PPAI Magazine March 2023

business? Can you be candid, and would you be open to hearing why she may not have thought of you before ordering elsewhere? If your answers are NO, then how would a client know the value of working with you? Not judging, just saying that trying to demonstrate value just by implication, assumption and hope is not going to be as successful as finding out what she thinks is valuable and mutually determining whether you can provide that. Also, to offer what you think is valuable, and she may learn or reconsider what she really could gain. Before you write her off, pick up the phone and see if you can establish a different bond. If not, nothing lost, and you can decide if you do move on or if you do want to offer what she seeks. If the call does establish a new and different, then you can both give that a try! ISA COCALLAS Owner 3Koi Kihei, Hawaii PPAI 240572, D2 QA Distributor Asks: Why does it seem like so few suppliers have online portals where we can view previous orders/details? As a distributor, we maintain our own history that is searchable by supplier, project, product, customer and contact name. All information, art, proofs and communications related to the project are instantly available rather than logging into suppliers and looking at their chosen format. For those who would like to make that customerfacing, there are ways. We tried it. Our clients did not like that they had to look up information rather than just have us provide it. BRUCE REISSAUS, MAS Co-owner Advertising Specialties Alliance Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania PPAI 222672, D2 Turning the question around: Does your distributor website have a login where your customers can view order status, prior order history, prior approved art or art on file, etc.? Before I sound too snarky, ours does not! But I’m with you. With a few exceptions, I work only with suppliers who have distributor login, live inventory, order history, status and every possible piece of production information I could ever need right there on the site. I want to push for a similar setup for our clients via our site, because clearly this is the new normal/expectation. ALLISON BENDIS, MAS Account Manager Klondike Advertising Anchorage, Alaska PPAI 591557, D5 We should be charging an hourly rate for our time. That weeds them out. Offer a no charge for time if they order. That is the way this industry should have been set up from day one. I have tried to change our platform, but it’s too late. ELLEN CASTALDO Co-owner Promo Xperts Yorktown Heights, New York PPAI 194482, D2 “Client” and “wants the lowest price” do not go together. She’s not even a customer – set her free. “Clients” are exclusive with you – just like they are with their attorney, CPA, heating/AC guy, etc. This is the equivalent of having you prepare her tax return, then taking the docs and filing online “because it’s free.” She has stiffed you for your work. I’m sorry that happened, but you do have the power to make sure it doesn’t happen again with that customer or any other. Client curation keeps many issues away from your front door, and this issue is at the top of that list. CRAIG SAHLI CEO Graphics Network Tulsa, Oklahoma PPAI 670721, D1 PPAI • MARCH 2023 • 33