Today we conclude the three-part series called “Nine Surefire Sales Generators.” My purpose for writing this three-part article was to provide some innovative — and perhaps unconventional — ideas you could use to create a great “selling environment” at your printing firm. Successful sales and marketing requires a lot of thought and effort, and the implementation of these ideas will help you reach your goals sooner.
#7. A consistent monthly direct mail marketing plan that makes the name of your printing firm come to mind when someone says, “We need printing.” If you’re not mailing every month, at least to your customers and your top 300 to 500 prospects, you’re missing out on a fabulous opportunity. So much has been written about the effectiveness of direct mail advertising through the years that it would be a little repetitive for me to go on at length about it in this blog post. But, for printers, there is one inescapable reason supporting the use of direct mail advertising that cannot be overlooked: Printing is “what we do.” How can we ever convince our customers to believe in the effectiveness of printing as a tool for communicating ideas if we don’t use it ourselves to tell our story and to promote our own products and services?
When we consistently send out a monthly marketing mailer from our printing firms, we make a wonderful “selling statement” to the businesses in our community. We’re saying that you don’t have to buy printing online, because there is a good printer right here in your neighborhood. We’re saying that not only can we print your company’s sales and marketing materials, but we can mail them for you, too. We’re saying that we do good, quality work, and month after month we will demonstrate that to you with our monthly direct mail advertising. And finally, I think there is a powerful opportunity through your direct mail marketing actions to say we don’t care how the economy is doing. We are creating our own opportunities at this printing firm. We’re still open, we’re still hungry, we’re still working hard, and we want your business!
#8. Hire one very strong tech person, and it can’t be you as the owner! (You need to be out selling and coordinating your marketing plan, remember?) When you hire someone with strong computer hardware, software, and digital skills, you’ll have the firepower to position yourself to compete against online competitors. The question you have to ask yourself is this: Is it really as easy for my customers to do business with my printing firm as it is for them to do business with some of my big online competitors? You need to have someone on your team who can help you keep your company competitive in the digital arena. I know that many owners and general managers like to think of themselves as the chief technology officer at their printing firm. In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing. It only becomes risky when an owner or manager allows themselves to spend a lot of time tinkering around with computers and software issues when they should truly be spending their precious time working on sales and marketing issues.
Don’t ever forget that the work you do on computers or software is simply maintenance… while the work you do in sales and marketing is progress. Every day you get to choose whether to maintain or go forward. When you hire a strong digital tech person, it makes it easy for you to remember to use your gifted skills as an entrepreneur to take your printing firm forward.
#9. Maintain a company savings account equal to at least two months of your printing firm’s average monthly sales. I know I’ll get some criticism for this one, but here’s my thinking: Security creates peace of mind, and peace of mind helps create clearheaded management thinking and “non-desperate” sales presentations. Many printing companies are undercapitalized and don’t have enough cash, which is a constant source of stress. I’d suggest living lean until you build up your cash reserves. You’ll be surprised how much this simple step will improve your attitude — and your sales.
Today was the final installment of my “nine surefire sales generators” series. I hope I have inspired you to improve your company in several of these key areas.