Keep In Contact - The Great Restart (Vol. 4)

Posted By: Ian Webb Pressing News ,

Sales challenges and opportunities


Never forget, the psychology of buyers, and principles of effective selling and communication apply during good times and bad. But during very uncertain times, superior salespeople and teams understand how to be even more valuable to their clients and their companies by unearthing new opportunities and by helping their prospects see new ways to approach an otherwise scary environment. By being persistent, talking less, and learning more, they separate themselves from the pack.

Helping a client protect and improve their own business is always a much greater differentiator than offering a product or service itself. Salespeople that approach conversations in this manner will always get preferential treatment when the time comes for a purchase decision.

Here are some ideas on how to connect and sell differently:

  • Phone call
  • Mail promo product
  • Use LinkedIn
  • Schedule a Video chat
  • Send a Demo for one of your products/solutions
  • Get on a Conference call
  • Email a White paper or series of them
  • Put a Coffee card in the mail
  • Electronically send a gift card
  • Drop off a gift (if appropriate)

Want more ideas for keeping in contact? Ask Leslie.

Printing Industries Alliance (the New York State Association) has produced this wonderful video celebrating the work that printers have done to keep our country moving during this difficult time. Take a minute to watch and enjoy it!


Business Challenges and Opportunities


When you are considering the purchase of another shop, the temptation is to check their pricing as if it’s too low you believe that you’ll lose money. On the face of it, this seems sensible but upon examination it is almost always wrong.

Your pricing almost always comes from your estimating system--the home of the $300/hour press and the 20% markup on materials. The reality is that a job brought into your plant requires only the payment of the wages of the people who do the work on it, the payment for the materials and outside purchases and the commission (if any). On average, these amount to about 60% of the estimate. A moment’s thought reveals that if the new work was at 90% of your estimate, you would put in your pocket 30 cents of every dollar billed. -- Bob


The most important number in a printer’s life is the “hit ratio,” the percentage of quotes that turn into orders. High profit printers almost always achieve that status by fully utilizing their plant and equipment—24/5 or better is nirvana. That means that getting the order is more important than “getting your price.” The hit ratio is the best measure of this. Even better, it should be calculated for each customer and probably each product. This is a simple statistic to collect, but once obtained, it’s a powerful tool to guide pricing policy to full plant utilization and higher profits at the end of the month.

Particularly at this time of restarting customer relationships and creating new ones, the emphasis should be on getting the order, not getting your estimate. Your plant can’t restart without work and buying relationships can’t be rebuilt without orders. -- Bob