Why Can’t I Purchase Just One Calendar?

We offer great calendars for sale and we’re quite proud of that fact.   And we realize that many people throughout the country have grown accustomed to receiving a certain calendar style or theme as it may have been hanging on their wall for years.   We understand those traditions.   We appreciate that familiarity and passion for a particular themed calendar product.   That’s why it is not always easy to tell a caller you can’t purchase just one imprinted promotional advertising calendar from us.

Despite telling many customers we can’t just sell one calendar the pleas to make an exception to our policy often go on.   Unfortunately, the call always ends in disappointment and I’m sure with frustration.

So, why do we disappoint people who call wanting to purchase a single calendar unit?   We have several reasons, here’s why:

  • First and foremost, when we secure licensing rights to images appearing in the calendars we DO NOT purchase them for a retail sales basis.   In other words, calendars that are sold in single (or small number units) are not keeping the true spirit of selling for promotional advertising purposes.   Instead, what the caller is suggesting for us to do is sell calendars that do not fulfill a promotional purpose, but rather complete a gift calendar transaction.   This constitutes a retail sale and violating this clause in our licensing could subject us to fines and other penalties with the owners of the images.
  • Another aspect that many callers looking for a single calendar do not understand is we DO NOT assemble the calendars in the factory until an imprinted advertising calendar order is received.   That being said, it is not possible or practical to simply go find a single calendar of a particular style and ship it.   There’s an order process and part of that process involves several steps in completing the calendar product assembly.   Prior to that the calendar is often just printed laying on pallets in the individual component pieces.
  • No, we cannot pull a sample calendar from one of our production runs.   To ship out a calendar featuring the promotional message from one of our customers would be a violation of our customer’s privacy.   Our customers are the only people authorized to distribute calendars bearing their advertising imprint.
  • On a similar note, we DO NOT disclose who purchases our calendar products so that a caller can go to their business and request a desired calendar from them.   Again, we protect our customer’s right to privacy and do not share their buying history or details with anyone.
  • Finally, often times what happens is a caller states their bank, hardware store, etc. has chosen not to give that calendar out this year.   We remind the caller they are speaking to the wrong person about this request.   The folks who need to hear you appreciated that calendar is the company who discontinued using it for advertising.   Perhaps they wrongly assumed nobody appreciated receiving the calendar and need to hear those assumptions are mistaken.   Unfortunately, from time to time some businesses don’t always get the positive feedback from customers and prospects they need to hear from to justify continuing to market or promote a business using calendar products.

In closing, we’re not in the business of disappointing customers when they call for our calendar products.   Likewise, it’s important to note that we are selling a specialty promotional advertising calendar product that is imprinted with a customer’s unique message for marketing.   Single calendars are sold in bookstores and on magazine racks during the holidays.   Our calendars are sold typically in larger quantities with a specific purpose in mind.

Honestly, if a customer who has been accustomed to getting a particular calendar from a vendor suddenly can’t get that calendar, we feel your pain.   However, we also feel that for us to be in a position to provide that single calendar to the caller is also doing a disservice to the business who used to give that calendar out.   They had a special investment in those calendars and they should expect that the folks who sold them the calendars will not also sell to their end-users.   It’s a special relationship that we cherish and the policies we’ve stated are intended to protect.   Thanks for your thoughtful understanding on this matter.

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Imprinted Promotional Advertising Calendars On SALE!

Has sort of a catchy ring to it, doesn’t it?   Nothing beats a good sale.   Walk into a department store and this rack might be offering 30% off.   The rack over here might offer 40%.   Oh, my…the shelf over here has a clearance at 50% off.   This is too good to be true!   Suddenly, you leave the store spending more money and buying more items than you ever imagined you would do at the beginning of the day.

Sales and marketing tactics are a game many stores like to play with their customers.   It’s a practice, however, that we rarely engage in.   Since selling our first calendar back in 1987, we have offered a standing sale that amounts to a 10% discount off early ordered products.   That means, if we get your calendar order prior to July 1st of any given year we will give you this discount for ordering subsequent year product earlier than the rest of the pack of customers.

But there’s a reason we do that.   First, we don’t like to play games all year long fluctuating our prices artificially higher so that later we can promote some deep discount.   Let’s face it, all businesses need to make money so when another company sells at 30-50% off do you really think they are losing their shorts, so to speak?   The point is under that scenario if you buy at the wrong time and don’t get the benefit of the pending sale pricing you just likely paid more than market value.   It’s a game…and we stay too busy to play that way.

But back to our reason we do offer an early order discount off our calendar products.   As you can imagine, calendars are sort of a seasonal product.   Clearly the vast majority of our selling takes place during the months of August through mid-January.   The other six months of the year can be slower with calendar production activities.

Therefore, to spread our printing burden out throughout the year we offer an early discount to encourage buying during the non-traditional calendar season.   Typically, we have calendars ready to go for the next year as early as February.   And best of all, any customer who orders early and gets the discount can opt for these additional benefits:

  1. We will store your calendar order for FREE.
  2. We will give you a 10% discount on all calendar orders (for next year’s product line–not the current year calendar) from February thru July 1st.
  3. You get to choose the release date when those stored calendars are shipped to your door.
  4. Perhaps best of all, WE DO NOT CHARGE your calendar order until the promotional advertising calendars are ready to leave the factory.

We take pride in having some of the best personnel in the calendar printing industry.   When you speak to our customer service it will take only a few minutes to discover they are genuinely caring and knowledgeable about your imprinted calendar order.   We strongly feel we don’t have to play the sales game to attract customers because once our customers experience our imprinted advertising calendar quality and service they will understand the true value in their purchase.

So, the next time you see deeply discounted calendars on sale ask them this question.   How long have you been selling on the Internet?   Or better yet, do a search of their website for yourself at Wayback Time Machine.   You will notice our site goes back to 1999 and we were actually online selling even before that.

There’s a reason many companies offer so many calendar sales.   The problem is so many of these companies soon discover that playing that game might snag a few customers, but in the long run they don’t survive the test of time practicing business that way.   Don’t you really want to do business with a solid, well-established company that will sell you calendars this year…and still be around after ten more years?

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Here’s Why Stick-on Promotional Advertising Calendars Are Popular

One of the most versatile and functional calendars used for promotional advertising is known by several different names.   They’ve been referred to as Hang-ups, Stick-ups, Peel-N-Stick®, Press-N-Stick™ its all about the same small vinyl calendar with the adhesive backing and the tear-off pad.

What makes this calendar so popular?   That’s easy.   You can put it where you need it and it’s convenient.   It’s also small enough to mail out with correspondence from the office such as invoices, purchase orders, you name it.   That makes it handy for your customers and also handy to distribute.

What many people don’t realize about these calendars is we have many different options when putting together a promotional advertising calendar such as this.   Consider these unique ways to use the stick-on style of calendar:

  • Create a die-cut unique vinyl shape.   While we offer a wide variety of stock shapes and designs, it certainly is possible to have a shape cut that is unique to a company’s image.   There is some additional expense to producing the die, but once we have it we will store that die for future orders for future years and only use it for you.
  • Split season date pad.   Assume you have a mid-summer tradeshow and you would like to give a calendar away.   No problem.   We can assemble for you a stick-on calendar that begins and ends with any month (for up to 24 consecutive months).   Therefore, if you want to give a calendar away starting in the month of July and ending 18 months later…you can do it.
  • Magnetic backing instead of adhesive.   We give options.   If you would prefer to give out this style of calendar that contains a magnet rather than adhesive backing, several of the same shapes are available.   Discuss this with one of our sales representatives.
  • Over-sized vinyl.   Sometimes you have just too much information to say on a standard sized calendar…that’s why we offer the possibility of super-sized stick-up options.
  • Full color is also a possibility.   Full-color printing on vinyl has come a long way over the past several years.   Yes, we can print your stick-on calendars in full color.   Call one of our customer service representatives today for additional details on this option.
  • Business card sleeve.   Have multiple folks in the office who each want to use a promotional advertising calendar?   May we suggest our business card sleeve stick-up?   Here a customer simply slips in their business card and starts handing them out.   Quick.   Simple.   Easy.

All of the suggestions you see above are special order items where we suggest talking to one of our sales personnel about your specific needs.   That’s why you won’t find any of these items (mentioned above) priced on the website.

Indeed, the stick-on style of calendars can be found almost anywhere in homes, autos, offices and factory locations.   You’ll find them stuck inside of portfolios, briefcases,  in autos behind visors, on dashboards, near hard-wired telephones, on filing cabinets, computer monitors, near cash registers, the list goes on and on.

The stick-on calendar with its low price point also happens to be one of the most popular imprinted promotional advertising calendar styles for first-time calendar buyers.   The investment is rather minimal, but the payback in getting a company’s name billboarded for prospects to see can pay huge dividends to the advertiser.

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4 Ways You Can Successfully Raise Funds With Calendars

Believe it or not, back during World War II a group of girls well known for selling cookies offered something else for sale other than sweets.   You see, butter and lard was in short supply so as part of the war effort this group of aspiring young ladies went door-to-door selling, you guessed it…calendars.

The reason calendars have long been considered a worthwhile product for raising funds is they can be found in every home.   In many cases, the typical home will have one in the kitchen, one in the home office, perhaps another in the garage, in the laundry room, you get the picture.   So, it only stands to reason folks would want to purchase a calendar and when it goes for a good cause…well, so much the better!

Over the years we have produced and sold calendars for customers many different ways to be used for fundraising.   Consider these four ideas:

  1. As a gift.   It’s rather simple.   Calendars are purchased at cost and sold at a chosen mark-up.   Often times it is within reason to expect that calendars used to raise funds can be sold at double, sometimes even triple their original cost.
  2. As a money calendar.   Here the calendar rules are usually printed and explained on the back cover.   The object is several times each month there will be a drawing and a winner is chosen for a specified prize.   For instance, the calendar will be consecutively numbered so each recipient gets a unique chance at winning.   The calendars may be limited to 1,000 units selling at…let’s say $20 each.   Perhaps each month there is $500 given away either in one or several smaller drawings.   In this scenario if all calendars are sold it would mean a $14,000 profit for the organization.   Of course, this is just one example as organizations are free to develop this fundraiser as they best see fit.
  3. As a prize calendar.   Here the concept works much the same as the previous example, but instead of money, prize packages are given away.   It could be trips, gift certificates, merchandise, virtually anything that might appeal to the fundraising crowd.   The calendar would spell out all of the rules and often times organizations will have a website where winners are posted so the results can be checked by everyone.
  4. As a coupon calendar.   This sort of fundraising take some additional work, but when done properly it can minimize exposure to the organization for upfront costs.   In this example, extra sheets are collated into the calendar offering coupons each month.  For instance, if six coupons are available for each month and let’s assume that a coupon sells for $100 each, that’s a cool $7,200 upfront before the calendar is even printed.   Produce 1,000 calendars and this breaks down to just $0.10 per coupon/calendar.   Now, the organization has in-hands the money needed to produce the calendar usually with profit to spare.   Moreover, the organization can still sell the calendar which adds additional dollars in the organization’s coffers.

Honestly, these are just a few of the many ways calendars have been used by organizations to generate much needed funds.   Of course, it is up to the organization to check local laws to ensure they are in complete compliance before undertaking any such project.

If you need further help with fundraising ideas or a better explanation of the nuts and bolts of how these programs can work, I urge you to contact our customer service representatives.   Each is experienced to ensure your money raising project gets started correctly from concept to completion.   They will also share certain advantages or pitfalls based on past experiences to maximize your chance for project success.

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The High Cost Of Using Cheap Promotional Calendars

It’s one of the questions I hate to field most from a caller.   It goes something like this.   “I’ve been on ___________ ‘s website and they offer calendars for $ _________ (some ridiculously low price–you fill in the blank).   We’re wondering if you will match those prices.”

Usually my first response is…”Well, if you like their pricing why don’t you just purchase from them?”   I know that sounds sort of crass and borderline unprofessional, but I make that statement with a purpose in mind.   Typically their response goes something like (pick one or more excuses):

  • Dealing with their inexperienced people with an attitude sucks; or
  • I hate getting constantly hounded by them to reorder products; or
  • Their products are flimsy; or
  • Their images are not very appealing; or
  • The quality of their printing is not very good; or
  • My customers don’t care to use those calendars; or
  • I ordered last year and it took 3 months to get them; or
  • They messed up my order and never corrected it last year; or
  • They don’t have as wide a calendar selection (themes) as you do.

Well, the list could go on, but I think you get the picture.   The point is when we hear this sort of prospect query the customer knows in their hearts how an inexpensive calendar does not automatically mean they are getting value from the product or the company they are purchasing it from.

Look at it this way.   I tell our customers and prospects how if they buy a $0.69 calendar, hand it out, to only eventually get tossed into the trash what have they gained in promotional advertising.   First, the gift you gave them was so worthless they didn’t care to even use it.   Second, they now realize how you will place your company’s branded message on anything no matter what the quality.

Honestly, first impressions in life are everything.   When you meet a person for the first time you know whether or not your personalities will “click” within the first minute of talking to one another.   Same holds true for first impressions of a calendar.   When a customer or prospect picks up your calendar they are subconsciously and immediately processing several things:

  1. Does this calendar meet my minimum quality standards for use?
  2. Am I getting a gift of any real value?
  3. Could this company have offered something better (higher value)?
  4. Was this calendar offered only to special customers like me or indiscriminately provided to everyone?
  5. Will someone else back at the home or the office be excited about what I was given (envy factor)?
Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Let’s face it…handing out inexpensive promotional advertising calendars to your customers can end up costing you in many different ways.   Perhaps the biggest cost isn’t in the money you thought you were saving, but rather in the opportunity cost you were provided to give out a nicer, customer cherished calendar that gets used year after year.

The best litmus test we tell our customers to know if their calendars are used and appreciated is what happens next year.   Do you really think a customer will come back asking specifically for a replacement calendar you cut corners on and paid less for than a cup of coffee?   Or, do you think a customer is worth at least spending $3.00+ for an extremely nice product with a perceived value much higher?

Our experience has shown a calendar user likes to replace a calendar they appreciate and are familiar with in subsequent years with a similar calendar.   If that customer is not excited enough to come back for a new calendar it should be no surprise to anyone why that is the case.   In so doing, the business giving away cheap calendars just lost out on a marketing opportunity to draw that customer back next year.   That lost opportunity can be expensive.

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Printing Overrun / Underrun Policy Allowance Explained

Folks unfamiliar with the printing industry often get confused about the process of overruns / underruns when it comes time to billing.   Essentially, an overrun is the additional calendars that are printed above and beyond what quantity the customer has ordered.   Conversely, an underrun is the number of calendars printed short of what was ordered.   Occasionally, this process is also referred to as “shortages” or “overages.”

So, why does this situation exist?   Printing is different than simply pulling widgets from a bin and boxing them to complete an order.   Printing involves creating something unique to the customer so it requires machinery to produce the goods.

Certainly, depending on the printing equipment being used, it is not always possible or practical to produce a fixed number of goods.   In fact, stopping the press is a process that will sometimes produce more or sometimes less just by virtue of how the equipment works.   Another way to think of it as like a car doing a hard brake.   If the car is driving faster or on a wet cement surface it might stop longer than it would if it was driving slower and stopping on dry blacktop.   “Stopping on a dime,” is virtually impossible in reality.

That is why the printing industry has long adopted a policy that allows for a + or – 10% factor when it comes to printing.   It is up to the consumer to find out how this matter is handled for billing.   Here at CalendarsNow.com, our policy has always been a + or – 5% overrage / underrage allowance and we bill accordingly to the product that is produced and shipped.   Every effort is made to only produce the quantity of goods that has been ordered to the best of our abilities.

Why bill for the extras when they were not ordered?   Simple.   We want to keep customer costs down and furthermore we want our customers to get what they pay for.   For instance, if a customer orders 300 calendars and our production actually produces 310…do you think most customers would rather we recycle those 10 “extra” calendars and simply build that product cost into the price of the order?   Or, do you think the customer would prefer, within certain allowances, to get everything they had paid for?   Fact is, those printers who don’t have an overrage / underrage policy are simply building this aspect of the printing job into the cost of the printing job one way or another.   We like to treat our customers fair giving them everything that they pay for.

Yet here’s another situation.   When a customer orders 500 calendars they don’t like to receive only 485 units, and we understand that, too.   It is for that reason most often during production there are overrages instead of underrages, but still underrages do sometimes occur.

At CalendarsNow.com our policy is to charge for what gets produced.   That means if you only receive 485 calendars (out of the 500 ordered) that is what you pay for.   Of course, all of this is done within the + or – 5% allowance which is spelled out in our Terms and Conditions of Sale, on our downloaded order form, and it is reaffirmed once a calendar order has been entered into our system (via an order confirmation sent to customer).   We try to be very clear and upfront about this policy.

We do accept orders from customers who state “Absolutely No Overruns.”   When this request is made, we then must tell customers that they will be accepting of an underrun of up to 10%, which is still within industry standards.

Honestly, this entire matter of production overruns / underruns can be a great source for customer confusion.   No matter how it is explained the concept is not always easy to grasp unless you can be at the factory and see how the equipment functions for each individual order.

As things continue to advance in the printing world with digital printing and other more computerized processes, these longstanding printing policies will eventually change as they become outdated.   However, some of the finest printing still to be done today is derived from equipment from an era 30-50 years ago when a human, not a computer must manually stop the press.

As always, if this blog post does not clear up your understanding of overrages / underrages as they apply to our printed calendar products, we ask you to kindly give our customer sales representatives a call to further discuss the matter.   We want you to completely understand how billing with this policy means keeping costs down and for the customer to fully get (from each order) what they are paying for.

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Ordered Too Many Calendars…Now What?

Occasionally we get calls from customers who ordered too many imprinted promotional advertising calendars and they are still sitting in a box at the end of the distribution period.   Their question is now what?

Of course, we respond how this is a great opportunity to do something novel and very much appreciated.   Whenever a customer of ours has left-over calendars for the upcoming year we strongly encourage them to make contact with a local nursing home or convalescent care center.   You see, these residents often don’t get a calendar.   Some may not even have close family or friends.

A long time ago we discovered how many places in our society can make use of those “extra” calendars that a business may have.   And guess what?   Wherever a calendar hangs with your business message it will drive business to you.   Sure, the nursing home resident may not be a potential client of yours…but their visitors who come to see them most certainly could be.

Today, we have a small number of our calendar customers who actually order these “extra” calendars on purpose with intent on giving them away to schools, churches, nursing homes, etc.   They reason how having these mini billboards scattered in diverse locations throughout the community can only benefit their overall marketing efforts.

Honestly, we agree.   The strategy of distributing calendars for business marketing should not overlook any opportunity.   If you put your advertising message on a calendar the goal should be to put that calendar into the hands of the people most likely to need that information.   Next, the priority should be to at the very least get it hanging in high-traffic locations where it gets seen.

So, the problem of having calendars left over after the traditional distribution season shouldn’t really be a problem at all.   It should be viewed as an opportunity to reach potential new customers.   By opening your eyes and mind you will discover there are many appreciative outlets in most communities looking for your generous, caring gift that just so happens to promote your business.

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How To Choose A Magnetic Advertising Calendar That Sticks

There are many different magnetic calendars on the market offering to promote your important name and image prominently displayed, but consider this.   Not all flexible magnetic materials are alike.   Sure, many printers can print on substandard magnetic materials, but it’s important that your message sticks around for the duration of the calendar season like it’s intended to.

Consider these important points about our magnetic calendars:

  • They are eco-friendly being made out of 70% strontium ferrite which is a by-product created during industrial steel making.
  • Our manufacturing process complies with all California Proposition 65 requirements essentially meaning our products meet these safe government standards.
  • 100% Made in America by American workers.
  • Produced on the most state-of-the-art magnet making equipment in the world.
  • That equipment is capable of producing up to 4.5 million magnets per day.
  • Printing is done on Digital, Lithographic, Flexographic and Silk-Screened equipment to best meet the customer’s precise promotional advertising needs.

Our CN-MC02 is one of our best-selling calendar magnets.

We would be happy to send you a sample of our product so you can compare it against what our competitor’s offer.   We are confident that once you see and feel the product, you’ll quickly understand there are quality differences.

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10 Important Reasons Calendar Advertising Works

Whenever a new, prospective customer asks me why they should promote their business with calendars I point out that it makes good promotional sense.   After all, what other form of advertising is designed to get noticed for 365 days each year hanging in some very prominent, high-traffic places?   But consider these other important reasons:

  1. Cost.  Most of the calendars we sell cost less than a penny per day spread throughout the calendar year cycle.   Order 100 calendars to promote your business and you still have an amortized daily cost less than what a cup of coffee will nick you at most diners.   How can you go wrong with that?
  2. Perceived Gift Value.  Customers who receive a calendar feel they are getting a gift from you.   Certainly when you advertise on the radio, TV, or in the newspaper your customers don’t feel that same appreciation.
  3. Functional.   Few other forms of advertising give the user function they can use to manage their busy lives throughout the year.   Studies have shown 98% of people will view a calendar at least once during the day.
  4. Personal.  When a calendar recipient gets a calendar they know they are among a select few who were given this particular item.   Unlike traditional advertising that is often very impersonal and uninspiring.
  5. Billboard The Message.   When a calendar is used in a home or office it not only gets seen by the calendar recipient, it also gets viewed by everyone else who comes to that location.   This means your advertising message has unlimited potential.   Can’t expect that from a newspaper ad that might get seen once and then recycled.   Calendar advertising messages are daily subtle reminders of your business’ existence.
  6. Convenience.  When a prospect or customer is ready to buy from you, why not put your contact information where they can easily glance to make the call or connection?   A Yellow Page ad is just cumbersome and often gets lost in the chaos.
  7. Continuity.   Let’s face it, one of the great advantages of using a calendar for advertising is the fact they self-expire usually after 12 months.   Well, guess what happens…often times that customer or prospect will come back to you looking for a subsequent year replacement.   As creatures of habit, most people like to replace and use what has grown comfortable with them.
  8. Controlled Distribution.   Why not put your critical advertising dollars where they work best for you…directly into the hands of the people who keep you in business.   Remember, it’s your business’ customer base keeping you viable and thriving from year to year.   Place your dollars where they count the most.
  9. Promote The Positive.   Most calendars have uplifting, inspirational photos and topics that help your prospect or customer stay upbeat about life and your business.
  10. Consider Customization.  Calendars can be manufactured as a completely unique design almost worthy of catalog status for your business.   On the other hand, they can have slight modifications to our existing calendars giving the calendar a more unique and personal look.   When properly designed, the calendar can become the ultimate marketing tool meeting most of your business promotional advertising needs.

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Calendars Make An Important Statement About The Calendar User

Consider the job applicant who is asked to come into the office for an interview.   Nervously, they sit down…try to catch their breath…initially avoid eye contact with the interviewer, but then it all begins.   We’ve all heard how those first few moments–first impressions–can tell a lot about a person.   Well, guess what it works both ways!

Now that the interview is in full swing with the interviewer volleying questions after question toward the applicant…there is hardly a chance to ever stop and relax.   This is pressure to the extreme and most job applicants would rather sit in a dentist office to get a tooth pulled than be interviewed about their future career.

Our CN-3212 Planes calendar is a popular choice among aviation buffs.

But so the interview goes.   Eventually the candidate glances away from the interviewer to check out the decor in the office.   Guess what…one of the most notable things many office visitors see is the large calendar hanging on the interviewer’s wall.   But this is no ordinary calendar, mind you…this one has vintage planes.

Suddenly, the job applicant starts breathing a bit easier.   He realizes he may have a common interest with the human resource person.   After all, to get a job a person needs to make a positive impression at some point.   A shared interest is usually a great place to start.

Suddenly, the interview turns more informal.   The applicant realizes the worst is behind him.   In fact, he’s starting to feel quite confident that he handled all of the tough questions like a pro.   Now, it’s time to make an impact.

“I see you like old planes,” the applicant asks the interviewer.   He further goes on to state how he likes going to air shows and photograph them in flight.   It’s been a hobby for the job applicant for over 10 years.   “Really,” says the interviewer.   He goes on to explain how he’s been a pilot for over 20 years.

In this case a simple calendar helped break the ice and aided the applicant to leave a positive last impression as he was heading out the door.

Calendars are great ice breakers that way.   They allow you to wear on your sleeve some of the passions near and dear to your heart.   They can make a statement about your life and who you are.

At CalendarsNow.com we’ve got over 250 different calendar styles that can open doors to communication.   Which calendar do we have that would best hang on your office wall?

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