Friday, December 18, 2009

SwagClub! That's Right! I Said It!

Is making an impression really important? Do you make good impressions every day? How do you do it? How can you do it consistently? Well I have a great example of how an independent business person can not only consistently make a good impression, but also make you feel like you're the most important person in his or her business world. That example is Kamran Popkin.

Now just so you know, I've worked with Kamran for years. He was the print salesman Wolff delt with until he started Swag Club. Kamran now provides us with great swag (aka business promotional tools). All of the items I'm about to show you are gifts from him over time and related to what he does.

So what makes Kamran so special? Is it that he puts his customer's needs first? Yes! Is it that he strives to put together programs that "fit" his customers marketing needs and doesn't just "take orders" like so many people do in his line of work? Absolutely! Is it that he never wears socks? Well...maybe a secondary yes on this one. What makes Kamran REALLY special is the relationships he builds with each of his clients. They aren't customers to him, they are friends and colleagues. How does he put this into action in a way that benefits both him and his clients? He listens and shares. Let me give you some examples:

Kamran Knows What You Like
I love to read and write. I especially love to read about sales and marketing because that's what I do. Here are two examples of how Kamran has taken his knowledge of my likes and created an experience for me.

The two books in the upper left corner are just two of the books Kamran has given me over the years. He doesn't buy books for me, he reads them (he loves to read too) and then shares them with me when he finds one he knows I'll like.

The journal is my Christmas gift this year. It will stay on my shelf and become my personal journal for 2010. I will think of him every day as I record life moments in it. This is a precious gift to me because I intend to pass all my journals on to my children one day.

Kamran Knows How to Say Thanks
Earlier this year I spoke at Social Media Club in Spartanburg. Kamran and I are both members. A few days after my presentation, I found this note on my desk...

Kamran had taken the time to stop by and sneak a short thank you note for speaking into my office while I was working in the back. It came sealed with his Maker's Mark Seal and a little gift. This was totally unexpected and really made me feel great!

Kamran Listens
If you read my blog, you know I like to use the micro-blogging site called Twitter. Kamran and I follow each other there. While on a trip to Atlanta a few weeks ago, I noticed a sticker on the back of a car that said, "Wag more, bark less." I thought it was a good point, so I passed this bit of advice along on Twitter. (Not while driving BTW!) Kamran showed up at my office with a smile and this a few days later...

Kamran Looks
The fact that Kamran looks around for opportunities to make an impression netted me my favorite Swag gift to date. My new mouse pad!

The old one was beat to death. Kamran noticed it was old, asked why I was still using it, and then said, "I have something better!" He ran out to his car and came back with the mouse pad above. Now I get to look at three of my favorite people every day as I work.

Now I could go on and tell you about the Bibles he sent to all my children at their births, the pens, pads, and more; but I need to get to the point. How can Kamran's example benefit you?'s simple. Emulate what he does!

While you're out running your route and sharpening for the day, think the Kamran way. Wow! We could make a little jingle out of that! :) Here's what I mean:

1. Find out what your customers like. Not just what they like business-wise, what they like on a personal level.
2. Look for chances to say thanks. Even a little note goes a long way!
3. Keep your ears open. What are your clients talking about? How can you show you're paying attention to them personally as well as professionally.
4. Keep your eyes open too. Think about the mouse pad. It's handy and Kamran's info is emblazoned on it. What could you give your customers that would meet a need and keep you in front of them? I'm sure Kamran would have some great ideas!

Take the time to build relationships as you work, not JUST a service. Kamran is a great example of how you can make yourself valuable to your customers on a whole new level that will make you stand out from the crowd. I don't love Kamran because he gives me things. I love Kamran because he's my friend, because he treats me like a brother, because he cares. And because of these things, guess who I will ALWAYS go to when it's time to buy swag!

Want to see that I'm not the only person Kamran has made an impression on this year, check out my friend Olivier's blog. He got the coolest calendar from Kamran, one of the most unique I've ever seen. Kamran gave one to David Wolff too. What kind of impression did it make? It's on David's "Special Shelf" in his office!

So...what are you doing to make a good impression?

If you're interested in contacting Kamran, here is his contact info:

Don't be afraid to call him! He can help any business big or small and NEVER pushes. He really does put you needs first!

PS - Hey Kamran! I know we're not supposed to talk about Swag Club, but you know I like to break the rules! :)


  1. Hot damn. Kamran scores again. :D

  2. Now THAT's what I call shining the spotlight on someone else!