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
However, time and time again, I speak to printing companies that have failed to reach their sales target. Often they are not really sure why they missed it.
Printing companies that stick to traditional planning often do not know if they are on track to achieve their targets or not. They often sense that things are going wrong. However, they hope that something will happen to put things back on track. They rely on chance rather than remaining in control of their sales pipeline. They often spend the majority of their time reacting to the actions of their customers. This means they find it hard to focus on going out and building new relationships with prospects and clients.
Introducing the 12-week sales project
A 12-week sales project is a three-month sales plan that keeps you laser-focused on a very specific target to win new business. It shouldn’t take long to carry out each week. They don’t get in the way of the rest of your job. But they do make sure that you devote a small but important part of each week to winning the clients that you want.
Printing companies that use 12-week sales projects find that they are more focused on building partnerships with the right prospect and clients or their company. They use the 12-week sales project to build a powerful sales pipeline. They know that they are on track to achieve the sales that they need over the coming weeks. Or they know that there is a problem ahead and what they need to do to avoid it.
Here are four reasons why 12-week sales projects are so effective
They give focus: instead of wondering what to sell next, you know exactly what you should be concentrating on: and the results this activity should achieve
They create momentum: because a 12-week sales project is planned in detail, you can see the results early on. Once you have one small success, you are encouraged to achieve more. It’s all about taking small steps every week
You become accountable: a key part of a 12-week sales project is reporting on your activity to an accountability partner. There’s someone making sure that you and your project will succeed
You stay on track: because you report in to your accountability partner, you are more likely to carry out what you need to. In addition, 12-week sales projects have regular reviews to make sure you are achieving the right results from your activity.
How do you create a successful 12-week sales project?
Make sure that you invest in “How To Succeed At Print Sales”, my new book that covers 12-week sales projects in detail. You also learn a whole range of practical strategies that help you sell more print and win new clients. Get your copy here.
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“Do you plan for decline?
— Matthew Parker (@PrintChampion) January 22, 2018