In March, we highlighted how Document Solutions of Springfield used their Torch award nomination from the BBB to win new business. The post sparked quite a bit of interest and I quickly realized that Document Solutions of Springfield is not alone; there are many other award-winning Xerox channel partners using third party awards and recognition to grow their business.
An example is Xerox Agent, Benchmark Business Solutions. In 2016, they were named winners of the DREAM BIG Blue Ribbon Award from the United States Chamber of Commerce – for an impressive third time.
I spoke to Constance Barbian, Director of Marketing at Benchmark Business Solutions, to learn more about their philosophy and to see if she had any marketing tips that other Xerox channel partners could use.
Constance told me that, “at Benchmark, we feel strongly about building relationships and giving back to the communities we serve. This, in turn, has helped us win awards which we then leverage as part of our marketing strategy.”
So how can you get the best out of your hard-won awards? Put simply, you need to put them to work in as many ways as possible.
Nine ways to use awards in sales and marketing
Make them part of your sales pitch
Third party recognition helps you to quickly build trust with new prospects. Recognition for outstanding customer service is a stamp of approval and something a prospective new client wants to hear about – so make sure you tell them.
Wear your awards with pride
Most awards provide web and print logos to the winners. Display them on your website, social media cover photos, email signatures and include them on printed collateral. Place the award logo wherever prospects are likely to research printer and copier solution providers. Adding them to proposals gives your sales teams impressive talking points.
Use them for local media attention
Awards and ratings from trusted sources like the BBB and Chambers of Commerce are powerful drivers for brand recognition and reputation within local communities. Use them as opportunities for local media exposure. If local media does not contact you, then pitch them to your local paper or radio show. Most will be eager to tell your story.
Use them to spruce up your local advertising
Many channel partners use billboards, magazines, movie theaters trailers, sports teams and other local print and online advertising to display their business and support their local communities. These venues are the perfect place to include the print version of an award logo. It operates as a visual testimonial.
Use them to improve employee satisfaction
Everyone wants to be part of a winning organization. When awards are won, employee morale is naturally boosted. Happy employees bring (and retain) happy customers; they also speak positively about your products and services, amplify your messaging and act as brand ambassadors.
Use them to attract the best talent
Awards can be a great lure for getting the attention of, and recruiting, top-notch talent. The best talent wants to work for the best companies so include the awards you have won on job postings and career pages to give your business an edge needed to attract great candidates.
Use them as social media talking points
Awards are justifiable reasons to toot your own horn. Take pictures of the team and post them on social media, your audience will be excited to help you celebrate online! Write a blog article about the reasons you won, and share examples of how it improves your customers’ experiences.
Create your own press release
Submit a press release to the prnewswire.com like this news release from Benchmark Business Solutions
Use them as a prompt to thank your customers
Take the opportunity to generate an email and send it to your customer list, thanking them for helping you achieve recognition. They will be proud to do business with a winner and it provides a valuable opportunity to show your appreciation and connect.
Where to find awards
When it comes to finding appropriate awards, Constance recommends that you ask at the chamber of commerce, your local better business bureau (BBB), local business development groups and local chapters of national professional organizations. Here are eight suggestions to get you started.
Seven third party awards for channel partners to consider
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) (Torch Awards for Ethics)
- US Chamber of Commerce (DREAM BIG Blue Ribbon Award)
- Score Awards: (Multiple awards on diversity, community-impact, sustainability and more)
- The American Business Awards (Stevie Award)
- Inc Magazine, (Inc 5000 – Fastest-Growing Private U.S. Companies)
- Ernst and Young (Entrepreneur of the Year – US only): Regional awards
- Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology (Small Business Influencer Awards)
Bonus suggestion (number eight in the list)
Don’t forget to contact your current vendor(s) for any country-specific, regional or local awards. Even accreditations or specialization badges can help you stand out from the crowd and form part of your marketing strategy.
Become a Xerox Channel Partner
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Xerox channel partner and leveraging the Xerox brand to build your business, take a look at the Xerox Global Partner Program today.
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