A Good Impression Kit

The sales kit contains needed information for a sales representative to conduct a meeting with a client. It could carry business cards, a planner, samples, contracts, a file with background information on the client, and other materials related to the client and the meeting. In this vein, the sales kit becomes part of the sales representative effort in impression management. This observation serves as context for a response to a wonderful question in relation to the project for the Sales course.

A student asks:

I sold advertising space for my high school yearbook and did not need a sales kit. Won't a prospective advertiser be turned off if I start a meeting with a sales kit?

After spending some considerable time thinking about the question, I offer some thoughts related to this question starting with the question and then considering the observation.

  1. Regardless of product and situation, you need a kit. The contents of the kit will change but the need will not. A successful sales representative always carries her kit because she is prepared to meet with a client.
  2. You will impress your client with the contents, and organization of your kit. Your kit signals to the client that you are ready for this meeting.
  3. You are a detail-oriented person. Given the previous point, your client will most likely take notice of your level of detail. You are a sales representative who can be trusted to cross Ts and dot Is.

Ultimately, your sales kit reflects who you are. It signals that you are a professional and are prepared for this meeting.

As to the observation, I offer this thought. Many businesses, especially in smaller towns, will reserve promotion dollars for these type of requests. These businesses are not buying advertising. They are engendering civic pride.

In my retail management course, students wrestled with a similar request. The students, though, considered it from the perspective of the business (i.e., the client) and not the student (i.e., the seller). A few students turned down the request. Of those students who did agree to purchase some amount of promotional activity, all wondered about the value of the promotional activity.

Without a sales representative (along with his or her complete sales kit) to communicate the value of this opportunity, many businesses (i.e., clients) did not spend as much as they could have. That is, dollars were left on the table.