Nobody Needs Challenge Coins More
Who doesn’t get excited when we meet our elected officials? I recall one consulting trip to DC when I and a friend found ourselves with a few hours to spend. We went to the mall in front of the capital. It was a beautiful day and there was an art show in the mall. Just as we were about to leave we say a commotion in the crowd. The presidential limousine pulled up and out of the crowd came President Clinton and Chelsey. As he got into the car he smiled at us and said “how you doing”. So I remember that now twenty or so years later.
I tell this to remind political people that they are more famous than they might believe. We all want to meet the mayor. We all remember when we did. Even when we work with them everyday there is still a mystique surrounding political office that impresses.
So What Does This Have to do With Challenge Coins?
Just as actors have an issue with gift giving this is an even greater problem for elected officials. How do you award people discretely without breaking the bank or some obscure law? Have a personal presentation coin.
Why challenge coins? First of all they are affordable. You don’t have to spend much to give someone something that has a very high perceived value. Very high. Ask yourself the question the recipient is asking….”when this guy is president, what is this coin going to be worth?” Seriously though. One of the very best things about Challenge coins is that they look and feel expensive without being so.
You Can Carry a Custom Coin in your Pocket
How cool is that. No need for preparation. Just before every public encounter slip a few of them in your pocket. I know one Colonel whose wife lays out his military coins along with his clothes every morning. (This would not fly in my household as our modern division of labor precludes the laying out of my clothes by anyone other than me, but then I digress. )
How many times have you had a constituent hand you a gift they have made? With a challenge coin you have some way of reciprocating.
Not Another Plaque!!!!!!!
So how many do you have? Could you put up an “I love me” wall that spans a football field? Probably. And for every one of those beautiful plaques, so thoughtfully given, there was a staffer or two who had to write the citation, order the plaque, go pick it up, take it back and get the name spelled correctly, and make sure that their boss did not forget it on the airplane. Challenge Coin! Here Your Excellency (in the case of the governors of Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Virginia) put these coins in your pocket and try not to give them to people before the event.
Who do I Give Custom Coins To?
Anyone you like. Anyone at all. You can certainly spread good will with them. All of your VIP meetings. Important grip-and-grins, friendly reporters or photographers….you name it. All will be wowed by the gift. Remember that these need not be expensive items. You can be pretty free with them.
A Cool Meeting with Mayor Rothshild
When I went to meet with Mayor Rothschild of Tucson I was told ahead of time that people meeting with the mayor are encouraged to bring a canned food for the food bank. I thought this was a super idea since I work with homeless people as a volunteer and am keenly aware of the need for food in the local food banks. Bravo to him for doing this. (In case you want to know he is a seriously nice person.)
So how do you reward the many people you meet in your job who are doing seriously good volunteer work? Give them your personal coin. Again. No need for preparation, no fuss and little expense. Don’t forget how much people remember a simple thank you. Here is a way to put an exclamation point on it. It is a way of catching people doing something good and rewarding them for it on the spot.
And while we are on the subject. On the spot is important. How many times have you said you were going to remember to write a letter or drop someone a call to say thank you, or congratulations, and then forgot? If you can present them with your challenge coin on the spot you will never have to worry about it again.
I will write more about this later as the political season approaches. The use of coins in political campaigns offers a great opportunity to hit it out of the park.
Everybody likes nice and thoughtful people. When their encounter with you becomes even more memorable their opinion of you rises. That is a very good reason by itself to had out challenge coins. Commanders in the military have know this for years and that is why military coins have become ubiquitous. But the most important reason for handing them out is that it is a wonderful act of kindness. You will really get into it. At least I hope you do. I sell challenge coins.