Profitable Sales: What’s Old Is New
Roughly a million years ago, I started my sales career in Worcester, Mass., for a business forms company called UARCO. The other sales rep in our tiny office was a wonderful guy by the name of Mark Walter. Mark would go on to enter politics in Connecticut and then city management (Mark, I owe you a catch up phone call!).
In between those careers, he held a job in Hartford, Conn., selling transactional printing for Moore Business Forms. We were talking one day and he said something interesting: “80% of the money we make happens before the job hits the press.” There was a lot of file manipulation going on, he told me, and that’s where they made their profit.
Okay, so maybe it wasn't a million years ago, more like 35, but increasingly, companies in the print space are finding the print piece to be the, "Oh, and … " part of the equation. That is, they will design the piece, create and run the marketing campaign, collect the data, analyze, advise, consult, "Oh, and we can do the printing as well."
Print is not dead. Print is an integral part of successful marketing. For the printer, print might no longer be the lead sled dog, the thing that it makes its money from. But increasingly, printers are reaching across the aisle and even over the fence into other aspects of graphic arts to find additional revenue resources. Perhaps it's textile. Maybe it's augmented reality; marketing, database management, wide-format, specialty printing, etc.
Whatever profit you are making on print, imagine quadrupling it through expanding the definition of who you are. Fortunately, it's not necessary for you to have a crystal ball, enabling a vision of the future. The best place to look for answers to the question, "Where do I take my business?" is by talking to your existing clients to learn more about their challenges and their future. Then, armed with that information, find out more about the different profit opportunities available to you in the steps leading up to the ink hitting the toner.
There is still money to be made in print, but the big money to be made comes when you widen the lens and take a bigger look at what the client is trying to accomplish. Take that loop out of your eye, step back and view the bigger picture.
Need sales? Go to BillFarquharson.com, watch the 3 minute video on sales training, and then call me at 781-934-7036 to discuss how I can help you achieve sales success.