Why are workshop folders important? Two reasons:
First, workshop folders are often a customer's first introduction to Stampin' Up, beyond the email or postcard they received inviting them to the show. They'll come in, be welcomed, and take their seat, and dive right in to the materials on the table. Therefore, it is important that these be presented in an attractive and tidy manner.
Secondly, The demo will present a much more organized front, as well, if she can continually refer the customer back to the folder for all miscellaneous info, brochures and catalogs, and sale flyers. The demo also has much more control over what order the customer views/hears about the info she wants to present.
What kinds of folders work best?
Buy yourself 10-12 sturdy school folders. Most people use the paper school folders because they are cheap and come in lots of colors. You can do this if you don't mind replacing them more often.
You can also buy thin 3-ring binders or clear report covers, but make sure to get the kind with pockets so there’s a place for smaller papers. Buy more than you think you'll need, so you can replace dirty or torn ones, and still have them match, even if the style gets discontinued.
You can also use the folders that Stampin’ Up sells on a supply order. These provide another way to showcase our products, but they do cost more and can’t be personalized. They look great, however!
Some demos like hard-sided folders so that people have a place to write. Personally, I found that most often people are sitting at a table anyway, and those kinds of folders are larger and more awkward to cart around. We have enough stuff to carry!
Once in a while someone will accidentally take the folder home with them. While you could probably get it back without too much trouble, it is a good idea not to put anything in the folder that you would be upset over losing.
How are the folders organized?
Definitely put page protectors in the folders, if you get the kind that take them. Place 2-3 page protectors in each folder, and that way you’ll be able to keep the flyers clean and in the order you want to present them, as well as be able to easily swap them in and out.
If you like, purchase a clear plastic 3-ring folder envelope that snaps or velcros shut. These are great for putting the Make N Take supplies in for each person. It’s a little more work for you, but customers love it, and everything is extremely organized. You just tell them which pieces to take out, and everyone does it at the same time, so it saves a lot of time passing pieces around. I found my envelopes at Walgreens.
Be sure to put your business card in the little slots inside the front cover. Put your address label inside each folder as well. Many demos put a small Post-It note pad on the inside cover for people to use to mark pages in the catalog.
So much of a successful business depends on personality and the ability to market your own creativity. Decorate the outside of the folders by stamping, wheeling, or attaching a clear envelope to the front with a card front inside (can be swapped out seasonally if desired). Use one stamp set to make them coordinate, or have each one be different & unique.
What goes in the folders?
• Order form
• Door prize form
• Wish list
• Recruiting brochure
• Mini catalog
• Current specials/promotions
• upcoming events calendar
Don’t overload the folders. There should not be so much information that it overwhelms the customers. Keep all the flyers professional looking.
Use the Taking Care of Business set or another set to stamp all printed materials—it personalizes the folder and gets the products in front of the guest one more time.
What do I do with the folders?
Near the beginning of your workshops, do a quick “folder tour”. Go through a folder and point out the contents so they know where things are. Do this before the catalog tour because after it, they are not likely to pay attention to anything you say!
Put all the contents in exactly the same order in each folder, so that when you are doing the folder tour, everyone is more likely to be looking at the same flyers at the same time.
After the workshop or before the next one, go through your folders and replace missing items such as order forms and wish lists. Remove leftover Make N Take supplies or replenish them if desired. Replace your folders when they become smudged or get worn so they always look fresh! No one wants to hold a dirty or beat-up folder.
Take a little time this week to look at what you have been using for workshop folders, and see if you can implement some of these suggestions. Feel free to comment about what has worked for you, as well.
Dream BIG, friend!
This article first appeared at www.stampinaddicts.com in November 2009.