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Ways to Roar Like a Big Cat –Farquharson/Tedesco

May 2011

The commercial printing industry is a treacherous jungle that consists of big cats and little cats. Life is good for the big cats. They're known and respected throughout the jungle, enjoy strong relationships with other animals and usually capture the biggest kills. The little cats live a tougher life. They're barely recognized, command little loyalty and often struggle to bring home food each night.

Ever notice that some printing companies seem better-known than others? Aren't you jealous of their new presses, new employees, fat contracts and sustainable growth? These firms aren't just lucky. At some point, each of these companies likely made an effort to strategically raise its industry profile. As a result, they vaulted to big cat status and now enjoy its attendant rewards: an improved industry reputation, stronger customer loyalty and better sales.

Becoming an industry big cat requires an intelligent plan, a consistent effort, and a keen awareness of what your customers and prospects value. An integrated informational marketing and public relations strategy can help you claw your way to the top of our industry. Read on to see what two well-known big cats can teach you about boosting your company's industry presence.

Be powerful like the lion. Author–ity is power. The lion is king and commands the best resting spot, the best drinking water and the best prey. Authority instills trust, and trust instills numerous benefits. Print salespeople can gain authority by becoming an "industry ambassador" or an "industry knowledge resource."

Industry ambassadors are high-profile individuals adept at spotting emerging trends, adjusting to changing markets and making strategic investments that benefit customers. One short path to ambassador status involves writing and publishing a book. Simply put, authoring a book places you on a different level than your competition. A book provides a time-tested platform from which to provide fresh perspectives and demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. There are few better lead generation and sales closing tools than a book with a compelling message.

To become an industry knowledge resource, establish your business as a provider of helpful information. Increased trust and top-of-mind positioning will follow. Useful information can take many forms. One proven strategy involves sending a "helpful tip" communication focused on helping your customers and prospects get their jobs done better, faster and with fewer issues.

If you provide customers and prospects with helpful information, they'll soon associate you with resourcefulness, problem-solving ability and other traits they value in their business partners. Like the lion amongst the animal kingdom, your worth in the eyes of these businesses will increase. As a result, buying objections will erode faster than ever.



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