How do you know if you are track to win the sales you need over the coming months? Part 2

The first part of this article can be found here.

3. Set lead targets, not lag targets

It is important to set targets on activities rather than results. From the previous work you have done on customer journeys and numbers, you will know the results that you achieve from your activity. So you will know exactly how much work you need to carry out in order to achieve the results you desire. Continue reading

How do you know if you are track to win the sales you need over the coming months? Part 1

Many of us suffer from the curse of over-optimistic sales planning

At planning time everyone is positive. We know we are going to crush last year’s figures! We know we will grow our company and achieve bigger and better things. The only issue is we often don’t quite know how we will do it…

Another issue with planning is that we rarely plan for decline. I have written before about the fact that you can expect to lose between 14% of your customers next year (Source: Other customers will place less print with you. So the amount of you need to achieve your targets may be far greater than you think. Continue reading

Here’s an alternative to finding new printing clients

If you’re selling, there can be a huge focus on new clients

The truth is new clients are hard work to win. Some people have a proven system for attracting new business. But many people are likely to be spending a lot of time trying to contact lots and lots of new prospects, just to win one new client. The trouble is that many buyers these days don’t want to move to a new supplier. Even if they are prepared to move, there are plenty of competitors who are also trying to win that customer.

But while so many people spend so much time in this pursuit of new business, they are also ignoring some very profitable opportunities. Many printing companies are overlooking some pretty easy revenue opportunities.

We rarely make enough of our current client base

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How to increase print sales – in just four hours a week

For many of us there aren’t just enough hours in the day

There’s a mountain of jobs that are always awaiting our attention. There are quotes to raise, jobs to chase, artwork to check, production queries, delivery queries, invoice problems and outstanding reports. The list just goes on and on and on.

The worst thing is, often these issues don’t really have much to do with us. It is always someone else who has a question for us, or a demand on our time.

Sometimes our days just seem to slip away. We started off with the best of intentions of achieving something. And then life got in the way. We were side tracked by all the requests that people had for us.

That’s why we should always set aside four hours a week for some sales activity

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Nine simple ways to increase your print sales

The TPD Principle drives print sales

In my last blog we discovered the power of a TPD sales message – a sales message based on target audience, pain and difference. You also learned the three simple steps you should take if you want to create an effective TPD sales message.

A message like this sets you apart from the competition. They are still talking about print. They are still focusing on themselves. That means they will usually end up in a commodity discussion and the buyer will make decisions based purely on price. Continue reading

How to create a message that sells more print

98% of sales messages from printing companies sound pretty much the same

That’s what I discovered during my time as a buyer. During my buying career I had over 1,400 printing companies sell to me. But few had an effective sales message.

That’s why printing companies need a different way to sell.

So here’s the TPD Principle

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How traditional selling encourages customers to buy on price

Can you imagine how it feels to be sold to by 1,400 different printing companies?

That is what happened to me as a buyer. In fact, that’s a pretty conservative estimate of the number of printing companies that I spoke to during my print buying career.

In theory, I should be able to tell you about all the creative sales approaches that I received. Unfortunately, the reality was rather less positive. 98% of the sales approaches that I received followed a broadly similar pattern.

Here’s what usually happened. The sales person would tell me a bit about their company. Then they would try and sell me some printing. But, by then, it was usually too late. I would only be interested in price. Continue reading

How failing to plan for decline leads to missed print sales targets

There are some great success stories in print at the moment

I constantly use social media to share great stories about why people should use print. Companies are waking up to the fact that print is still a highly effective communication channel. Companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Amazon and Apple are all using print as part of their marketing strategies. (If you are not already receiving this information from me, please connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter or hook up with me on Facebook.)

Many people say that print is having a renaissance. It is certainly true that a large number of companies are switching some of their marketing budget from digital to print. In addition, our industry is constantly coming up with new products that become common in our everyday lives. We only have to look at the photo products market to see a real growth in one print sector.

Nevertheless, we also need to face up to a truth that we may not like. Continue reading

Why growth may be the wrong path for printing companies

Why do we concentrate on growth?

Many sales targets consistently focus on increasing turnover. Naturally, if you have a lot of press capacity to fill then this is important. However, for some companies it may be a better strategy to focus on bringing in more profitable clients or even customers that are nicer to deal with!

I want to challenge the idea that sales always has to be about growth. For many, the path of standing still may not be right. For others, it is certainly something worth considering. Continue reading

Warning: most printing companies are on track to lose 15-20% of their customers in the next 12 months

Do you plan for decline?

No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to keep all your current customers. Some will stop using print, some will choose another supplier and some will simply go out of business. If you stay being reactive to your customers needs, your business will almost certainly start declining. This will happen sooner rather than later.

That’s why it’s essential that you create a plan to create new business

Continue reading

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