We’ve moved. Last chance to subscribe to our new blog

We are loading up the truck, moving on up, to the East side, packing our bags.

Moving--Blog

Yep, our BLOG is moving. Next week will be on a new Bat Channel, and we really do not want you to miss any of the great content we still have coming. So, if you are a current subscriber of our blog, we are asking that you subscribe to our new blog by clicking on the button below. Glad you are coming along with us. We will feature two blogs now. One will continue to deliver valuable print industry sales, business and Web-to-Print tips. The other will be just for fun. Because, don’t we all need to have fun at work?

The new addresses will be

http://www.pagepath.com/myorderdesk-blog/

http://www.pagepath.com/just-for-fun/

(it’s not ready yet, so don’t even try to go there. But you can subscribe below and be updated regularly.)

s

The three feedback questions printers must ask their customers – do YOU use them?

Did you fear the end of term report at school?  I used to hate seeing what my school teachers had written about me!

One teacher always used to write “Could do better”.  The trouble was that he never told me how I could do better.  And I never learned, because I never asked the right questions.

If printers want to do better, they need to ask the right customer questions

Printers who embrace customer feedback will create stronger partnerships with their clients.  This is because they will understand what is a potential problem for their clients.  And they will fix it.  So this means that they will be more in control of their sales pipeline.  And they will achieve their sales targets.

Printing companies that do not embrace customer feedback won’t achieve their sales targets so easily.  They will be constantly wondering why they are losing their clients.  And they will be losing their clients because they don’t listen to them.

Here are the three questions that mean you will keep your clients:

Question 1:  What could we do better?
This question allows you to understand where the weak points are in your company.  You will find out what might drive customers away.  Of course, knowing this isn’t enough.  You also have to do something about it.  You might consider asking customers “How can we fix that?”

Focusing on what can be fixed in a company is important.  But it is also important to think about how your company can change.  And that’s where question 2 comes in.

Question 2:  What else would you like us to do?
The answers to this question can be very surprising.  Often customers will come up with ideas that you would never have thought of.  Many of these will be focussed around the extra services you can offer.  And it’s these ideas that will make customers stay with you.

If a customer wants design, or data work, you should be delighted.  They are going to want to stay much longer with a supplier who offers them more than the manufacture of print.

And understanding why customers stay is important.  Which is why I have included question 3.

Question 3:  Why do you use us?
This is a really important area to understand.  It will tell you what sets you apart from the competition.  And it will tell you exactly what you should be telling prospects about your company.  It creates great sales copy for you!

After these three questions you may have a whole load more.  And that’s great.

Remember:  these questions are just the start of a dialogue
These questions are a way of kick-starting a more involved conversation with the client.  And a more involved conversation leads to better information.

Of course, you’ll be using this information at management and strategy meetings.  And this sometimes provokes a question from print companies with whom I am discussing feedback.

Do you really want to base so much strategy on customer feedback?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes!  You wouldn’t be in business without customers.  So it is vital to understand what they want.  And to achieve this it is vital to listen to what they say.

The best way to see this is in real life situations.

Here are two examples of how customer feedback has worked for me
The first example is based on the “What could we do better question”.  I had arranged a printer for one of my clients.  The printer rang the client soon after starting work with them to ask this question.  It turned out that the client wanted more file copies.  The client had never actually specified this, but it was only through asking this question that the issue came to light.

As the client had not communicated their frustration it was fortunate that the printer asked for feedback.  It prevented a dissatisfied client.  And it stopped the possibility of the printer losing the client through a simple misunderstanding.

Feedback also helped me when planning my business
It helped me create a new product.  I am about to launch The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook.  But I have only invested the time writing it after having feedback from clients that it would be worth my while.

So feedback helps you stop making errors. And it helps you create new business ideas as well.

Remember the three questions you need to ask your customers
Set a time in your diary once a week to ring a customer.  Ring one every week, and ask them the questions:

Question 1:  What could we do better?
Question 2:  What else would you like us to do?
Question 3:  Why do you use us?

You’ll find the information invaluable.  And it’s something you’ll end up looking forward to.  Unlike the school report!


P.S.  If you’d like to learn more about moving away from selling on price you should sign up right now for the Profitable Print Relationships “Buyer’s Insights”.  You’ll receive regular tips about improving print sales from the buyer’s point of view and get your free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” (worth $29).

Want to see more from Matthew? Subscribe to receive e-mail updates of his posts on the MyOrderDesk blog.

Subscribe

We’re Moving: Subscribe to our new blog

We are loading up the truck, moving on up, to the East side, packing our bags.

Moving--Blog

Yep, our BLOG is moving. Next week will be on a new Bat Channel, and we really do not want you to miss any of the great content we still have coming. So, if you are a current subscriber of our blog, we are asking that you subscribe to our new blog by clicking on the button below. Glad you are coming along with us. We will feature two blogs now. One will continue to deliver valuable print industry sales, business and Web-to-Print tips. The other will be just for fun. Because, don’t we all need to have fun at work?

The new addresses will be

http://www.pagepath.com/myorderdesk-blog/

http://www.pagepath.com/just-for-fun/

(it’s not ready yet, so don’t even try to go there. But you can subscribe below and be updated regularly.)

s

Bill Farquharson’s Print Sales Tip for the week of June 29, 2015

Good morning!

Have you got a morning routine?

That phrase is one that is typically associated with the elderly. My folks are in their 90s and follow a morning routine that you’d be wise not to interrupt.

Salespeople should have a morning routine as well, especially those of us who work from home. Contrary to popular belief, we can work harder and put in more hours than if we were commuting to an office. As such, a morning routine gives us a chance to do more than just grab a cup of coffee and head to the desk.

I have been in the workforce now for 33 years and all but 18 months of that have been spent working from an apartment, condo, or house. A while back I started getting into the bad habit of working shortly after getting out of bed. Doesn’t make for a very interesting life. And It wasn’t uncommon for me to still be in a bathrobe at noon time!

One trick I learned was to set the alarm on my iPhone for 7:30 AM and not allow myself to work prior to that. At first, it was very difficult. I love what I do and other than a good cup of coffee, it’s my job that motivates me to take my head off the pillow every morning.

Now, after waking up, I might exercise or read or play my guitar or garden and all of these non—work chores gave me energy, ideas, and overall satisfaction. My morning routine has made me healthier and happier, thus contributing to the quality of the work that I do.

This message probably runs contrary to common sense. Work less and get more done? How can that be correct? Hey, all I can tell you is that it worked for me. Do what I did and try it for a week.

In a future sales tip I will talk to you about the other end of the day and how to stop working. That one is far more difficult!

*******

New Sales Challenge starts July 5
http://www.TheSalesChallenge.com

*********

Have you taken the Sales Assessment Test? Do it today. It’s free and will tell you where you stand on the top aspects of effective sales. Plus, I will review it and send you back a personalized video. Also free. Hit the link at sales.epicomm.org

*********

Need to contact me? My email is bfarquharson@epicomm.org and the direct line is 781-934-7036

=====================================================

PagePath Technologies, Inc. Is a leader in Web-to-Print storefronts.

5 Questions to Ask an Existing Account from Bill & Kelly

Another “Best of” Short Attention Span Webinar(R) is posted.

Update on SASSTV et al

Short Attention Span Sales TV (Bill and Kelly go live!) was supposed to debut in April. Then May. June? July? Bueller? Bueller? Now I am being told that August is a better launch time. Okay, so that just gives us more time to look back and replay some classics, including this week’s SASW on the subject of customer care.

In the meantime…

Kelly and I have rerecorded the training videos for The Sales Challenge and will roll them out on July 6. Are you serious about growing your new business? Then sign up and let’s do this!

If you are looking for some summer reading, why not check out the free Whitepapers that I’ve put together. That box in the lower right corner of sales.epicomm.org is the place to go.

A relatively quiet week is coming up, so if you’d like to connect and talk about your sales challenges, I’m here.

Got a Sales Challenge?
Pick up the phone and call me!

Bill Farquharson
781-934-7036
Take The Sales Challenge
Got a Sales Challenge?
Pick up the phone and call me!

Bill Farquharson
781-934-7036
Take The Sales Challenge

Short Attention Span Webinars are sponsored by EPICOMM, Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services.

The Short Attention Span Webinars are developed and delivered by Bill Farquharson (EPICOMM) and Kelly Mallozzi (SuccessInPrint.net).

Both Bill and Kelly come from a print background with nearly 50 years of combined sales experience.


Epicomm―the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services―is a not-for-profit business management association representing companies in the $80+ billion graphic communications industry in North America. It provides industry advocacy, management training, and a comprehensive slate of business-building solutions for companies in an evolving market environment.

What’s Your Sales Challenge? Click here for more information from Bill Farquharson

MyOrderDesk. Is a leader in Web-to-Print storefronts.

Bill Farquharson’s Print Sales Tip for the week of June 22, 2015

Good morning!

Okay, we are on the cusp of a unique time of year, one that affords a unique opportunity.

Here in the States, next week and the week that follows sandwich the Fourth of July. This is typically a slower time of year and one where many customers grab an extra day off. If you are one of the fortunate who do as well, terrific. Enjoy it and get recharged.

If, however, you will be at work, like me, you might consider a different use of your time. Naturally, it would be ideal if you had appointments set up but I suspect that will not be the case.

Here are three suggestions:
Get organized— Clear off your desk, go through your notes, read old emails and just generally take some time to clean up. Typically speaking, we tend to get scattered and messy. Take the time to get refocused and centered.
Call existing accounts— Find out what their summer plans are, both personally and professionally. Perhaps it is time for an account review.
Prospect!— Think about calling a prospect and saying something like, “During the summer months when things slow down, isn’t this a great time to entertain some new ideas from a new vendor?” That just might land you an appointment.

The point is that this is not wasted time. You have an opportunity to do some things that you won’t have time for once business picks up again after the holiday. Take advantage.

Start now by making a list of those non-urgent, non-important to do items that you never seem to get to. Watch a few Ted Talks or perhaps a training video or two.

Now is the time to “Sharpen the saw.” Whether you are working during the slower days or not, make the most of them.

*******

New Sales Challenge starts July 5
http://www.TheSalesChallenge.com

*********

Have you taken the Sales Assessment Test? Do it today. It’s free and will tell you where you stand on the top aspects of effective sales. Plus, I will review it and send you back a personalized video. Also free. Hit the link at sales.epicomm.org

*********

Need to contact me? My email is bfarquharson@epicomm.org and the direct line is 781-934-7036

=====================================================

PagePath Technologies, Inc. Is a leader in Web-to-Print storefronts.

The Screw Up from Bill & Kelly

Another “Best of” Short Attention Span Webinar(R) is posted.

Accountability update

As you know, I offered anyone who asked for it free participation in one portion of the Sales Challenge for 5 weeks. 30 people said “yes” and the comments continue to come in. “This is hard but worth it” and “Makes a HUGE difference” and “I like being kept honest with my prospecting.”

Keep it up.

Kelly and I have been busy, too. We’ve rerecorded the training videos for the Sales Challenge and will roll them out on the next start date, July 6.

Do you need some new business? Are you happy with your sales activities? Want some ideas for beating voice mail, managing time, and making a better overall sales call? Take the Sales Challenge. It’s only $97 and is money-back guaranteed. The risk is on me, not you. All you have to do is make the calls.

Click here to sign up or get more info.

I have a very important 18 hole meeting this morning but will be in the office this afternoon if you want to talk.

Got a Sales Challenge?
Pick up the phone and call me!

Bill Farquharson
781-934-7036
Take The Sales Challenge

Short Attention Span Webinars are sponsored by EPICOMM, Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services.

The Short Attention Span Webinars are developed and delivered by Bill Farquharson (EPICOMM) and Kelly Mallozzi (SuccessInPrint.net).

Both Bill and Kelly come from a print background with nearly 50 years of combined sales experience.


Epicomm―the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services―is a not-for-profit business management association representing companies in the $80+ billion graphic communications industry in North America. It provides industry advocacy, management training, and a comprehensive slate of business-building solutions for companies in an evolving market environment.

What’s Your Sales Challenge? Click here for more information from Bill Farquharson

MyOrderDesk. Is a leader in Web-to-Print storefronts.