Getting Ahead of Supply Chain Problems
I have two strange affections: painting and food shopping. Admitting either of these things typically results in a nose crinkle, a look of horror, and some version of, “what’s wrong with you?”
Food shopping has been something of an adventure lately. Stores are out of the strangest and most random items. Our favorite brand of granola is fully stocked in every flavor except for the one we like the most. When I inquire to a manager as to why that is, I get the expected answer: “Supply chain.”
You have likely heard those two words multiple times over the past few weeks. They’ve been used to explain every shortage of every item you are looking for but can’t find.
I’ve gotten used to the food shortage situation and am quite adept at substituting one ingredient for another. However, it doesn’t help much when the meal I am shopping for is tonight’s dinner and the clock is ticking.
This caused me to do a lot more planning.
As you are well aware, shortages in our industry— and particularly of paper— have caused a dichotomous reaction when we receive an order or win a bid:
“Good news: We got the job! Bad news: We got the job!”
Clients who were conditioned to receiving orders in days are not happy to hear it will now take weeks. Personally, I’d be more upset with a sales rep who failed to warn me ahead of time. After all, it’s not like they/you don’t know.
Kelly Mallozzi did a workshop for Sales Vault Insiders last week. The subject was what to post on LinkedIn. I jumped over to the Zoom call once mine was done to hear this valuable piece of advice:
“Find an article from an industry source that talks about the paper shortage situation and post it on your LinkedIn page. This serves the dual purpose of building your brand and informing clients they need to plan ahead.”
This situation is not going away anytime soon. Failure to inform customers of shortages is the fastest way to get them to say, “Who needs print anyway? Let’s go digital.”
Great advice, Kelly.
Looking for more tips, ideas, motivation, and support? The Sales Vault features live presentations, sales challenge discussion, downloads, and searchable archives. Go to SalesVaultInsider.com or call Bill Farquharson at 781-934-7036.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.