ePromos Featured in Counselor Magazine
ePromos CEO Jason Robbins was featured on the cover of Counselor Magazine, the leading promotional products industry publication. The company was featured as one of four “Models for Success” in the industry. From the Article:
Before the U.S. slipped into the recession, there was this little thing about the dotcom bubble bursting. ePromos Promotional Products, which was founded in 1998, was front and center of the carnage that online businesses endured. Most didn’t survive. Not only that, but the balance sheets of faltering companies were the stuff of comedy – millions of dollars of venture capital funding in and very little to show for it. Luckily, ePromos wasn’t one of those companies.
Before the crash, ePromos had been doing quite well (like many businesses and aggressive stock traders). After, the company needed to regroup. It took the opportunity to focus on the mechanics of the business and improving processes.
A decade later, the dedication to cutting edge technology has served this 75-person company based in New York City well. Still, it lost about 10% of its clients in 2008, most of whom were part of the free-falling financial sector. To counteract this, its primary customer base grew 32%, with a 23% growth in overall dollars. “So, more customers were spending less in 2008,” says Jason Robbins, CEO of ePromos. He projects business for ePromos will grow 10% in 2009, but admits “It’s really pie in the sky until we see what happens with the economy, stimulus package, etc.”
Diversity of clients as well as sales staff has helped the company push forth. “Our client base is very broad. We’ve had big clients in a couple of areas that have been hit hard,” says Mark Yokoyama, director of marketing for ePromos. “But, because of our varied client base we are insulated. We don’t depend on any one vertical.”
To help accomplish this, the sales staff has been intensely trained “so it’s not just our CEO bringing in the business,” Yokoyama says.
New employees spend two to three months in the classroom before they hit the phones. After that they can do up to 1,800 orders in their first 12 months on the job. “The experience they get is invaluable,” Robbins says. “It would take the average distributor five years to gain that amount of knowledge and we share the information between us. If you’re handling up to 200 law firms, there is a lot more knowledge than if you are just dealing with one.” Ultimately, this process of training and sharing of information helps the company overall quickly pick up on customer buying trends and habits.
The result of this sales system is that the ePromos sales staff is a highly professional organization that’s able to work as a partner to its customers. And this level of professionalism is desired by many of its customers, Robbins says. “You get a lot of jacks-of-all-trades in this business,” he says. “We strive to be professional.”
Not only that, the company works to be a leader by offering expansive educational materials to its clients and prospects. Blogs, articles and case studies provide clients with a valuable stream of information that they can use in their own businesses. “They get to see how actual companies in their industries are solving the same problems and challenges they have,” says Yokoyama. “They see a case study and say ‘I want to do that.’”
In terms of ease of use, Yokoyama says, “Historically a lot of people have copied whatever we’ve done on our site. Some of it seems standard now. But, our search and navigation are better than anything else you’ll find out there. We’re adding zoomable images, we’re constantly adding new functionalities.”