WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get)

Wikipedia indicates that “WYSIWYG (pronounced /ˈwɪziwɪɡ/[1] WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for what you see is what you get.” In other words, what is directly in front of you should form the whole and complete picture. As shoppers, we can see and touch and feel a gallon of milk and never once question whether that gallon of milk sitting on a shelf in the refrigerated section of a grocery store is, in fact, a gallon of milk. We can choose to take it off the shelf, place it in our carts and take it home with us, because we never have to question the validity of a gallon of milk. We can do this because we know what a gallon of milk should look like, simply, because it’s WYSIWYG.

WYSIWIG has been one of my favorite acronyms to use in business too. I can walk a trade show for hours, touching and feeling products, trying to get a sense of how they work, how they’re made and how they will withstand certain conditions, and rely on that information coupled with my knowledge, to effectively communicate a product’s benefits to my customer. Generally, in my business, if you can see it and touch and feel it, like that gallon of milk; it too is WYSIWIG.

The concept of WYSIWIG is so simple, that people inadvertently apply the notion to other people. Applying WYSIWIG too soon is why people find themselves walking around ungratified in their relationships. Until only recently, I used to mechanically trust people. I thought most people were a fairly open book, once you opened the cover and studied them a bit. I stupidly believed that everyone could be figured out, if only I spent a little time getting to know them. I would apply my analytic, intuitive, and highly trusting natures, and within a short period, be able to size someone up and decide whether I’d invite them into my circle. Just like that, and sometimes almost overnight, POOF! With me, a person could go from complete stranger, to trusted friend that easily, because I was ready to make that transition and leap of faith, purely based upon what I saw in them. This mentality has caused me some pain in life.

I realize now that has all been an unhealthy way to view people and probably even a dangerous way to live. People can’t be sized-up over a relatively short period. You have to know them for who they are, and to do that, you have to look beyond those first and second and third layers, and sometimes this takes a while. Like an onion, you have to peel back the layers until you really come to know a person for who they are, and I suggest you do this before you call a person “friend”, or date someone exclusively, or get married, or take that job, or give a person the keys to your office and the passwords to all your records. I can tell you that in my lifetime, I’ve met many people who I have inadvertently trusted through both an active professional and personal life. I can also tell you another thing I know, unequivocally, for sure now; if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it isn’t necessarily, a duck. It could be an actor duck that does voice-overs in sheep’s clothing.

Budget vs. Per Unit Costs in Determining Promotional Marketing Spend

Finding the right promotional product that enforces a brand, while delivering the right message under budgetary restrictions are some of the biggest challenges that a promotional products sales rep faces with their client.  Too often in this economy, salespeople inadvertently  compromise brand integrity due to a client’s budgetary constraints, by delivering sub-standard product that meets those budgetary constraints.  Too often, the buyer is convinced since they’re working on a shoestring budget, they are limited in the products in which they can choose.  Sometimes, this might be the case, but in most circumstances it is not.  Even with a sizable budget, it’s imperative that salespeople don’t get too focused on per unit costs of the products that they are selling, but rather a client’s overall marketing spend.  

Instead of thinking about per unit costs which limits the customer’s choices, learn how to get an overall understanding of the client’s total marketing spend for the event, trade show, promotion, product launch or campaign.  Then, begin to  understand where the products you present fit into that bigger picture.  I like to think about all of this in terms of a pie.  I’ll fraction my client’s trade show budget pie off into five pieces, after we’ve discussed and learned some of her projected trade show expenditures.  Her first “spend”, or piece of the pie, goes to her exhibitor company who makes her booth and graphics; the next piece to her transportation company; the next piece to her fulfillment house; the next piece for exhibition costs; and then finally, the last piece of the pie went to her marketing budget for uniforms and trade show giveaways.  

In discussing my client’s exhibition costs, or the first piece of the pie; we learned that her exhibitor company outsourced table cloths, banners, graphics and the like, but specialized in the  booth hardware.  By asking questions, we learned that we could save our client money through our own promotional resources, trimming her booth design costs.  Through this process, we also learned that our client’s transportation costs included a handling fee from her fulfillment house for holding  the goods as we shipped them, and that she was also charged by the day.  In addition, we knew she would be charged both shipping and handling fees for transporting the goods to the show.  From that discussion, we worked to save our client money by shipping our products as close to the event date as possible and in some cases we shipped product directly to the trade show, cutting out fulfillment costs altogether.  Due to this big picture planning, we were able to trim from the client’s overall trade show budget and shift that spend to promotions that our buyer could use to generate booth traffic, develop leads and promote sales.  In my client’s eyes, I shifted from being a product salesperson to my client’s on-call consultant.

Now that the budget was finally determined; I started to break down my client’s needs for their uniforms and promotional giveaways for all attendees.   We determined that the uniforms had to be  top-notch and SCREAM quality.  Next, we realized that we had different levels of needs for the attendees of the trade show.  Those attendees were placed into into A, B, and C categories.  All attendees who stopped by my client’s booth received an “C” level gift.  (We needed lots of under $5.00 items that our client could hand out at will to anyone that stopped by.)  Mid-level managers in attendance received a “B” gift with a higher spend and lower distribution, and executives were given a “A” level gift with an even higher budget and much lower distribution.  We had four pieces of the pie this time, and determined our giveaways by focusing on the client’s total budget and not the client’s initial per unit cost directives. Inevitably, the client spent more on promotional product used or distributed at the trade show to promote company awareness and goodwill.

Tonia Allen Gould
Tagsource (Founder)
BrandHuddle (Founder)