Ready, set, go!

Race for a $Billion, a campaign to raise $1 billion in estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service through sales leads from employees, is underway.

The Small Business Sales team is organizing the effort, which began in the fall and will continue through the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. The campaign aims to build on last year’s success, when employees submitted sales leads that generated more than $990 million in estimated annualized revenue.

“To reach this new milestone, we need every employee to participate,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “This is your opportunity to help the Postal Service make history.”

Sales leads can come from virtually anywhere — a new restaurant in town, a home-based business owner who uses a USPS competitor to ship his or her products, or a shopkeeper seeking new ways to advertise his or her wares.

Employees who spot these kinds of opportunities can use one of five programs to submit the lead: Customer Connect (for letter carriers), Clerks Care (for distribution clerks, machine clerks and retail associates), Mail Handlers (for mail handlers), Rural Reach (for rural carriers) and Submit a Lead (for everyone else, including Executive and Administrative Schedule employees).

For example, Michael Domino, a retail associate at the Richmond, IL, Post Office, recently spoke to a friend who mentioned that her employer was in the market for a new shipper.

After Domino used Clerks Care to submit the lead, a USPS business development specialist contacted the company, explained the organization’s shipping options and closed the sale, which generated $921,600 in new estimated annualized revenue.

“It couldn’t have been easier,” Domino said.

The Sales Blue page has more information about each lead generation program, including instructions on participating.

Throughout the Race for a $Billion campaign, the Small Business Sales team will provide service talks, handouts and other materials to help local business development specialists encourage employees to submit leads.

The team will also publish a weekly report on Blue that shows how each district is faring in the challenge. The latest report shows the top three performers are the Central Plains, San Diego and Bay-Valley districts.

Said Anderson: “This is going to be a long race, but I know our employees will help the Postal Service cross the finish line.”

New stamps

The Postal Service has announced two more additions to its 2020 stamp lineup.

Presorted Star, intended for use by business mailers, will be available in coils of 3,000 and 10,000. The stamp will feature an asymmetrical design that includes one large white star, two white and three red stripes, and a blue background with letters and three small stars in gold.

USPS will release the stamp Feb. 3. No national dedication ceremony is planned.

Chrysanthemum will be a Global Forever international rate stamp that can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter to any country where First-Class Mail International service is available.

The round stamp will feature a photograph of a pink chrysanthemum on a white background.

The stamp will be released April 24 and dedicated that day in Burlingame, CA. Additional details will be announced later.

The Postal Service announced several 2020 stamps in October, as well as new Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express stamps in December.

Drive safely

Postal vehicle drives along a snow covered street.

The Postal Service wants employees to drive safely during winter, a time of year that presents unique challenges.

Here are some tips:

• Allow yourself extra time to stop and turn. Slow down well in advance of traffic lights, traffic signs and intersections.

• Leave extra space between your vehicle and other traffic. Reduce speed and increase the following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

• If you must stop because of unsafe conditions, pull off the road. Get away from traffic lanes.

• Ensure all windows and mirrors are free of snow. Make sure your vehicle has enough washer fluid, too.

• Scan the road ahead. If there’s decreased visibility due to high snowbanks, other drivers will be forced to pull their vehicles out further into the line of traffic to see. Be prepared to act by reducing your speed.

• Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts can reduce the risk of crash injuries.

The Resources for Safety and Health website has additional on-the-job safe driving materials, including Safety Depends on Me videos and stand-up talks on winter driving.