Raise ‘Share-of-Customer’ –Farquharson/Tedesco

In the 1989 comedy “When Harry Met Sally,” Harry and Sally are longtime friends who struggle to maintain a platonic relationship. Throughout the film, both insist they could never work as a couple but, because it’s Hollywood, they’re married before the end credits roll. What Harry and Sally really wanted was right under their noses the whole movie!

We know what you’re thinking: “Is this Printing Impressions or Entertainment Weekly? I expected a column on print sales growth strategies, not a film review!”

This film does offer an important sales lesson: Sometimes the best option is right in your own backyard. Leverage the strength of your existing customer relationships to create and capitalize on new business opportunities with the people who are already doing business with you. The business concept at play is increasing your “Share-of-Customer” (SOC).

Print salespeople that implement intelligent SOC grab strategies will position their businesses for a happy and healthy 2011. Read on for a discussion of how to increase your average SOC, and how the results can be stunning.

For commercial printing businesses, SOC is defined as the portion of each customer’s print budget that is currently being spent with your business. For example, if your client did four jobs last month for $10k, $15k, $20k and $55k, respectively, and you only got the $20k job, your SOC is 20 percent ($20k/$100k = 20 percent).

That’s a No-Brainer

Why focus on increasing your Share-of-Customer? Let us be blunt: Duh!

The buyer mentioned above already knows you. It’s much easier selling repeat work because the hard job of qualifying the lead is already done. Think of how much work is required to travel through the “suspect | prospect | quoting prospect | trial customer | repeat customer” funnel and compare it to the easier task of nurturing someone who’s already used to paying your bills.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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