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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

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."


Three Reasons to Become a Marketing Service Provider


Note from Bill: This week I step aside and offer my blog space to a freshly graduated Clemson University student named Hannah Sellers. It's always good to get a fresh look at our industry and Hannah's insight is worth the read. I'll be back next week.

I am a student at Clemson University studying Graphic Communications and have had the opportunity to talk with some of the industry’s leaders in innovation, including the concept of Marketing Service Provider. What separates them from failing competitors, they told me, is the ability to hop on board with the changes coming in the industry. It would appear that the longer some people are in the industry (or really any industry), the more likely it is that they lose their hunger for success. The bottom line is this: It takes an innovative mind to accept this new form of a print company. From my perspective, then, I offer the following three reasons for becoming a Marketing Service Provider:

1. Print (to many) has become a commodity

  • Most printing companies today have comparable abilities to make things of good quality and can provide fast delivery.
  • Decision factor: Who can do it the cheapest?
  • Companies can only lower costs so much, before they aren’t making a profit. So what, then, makes someone choose you over someone else?

2. Value-added Services—Differentiate Oneself from Competitors

  • Invest in new technology. Bringing in new equipment can be a big change and very costly for a company, and I’ve noticed many companies aren’t willing to do it. Though many companies that are investing in new technology are quickly seeing a return on their investment and now have an advantage over companies without it.
  • Don’t be scared of change. Never allowing ourselves to become too comfortable in one area is the key.
  • Don’t just embrace change, MAKE change. Be the first to try new ideas.
  • Keeping a curious and inventive mindset is essential. We have to be continually finding new sales avenues and new services to offer.

3. Sell Solutions—Know Your Clients' Overall Goal

  • Make the client’s success your main focus. When they are successful you are successful. Focus on the ROI of the product or service you are providing. Be a part of their company’s growth by tracking results and then teaching clients how to interpret it.
  • You will develop a loyal client relationship when they feel a direct connection between you and their success.

In talking to some of my peers, I realized the advantage we have coming into the industry at this time. Since we are not blinded by the old ways of doing things, we can see different avenues and opportunities that those not willing to change cannot.

This is such an exciting time to be entering the industry, and I am actively searching for companies that will continually strive to be a leader in innovation.

Innovation = Growth

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