Opportunity and Crisis
Sales Prospecting 11.29.2021

Opportunity and Crisis

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Senior VP of Sales, Dale Limes shares an approach that imagines Halo’s sales team as an extension of their client’s in-house marketing function. The emphasis is on selling solutions, not just products, and constantly pivoting to identify and understand customer needs. If circumstances are fluid, as they have been with the unfolding pandemic, Halo’s philosophy is to get ahead of the curve and anticipate how best to provide branded merchandise that is not only an important promotional vehicle but also a source of fun and diversion. Dale shares his marketing perspectives and provides some interesting resources to consider, along with a shout-out referral for a future interview.

About the Guest 

​​Dale has been in the advertising business for 40 years, and in the branded merchandise industry for 34 of those. Since 2004, he has been the SVP of Sales for HALO Branded Solutions, the largest promotional product company globally. Dale oversees a salesforce of 1,500, who specializes in helping clients stand out from the crowd, with breakthrough marketing campaigns, designed to keep clients and employees loyal, and increase market share in their vertical. His mission is to help bring brands to life, by creating memorable experiences for a brand’s intended audiences.

Connect with Dale Limes

Key Takeaways 

  • A little bit about Dale’s background and strengths in brand marketing.
  • Mindset is what differentiates Halo from the 24,000 other distributors out there.
  • Dale provides an overview of the promotional product branded merchandise industry. 
  • During Dale’s tenure, Halo’s revenue went from $90 million in 2004 to $800 million today. 
  • A customer-centric mindset anticipates changing circumstances, acts nimbly, and adapts.
  • Pivoting quickly and staying ahead of the curve turns a crisis into an opportunity.
  • Halo sales teams focus on selling real solutions that support client needs, not just closing a deal and moving on.


“The most important thing when you go into a crisis is the leadership team has to anticipate what clients are going to need going forward, throw out what’s happened in the past. It’s like, here’s the crisis we have today, how do we navigate these waters, sustain business and, most importantly, help out clients more than ever before?”

Highlights From the Episode

What makes Halo a unique organization?

Product-branded merchandise is a marketing tool familiar to companies of all sizes and there are thousands of competitors out there. But Halo distinguishes itself – not only because of its blockbuster revenue figures and Fortune 100 clientele but also because of its people. The executive leadership and home office team set the tone, but the sales group spread out across the country is the engine that drives huge returns and customer loyalty. They deliver a tangible product that involves all the senses and takes a consultative approach that sets them apart.

How do you unlock an opportunity during a crisis when others are busy putting out fires?

When circumstances are fluid, the first order of business is to throw out all previous assumptions. The focus has to be on charting a new path and figuring out how to be most helpful to clients given what’s going on. Being effective requires more than the short-term sales approach, which is why Halo always keeps the big picture in mind. Taking a step back and circling the wagons early in the pandemic turned a crisis into an opportunity. Halo’s team strategized about how to work with PPE and create alternatives to the trade shows and conferences where branded merchandise is so prevalent. Their pivot – and forecasting – were astute and sales of more than $100 million in PPE were the result. 

What kind of mindset is required for such situations?

When faced with challenges, like adapting to Zoom and dealing with Zoom fatigue, Dale emphasizes nimbleness. Much like anticipating the needs of clients in the field, he and his team of executives tried to anticipate the challenges their sales teams would encounter in a Covid world. Marketing played a key role, including the development of special presentations on work-from-home tools, how to stay safe, promote positivity and engagement. Now the new crisis is about transitioning back to F2F working conditions, and Halo is poised to offer solutions. 

How do you cultivate such a mindset within your teams? 

Halo’s mantra is all about being proactive versus reactive. In a saturated market, they train their sales teams to look at themselves as an extension of clients’ marketing teams. They are given agency to innovate opportunities and execute messaging through branded merchandise. It’s a unique approach to solution selling – the messaging, delivery, packaging. The goal is to deliver an experience beyond the recipient’s imagination. It spreads joy to the audience and communicates that Halo is there to help clients solve problems – not just make a sale!

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


  • Jeff Limes – Email Marketing Manager at SpotOn


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