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WhatTheyThink

Articles by Pat McGrew

Pat is a well-known evangelist for inkjet productivity. At McGrew Group, she uses her decades technical and marketing experience to lead the industry toward optimized business processes and production workflows. She has helped companies to define their five-year plans, audited workflow processes, and developed sales team interventions and education programs. Pat is the Co-Author of 8 industry books, editor of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge, and a regular contributor to Inkjet Insight and WhatTheyThink.com.

Displaying 1-99 of 111 articles

Who Manages Print Industry Standards?

Published January 31, 2023

We are starting the year with standards to embrace a year of optimization, automation, and growth. The focus this time is on the groups that help us manage the standards. These are the groups to watch because they are managing the processes that lead to changes in existing standards as well as new standards.

Three Reasons to Adopt Standards

Published January 17, 2023

This year, we are going to explore a wide range of trends, thought-provoking ideas, concerns, and the role of hardware, software, workflow, automation, and standards in how we communicate to clients, customers, and constituents. That is a mouthful. It’s ambitious. But it would be a fascinating ride. The starting point is the role of standards—something our industry tends to honor in words, but not deeds. =

Help Your Sales: Update Your Website

Published January 3, 2023

You know what they say about cobbler’s children? They never have good shoes because the shoes go to paying customers. We have the same challenge in the print industry. Even companies that offer website design as part of their services offering struggle to create a compelling website for their own services. Let’s talk about that!

Three Transition Trends for 2023

Published December 13, 2022

Did your business change over the last couple of years? What have you done to cope? Did you hire new people, add automation to workflows, buy a company, sell a pieces of business, or find new ways to navigate supply chain issues? If any of these items look familiar, you are on the same ride as most of your peers. Let’s find the learnings to get ready for 2023.

Pleasant Air “Made it Happen” in Recent AlphaGraphics Contest

Published November 30, 2022

Pat McGrew talks to David and Bryant Crawford from N.C. HVAC company Pleasant Air, one of the winners of AlphaGraphics’ “Make It Happen” contest. As a result of its efforts in giving back to the community, the long-time AlphaGraphics clients were awarded an AlphaGraphics business brand makeover.

Is the Company Being Paid for What They Print?

Published November 29, 2022

Once a sale is made the job is not done. Not only does the work have to be performed, but the customer must be invoiced, and the money collected. There are many steps on the journey to ensuring that what was sold is what gets billed, but let’s start at the beginning.

Looking Back to Sell Forward

Published November 8, 2022

Sales professionals know how to calculate sales margins vs. contribution margins. They are handy with calculating job pricing, and proficient in sales methodologies. At this time of year it’s worth taking a moment to look back to lay plans for next year!

Where No Sale Has Gone Before…

Published October 25, 2022

Salespeople aren’t mind readers. Whether they are in-house or working remotely, they won’t magically know when new equipment is on the shop floor, or when incumbent technology exits. Let’s talk about how to ensure that everyone is current on what you can product so that everyone is working to fill the machines with the highest margin work.

Print Software Product Spotlight: Web-to-Print Solutions that Adapt to Your Needs with Customer’s Canvas

Published October 13, 2022

Sometimes the hardest part of taking advantage of the available marketplace is having tools that work they way you need them to. One size does not fit every situation. That is where Customer’s Canvas comes in. The team at Aurigma work with their clients to craft the web-to-print solution that will work most efficiently for their business.

How AlphaGraphics Makes It Happen!

Published October 11, 2022

What happens when an international franchise network makes it their mission to give back to the thousands of communities they serve? In this article, sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Pat McGrew takes a close look at AlphaGraphics’ “Make It Happen” campaign, a contest in which three deserving businesses won new branding, graphics, signage, décor, and marketing programs.

What’s Your Sales Backstory?

Published October 11, 2022

What’s the story you tell customers about your business? Do you have a narrative that everyone in the company uses or is everyone inventing their own? Here are the reasons to have a company backstory and for salespeople to have their backstories.

What Print Sales Job are You Looking For?

Published September 20, 2022

While hiring sales team members requires art and science, at the same time, candidates for sales positions also need a strategy to make sure a particular job is aligned with your abilities. Pat McGrew explains how job-seekers can ensure that they are the best fit for a given position and company.

Who Are You Hiring for Sales?

Published September 6, 2022

Hiring sales team members requires art and science. Pat McGrew talks about adopting a hiring strategy that is in sync with your sales goals.

Selling to Lapsed Customers

Published August 30, 2022

Do you have accounts who used to be profitable, high-volume customers but haven’t ordered from you in a while? Pat McGrew explains how to bring lapsed customers back into the fold.

Let’s Fire Some Customers!

Published August 16, 2022

Your sales plans should reflect what you sell, how you sell, and your target customer profile. A deep dive into your customer list is the only way to evaluate which customers help you produce a profit and which may cost you money. Pat McGrew explains how to sort the good customers from the bad—and how to fire those that may be costing you money. 

How’s Your Sales Plan Working? Buyers and Discounting

Published August 2, 2022

We are well into the second half of the calendar year, and to ensure a profitable end to your year, take a few minutes to look at what is in your pipeline, what has been onboarded, and what is in production. Is it what you expect? In part two of a two-part series, Pat McGrew takes a deep dive into the costs of doing business with customers and how you apply discounting strategies.

How’s Your Sales Plan Working? Calculating Profitability!

Published July 19, 2022

We are well into the second half of the calendar year, and to ensure a profitable end to your year, take a few minutes to look at what is in your pipeline, what has been onboarded, and what is in production. Is it what you expect? Pat McGrew offers some tips for evaluating your YTD performance.

Are You Selling with the Wrong Data? Part 2: External Data

Published June 28, 2022

You should be using data to guide your sales planning, and you should be revisiting the data you collect on a regular cadence because things change. In part one of this feature, Pat McGrew looked at how to gather and evaluate internal data. In part two, she looks at how external data can influence your sales plans.

Are You Selling with the Wrong Data?

Published June 14, 2022

You should be using data to guide your sales planning, and you should be revisiting the data you collect on a regular cadence because things change. But there is a lot of potential data—some of it is useful in helping to set sales plans, and some of it could be considered noise. Pat McGrew helps you determine which is which.

How Not to Sell Software at Trade Shows

Published May 31, 2022

Expos and exhibitions are interesting opportunities to sell, but the event alone is not enough to generate leads or close sales. Selling at trade shows takes a strategy and preparation. In part two of a two-part series, contributor Pat McGrew offers some do’s and don’ts for selling print software at trade shows.

How Not to Sell Hardware at Trade Shows

Published May 16, 2022

Expos and exhibitions are interesting opportunities to sell, but the event alone is not enough to generate leads or close sales. Selling at trade shows takes a strategy and preparation. In part one of a two-part series, contributor Pat McGrew offers some do’s and don’ts for selling print hardware at trade shows.

More Green Grass for Sales

Published April 26, 2022

Sales is a numbers game, but sometimes the focus on numbers derails thoughts of having creative conversations that can lead to higher-value sales. In Part 2 of her “Where is the Sales Grass Greener?” series, Pat McGrew explains how to go beyond the “Always Be Closing” mentality and develop deeper relationships with customers.

Pat McGrew Talks Data

Published April 21, 2022

"If you’re running a business and you don’t know your cost of goods sold, you’re not using data properly." WhatTheyThink contributor Pat McGrew discusses the emphasis on data collection and analysis at the recent Dscoop, and how, when used properly, data can help businesses grow.

Where is the Sales Grass Greener?

Published April 5, 2022

No matter how deeply you believe they rely on your services or how perfect your solutions may be, the road to successful sales begins with a relationship. Pat McGrew explains how to create an environment where the sales team operates at the highest levels.

What D’Ya Know About Your Software Investments?

Published March 22, 2022

Software is the hidden infrastructure in every business. Without a common understanding in both the business and production teams that installed software tools are to be used and not circumvented, the business cannot have a clear understanding of inbound orders, scheduling, work-in-progress, bottlenecks, shipments, and invoicing. Pat McGrew explains how to get everyone on board.

What D’Ya Know About Your Hardware Investments?

Published March 8, 2022

New equipment investments are wasted if the devices are not put into production quickly. Set the team and the business up for success. Pat McGrew tells you how.

Smart Surveys Expand Sales Options

Published March 1, 2022

Surveys can be a great tool to keeping up with customer needs. Contributor Pat McGrew offers some do’s and don’ts for constructing effective surveys that will give you the data you need to better serve your customers.

Three Strategies for Keeping Up with Customers

Published February 15, 2022

Just as your own business changes, so, too, have your customers’ businesses changed to meet their own market needs. They may have stopped selling some products or services and added others. They may have had staff turnover, bought additional companies, or sold pieces of their business. Pat McGrew offers some strategies for staying updated on where your customers are and how you can best serve their changing needs.

Top Three Sales Mistakes to Avoid for 2022

Published January 25, 2022

The coming year will be one of rebuilding for everyone in your supply chain, including your most regular customers. They may be taking time to look carefully at all their relationships and their budgets, so you need to be visible to remain in consideration as they update their plans. Pat McGrew offers some tips for ensuring that your most loyal customers stay that way.

Top Three Software Sales Strategies for 2022

Published January 11, 2022

We were hoping that 2021 would bring stability and the end of lockdowns and quarantines. While we had some respite mid-year, we’re beginning 2022 with similar challenges. The good news for software sellers is that there is a continuing market for solutions to automate, optimize, and streamline at every step of the workflow. Contributor Pat McGrew offers three software sales strategies to kick off 2022.

Your Business: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Published December 14, 2021

As we come to the end of the year, Pat McGrew encourages us to reflect on the choices made over the past year and set goals for the coming year. Think about how to evaluate what we have experienced and make a practical plan for 2022.

Time to Talk Turkey about Sales—Part 2: Remembering to Invoice

Published December 7, 2021

Of course, you are invoicing, but are you invoicing the correct amount? Your customer will let you know if you overcharge, but they aren’t as likely to come to you with undercharges. Pat McGrew explains why now is an excellent time to look at your invoices for the last quarter to see if you have a chronic problem.

Plan for Profitability with PlanProphet

Published November 29, 2021

This Product Spotlight looks at PlanProphet, a specialized, complementary solution to your print MIS that acts as your business virtual assistant. Powered by the industry-leading Salesforce CRM, PlanProphet is a cloud-based subscription software that analyzes customer data and behaviors to identify trends and automate touchpoints.

Time to Talk Turkey About Sales—Part 1: Firing Customers and Avoiding Discounts

Published November 16, 2021

We use the phrase “let’s talk turkey” when Thanksgiving is just over a week away…or we want the other party to know that it’s time to get to the bottom line. As you look forward to 2022, Pat McGrew talks turkey about why this is a good time to think about the bottom line for your sales teams and how they interact with customers.

PlanProphet’s Lemay Sanchez on Print Business Optimization

Published November 15, 2021

Pat McGrew and Ryan McAbee talk to Lemay Sanchez, managing director of PlanProphet, about how PlanProphet helps printers optimize their businesses by automating small but critical tasks that are involved in the day-to-day administration.

Don’t Get Spooked by Salespeople!

Published November 9, 2021

There are two sides to every sale: the buyer and the seller. Each party usually has the support of teams that help to solidify the requirements of the sale. hardware and software acquisitions are the result of long relationships with specific salespeople or the companies they represent—but that closeness can bring bias to the sales cycle. Pat McGrew explains how not to get spooked by the friendship.

Haunting Tales of Sales

Published October 19, 2021

As we enter the final months of the calendar year, companies are wrapping up their fiscal year and trying to get sales to close—which can lay the infrastructure for misunderstandings and mistakes. Pat McGrew identifies two common scenarios that can haunt you for a long time after the sale.

Do You Have a Sales Dashboard?

Published October 5, 2021

Sales teams are under increasing pressure to handle more accounts, grow those accounts, and deliver on margins. As a result, sales performance software has become a huge business. Pat McGrew rounds up some leading sales dashboard applications.

Do You Need Data to Sell?

Published September 21, 2021

Sales teams want leads, but they also want to know what the state of the market is. There is a sense that having data in hand will make the selling process easier. It might, but it might lead you astray, especially if it reflects a market of the past. Pat McGrew explains how to use data effectively to plan for the future.

Four Tips for Your Sales Succession Plan

Published August 31, 2021

Printing companies, already struggling with staffing in the office and in production, have a new concern. Sales team members are resigning, too. Sometimes without much notice, precipitated by requirements to return to an office or return to travel. Pat McGrew offers advice for developing a sales succession strategy to ensure that new salespeople quick acquire the knowledge of someone who is leaving.

What’s Your Sales Succession Plan?

Published August 17, 2021

One consequence of the pandemic has been an increase in employee turnover, especially in sales. Pat McGrew talks about how print businesses can cope with top sales talent exiting the company.

The Five Steps to Managing Pricing—Part 2

Published July 27, 2021

If you are struggling with setting prices or trying to decide when it’s time to change prices, Pat McGrew offers some starting points with this two-part series on five steps for managing pricing. This second part involves looking not just as the products you sell, but the services, too, and then reviewing and executing your pricing plan.

The Five Steps to Managing Pricing—Part 1

Published July 13, 2021

If you are struggling with setting prices or trying to decide when it’s time to change prices, Pat McGrew offers some starting points with this two-part series on five steps for managing pricing. This first part involves understanding your costs and your current pricing.

Know Your Privacy Laws

Published July 1, 2021

In the latest edition of the “Things That Are Legal that You Probably Need to Know” series, Pat McGrew talks to University of Colorado Professor Linda Fried about the recently passed Colorado privacy act—and similar acts in other states and potentially nationally—and what they mean for the printing industry and direct mail.

Let’s Do a Sales Team Tune-Up! Here’s Your Checklist!

Published June 8, 2021

Companies that have been in business for more than a few years usually have well-oiled sales machines, but mergers, acquisitions, changes in production capabilities, and market fluctuations could push the plan out of sync. That puts the business at risk. Sales needs to sell to the current capabilities and help set the strategy for future investments to support what customers are moving toward in their purchases. Contributor Pat McGrew identifies what items should be on your sales assessment checklist.

Court Ruling on Debt Collection Communications Puts Printing Companies on Notice

Published June 7, 2021

April came with more than showers for any PSP who prints for debt collectors. It also came with a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court that prohibits collection companies from using the services of PSPs to print and mail debt collection letters and related notices. If you are one of these PSPs, listen to this video with Pat McGrew and Dr. Linda Fried (University of Colorado Business School) before you have a conversation with your legal team. If you aren't printing collection letters, you still might want to listen. Linda tells us that this puts many other types of communication printed by service bureaus at risk!

Are You Buying the Wrong Software? Valuable Tips to Tell!

Published May 25, 2021

It is very possible that the software in your workflow is not the best fit for your business! Business workflow suites and production workflow suites can be found for every size and type of business and at every price point. You can even find freeware for some of your common tasks. But just because it looks good and meets your budget doesn’t mean it’s the software for you. Pat McGrew explains how and why.

How to Keep Your Customers with Software

Published May 17, 2021

As part of our preview of next week’s Technology Outlook Week, Pat McGrew looks at how your workflow infrastructure and the software that supports it can foster customer loyalty.

What’s Your Visibility Quotient?

Published May 11, 2021

Whether you are a printing company, a marketing services company, or a vendor who serves them with hardware or software, potential customers can only find you if they see you, and today it takes more than a Facebook page or website. The odds that your Instagram page or LinkedIn page will attract attention independently aren’t very great in today’s crowded market. You need a visibility plan. Pat McGrew explains what that is, and how to create one.

Three Capabilities You Should Be Selling!

Published April 27, 2021

In competitive industries like print there are so many options for a print buyer that you can find yourself undercut, even if you believe you have a good customer relationship. To differentiate your company and offerings, think about your people, your processes, and your technologies. What makes you different? What can you offer that would be hard for your competitors to mimic?

Three Things to Know About the Workflow Behind Variable Content

Published April 6, 2021

Variable content can add value, streamline supply chains, and create engaging customer experiences, but it takes some work. There is more complexity to the creative process, more steps to proof and approval, and more challenges in delivery. Contributor Pat McGrew looks at the current state of variable-data technology with an eye on where it’s going.  

Three Buyer and Seller Rules: Feedback Worth Sharing on Selling Your Software!

Published March 9, 2021

Pat McGrew responds to feedback she received from a recent article on selling software, shares some ill-fated buyer stories, and draws up  “three rules for software buyers” and “three rules for software sellers.”

So…You Want to Buy Some Software!

Published March 2, 2021

More and more printing companies are engaging with workflow automation solutions, which tend to bring better margins and often increase available capacity with current equipment. This is a path open to all companies—but walk carefully. In this feature, Pat McGrew explains how to evaluate your current software environment and what areas can offer the biggest returns.

So…Someone Wants to Buy Your Software

Published February 16, 2021

Selling software is not like selling hardware. Pat McGrew offers tips and suggestions for acquiring the skillset needed to successfully sell software solutions.

Are You Ready for Compliance?

Published February 2, 2021

Since the emergence of the original European Data Protection Act and the follow-on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), building a privacy protocol has been a topic in companies around the world. The codification of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), however, changed the trajectory of the conversation. It is far-reaching and touches all of us. Pat McGrew interviews University of Colorado Professor Linda Fried to provide background and guidance.

Pat McGrew Talks to Linda Fried About Compliance

Published February 2, 2021

Pat McGrew talks to University of Colorado Professor Linda Fried to provide background and guidance on the topic of compliance, or building privacy protocols following the original European Data Protection Act and the more recent California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Three Things to Start Doing in 2021

Published January 5, 2021

Pat McGrew offers her list of three recommendations for print businesses to start doing that will help them grow and thrive. The print business may continue on a roller coaster as we move through the first half of the year, but that makes it a great time to tune your workflows and ensure you are getting the most from each of your systems.

“Do You Want Fries with That?”—Consider Incremental Selling, Part 2

Published November 17, 2020

Take a look at the product mix you offer. What products can you pair up or also offer to increase your offerings to customers? In part 2 of a two-part feature, Pat McGrew helps you identify the “fries” you can offer customers.

“Do You Want Fries with That?”—Consider Incremental Selling

Published October 27, 2020

Take a look at the product mix you offer. What products can you pair up or also offer to increase your offerings to customers? Pat McGrew explains how incremental sales can be a winning strategy for print businesses.

Building a Realistic Sales and Marketing Strategy

Published October 6, 2020

How many meetings have you been a part of where the head of sales points fingers at the marketing team and exclaims that no leads are being delivered, therefore marketing is failing? How many meetings have you been a part of where marketing details their program and engagement plan with no feedback from the sales teams? Pat McGrew explains how to get everyone on the same page and not working at cross-purposes.

What’s Your Strategy Strategy?

Published September 29, 2020

In any business, there can be multiple strategies, developed in individual departments with the best intentions, but resulting in a series of disconnected plans that have little chance of moving the company forward. In this article, Pat McGrew defines what constitutes a good strategy, and how you can (and should) combine your company’s assorted strategies into a single cohesive and actionable strategy.

Creating A Sales Strategy?—Part 2: Where Are You Going?

Published September 22, 2020

In part 2 of a two-part series looking at sales strategies, Pat McGrew focuses on updating or building your strategy, formulating a vision statement, and getting everyone in the company on board.

Creating A Sales Strategy—Part 1: Where Are You Now?

Published August 25, 2020

Now that you know that you have both a marketing workflow and a sales workflow, it’s time to consider your sales strategy and what you need to support that strategy. Pat McGrew identifies what you need to evaluate your strategy and support it with collateral.

What’s in Your Marketing Workflow?—Part 2: Creating a Plan

Published August 18, 2020

Last month, Pat McGrew offered tips and strategies for optimizing your sales workflow. This month, she turns to marketing workflows. When times get tough, marketing often disappears from the radar. For companies that have not been marketing their services, the challenge of remaining visible in a chaotic market is even harder. In Part 2 of this two-part series, Pat describes how to develop a strategic marketing plan.

Partnering! Canva Brings the Creative to Office Depot Customers

Published August 11, 2020

Thanks to a new collaboration between the global design platform Canva and the robust workplace solutions team at Office Depot, small businesses can quickly and easily develop creative content for different kinds of print and non-print applications—everything from reports and posters to menus and yard signs, even social media marketing campaigns.

What’s Your Marketing Workflow?—Part 1: Building a Framework

Published August 4, 2020

Last month, Pat McGrew offered tips and strategies for optimizing your sales workflow. This month, she turns to marketing workflows. When times get tough, marketing often disappears from the radar. For companies that have not been marketing their services, the challenge of remaining visible in a chaotic market is even harder. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Pat describes how to set up a marketing workflow.

What’s in Your Sales Workflow?—Part 2: Workflows Have Building Blocks

Published July 21, 2020

“Sales Workflow.” These seem like two separate concepts, but sales is a process, processes have workflows, and workflows have building blocks. In part two of this two-part series, Pat McGrew explains how customers are one of those building blocks, and how you manage your relationship with them directly impacts your bottom line.

What’s Your Sales Workflow?—Part 1: Managing Customer Relations

Published July 14, 2020

In this two-part series, Pat McGrew offers advice, tips, and strategies for optimizing your “sales workflow.” In part one, she takes a look at managing customer relationships via a CRM.

drupa 2021 Essentials of Print: Assessments, Platforms, and Making Money with Workflow

Published July 13, 2020

The most expensive things you do in your printing plant every day involve talking to clients and physically touching their work. You talk to clients to better understand the work they want you to do, and you touch the work, in prepress or at other points in the process to ensure that the client’s intent is rendered on to the substrate. But every conversation and every touch has a financial impact. While you rely on workflow tools to aid the process, in most companies there are also spreadsheets, whiteboards, and sticky notes used to gather and communicate information about the jobs-in-progress. It’s only natural! However, the more you talk and touch, the less money you make on the job.

What’s in YOUR Workflow?—Part 2: Prepress and Getting on Press

Published May 21, 2020

Every type of plant can build a better workflow, one that is efficient and scalable, that helps to save production costs, and adds to operational efficiency. The place to start is with a tour around your plant. Pat McGrew continues her “virtual guided tour” of a plant's workflow, and some key questions to ask at each stop along the way.

What’s in YOUR Workflow?—Part 1: File Onboarding and Print Prep

Published May 18, 2020

Every type of plant can build a better workflow, one that is efficient and scalable, that helps to save production costs, and adds to operational efficiency. The place to start is with a tour around your plant. Pat McGrew provides a “virtual guided tour” of a plant's workflow, and some key questions to ask at each stop along the way.

How to Stay in Business in Rocky Times—Market and Promote!

Published May 5, 2020

This is a great time to evaluate your go-to-market plan and see if it needs some augmentation or modification—or a complete overhaul. In the second of two articles, Pat McGrew offers some ideas for jump-starting your marketing plans.  

Labels Are Hot: Embellishments Are Hotter

Published April 27, 2020

Pat McGrew looks at some recent examples of label embellishments and explores how you can expand your business with these technology advancements.

How to Stay in Business in Rocky Times—A Change of Plan

Published April 21, 2020

Before the world changed in March, you probably had a sales and marketing plan in place, which now seems obsolete and ineffective. In the first of two articles, Pat McGrew outlines some strategies for drawing up a new sales and marketing plan based on your current situation.  

Selling CYMK+: A Starter Guide (Part 2)

Published March 31, 2020

One of the popular additions to print shops around the world is the ability to create products that add white ink, embossing, debossing, foil, iridescent and neon colors, metallics, varnishes, texture, and unique folds to create high value. We call it CYMK+ because much of this work is created on digital presses and the ability to add enhancements is the plus. The breadth of options for enhancement provide myriad possibilities, but that might make it hard to find a talk track for the sales team. In part two of this two-part feature, Pat McGrew explains how to build a sales kit to sell CMYK+ capabilities.

Selling CYMK+: A Starter Guide (Part 1)

Published March 17, 2020

One of the popular additions to print shops around the world is the ability to create products that add white ink, embossing, debossing, foil, iridescent and neon colors, metallics, varnishes, texture, and unique folds to create high value. We call it CYMK+ because much of this work is created on digital presses and the ability to add enhancements is the plus. The breadth of options for enhancement provide myriad possibilities, but that might make it hard to find a talk track for the sales team. In this two-part feature, Pat McGrew walks through the steps to sell CMYK+ capabilities.

The Sales Process Review Crawl

Published February 25, 2020

No one likes reviews, but they can be a necessary evil. In this article, Pat McGrew explains how acquiring comprehensive data about jobs sold—and keeping that job database updated—can make the review process quick and painless.

Do Reviews Annoy Your Salespeople?

Published February 11, 2020

Which print sales people are compensated for a sale, and at what rate, is often part of a contractual relationship between the company and the sales representative, but not always. Sometimes the relationships are based on “how things have always been done” or verbal agreements. And not every deal brought in is a winner. As a result, some kind of periodic review is necessary for the business to effectively allocate its production resources. In Part 1 of a new series, Pat McGrew discusses sales review processes.

Here Is Your 2020 Sales Template

Published January 27, 2020

One of the most important activities at the start of the year is a quick review of the processes that go into ensuring the smooth flow of business. Often overlooked is how sales team members gather the information needed to bring a job into production, whether it is a new job or one that has been in production for years. Pat McGrew offers a template to use to standardize the information captured during the sales process.  

Three Easy Sales Enhancers for Q1 2020

Published January 13, 2020

Every new year brings new opportunities to grow your business. From printers to the vendors who support them, there is an opportunity in every segment and in every size print shop. Pat McGrew identifies three main “sales enhancers” to add to your 2020 business plan.

Three Things to Stop Doing in 2020

Published December 17, 2019

As 2020 approaches, it’s a great time to break bad habits that can be costing your business money. Pat McGrew identifies three bad habits for print businesses to break in 2020.

How To Sell Enhanced Printing

Published December 3, 2019

“Digital enhancement” or enhanced printing is one of the hottest trends in the industry and has been the talk of many recent trade shows—but enhanced print doesn’t sell itself. Pat McGrew offers some tips and strategies for selling enhanced printing to maximize ROI.

Avanti’s Red Hot Technology Awards

Published November 27, 2019

Pat Bolan, President of Avanti, talks to Pat McGrew about the company’s Red Hot Technology Award-winning enhancements to Avanti Slingshot at PRINT 19—Advanced Fulfillment Workflow Enhancement and the XML Loader Enhancement for Web to Print solutions.

Kodak Celebrates 20 Years of Prinergy in Berlin

Published November 19, 2019

Kodak Prinergy celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and European customers marked the occasion with a gala held in Berlin, Germany, last October. WhatTheyThink’s Pat McGrew attended the event.

Where Marketing and Sales Overlap—Evaluate Marketing Activities

Published November 12, 2019

In Part 2 of Pat McGrew’s two-part series on sales and marketing for print businesses, she looks at how to evaluate marketing activities so they more closely align with sales efforts.

Where Marketing and Sales Overlap

Published November 5, 2019

In Part 1 of Pat McGrew’s two-part series on sales and marketing for print businesses, she looks at the difference between sales professionals and marketing professionals and where the two processes overlap.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—The Wrap Up

Published October 22, 2019

Pat McGrew wraps up her 12-part series on selling in today’s print environment with some tips for how to tap into the do-it-yourself market, specifically, the variety of businesses that cater to DIYers who are happy to rebuild their lawnmower, re-roof a shed, or add features to kitchen.

Customer Communications at PRINT 19

Published October 10, 2019

Keypoint Intelligence - InfoTrends’ Pat McGrew and Marc Mascara discuss customer communications software and solutions on display at last week’s PRINT 19, and how they relate to trends that Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends has been tracking.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—The Gig Economy

Published October 8, 2019

The individuals and small businesses who cut lawns, build gardens, and trim trees, as well as independent carpenters, painters, drywall professionals, plumbers, and electricians are all potential print customers. In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she provides some tips for approaching “gig” workers and identifies some of the unique printed product requirements these folks have. 

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Cater to People’s Interests and Hobbies

Published September 10, 2019

Car enthusiasts. Hiking and biking clubs. Adult hockey leagues. Senior golf associations. Dance troupes. In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she provides some tips for approaching hobbyists and other groups and clubs, as well as the unique printed product requirements these kinds of groups have.  

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Take Advantage of Trade Shows

Published August 27, 2019

In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she provides some tips for using trade shows—not necessarily printing industry shows, but home and garden shows, car shows, hobbyist shows, and other private events—to develop new business opportunities.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Restaurants

Published August 13, 2019

In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she builds on the previous installment and puts together a print sample kit for a different specific vertical market: restaurants. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to these kinds of establishments, what kinds of items should you include in your Restaurant Marketing Sample Kit?

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Banks

Published July 30, 2019

In part 7 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she puts together a print sample kit for a specific vertical market: banks. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to a bank, what kinds of items should you include in your Bank Marketing Sample Kit?

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: How To Demonstrate Your Company’s Capabilities

Published July 23, 2019

In part 6 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she identifies some specific print samples to use to demonstrate your company’s capabilities.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Evaluating Your Print Samples

Published July 16, 2019

In part 5 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to evaluate the print samples your sales team uses to sell your company’s capabilities.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Are Using the Right Print Samples?

Published June 18, 2019

In part 4 of Pat McGrew's series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to make sure the print samples your sales team uses reflect the products you specifically want to sell.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: How to use Print Samples in the Sales Process

Published June 4, 2019

In part 3 of Pat McGrew series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to use print samples in the sales process.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Creating Compelling Stories with Print Samples

Published May 30, 2019

In part 2 of Pat McGrew's series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how print samples are at their most effective when there are compelling stories associated with them. 

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: “Prerequisites” for Today’s Print Sales

Published April 30, 2019

Pat McGrew launches a new series on selling in today’s print environment. In this introductory installment, she identifies some of the “prerequisites” that today’s print sales people need to take with them on any sales call—regardless of what kind of sales method they use.

When Mayhem Calls—Part 4

Published April 16, 2019

Planning for a catastrophe is something that every business owner knows they should do. At some point there is usually some effort applied, a plan developed, filed away, and the box checked that there is a business continuity/disaster recovery plan on file. It makes the auditors happy! But, when mayhem actually calls, will your plan actuallywork? In part four of this series, Pat McGrew offers tips on how to design and execute a continuity plan.