MIPPA Monthly - Member Spotlight
This month’s Member Spotlight shines on Sherri Meloche, CEO of Southfield distributor Sales Marketing Group where she manages all aspects of the daily operations as well as continuing w and established accounts.
Hi Sherri, What is the most clever or most unusual promo product you’ve ever seen?
While there are many clever and unusual promotional products in our industry, it is the ones that do not exist that create the ultimate challenge. I actually spent a couple of days one year visiting/climbing around every rock quarry in the area to find the perfect boulder to accommodate mounting a large bronze plaque for a placement outside a school entrance. This was a unique challenge for sure, but it turned out beautiful and will be there for years to come.
What’s your favorite promo product (or your go-to) and why?
I can honestly say I do not have a favorite promo product or “go-to” as our client base is so diversified each client request is researched and options presented based on criteria obtained from them. If I were to pick a go-to category, I would choose tech items. If time and budget allows, my preference is to create something custom and unique to the client….as we all know, this doesn’t happen often in the “need it tomorrow” promotional world!
What are your hobbies and passions - what do you do when you’re not working?
When at my home in Tennessee, my passion is spending time with our goats, chickens and horses (and dog-Boo). I also enjoy hiking (when friends/ family come to visit) and horseback riding in the mountains when time allows. I enjoy gardening, walking and just simply being outside as much as possible. When I am in Michigan – it is all about catching up with family and friends….love spending time with them all.
How did you find this business? Or did this business find you?
This business found me – 20 years ago! The employer I was working for decided to take a different career path, his wife was in the promotional products business and offered me a position within her company. I joined her team in an administrative role to help set up all of the procedures and accounting practices for a large fulfillment program they had been awarded. Next thing I knew, I was servicing the accounts, researching new product and learning the industry.
What do you LOVE about this business?
I love the relationships that have developed (not just clients, but suppliers as well). I love the opportunity to be creative.I actually love the challenges of the “need it tomorrow” and making it happen.
What do you HATE about this business?
Bidding wars!! We all lose at this point (even our suppliers because we have to keep going back and forth to get the best pricing). I also hate when I have to compete with Amazon or online stores that suppliers have in place or when suppliers will actually take a call and sell direct to a client or even worse, solicit the clients we have sold their product to in the past. When someone says “what’s new?” – and I cannot think of one thing because I have seen it all more than once (we all seem to go through this from time to time). Lastly, I am not fond of wearables, but it is the majority of my book of business so any suppliers that can send me their top five wearable options, please do so.
How do you meet new customers?
The majority of our customers are gained through referrals. On occasion we might acquire new customers while attending personal functions.
Where is your favorite place to visit in Michigan and why? Southfield – this is where my home office is located and it is close to all of my family, friends and co-workers. I so enjoy seeing and spending time with everyone when I am in town.
What Supplier Best Practice Makes You Want To Sell More and Do More with Them?
Willingness to stand behind product and go the extra mile like a multiline rep did recently with one of my customer orders is number one in deciding which suppliers will be my first “go-to”.When a Supplier actually helps with ideas and concepts when they say they will or when you need them to. Quality products, friendly customer service and quick responses are also determining factors in deciding who we like to use as a top supplier. Of course, working with our team on pricing when the need arises also plays a role in supplier selection.