We all know that everyone is a little bit different Some people are tall. Some people are short. Some people dress smartly. Some are scruffy. Some people are very formal. Others are more relaxed. There is a novel way in which people are different, too.
I am a dinosaur I used to work as a professional print buyer. My full-time role was to deal with the print supply chain. But now there is no call for people like me. The role of the print buyer is extinct. Whenever I run sales workshops I ask if anyone still deals with full-time print buyers. It is extremely rare that anyone raises their hand at this point. Few companies even deal with professional procurement people. These days, the purchase of print has been passed down the line.
There is a new breed of printing companies these days Suddenly, there is a whole group of printers who have stopped selling print. Nowadays, it’s all about the data. Data means you make a decent profit margin. Data means that you become much more interesting to a customer. Data is the route to stop being a commodity manufacturer. It’s the way to become a service provider. In theory, the combination of data and print creates a compelling sales proposition.
What would you do to attract the perfect partner? Imagine that you are single. Imagine that you are at a party or an event. Across the room you see someone that you really like the look of. Someone that you’d like to get to know better. How would you stand out? How would you make yourself as attractive as possible to that person?
Do you want to find out more about what makes Apple tick? Here’s a great interview with their chief of design, Johnnathan Ive. John Arlidge, the interviewer, gives us a real sense of the culture at Apple and what drives one of their chief innovators. Just like journalists, print sales people can gain great insights by interviewing people. But, rather than current affairs or technology, their insights will about their customers.
Do you want to hear a scary statistic about customer service? 80% of businesses believe that they deliver superior customer service. However, only 8% of customers believe that they have experienced superior customer service. (See http://socialfresh.com/customer-service-social/ ) That’s quite a difference in customers’ and companies’ understanding of customer service. It also demonstrates an important rule in selling printing services.
Why should printing companies care about supermarkets? In the UK, the supermarkets have now all revealed their trading results. There were some companies that suffered this year. Others had surprisingly good results. As expected, the supermarkets with the lowest prices, such as Aldi and Lidle, did well. They expanded their market share. But it wasn’t just the price cutters who were the winners.
My daughter has changed completely When I look back over the last 12 months, I can hardly believe how much my six-year daughter has developed. For one thing, she is quite a bit taller. However, the changes run far deeper than this. Her skills have improved dramatically. For instance, she is also getting pretty good at working out what money to pay in shops (and a worrying desire to know my bank card details!). Her character has developed too. She is beginning to teach me quite a lot. The print industry is changing too. Just like my daughter, its character…
Would you be able to plan your Christmas in just 30 minutes? I was told about a couple who entered a supermarket only 30 minutes before it closed on Christmas Eve. The husband raced round to get all the ingredients for their Christmas lunch. Meanwhile, the wife was busy buying presents. I hear they made it to the checkout with seconds to spare! However, I can’t help thinking that it was all a bit of a rush. Surely things would have been more enjoyable if they had done some planning first.