Shirts by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. John Nowlin ShirtsI like big puttsJohn Nowlin Shirts

Custom Glitter Shirts

Add some glam to your apparel collection with these custom glitter shirts!  Whether your looking for a way to stand out in a crowd or just want to have some fun with something fun and uniqe, these shirts are the perfect solution.

Custom Glitter Shirts are great for:Custom Glitter Shirts for Schools
  • Company Events/Trade Shows
  • Employee Gifts
  • Sports teams
  • Dance and cheer teams
  • Teachers and Staff
  • Sororities
  • Salons
  • Fundraisers

Set your brand apart at your next trade show or boost your school pride by adding some sparkle to your design.  This glitter can be applied to most garments made of cotton, plolyester, or a blend of the two.   We use high quality glitter flake heat transfer vinyl.  This has a fine texture and shimmer, and is the truest representation of hued glitter.  This is a durable vinyl and the glitter flakes will not fall off in the washing machine.

Call Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. today to speak to a friendly customer service representative! 816.228.1123

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Winning Winning

Seven Selling Mistakes that Cost You Marketing Dollars

A guest blog by Mike Montague, Certified Sales Trainer at Sandler Training Kansas City

Most businesses these days seem to take a sales or marketing approach to business development instead of a sales and marketing approach. We have found that these common mistakes in sales can cost you a lot of marketing dollars and a lot of lot revenue from potential sales. If you are looking for a better return on your marketing budget, you might try looking at your sales department
first.

1.  You don’t tightly target your prospects.

When business is slow, the temptation to tell your story to whomever will listen is great.  After all, talking to someone – anyone – is more productive than sitting at your desk waiting for a potential customer to call.  Right?

Maybe not. Be choosy about the people to whom you “tell your story.”  Use your existing customer base to identify the characteristics of your best customers.  With that information, develop a profile of your “ideal” customer.  Then, search out prospects that most closely fit the profile.  You may meet with fewer people, but you’ll close more sales. This profile should be developed with both the sales and marketing teams.

2.  You’re not sufficiently selective about the prospects with whom you meet.

Expressing an “interest” in your product or service is not a strong enough reason to schedule an appointment with a potential prospect. Find out why prospects are interested and what sparked their interests before you schedule appointments.

If prospects’ “interests” aren’t backed by recognized needs or desires for your product or service - now or in the immediate future - then there’s no compelling reasons to meet with them.  The objective of scheduling appointments is to start the selling process… not to make friends or have pleasant conversations. Use the marketing department to score the leads and nurture them until they are “sales ready”.

3. You don’t command control of prospect conversations.

When you get qualified leads from your marketing, you should prevent the conversations from meandering in several different directions, make it clear at the time you schedule appointments that the primary objective of the meetings is to determine if your product or service is appropriate to meet the prospects’ needs, and that the focal point of the conversations will be to explore and understand those needs. Buyers are more prepared and educated than ever… you don’t want to back-track, you want to help them take the next step towards a sale.

4.  You’re not properly prepared for meetings.

All too frequently, salespeople take for granted hot leads generated by the marketing department. They forget about the hard work and dollars invested into creating them, and they assume the sales or don’t prepare like they should.

Can you answer the following questions about your next prospect appointment?

  • What are the first three questions you’ll ask the prospect after you say, “Hello”?
  • What questions will you ask to create rapport and get to know the prospect?
  • What questions will you ask to explore the prospect’s need and home in on the underlying reasons for or events that precipitated the need?
  • What commitment(s) will you ask for if there is a fit between what the prospect needs and what you can provide?

If you haven’t identified and rehearsed the questions you’ll need to ask to start the meeting, explore the prospect’s requirements, qualify the opportunity, and systematically move the meeting to an appropriate conclusion, then you’re NOT prepared. Hot leads should be treated no differently than self-generated leads.

5.  You neither establish credibility nor demonstrate expertise.

When meeting with prospects, your job is to help them view their situations from different perspectives… and discover elements or aspects of their situations they didn’t previously recognize.  To accomplish that, you must not only be knowledgeable about your product or service, but also about the specific reasons people would need it, the situations that would create the need, and the consequences of not adequately or appropriately addressing the needs.

And most importantly, you can’t just tell them! Prospects can get information from your marketing, but you must be able to ask questions in such a manner as to help prospects make those “discoveries” through a conversation.  Here’s an example:

When you asked your production manager to measure the injection pressure differential between the beginning and end of the production cycle and determine to what extent it contributed to the casting inconsistencies, what did he report?

Educating your prospects through intelligent questions demonstrate your understanding of their problems and your grasp of what it takes to appropriately solve those problems. It is perhaps the single most important skill to master in modern selling.

6. You don’t ask “tough” questions.

To be valuable as a salesperson, you must be able to identify core aspects of situations, define elements at the center of controversies, uncover root causes of problems, discover carefully guarded information, and obtain rarely volunteered commitments.  You won’t be able to accomplish any of those tasks without asking tough questions. Again, websites and marketing materials can explain features and benefits, but only great salespeople can ask and answer tough questions.

And, you must be willing and able to ask those tough questions confidently and consistently, knowing that you may not like the answers you obtain, because they are essential to qualifying or disqualifying the opportunity.

7. You rush to make presentations.

Many salespeople are too eager to make presentations.  They view them as opportunities to establish the value of their products or services by demonstrating their unique aspects.  You can’t establish value, however, until you have determined which aspects, if any, are relevant to the prospects’ situations.

The real purpose of presentations is to confirm your ability to deliver the solutions prospects are predisposed to buy.  How do you know what prospects are predisposed to buy?  You determine it by having really great conversations with your prospects. Until you know what and why you are presenting, you should refrain from making presentations.

Making presentations before thoroughly qualifying opportunities will almost surely guarantee that you leave those presentations not with decisions, but only prospects’ promises to “think it over.” Don’t cool off your lead from the marketing department, instead take it from warm to HOT by discussing the prospects situations and understanding why they are considering your help.

Make the most of your marketing and sales opportunities!

In some companies, the relationship between marketing and sales can be a tenuous one. However, if both departments work together, the harmony can take your organization to the next level. Marketing can become sales enablement specialist who create and nurture leads, and then escort them over to sales at the perfect time when they need individual consulting. The sales team can relax and become closing conversation masters that bring the expertise of a trusted advisor who solves problems and removes road blocks for prospects. Both departments can work together to create and atmosphere and environment that allows the customer to buy, and enjoy doing it!

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This is a guest blog by Mike Montague, Associate and Certified Trainer at Sandler Training Kansas City. Sandler Training empowers their clients to achieve higher levels of success through innovative training courses in sales, management, and customer service for companies and individuals around the Kansas City area.

Click here to attend a complimentary sales seminar, “The Psychology Behind The Sale.”

Let Your Brand Flow!

Unclog your prospect pipeline with this branded Mini Blaster Plunger!

Mini Blaster Plunger - Let Your Brand flow!

Plunge your way into your prospects home or office!  This powerful mini plunger displaces more than six cups of water with each plunge.  It is ideal for unclogging sinks, toilets and drains.  You know what they say...big things come in small packages and this Mini Blaster Plunger is no exception.

These branded plungers are great for homes and RV’s!

 

Quantity    -     12     -      24     -     36     -     48      -     72

Price Each -   $2.50  -   $2.40   -   $2.30   -   $2.20   -   $2.00

Set up Charge - $50

Contact a friendly salesperson at Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. for more information 816.228.1123.

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What Your Content Says – And What it Says About You (part 1)

contentLast week we talked about backlinks and how important they are to your site, and this week we are going to be talking about your onsite content. Some of you SEO pros out there might think I discussed these backwards – the onsite is more important than the backlinks. This I know, but there is a method to my madness. Let me explain:

Backlinking is a process that can take a long time to finish – some may say that it’s never done – while onsite optimization is something you want to do while you’re building your site. So the onsite should be completed first. That, young sir, is correct. However, when you’re building your site you want to make sure that you are putting the right content for your site up. So this isn’t something that you want to go about “all willy-nilly”. You want to make sure that you hire a professional to write the content, or if you feel like you’re able to handle it, make sure that you’re putting quality information on your site.

This week, we’ll talk about the basics:

The content on your site – on every page – should in some way talk to the main point of the page. If you are a plumber and you are talking about sink installation, every sentence should in some way go back to that keyword – sink. Keyword? That’s right, you want to make sure that you have designated a “focus keyword”for the page and build your content from there. From the focus keyword, you’re going to build off several other keywords that should be in content somewhere:
- Sink installation
- Installing a sink
- Sink maintenance
- Etc.
On-Site-content
These keywords being found in the content along with having to do with the focus keyword will help search engines find your page above other plumbers’ pages that talk about sink installation. Simple right?

Well, you have to make sure that you have around 300 words per page and you cannot just put the word “sink” in the content 100 times and say you’re done. Those smart guys at Google have figured that out. So, what do you do? You have to create good content so that it makes sense to the reader and has the keyword in there once about every 15 words or so – about a 5% occurrence. Seem a little complicated?

Not to worry – here at AdTrends Advertising Inc we have professional SEO Copywriters and SEO professionals to make every one of your pages be found easily and make your site start ranking!

Next week’s blog is going to go a little more in depth about onsite content, and talk a little more about keywords (my favorite!).

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How Mobile Are You?

computers and mobile phoneI don’t mean how well can you move about in the world, I mean is your website set up for mobile browsing? Or, to put it another way – when somebody goes to your website on their mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or reader), how easily are they able to go through your site?

A quick little fact; by 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage. For some of you that might not sound right. But think of it like this; when you are on the couch at night watching television and a commercial or a fact comes up that you want to research really quickly. Do you get up from your couch and look it up on your computer in the other room, or do you pull out your phone and look it up? If you’re like most people, you whip out your phone or tablet and look it up real quick. Most people only use their desktop computers for working or if they are doing something major – but for the most part they are using their mobile devices.

So the question remains; how mobile are you?
future_search1
Creating a mobile website is not a monumental task, but it can take quite a bit of work if you don’t know what you’re doing. Though, this work is well worth it if done right. A few more quick little facts: 75% of mobile users use their mobile device for shopping, 95% of mobile users use their devices for local search, 9 out of 10 mobile searches result in a purchase or visit. There are several more facts that I can tell you, but I think you get the idea. Putting your website onto a mobile platform is a very lucrative move for your business.

One of the biggest rules in business is that you have to adapt to survive – so the change is on the horizon, are you ready to adapt? Contact Ad Trends Advertising today to talk with one of our sales reps about how mobile marketing can work for you.

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Backlinks and Your Ranking – What Does it Mean?

For any of you out there that have a business and a website for that business there is always the lingering question; “How can I get my website to be shown on the first page of search engines?” The answer, is simple; SEO and Backlinking. The application, however, is a little more complex. links

If you don’t know what the term SEO is, it stands for (S)earch (E)ngine (O)ptimization, meaning optimizing your place (or rank) on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, Aol, Dogpile, etc. So in order for your customers to see you quickly when they search for something you do (promotional products in Kansas City, for example) your website needs to be “optimized” in order to show up above your competitors. Before getting too far ahead, let me state that this will be one part of several upcoming blogs discussing SEO.

The question still remains; “How do I get my site to rank higher than my competition?” One of the major factors that help SEO rankings is something we call “backlinks”. If you have never heard of this before, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Backlinks (sometimes known as incoming links, inlinks, or inbound links) are any links that are directed to your webpage or blog. So what does that mean? Anytime another webpage or blog-page has a link on their page that is directed back to your site, you have a backlink. Why are backlinks so important? Simply put, they are a “checker” for search engines to know that your site or blog is relevant, has fresh content, and is an actual site (not a spammer site). How many backlinks is a good number to have? Great question: thousands! The more links you can get, the better. Unlike cookies or cake, the more you have the better for you they are. How long does getting thousands of backlinks take? Again simply put, a long time. Trying to obtain as many links to your website as humanly possible is a very long and arduous process and trying to get them without the proper knowledge will frustrate and confuse many people attempting it. So the number of links to your site is the only thing that matters? I wish. But along with having as many links as possible, you want to make sure that the links are QUALITY backlinks. And the trick of good SEO work is finding those quality backlinks for your industry and website. seo-hosting

Hope that last line didn’t damper this post. But don’t fret about your site too much – if you aren’t on the first page ranking or your site is low on backlinks, we are here to help; we have SEO professionals here that can get your site ranked!

Next part we’ll talk about is how important your on-page content is – what your website says and what that says about you.

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Golf Season is Coming!

Golf Tournament  Ad-02

 

It’s starting to get close to that time of year again; the sun is staying out longer, the grass is starting to turn, and companies all around the area are getting ready to have start their yearly company golf tournaments. And maybe you are getting that “itch” to head out and play in a couple tournaments.

But first, do you remember those golf tournaments from last year?  Were they great or just ok – you know they say a bad day on the golf course is better than the best day at work.  Do you remember the “goodies” or “SWAG-bag” they handed out?  You don't?  Was it because those goodies were “not-so-good-ies”?  Was this event the oneyou or your company organized?  If so, how many of the players from last year’s event plan to return this year?  And more importantly, how many of the sponsors from last year’s event do you expect to return with their generous contributions?Golf Tournament  Ad-03

If you are on a golf tournament committee and want your participants to return to your event year after year, send them away with a goodie bag full of quality items they will want to use - or more importantly, items they won’t want to throw away.  And if you rely on sponsorship dollars to help fund your event, then their company logo should be on items that your players will hang onto and want to keep in their car, desktop, or home office . . . not just in their golf bag.  Your sponsors will look at these goodies as marketing dollars spent wisely.

Let the “Club Pros” at Ad Trends Advertising help you build a better golf tournament.  Our ideas will not only add credibility to your event, but will also bring more money to the bottom line of your fundraising efforts. We know that no two companies are the same, and neither are their tournaments; so why should all of the goodies be the same from tournament-to-tournament. We create customized golf tournament items for you and your company, and never just pull something off the shelf and slap your company logo on it.

Think about it, would you rather have Sponsor A logo on a sandstone car coaster and your company be seen every time they take a drink; Sponsor B logo on an acrylic drink tumbler and you’re seen when they are thirsty; and Sponsor C logo on a roll-up sweatshirt blanket and help them keep warm while they’re dreaming of the course? OR you could give your players a $20 umbrella.  How do you define getting the most “bang” for the marketing buck? Oh, and all of this is done for under $20 per player.

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Make Your Website Your #1 Salesperson

Your website is a lot like your vehicle, you need a tune-up from time to time to keep that vehicle running at its peak performance.  Your website is also running 24/7 so there are a lot of things that can build up.

Over time websites can get bogged down with multiple files that build up in the back end and can slow the performance of a website.  We sometimes also let our information on our website get stale and old.  By making key changes to your website you can bring it up to date and make sure, most importantly, that the search engines are happy with your website.
The Ad Trends Website Tune-Up covers multiple areas that can drastically improve the performance of your site.
·         Overall Performance- We look at key indicators that can effect the loading speed of your website and run tests to chart improvements.  Images and other large files can be pinpointed and fixed to improve speed and function.
·         Site Keyword Relevance- By looking at the major parts and pieces that the search engines look at to help determine the rank of your website we can find where a website may be lacking and find ways to improve the direction of Search Engine Optimzation.

·         Search Engine Ranking- By looking at where a website ranks we can determine what moves and changes can be made to improve a website ranking and also improving the things that websites rely on to show the significance of your site.

·         Outdated Content- This can be a leading factor on how a website can fail at getting the right message to customers.  If your phone numbers, emails and product information are not correct you run the chance of losing business you never even knew you had the opportunity to get.
·         Current Sitemap- We also look at your sitemap which is a file in your website that can tell the search engines when and where to index your website.  Many websites exist without a sitemap and Google can have a harder time getting the information it needs to give you the best possible ranking.
Give your website the tune-up it deserves.  Your website can be your #1 salesperson, you just have to give it the right attention.
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