Published July 24, 2014
Print technology of all kinds; presses, production software, Print MIS software, and web-to-print technologies have one thing in common – they are constantly changing. This one factor probably causes the most pain in the purchasing process. As a buyer you want to feel confident with your purchasing decision, yet the very thing you’re investing in is in a constant state of change.
Published July 9, 2014
A printer e-mailed me recently and said, “the Vice President of Procurement at our biggest customer is open to a meeting but she wants to know what I can do to save her money.” Of course she does, she’s always wanted her vendors to engage with her in a way that solves her business challenges and makes her look good.
Published July 1, 2014
Your sales team creates customer demand for your products and services, your production team fulfills that demand by manufacturing quality printed products on-time. Both your sales team and your production team need to be SOLD on the strategic, long-term importance of creating digital connections to your existing customers and using digital connections to win new customers.
Published June 24, 2014
Customers have challenges; the best way to increase your sales is to provide your products and services wrapped into solutions to your customer’s challenges. Solution selling is an easier topic to write about then it is to execute on. Too many people write about the idea without providing guidance on how to get from where you are today (selling print jobs) to selling print programs or solutions.
Published June 17, 2014
Last week I was in Bali, Indonesia, speaking at Dscoop Asia. The event, the travel, and the reading I did along the way came together with a common theme which can best be summed up by a quote from the book I read on the way home.
Published June 5, 2014
When you are the customer, you’re always right – correct? Maybe not always but the relationship between customer and vendor is a tricky one.
Published June 3, 2014
A web-to-print site is all about customer convenience, enabling your customers to order from you in a self-service fashion. One thing to understand about your customers is whether they are ordering or shopping.
Published May 29, 2014
We think we know our customers, we think we know our market; we think we can predict the future, we can’t and we shouldn’t invest lots of money without building in the ability to test our assumptions with data rather than opinions and theories.
Published May 13, 2014
Web-to-Print is a sales and marketing project that happens to involve technology, yet most printers delegate the leadership of web-to-print projects to their technical resources. We are collectively as an industry putting too much emphasis on the technology and not enough emphasis on the sales and marketing aspects.
Published May 6, 2014
There are several marriage mistakes that lead to divorce: cheating, dishonesty, addictions, and major changes in priorities. What does this have to do with your print management information system (Print MIS)? I am suggesting that your Print MIS is your most important business partner.
Published May 5, 2014
Welcome to Print Software, WhatTheyThink’s new special interest section. Because software is the primary tool of the information age, we wanted to create a specific area dedicated to this topic. Virtually every decision you make about your business involves some software technology or the requirement for connectivity/integration.
Published April 30, 2014
The sales process sets up the critical transition period from lead to customer. Customers remember what was said in the sales process and they often use this to guide their approach to implementation. Don’t inadvertently focus your soon to be customers in the wrong direction.
Published April 21, 2014
Activity does not equal results. You can be really busy, work really hard and fail miserable because you were busy doing the wrong thing.
Published December 17, 2013
The online world enables good online marketing to escort prospects through the sales process (know me, like me, trust me, and pay me). Online marketing is a path to scaling your sales reach.
Published December 3, 2013
Technology promises great potential to create leverage in our business. Leverage isn’t created in the purchase of technology; real leverage comes from how the use of the technology changes the behavior of the people who use it.
Published October 11, 2013
When I interview print sales representatives and ask them why their customers do business with them, they almost always say because we have a great relationship, our service is great, and our people are great. Relationship selling is a very common way to sell.
Published September 24, 2013
The default for decades has been, when you want to communicate something (a marketing message, information, education, compliance message, etc.) you contacted your printer and discussed the timeframe, manufacturing specifications, and quantities. Printers could be passive
Published August 27, 2013
Outbound marketing is promotion-based; spread the message about my company, my products, and my services to as many people as I can interrupt in the hope that some will find the message relevant. Print examples of this are blasting out huge direct mail campaigns to strangers, newspaper advertisements, and billboards.
Published August 20, 2013
A 2002 Standish Group study of software projects found that 45% of features were never used and only 20% features were used often or always. We base our software investment decisions on the number of features a product has and then we fail to utilize 80% of those features. Does that make sense to anyone?
Published July 30, 2013
We collectively make a lot of poor software decisions, according to my very bias and unscientific research we make way more mistakes in this area than we do with other business decisions. What is it about technology that causes a collective brain freeze when it comes to making good decisions?
Published July 23, 2013
For many years I cringed every time I heard someone in the print industry say, “printers need to become marketing service providers.” My initial reaction was always, are you kidding me?
Published July 2, 2013
I was involved in an RFP-like process recently, the organization made the following statement which I haven’t stopped thinking about since it dropped into my consciousness.
Published June 18, 2013
The number one best answer to any question posed by a prospect during the sales process is a clarifying question (hopefully several of them). The two best clarifying questions are, “what business challenge are you trying to solve?” and “how would you define wild success?”
Published June 4, 2013
Doing business online requires an infrastructure investment. Your business needs to be able to control content, commerce, and customer engagement online from your home base online – your domain.
Published May 21, 2013
A commitment to real change requires real risk because you have to be all-in for it to work. Too many technology projects fail because nobody was committed to bring forth the change necessary for success.