P10 Fundamental Shift P16 Selling Storefront Solutions supporting print sales & Marketing executives
P36 Bored Room Meetings P40 The Mirror Test â€“ Is Your Business Really Breathing?
Profiling an Industry
Insight from multiple perspectives
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Strategies that Increase Revenue We now have the color and variable data capabilities that allow us to do complex personalization and versioning, making it possible to offer solution selling.” Pete Glennon President Creative DataProducts
Debbie Pavletich Graphic Services Manager Briggs & Stratton Corporation
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Publisher’s Thoughts Together We Rise, Divided We Fall
The Basics of Social Media P5
The Corner Office Tech Corner: Selling VDP Services Leadership Insights CMO Fact Print in the Mix Fast Facts
There is a wide array of personalities and perspectives in this industry.
King Printing adds new HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press Hickory Printing Joins CGX
Fundamental Shift What the DNA of a successful sales rep looks like in the new economy.
Selling Storefront Solutions Why storefront solutions are critical for reps wanting to keep, and add, clients
Product Spotlight Unisource and Heidelberg USA RICOH
Publisher mark potter
Marketing Manager caroline farley
MANAGING EDITOR graham garrison
ART DIRECTOR brent cashman
CONTRIBUTORS Linda Bishop, Lorrie Bryan, Howie Fenton, John Foley, Brian Sullivan
Editorial board lisa arsenault McArdle Printing Co. gary cone Litho Craft, Inc.
Profiling an Industry Want to know what’s top of mind for CEOs, sales managers and sales reps? CANVAS asked.
peter douglas Lake County Press
aaron grohs Consolidated Graphics, Inc.
Tips to making your business meetings worthy of an audience
ron lanio Geographics, Inc.
randy parkes Lithographix, Inc.
Bored Room Meetings
The Mirror Test – Is Your Business Really Breathing?
CANVAS magazine for more information: 678.473.6131, 2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400, Duluth, Georgia 30097 CANVAS, Volume 4, Issue 4. copyright 2010 CANVAS, All rights reserved. CANVAS is published bi-monthly for $39.00 per year by Conduit, Inc., 2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400, Duluth, Georgia 30097 Periodicals postage pending at Duluth, GA and additional mailings offices. Periodical Publication 25493. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CANVAS, 2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400, Duluth, Georgia 30097. Please note: The acceptance of advertising or products mentioned by contributing authors does not constitute endorsement by the publisher. Publisher cannot accept responsibility for the correctness of an opinion expressed by contributing authors. . CANVAS magazine is dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible operations. We are proud to print this magazine on Sappi Opus® 30 Dull Cover 80lb/216gsm and Opus 30 Dull Text 80lb/118gsm, an industry leading environmentally responsible paper. Opus 30 contains 10% post consumer waste and FSC chain of custody certification.
Together We Rise, Divided We Fall
I am not a big movie buff, but I recently watched The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington. As you have come to know by now, I look for meaning or messages in just about anything. The movie’s plot was centered on a post-apocalyptic world where all bibles were burned and people needlessly hurt one another. In describing the world before the “flash,” Washington hit home. He says “people had more than they needed. They would throw away things that people kill each other for today.” Without being over-dramatic or religious, the movie, just like the economic transformation we are in
now, reminds us of what is important. This economy has stripped many of us with only our wits to carry
us forward. Nothing of excess or selfishness is needed. However, many people have grown selfish. They believe when times are tough that you need to look out for yourself. Certainly, the strong will survive and the people and organizations that adapt will thrive. However, it is time to relentlessly build communities and collaborate for the betterment of the industry as well as
We need to cultivate relationships, share information and allow people to make mistakes. ourselves. We cannot selfishly cling to the way things have always been. By resisting change, we slowly destroy the industry and ourselves. The other day I had a customer experience where a mistake was made. Without saying a word, the person I was dealing with made sure I knew it was not their fault. I never even asked. It made me wonder if we have created a world where people don’t take risks and don’t want to make mistakes because they think they will get fired. Have we created a world where nobody steps up and takes responsibility? Our industry and our economy will evolve. Resisting it is futile, and selfish. We need to cultivate relationships, share information and allow people to make mistakes. We need people to step up and take a leadership position – not for their own self promotion – but for the betterment of the print industry. This is a time for strength. Not the kind that knocks down others for one’s advancement, but the kind of strength that lifts all printers. When you profile this industry, there are a myriad of roles being played. However, it doesn’t matter if you are a leader, a change agent, a rookie, a veteran, a jack of all trades, or a transplant. We need to learn from one another and we all need to embrace new ways without fear. So seek out partnerships and support others. Share your insights, and for crying out loud, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. How else will we learn? Respectfully
Mark Potter Publisher
CANVAS August 2010
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The Basics of Social Media
By John Foley
Social media is a genre of online resources for connecting users with a sphere of influence, and exchanging information and ideas via real-time conversations. Social media can take many forms:
Social media can take the form of an online forum where a person or company posts articles about their particular field or interest. Visitors to the blog can comment on the articles, engage in discussion on the topics presented, and subscribe to the blog for constant updates on new articles and information. The best blogs foster two-way
John Foley, Jr. is
communication between the blogger and the audience. Many times, groups who
the CEO and CMO
frequent a particular blog will use it as an opportunity to network with other partici-
of Grow Socially, Inc.
pants. Blogs are a great way to engage an audience and develop a credible reputa-
If you would like to
tion within an industry.
learn more about Grow Socially, please visit www.GrowSocially.com/About
Social Networking Sites Social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, allow users to interact through profile pages, and by connecting with others through people or companies one already knows. In personal networking, users may connect with friends and family they already know, and through them find other connections to friends old and new. For commercial purposes, profiles can offer information and links to products and services,
For commercial purposes, profiles can offer information and links to products and services, sneak previews of upcoming events and special offers, and special friends-only deals.
sneak previews of upcoming events and special offers, and special friends-only deals. In the same way as personal profiles, company profiles allow users to find new peers and prospects through connections they already have. These connections may be businesses and individuals with whom the company currently has a business relationship, employees, and other industry professionals with whom the company has a rapport.
Review and location-based sites The newest trend in social media platforms are ratings websites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt that allow users to “check in” at businesses and locations they frequent, and in some cases review and rate their experience. These sites also allow users to connect with people they know and meet others who share similar interests. Becoming “friends” on these sites gives users easy access to the new places and attractions other site members frequent. Foursquare combines the basics of location-based updates with a reward element, where users can “unlock” features and become VIP customers (called “Mayors”) at specific establishments. In response to this merit-based system, companies are offering special discounts to VIPs as an incentive to spread the word. The success of this model has led to meritbased systems on other sites. Social media offers many platforms and opportunities to connect with prospects and industry professionals in a casual yet effective way. Users can incorporate these offerings into a cohesive social marketing plan that drives business to the company website, and expands the sphere of influence beyond the reach of traditional marketing channels.
CANVAS August 2010
A c t i o n
L By Paul Castain
Looking for some mid-year direction? The following are five ways to get better at sales.
Be clear and take action Think about the qualities of a successful sales professional. Once you identify those qualities, look in the mirror (an honest look) and rate yourself on a scale from 1-10. Flag one area where you ranked yourself lower. Then pick an area where you feel you have a really good grasp. The reason for this is so you don’t focus too much on improvement and forget about your strengths. Once you have identified the two areas, think about one action step (read a book, talk with an expert in that area) then take action within 24 to 48
Paul Castain is the Vice
hours. Why? Because if you don’t, you won’t! Too many distractions will tempt you from
President of Sales Development
for Consolidated Graphics and is responsible for creating and
delivering sales training
Find someone (teammate, friend, spouse) that will help hold you accountable. Ideally, you’ll
content, as well as mentoring
both do this exercise and help each other. No need to be harsh, but accountability is an abso-
the CGX sales force. Paul’s
career spans more than 25 years, during which time
he’s trained more than 3,000
Leverage the incredible brain power of a group dynamic. I suggest a group of no more than five
sales and sales leadership
to six people. They can be from inside or outside your organization. You can meet by confer-
professionals. Prior to joining
ence call or face-to-face to brainstorm ideas, discuss books and resources. You can even work
Consolidated Graphics, Paul
that accountability idea into the group in sharing your goals. Set this up as a monthly event and
was the Director of Corporate
keep it between 60 to 90 minutes before or after work.
Solution Sales at Dale Carnegie and Associates.
Keep a journal I’ve kept a journal for over 15 years, and I use it to jot down ideas such as lessons learned, things I need to try and books I want to read. It also keeps me in “humble student” mode and that in turn, keeps me from becoming sloppy!
Always seek the “lesson” Let’s face it; things don’t always work out the way we planned. Instead of getting caught up in
Instead of getting caught up in trying to figure out the why, we need to take ownership and find a lesson.
trying to figure out the why, we need to take ownership and find a lesson. What can we learn from what happened? How can we grow? What can we do differently? More of? Less of? “Lessons” are there when we succeed, too. Why did we get the account? What made us more desirable than our competitors? A little insight will go a long way.
Co Th Of rn e fic er e
Selling VDP Services
By Howie Fenton, NAPL Senior Consultant
s I write this, I am updating a training workshop designed to help salespeople sell variable-data printing (VDP). It never ceases to amaze me the gap between the interest in VDP and the relatively low percentage of successful VDP sales. Why are people so interested in it, but so reluctant to buy? The most obvious answer is that it’s too expensive. In-depth
One way I am now seeing companies differ-
surveys have shown, however, that more people use that excuse
entiate themselves is by combining new tech-
than actually mean it because they find it’s easier than expressing
nologies such as Web-to-print, PURLs, SMS,
their real objections.
social media, or QR Codes with VDP to create
Another common objection is that VDP is too hard to use. Yes,
a synergistic effect. Together these technologies
sending a piece that is more targeted and relevant is harder. Taking
create a cross-media marketing campaign that
the time to learn more about your customers’ or prospects’ purchas-
can make a company stand out.
ing habits and using that information in a meaningful way to help sell something is harder. But it’s also far more effective.
Building blocks for VDP sales Maybe the question goes deeper than whether to use a generic or targeted medium. Perhaps the most important issue is determining what we need to do to achieve greater sales success. The building blocks for success start with understanding the different process and people skills required for transactional vs. consultative sales. Although different, both are impor-
One way I am now seeing companies differentiate themselves is by combining new technologies with VDP to create a synergistic effect.
tant. Part of this includes asking probing questions and overcoming objections. First, you need to recognize the specific vertical markets that are
Each part of this process must go beyond text-
more receptive to the advantages of VDP and decide which verti-
book theory and include hands-on training. The
cals to pursue. Next, you need a lead generation tool, a qualifica-
training is not a one-time thing, but requires ongo-
tion process for prospects, and an understanding of which applica-
ing coaching. Want to know more about the key driv-
tions are successful in each vertical, along with case histories that
ers of successful VDP or multi-channel sales training?
prove those successes.
Call me at (201) 523-6328 and let’s talk about it.
Howie Fenton is an author, trainer, and NAPL Senior Consultant. For two decades, he has trained sales and CSR personnel to understand and promote the value of new technology-based services. You can reach him at (201) 523-6328, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CANVAS August 2010
e r Thrnece CoOffi
“To lead people, CANVAS: What leadership advice would you give to your team? walk beside them ... Larry Bauer, Marketing Consultant and Publisher of the Print Strategist blog. As for the best “I would emphasize the importance of being professional, but also getting your message to market quickly. If it’s one mistake I’ve seen repeated over and over – especially by smaller leaders, the people printing companies – it’s the lack of urgency in launching marketing programs. I think the do not notice their condition partly stems from inexperience and thinking that everything must be perfect before existence. The next going to market. Campaigns need to be professional, for sure, but too many executive teams best, the people fail to grasp the fast pace of today’s marketplace and the need to act quickly. As a result, they too often miss opportunities or fail to arm their sales forces with the proper support. Be honor and praise. The aggressive. Learn to refine messaging on the fly. The gains far outweigh the risks.“ next, the people fear; and the next, the CANVAS: What does leadership mean to you? people hate ... Paul Edwards, President and CEO of FormStore Incorporated “Right now, leadership requires cautious vision to see through the economic fog and the When the best courage to make difficult decisions with confidence. I find that to lead effectively, I need leader’s work is done to commit significant amounts of my personal time to reading, studying, communicating the people say, and sharing a wide range of information regarding the rapidly changing technology in our ‘We did it ourselves!’” global market space.” – Lao-tsu CANVAS: How would you sum up leadership in one sentence? Diana Reid, Marketing Services Executive “Leaders sell the tickets for the journey and they promote new directions.”
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Co Th Of rn e fic er e
CMO Fact ata from the “Daily Morning” report indicates that 93 percent of online consumers aged 15 and older receive at least one permission-based email per day, putting them into the category of “subscribers.” Broken down by age demographic, 15-to-17-year-olds are subscribers at a significantly lower rate (68 percent). All other age brackets of online consumers aged 18 and older are subscribers at rates between 93 percent and 96 percent.
Most Effective Online Advertising Targeting Techniques
At a glance: U.S. Moms
• Control more than 80% of household spending: $1.7 trillion dollars.
• Moms with at least one child between the ages of 6 and 17 spend an average of 10.74 hours online each week.
Contextual.................................. 30.5% Geographic..................................14.6%
• Half turn to websites at least once a week to find out about family-oriented products and services, nearly 37% learn about new products through online ads and nearly 46% turn to search engines.
• No. 1 driver of word of mouth among moms is the Internet, more so than TV, magazines or in-store displays.
Source: American Advertising Federation
Source: Marketing NewsTM, C&R Research, Johnson & Johnson, 2008
Print in the Mix Fast Fact According to estimates by eMarketer, U.S. online advertising spending will reach $25.1 billion in 2010, representing 10.8 percent growth over last year. “Steady gains in online ad spending will mean an additional $11 billion flowing into the space over the next four years, increasing the Internet’s share of total media ad spending from a bit more than 15 percent in 2010 to over 20 percent in 2014.”
U.S. Online Advertising Spending, 2008-2014 (billions and % change)
U.S. Online Advertising Spending as a Percent of Total Media Advertising Spending, 2008-2014
Source: eMarketer, May 2010
Source: eMarketer, May 2010
To read Print in the Mix print market research studies, go to www.printinthemix.rit.edu. Print in the Mix is a free and easily accessible clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, published by the Printing Industry Center at RIT and made possible by a grant from The Print Council (www.theprintcouncil.org).
CANVAS August 2010
People News King Printing adds new HP Hickory Printing Joins CGX newest addition to the CGX platform is The Hickory T300 Color Inkjet Web Press The Printing Group. Joining CGX earlier this year, Hickory PrintPalo Alto, Calif.-based King Printing has installed a new HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press. The book manufacturer hopes to “costeffectively meet growing demand for short and medium runlength book titles that are expensive to produce using existing analog or digital printing systems.” The high-volume digital color web press adds to the company’s extensive line-up of digital and analog presses. King Printing is also installing a new Hunkeler PF7
ing is located in Conover, North Carolina. It was founded in 1917, and grew to become one of the largest printers in the southeastern United States. Hickory Printing offers Web and sheet-fed printing, mailing and fulfillment, variable printing, interactive services and packaging and operates out of two facilities located in Conover and High Point, NC.
Double Plow Folder from Standard Finishing Systems for streamlined, inline finishing that increases overall throughput. “By meeting publishers’ medium-run needs, the HP T300 is changing the dynamics of the publishing supply chain, reducing the warehousing and waste of the analog book printing world,” said Aurelio Maruggi, vice president and general manager, Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP. “Working with Standard and Hunkeler, we are providing a unique, efficient solution for print-on-demand publishing that will give King Printing a competitive edge in the market.” “The addition of the T300 will augment our capacity for four-color, short- and medium-run books. As our page volumes continue to grow, the press will be a well-suited and logical solution for the type of production we target,” said Adi Chinai, managing director, King Printing.
Commenting on the acquisition, Joe R. Davis, CGX chairman CEO, stated, “Hickory Printing Solutions offers first class quality and service to its customers. With the additional resources of Consolidated Graphics, including the world’s largest and most sophisticated digital printing network, behind it and its dedicated employees, Hickory Printing will continue to exceed every customer expectation.”
Shift What the DNA of a successful sales rep looks like in the new economy. By Graham Garrison
P10 CANVAS August 2010
ope springs eternal from the fax machine.
Or at least it used to. It wasn’t too long ago that print sales reps would hear the high-pitch ringing and shout with glee. They’d watch print orders march through the telephone lines into their office and think about Friday’s celebratory cocktails and martinis at the nearby bar.
A Fundamental Shift
“I came in on the tail end of that,” says
More than friends
Dean Petrulakis, Senior VP of Business Devel-
At the core of the change is the rep/customer relationship. One
opment for Rider Dickerson Inc., who started
theme across all interviews was that sales reps could no longer be
in print sales in 1997. “Now, it’s definitely not
“order takers” with their customers. Nor could they simply drop in
that way. Purchase orders aren’t falling from
to a customer’s place of business, without offering something of
fax machine trays.”
value. Jeremy Esser, Senior Account Executive, Graphicolor Print-
That’s not to say the good old days didn’t
ing, says clients really need a reason to stay with vendors. “One of
come with challenges. But a decade ago, print
the things that I have been hearing from my prospects and clients
had a larger share of the pie, says Petrulakis. The
is that service is starting to suffer with many printers,” he says. “I
“food” has gotten scarce, forcing everyone to be
believe that the reason is we were so concerned about pricing that
in a sort of survival mode. A saturated market-
we forgot what the real issues are. Salespeople can no longer be
place, new technologies and ever-evolving
just order takers. They need to follow through on orders and keep
customer expectations have altered the DNA of
in constant contact with them. If you don’t bring something of
how a successful rep functions in the new econ-
value to the table constantly, someone else will.”
omy. But what are those new traits, and how do
Single transaction calls, aimless phone prospecting and canned
they project in everyday business? CANVAS went
pitches are also out, according to Mary Beth Smith, a VP of Sales
to the experts to find out.
and Marketing for AlphaGraphics and Founder of Market Your Printing Company and Girls Who Print. She recounts a recent
“Without asking me a single question about my company, she launches into a pitch. It was a classic ‘show up and throw up’ sales call, and I tolerated it just because I was completely fascinated that a company would hire someone to call on a VP and do such a bad job.” – Mary Beth Smith, a VP of Sales and Marketing for AlphaGraphics
interaction with a sales rep who came to her office to pitch her a product based on a referral. “At the appointed time, the rep shows up, sales collateral in hand, and we sit down at the conference table,” she says. “Without asking me a single question about my company, she launches into a pitch. It was a classic ‘show up and throw up’ sales call, and I tolerated it just because I was completely fascinated that a company would hire someone to call on a VP and do such a bad job.”
Upper management talk The conversation has changed. Reps used to explain specifications and the nuts of bolts of the print job to help close a sale. Brian Badillo, Sales Representative, Etheridge Printing, says extensive technological print knowledge is no longer a differentiator. The print process has become secondary to understanding the objective and distribution of each project, he says. While specs are still important, Petrulakis says print reps should be prepared to have more conversations on conceptualization of marketing campaigns. Customers want strategic partners who can help them create opportunities and get results. They want to
P12 CANVAS August 2010
A Fundamental Shift
know why a direct mail campaign is better than an Internet ad; how PURLs are going to generate traffic to a retail outlet. They want to know how the project is going to help them make money and get results, not just how much the project is going to cost. “The reps of today carry themselves in a professional manner in an upper business meeting,” Petrulakis says. “They can hold comfortable conversations with marketers.” “C-level executives aren’t necessarily the target here, but VPs and Directors definitely are,” says Badillo. “This doesn’t mean ignoring purchasing, but engaging at a higher level is the only way to get involved in more strategic conversations.”
Dropping knowledge, for knowledge The competition has changed. With so many new technologies and competitive channels stealing marketing dollars from traditional print, Badillo says it’s important to understand the benefits and weaknesses of them all and how they work in the marketing mix. “We’re not just fighting for print dollars, but really we’re fighting for a piece of their marketing spend,” he says. “If you can articulate how new print technologies can enhance other marketing activities,
“It’s the 70-30 rule: 70 percent of the time the client is talking and you’re talking 30 percent of the time. But with that ratio, you are controlling the meeting by getting information.” – Dean Petrulakis, Senior VP of Business Development for Rider Dickerson Inc.
credibility is built. And if you can help deliver results, you get more print spend as well as create a barrier to entry for the competition.” Petrulakis says reps would do well to seek out more opportunities with current customers, and secure bids on projects before they ever get to the street. The only way reps are going to know what their current customers want is by asking, and listening. “It’s the 70-30 rule: 70 percent of the time the client is talking and you’re talking 30 percent of the time,” says Petrulakis. “But with that ratio, you are controlling the meeting by getting information. It’s how to get a good ‘needs analysis’ to see where their true needs are.” Ultimately it comes back to the battle between old and new, order taker and lead generator. Intuition is both the best way to use the products at your disposable and anticipate the needs of your customers. Smith says reps need to be better with time management, more proficient with tools such as CRM management and social media, and most of all quick on their feet in customer interactions. They need to be able to identify the decision-maker and capture prospect information quickly. “The ability to read between the lines, to hear what the customer doesn’t say, or possibly doesn’t even know, is crucial,” she says.
P14 CANVAS August 2010
P16 CANVAS August 2010
front Why storefront solutions are critical for reps wanting to keep, and add, clients
By Linda Bishop
aclyn walked into Chuck’s office with a grim expression blanketing her face. Chuck was the VP of Sales and her boss. “We have a problem.” She crossed the short expanse of beige carpeting, plopped down in the brown leather chair and faced across his desk. “A big problem.”
Selling Storefront Solutions
“What’s wrong?” he said. “It’s BigCo.” Chuck frowned. “I didn’t know we had any work in-house for them.” “We don’t and that’s the problem. It’s been more than a month since I bid on a job, but I’ve been busy so I didn’t notice.” “BigCo has been your customer a long time,” Chuck said. “If they feel a little bit neglected, I’m sure you can make it up to them.” “If that’s all it was, I wouldn’t be in here now,” Jaclyn snapped and immediately regretted it. Chuck was on her side. She took a calming breath. “Sorry. It’s just that I called Tina, the marketing director at BigCo this morning to schedule lunch to catch up. Tina said she’d be happy to do lunch, but wanted me to know they were changing their print buying process.” “Changing it how?” “They signed a contract with our biggest competitor to install a storefront solution. In another month, everyone will be ordering marketing collateral online — and we’ll be out in the cold.” Chuck leaned forward, palm on the edge of his desk. “I don’t remember bidding on a storefront for BigCo.”
Storefront solutions have been around for years, but there has never been a better time than now to sell them. The recession of 2009 downsized many marketing departments. “We didn’t,” Jaclyn said flatly. “They never asked me for a proposal. I asked Tina why not. She said, ‘I didn’t know you could do things like that.’ I told her we had been doing customer storefronts for over a year, and I swear I mentioned it more than once, but when they were finally interested in buying she didn’t remember.” “Is there any chance they’ll rethink their decision and consider us?” Jaclyn shook her head. “No. I asked, but Tina said the contract was signed.” She slumped dejectedly, elbow propped on the arm of the chair, chin in her hand. “I guess I’m just looking for sympathy because only a miracle could save BigCo now.” Resolutely, Chuck swung around to his computer and began typing. “It’s a shame about BigCo, but we have to act now to make sure this doesn’t happen at any other accounts. I’m calling an emergency sales meeting at lunch today. We’ll put together a list of
P18 CANVAS August 2010
customers who would benefit from a storefront solution and schedule appointments with all of them.” He finished the message and clicked send.
Lost opportunities In the past year, I’ve heard several variations of the story above. These tales were told by sadfaced salespeople who missed a golden opportunity to sell a sticky solution guaranteeing sales and income for years to come. Usually, the salesperson had mentioned storefront solutions to their customers once or maybe even twice. As the old saying goes, “Telling is not selling.” Simply informing customers you offer a solution provides no guarantee they’ll remember you when they’re finally ready to buy. Storefront solutions have been around for years, but there has never been a better time than now to sell them. The recession of 2009 downsized
Support staff vanished and survivors were left with more to do. This created a new interest in ways to automate low-value repetitive tasks like pricing and ordering print jobs, locating artwork and logos, and making simple type changes to marketing collateral. Storefronts are now a solution whose time has come.
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Selling Storefront Solutions
Who benefits from storefront solutions Many of your current customers benefit from storefront solutions if: • Customers order the same type of printed products again and again. • The people within an organization need access to digital assets, corporate identity materials and marketing collateral because they are large in number or geographically disbursed. • Marketers want to protect their brand and/or align sales with marketing. • Customers want to save time and eliminate low-value tasks.
Starting the conversation Consider your current customers and answer three questions: • Does the buyer you deal with regularly have the authority to purchase a storefront? • If the answer is “yes,” why would they benefit from a storefront? • If the answer is “no,” who should you be talking to?
A client who buys a storefront solution for the first time is buying disruptive technology. Because they haven’t purchased in the past, they lack a point of comparison. If the buyer’s primary responsibility is purchasing printing, only a fool would expect them to enthusiastically support a solution that could potentially eliminate their job. This situation is common enough and a challenge for you. Approaching the buyer’s boss without the buyer’s support is almost certain to alienate your current ally. But complacency is dangerous. Competitors without existing loyalties won’t hesitate to climb over the buyer and contact the boss to talk about storefront solutions. Instead, consider doing a capabilities-update lunch and learn. Invite the buyer, their boss and others in the department. Tell them what’s new at your company. Softly sell storefront solutions. In a perfect world, the boss will listen to your presentation and say, “Tell me more.” Or, use “like-rank” selling and have your boss call on the buyer’s boss. Let your boss broach the subject without directly involving you or your customer. Either way you play it, risk is involved. Smart salespeople consider options, make a decision and move forward.
P20 CANVAS August 2010
The length of the selling cycle Quick sales happen when: • You’re talking to the decision-maker who controls the budget. • The buyer recognizes the need for a storefront. • The buyer will spend money now to purchase the solution. • The decision-maker doesn’t need to build consensus with others before purchasing. • The benefits of a storefront solution are significant, so quick implementation makes sense. Sales can take six to 18 months when: • The buying decision is made by committee. • The benefits of a storefront solution are nice but not necessary, so there is no real motivation to purchase quickly. • No one wants to allocate current budget money to the purchase. • No one within the client company wants to take responsibility for implementing the solution.
equate enthusiasm for a solution with authority to
• The solution is perceived to be worth less than it costs.
purchase. If you talk to a potential customer about
• The customer is seriously considering using internal resources to
a storefront and they love the idea, ask, “What is
build a storefront.
your process for buying a solution like this?” Find out who else is involved and include them in your
When a sale drags on, new competitors could enter the picture and threaten you. Be aware. Dig to find the root cause of obstacles and work hard to overcome them.
selling strategy. A client who buys a storefront solution for the first time is buying disruptive technology. Because they haven’t purchased in the past,
they lack a point of comparison. This makes it
Salespeople are natural optimists. All too often, our nature leads us
more of a challenge to evaluate benefits and
to mistake a buyer’s interest in learning for interest in buying. Or, to
risks. Expect customers to be cautious. Don’t
Selling Storefront Solutions
short-change them if they need lots of information, hand-holding and reassurances. No matter how interested someone appears, don’t expect people to buy an untried solution based on conversation alone. Back up what you say with brochures, executive summaries, case studies, white papers, references and a detailed ROI analysis. Don’t volunteer to give a formal proposal before the client is ready for one. All your hard work could go down the drain if the client shows your proposal to another vendor and asks, “Can you do this for less money?”
Prepare to negotiate Selling storefront solutions involves negotiation, so here are five tips. • Know what you want and what you can afford to give up. When you’re clear on this, you’re more likely to obtain a positive outcome. • Consider who you’re negotiating with. The purchaser has a job to do and a boss to please. They have a personality, likes and dislikes, and their own definition of what is fair and right. All of these factors impact the negotiation.
When the client is ready to buy, be ready to move forward. Know the basic steps that are involved in implementing a storefront solution, and how long the set-up takes. • Make sure all issues are out on the table. Ask, “Is there anything else you would like to bring up?” • Don’t hesitate to request time to think. You’re not negotiating for a quick solution, but one that works well for you and your customer. • When you reach agreement on a point, state what you are agreeing to out-loud. Make sure your customer concurs. Put all agreements in writing. One last tip . . . When the client is ready to buy, be ready to move forward. Know the basic steps that are involved in implementing a storefront solution, and how long the set-up takes. By demonstrating competence in the last stage of the sale, you make clients feel confident that they chose the right partner when they chose you. Linda Bishop has spent over 20 years in sales and marketing. She was previously vice president of marketing for IPD printing, presently owned by RR Donnelly. In 2005, she started Thought Transformation, a national firm dedicated to helping clients add sales dollars by developing an educated and professional sales force.
P22 CANVAS August 2010
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The only publication for print sales & marketing executive. CANVAS is the first & ONLY publication that focuses on what is truly relevant to the world of the graphic arts sales & marketing executive. It investigates the challenges of an industry that is decidedly global, while at the same time, intimate and local. This sophisticated publication explores intelligent sales techniques, marketing models and best practices. By delivering the insights of industry leaders and innovators, CANVAS supports the printing and graphic arts industry better than all the rest. • 6 printed issues a year • New Digital editions • Weekly e-letter: CANVAS NOTES • Education on-line at www.thecanvasmag.com • All issues archived in page turning software
»» Product Spotlight Unisource and Heidelberg RICOH Pro C900 Color USA form partnership Production System Heidelberg USA, Inc. and Unisource Worldwide, Inc. announced
Faster turnaround time for last-minute jobs. Higher through-
a partnership that combines Heidelberg ’s print media products,
put for peak production. Greater flexibility for in-line finish-
service and expertise with the paper and logistics knowledge
ing. Any one of these can help grow your business. That’s
of the Unisource organization for the benefit of printers in the
why Ricoh developed the RICOH Pro C900 Color Production
United States. The partnership is focused on creating game-
System. Equipped to produce an incredible variety of color
changing business practices that will enable printers to run their
documents, this versatile digital imaging system allows you
businesses more efficiently. Among the benefits the Heidelberg
to take on new kinds of jobs, finish them faster, and keep your
and Unisource alliance is expected to offer the industry are:
customers coming back for more.
• A partnership that provides enhanced service, products, and
With the RICOH Pro C900 digital color printer, it’s
technical expertise to the print community. Access to the
easier than ever to profitably enter the world of color
Unisource nationwide distribution network and Heidelberg’s
with its reasonable initial price, low total cost of owner-
full product and consumable offering provides printers an
ship, and enhanced productivity that ensures you’ll
opportunity to achieve pressroom and operational efficiencies.
realize greater savings. This affordable machine turns
• The ability and opportunity for a printer to reduce costs
out high-quality, high-speed color jobs that exceed
and achieve economies of scale by managing all equip-
your customer’s expectations and meet their “I need it
ment, consumables and paper purchases in the form of
exclusive bundled products and services.
The RICOH Pro C900 delivers the ultimate in product
•A n agreement that calls for Unisource to deliver the full
print and scanning with consistent, brilliant 1200 dpi
line of Heidelberg premium Saphira-branded consum-
color output and 90 page-per-minute speed. Its exten-
ables to printers across the United States.
sive workflow solutions include the ability to integrate
The program will roll out in phases, beginning with printers
with a number of software options available for use
in the Southeast this fall and expanding nationwide within
with the RICOH Pro C900 through alliance partners.
the next year.
Profiling an Industry
Want to know what’s top of mind for CEOs, sales managers and sales reps? CANVAS asked.
There is a wide array of personalities and perspectives in this industry. The following interviews cover the spectrum – from CEOs to sales managers, fifth-generation printers to transplants, veterans to rookies.
P26 CANVAS August 2010
Leader – Joe Davis, CEO of Consolidated Graphics Change Agent – Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO of Eastman Kodak, author of The Mirror Test Veteran – Deidre Acord, Sales Manager at Capital Printing Co. Jack of All Trades – Kimberly Lawton Koon, CEO of Lawton Printers, mother, community volunteer Rookie – Lindsey McMillion, Business Development, McArdle Transplant – Matt Devlin, Account Manager for Williamson Printing, formerly in the automotive industry
ith thousands of customers across the United States and Europe, Consolidated Graphics needed a way to spread its message, product offerings and innovations
to its customers without logging millions of travel miles and delivering endless conference room pitches. Enter the Emerge Conference, where for two days, CGX brought 750 attendees (customers, suppliers, CGX companies and partners) under one roof for educational seminars on technologies and techniques that could deliver higher ROI, a business expo displaying various print solutions in action, and even networking for like-minded businesses and entrepreneurs. The timing couldn’t have been better – technology has advanced to the point where printers can offer more than traditional commercial services and go deeper with digital solutions and online technology. And the economy has forced businesses to look at their purchases and solutions to maximize value. The Emerge Conference is just the latest in a long line of trendsetting from the print
Joe Davis CEO of Consolidated Graphics
solutions provider and its CEO, Joe Davis. Consider the following: • From CGX’s commercial print beginnings in 1985, Davis has built a solutions provider that’s 70 companies strong in 27 states (and other countries). Davis made a significant investment in digital technology, online infrastructure and people to stay ahead of the curve (to the tune of over $70 million). • CGX’s Leadership Development Program, started in the late ’90s, emphasizes college recruitment and internal development. Twenty three company presidents have graduated from the program, and program graduates fill the ranks of departmental VPs, plant managers and sales reps, according to the company. The program has accelerated in 2010; in January CGX hired 88 people out of college, and had a goal of 100 for the month of June. Joe Davis on change: We have more than 20,000 customers. They range from small companies to some of the largest well-known brands in the world. We want to be able to service their needs – whatever they happen to be. We have to change our product offering to meet those needs. We stay ahead of our customers’ needs by delivering the
We stay ahead of our customers’ needs by delivering the most innovative solutions.
most innovative solutions. Look at our digital footprint; we have 220 digital presses in the United States and Europe. We have the largest digital footprint of any printer in world. We continue to grow that and
a rigorous, hands-on training program for three
add state-of-the-art digital equipment.
years. When they graduate, they are superior to
Joe Davis on leadership: Everyone has leadership qualities.
most of the people with a lot of experience hiring
How we develop those qualities depends on the individual.
from within the industry, from technology, sales
Exposure to training and experience makes for a great leader.
and work ethic standpoints.
Great leaders are people who are bright, hardworking and tech-
Joe Davis on what drives him: Change over
nically very proficient. You can’t be a good leader without know-
the years. At first I thought I was driven by finan-
ing the subject matter.
cial success. Now, I think I’m driven by wanting to
Joe Davis on CGX’s Leadership Development Program: We
continue to build a very successful company. A
surveyed the landscape. Technology is becoming more important
successful company means a lot of different things
in our role as a printer. You’ve got to have people who are comfort-
to me. It means developing people first and fore-
able and qualified in using this technology. Where am I going to get
most. The people – including our presidents, group
those people? Where are the future leaders of this company? I could
vice presidents and executive vice presidents – we
take senior people, and I’ve done some of that, who are interested
need to continue to grow and develop them so that
in technology. But young folks coming out of college are more tech
they can reach their highest level of potential and
savvy than I will ever be. The truth is I’m probably not up to the tech
so this company will be around a long time after
level of my 13 year-old granddaughter, Whitney.
I’m gone. Financial success is certainly important,
In order to capitalize on technology, we started many years ago with the Leadership Development Program. We put them through
but achievement of a goal is more important today than it’s ever been.
Profiling an Industry
Jeff Hayzlett on how print companies need to look at themselves: You’re not a printer. Printing is one of the things you do. You’re in the communications business. How do you expand your product
The Change Agent
line and expand the services you do beyond just putting ink on paper? If you’re just putting ink on paper, how do you add services to that? How do you do it with QR Codes? How do you do it with more digital techniques that people can utilize, even though it may be through the tried and true medium of paper? Just like Kodak wasn’t in the film business; it was in the imaging business, the memories business. Printers need to be asking themselves, ‘what business am I in?’ What value am I providing?’ And then be very clear about laying that out to their customers.
Jeffrey Hayzlett, Author of The Mirror Test, former CMO of Eastman Kodak
effrey Hayzlett creates tension. He lives for
it, whether at his previous role as CMO for Eastman Kodak, as a business consultant
helping startup companies achieve growth, on television shows and at the podium, or reader by reader with his best seller The Mirror Test. “You really need to ask yourself tough questions,” says Hayzlett. “And my job [at Eastman Kodak] was to create tension. As a change agent, that’s what you want to be able to do. Most business leaders and owners are change agents, meaning they’re constantly looking for different ways to be able to improve their business. The best way to do that is by stretching yourself.” CANVAS asked Hayzlett questions both specific to the print industry and broad for business practices in general. To read more about The Mirror Test, see this month’s book recommendation
The other trait is these businesses are constantly in change, meaning they’re always being innovative. They’re true to their core, but they’re always being innovative. Jeff Hayzlett on traits of successful businesses, across industries: One of the most successful traits that I see for a business is being very transparent. They have an openness and healthy debate amongst themselves of talking through problems, and being willing to talk about anything in the business, whether it be about the people, their customers, the services or methods of which they’re providing those services or products. The other trait is these businesses are constantly in change, meaning they’re always being innovative. They’re true to their core, but they’re always being innovative. Jeff Hayzlett on the future of the print industry: I still think it’s bright. There are a lot of players in this market that are still growing at double digits. Why? You’ve got to ask yourself. If you’re not growing as fast as they’re growing, what could you be doing differently?
P28 CANVAS August 2010
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Profiling an Industry
On top of her own accounts, Acord manages seven salespeople and a half dozen customer service reps.
Deidre Acord on being prepared: Planning is essential. I have to know my customers print cycles, budget concerns and making sure they “get the print experience” they are expecting. This is our motto for the company. “Giving our customer a healthy print experience,” when you’re at the plant for hours at a time or spending time in and out of your car, or having plant tours, or vendor events … you better like the people you work for and with, but most of all like what you do. Deidre Acord on managing, and selling: “I have a great seasoned staff. I don’t really consider it managing; my job is to listen, find solutions, and be creative with the staff to find new ideas for their clients. We offer vendor classes, or vendor events for sales and customers. Our sales staff comes to me when they have exhausted all possibilities. It’s the same with the CSRs. I think the hardest
Deidre Acord, Sales Manager at Capital Printing Co.
ou hear it all the time in sports – the game slows down for veterans. A quarterback is able to check down to a second receiver
and an All-star pitcher masters a fourth pitch. The same can be applied to Deidre Acord, a Sales Manager for Austin, Texas-based Capital Print-
ing Co. Before the committed relationships with clients, there were (and still are) endless cold call sessions and lead generation. There were, and still are, late nights, early morning press checks, and going to the plant on Saturdays if needed, but like any veteran, Acord has found an even flow to her work responsibilities and home life. “When I was younger, everything was done
part is making sure that I give them the time they need. Most of
What is a benefit to our sales team is our corporate office, which offers variable data, digital printing and envelope printing.
in a hurry and I didn’t understand why everyone was not hurrying with me,” she says. “I look back and laugh at myself wondering ‘why.’ As I have
my accounts are referral accounts or accounts that I have handled
gotten older in this industry, it is still the same
for five years or longer. It’s about building relationships with your
– deadlines and numbers. I have learned how to
clients, and anticipating what their needs are for the moment.
deal with it a little bit better.”
Put yourself in their shoes, and try to understand where they are coming from and why. The five W’s are always very helpful. Deidre Acord on adapting with new technologies and trends: “We know as a company that we have to be able offer more. Finding our niche is the battle; we can’t be all things to everyone. What is a benefit to our sales team is our corporate office, which offers variable data, digital printing and envelope printing. Having relationships with our vendors helps us stay current. It is hard to keep up with the changes in technology, so we have a person on staff that keeps up with the current trends and how it might affect the printing industry. We are currently updating to be on Facebook, Twitter and have a blog on our website. We are working on new updates for the website. You have to know why you’re doing all of these things and if they really benefit your company so you don’t come off as someone who is doing something to be “trendy.”
P30 CANVAS August 2010
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Profiling an Industry
CEO and engineer are just two of the hats Lawton Koon wears. She’s also a community volunteer, mother of two, and a business award winner. She was honored by the Orlando Business Journal as the 2009 Woman Who Mean Business Up and Comer, and was
Jack of All Trades
recognized in 2008 in the Top 40 Under 40. Lawton Koon on growing a print company during challenging economic times: Customer retention has been hard work over these past few months. Competition is stronger than ever, and price cutting is the biggest part of that. But we remind our employees that we made it through the Great Depression, and we will make it through this bad economy too ... we just have to continue to work together and stay positive.
Kimberly Lawton Koon, CEO of Lawton Printers
Kimberly Lawton Koon looks at a problem, it’s with the eyes of an
engineer. The attention to detail comes with her mechanical engineering degree from Vanderbilt, and it’s been a unique asset for Lawton Koon as a fifth-generation printer. “Printing is manufacturing,” she says. “So my background made it easy to understand the mechanics of the equipment and of the workflow through the shop. We’ve been able to implement more lean manufacturing principles here through my experience.” Lawton Koon says when she and her husband
I love that my kids, especially my daughter, are learning that a woman can be both a good business person and a good mother.
moved back to Florida to buy the business, she
Lawton Koon on handling the day-to-day executive challenges,
reacquainted herself with every department
as well as a family: I honestly think it is all relative. I thrive off being
by “spending a few weeks understanding our
busy and love both of my jobs! It helps that my kids are getting
strengths, problems and needs.” The insight reaped
older now (4 and 6 years) and at school during the day. Sometimes
benefits both logistically, and it proved invaluable
it feels like a juggling act with after-school sports, field trips, and
in customer relationships, she says. “Becoming so
doctors’ appointments; but my job allows me to be flexible and
intimately involved in each area of the print busi-
gives me the opportunity to stay involved with my kids. I love that
ness helped to anticipate my customers’ needs
my kids, especially my daughter, are learning that a woman can be
rather than react to their questions.”
both a good business person and a good mother. They both come to the office often and see what Mommy and Daddy do at work – and they are learning about work ethic and the value of a dollar. Lawton Koon on charity work: My heart is definitely toward service and I am thankful that Lawton Printers is able to donate to many local charities, including Florida Hospital, Coalition for the Homeless & the Heart of Florida United Way. I am very involved with my church’s community outreach programs and have traveled with them twice to India to serve victims of human trafficking. I also sit on the board for Florida Hospital SHARES International, which is their Medical Mission trips that performs surgeries and medical care to the needy in Central and South America.
P32 CANVAS August 2010
lthough she’s less than two years into her tenure in Business Development for McArdle, Lindsey McMillion isn’t necessarily new to the print industry. By the time the ink
on her diploma from Clemson University had dried, McMillion had already gained valuable experience with two print-related internships – one as a graphic designer at Weyerhaeuser and another as
a Graphic Coordinator at Printpack Inc. “I love ink on paper,” she says. “So, I’m a print geek at heart. Learning the entire process, from concept and design, to the printing operation, to the finished product … it’s a very rewarding industry to be in and say, ‘Hey, I had a hand in producing that piece.’ My internships were design-based, so even though I’m not a full-time designer, I can relate to my clients who are in creative roles.” Sales, though, was a new challenge, but one that McMillion found she had a unique skill set already built-in.
Our industry has evolved over the years, so being able to communicate with my clients and prospects on a solutionsbased level has differentiated me amongst the other print competitors.
Lindsey McMillion, Business Development, McArdle
Lindsey McMillion on what it takes to first survive, then thrive as someone new to the industry: Hard work, preparation and differentiation. I don’t think this is unique to any one industry. I try to push myself in sales by asking questions that create relevant conversations with the customer. To get to the core of your customer’s needs and challenges, it’s about working hard through listening, being creative and being a resource. Continual education through news articles, webinars and the ‘what’s hot’ in the industry, is also a huge part of my plan to thrive in my career. Lindsey McMillion on the future of print: Although our industry is ever-changing, I think print will continue to thrive in conjunction with other channels, including online. However, it’s those companies that invest in the latest technologies to offer their customers the latest solutions, that will still be around in the future.
Lindsey McMillion on the advantages a new print sales rep may have in the changing marketplace: I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Communications at Clemson University just two years ago. Throughout my time there, I learned about all of the latest technology in the industry, which has prepared me to be a multi-dimensional sales rep … Not just a print sales rep. Our industry has evolved over the years, so being able to communicate with my clients and prospects on a solutions-based level has differentiated me amongst the other print competitors. I am able to create dialogues around integrated marketing that help my customers increase their ROI through personalized multichannel campaigns … See what I mean? It’s not just about print these days.
Profiling an Industry
is very fulfilling for me personally. When I have the opportunity to work with a client on a project from the conceptual stage to design to production, that’s exciting. I’m not saying this is easy, but that’s
always my objective. Prospects and clients can quickly stereotype you as “printer” when they hear you work for a printing company. And for some clients there is no opportunity to partner at a more strategic level. It’s up to me to quickly qualify the prospect and sell accordingly, or pass if it’s not a good fit. Matt Devlin on the similarities between industries: Relationships are critical in any industry. The fastest and biggest sales that I have made in both industries have come from the clients that I have great relationships with. By relationships, I don’t just mean dropping off donuts, buying lunches or getting the “last look” at a project. I’m talking about truly caring about your client on a deeper level and taking the time to cultivate a meaningful relationship. For
Matt Devlin, Account Manager for Williamson Printing
n 2008, Matt Devlin left a position as a business development analyst at Ford Motor Company for an account manager position at
Dallas, Texas-based Williamson Printing. Devlin says some in the automotive field thought he was merely moving from one struggling industry to another. Devlin obviously didn’t see it that way. “Granted, the traditional print industry is mature and we are part of an ongoing shift in how communications are delivered (from print based to largely digital),” he says. “However, if you are
willing to think beyond just traditional print and be creative, there are almost endless opportunities to help your clients effectively deliver their message with things like integrated campaigns,
me, that’s when the price objection melts away. Look for opportunities to develop relationships and be open-minded when they present themselves. I have found Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone a great resource on business relationships.
It’s all about individual ownership of the relationship in the print industry.
online asset management, fulfillment/distribution logistics etc. There will always be a demand
The ability to clearly and concisely articulate a concept is
to provide helpful services to clients, regardless
another differentiator between superior and average. Clients
of the platform, medium or latest fad.”
are looking for simplicity and solutions, not confusing answers that leave them guessing.
Matt Devlin on the appeal of the print indus-
Matt Devlin on the differences: Culturally, I had to shift from a
try: I was drawn to the fact that we sell market-
large, bureaucratic organization that tended to move slowly and
ing services. Marketing is my passion and helping
analyze carefully before doing anything, to a small, family oriented
clients reach their communications and sales goals
culture more focused on speed and execution. Don’t underestimate cultural fit. It’s all about individual ownership of the relationship in the print industry. With Ford’s big F500s, there is an account team that owns the client, so even if you are the lead, many others are involved laterally and vertically. At Williamson, I have 100 percent responsibility for my client relationship. My production manager is still involved as much as possible from that aspect, but I own the relationship. In my experience with the manufacturer to dealer/distributor business model, the manufacturer tends to lean heavily on the “factory relationship” to get product sold. That’s not possible in the print industry. It’s about individual relationships and ability.
P34 CANVAS August 2010
Bored Room Meetings By Brian Sullivan
Tips to making your business meetings worthy of an audience
P36 CANVAS August 2010
hen was the last time you heard somebody say, “Sweet! We just scheduled another meeting to talk about the plan …. for the sixth time!” Short answer is … NEVER. Let’s face it, most company leaders, managers, and salespeople don’t seek out colleagues to chest bump immediately after their
Outlook email sends them a dreaded meeting invite. So why is this? Frankly, the person calling the meeting often isn’t clear in their planning and organization of that meeting, or is making up for lack of execution in a previous meeting. Or maybe they just need to fill time in their calendar.
Bored Room Meetings
To prevent you from wasting your time and the time of the colleagues you love, follow these 10 Meeting Tips. By doing so, your attendees will be more eager to join in, and you will avoid being put on the “I have a conference call at that time” meeting Blacklist.
Ask yourself if a meeting is even necessary Consider the opportunity cost of pulling people away from important and productive tasks. If “why” you are meeting isn’t obvious to you, go do something that IS obviously productive.
Reschedule your meeting so essential participants can attend Why bother meeting if the key decision and action makers aren’t there to decide or commit?
Have a precise objective Think through exactly what you want attendees to do as a result of the meeting. Meetings are only valuable if people go away and do something they wouldn’t have already done without the meeting.
Side conversations and texting are often a sign that you haven’t followed Meeting Tips 1 through 8. team for a discussion about what to do to
Stick to the agenda and stop the meeting when you said you would
prepare for the customer presentation.
This makes it more likely they will come back the next time you
• E xample of a Bad Objective: Assemble the
send the invite. • E xample of a Good Objective: Get verbal commitment from each attendee to take at
Dialogue not monologue
least one of the five action items needed to
Discussions, not sermons are the best way to achieve your meeting
be done by next Friday. Get commitment
objective. Which means you need to use QUESTIONS as your most
that they will report by email by noon Friday.
important meeting tool. Face it, the people attending your meeting are smart. So you need to get them talking. Questions will help you find out
Create an agenda and send it to attendees before
what they want, reduce resistance, get them to sell themselves on your
It will allow them to think through the objec-
much more. Plus, how much can you learn while YOUR lips are moving?
ideas, prepare them to sell others, help you isolate concerns and so
tive and topics. As a result, they will come better prepared to participate. Also, ask them
Act like you want to be there
to think about and bring at least one idea that
In fact, the level of enthusiasm in that room will be directly tied to
will advance the meeting objective. If they know
your level of enthusiasm for the topic. Think about how many meet-
they are a meeting participant and not just an
ings you have attended where the leader started with, “Okay team,
attendee, they will be more interested in a
I know you don’t want to be here. (Sigh) We have a ton to cover
successful meeting outcome.
today. (Wince) Let’s just get through this. (Kill me)” Remember, if
P38 CANVAS August 2010
you tell the participants they are about to be miserable, guess what … they will be miserable. If you instead tell them why and how this meeting will directly benefit them and their team, they will engage.
Make or obtain decisions It’s the reason you are holding a meeting. Too many meetings are conducted like a 12 step therapy session. General George Patton said it well when he said, “I would rather have a good plan today than a perfect plan two weeks from now.”
Don’t tolerate side conversations and texting … and make it known up-front What’s worse than an indifferent knucklehead showing you no
By performing the tips above, you will get
respect? If you called the meeting, they need to know you are in
more done, more quickly. As a result, you will get
charge. But the good news is, you do have some control over this.
several hours of your life back each week. And
Side conversations and texting are often a sign that you haven’t
those hours can be spent doing more produc-
followed Meeting Tips 1 through 8. But if your meeting is worth
tive things … like spending time with your top
taking part in, they will have more interest in what you are discuss-
customers (family and friends) And those are the
ing than in what Chatty Cathy is whispering in their ear.
types of meetings we live for.
Put a bow on it Which means you need to summarize the key learning lessons and actions items of the meeting. Sales Coach and Business Consultant Brian Sullivan, CSP is the author of the book, 20 Days to the TOP – How the PRECISE Selling Formula Will Make You Your Company’s Top Sales Performer in 20 Days or Less. President of Kansas City-based PRECISE Selling, he delivers seminars and internet training programs on sales, customer service, leadership and presentation skills to companies of all sizes. He also hosts the radio talk show Entrepreneurial Moments, a show dedicated to personal and business development. To find out more, visit him at www.preciseselling.com or email Brian at email@example.com.
The Mirror Test – Is Your Business Really Breathing? By Jeffrey W. Hayzlett
any of us in the printing industry are familiar with Jeff Hayzlett. He is the former CMO of Kodak and has been a highly visible and outspoken leader. He is a pioneer with social networking and has created the highest qual-
ity of networks with people like Donald Trump and Mark Burnett. His successes and challenges provide us great lessons and serve as a tremendous backdrop to his new book, The Mirror Test – Is Your Business Really Breathing?
At a time when printers are either trying to elevate their business or keep it alive, Hayzlett offers some candid and thoughtful insight. The Mirror Test is a pleasant surprise, as it a no-nonsense read with real world examples. Even better, the examples are not only of Jeff’s successes. His willingness to share struggles (including a humorous, botched attempt to raise pheasants) as well as the successes, make this an easy and enjoyable book. As many of us know, Jeff has never been afraid to ask the very hard questions. In The Mirror Test, he continues with that theme by getting to the core of the matter. At a time when printers are either trying to elevate their business or keep it alive, Hayzlett offers some candid and thoughtful insight. The book breaks down the questions relevant to our business into three parts. First, we must focus on the difficult questions and truly understand where our business stands and what we need to concentrate on. Next, we need a clear idea of the value we bring and a culture that incubates that value is critical to success. And finally, Jeff reinforces what all CANVAS readers know – nothing happens without a sale. The Mirror Test is perfect reading for all of us in the printing industry. We can relate to Jeff and the advice is sound. His thoughts about the new economy, including the use of social networks, are spot on. CANVAS highly recommends The Mirror Test.
P40 CANVAS August 2010
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