Monday, August 15, 2011

The Cure For Summertime Blues

Is the summer a bad time for printers? Over the years I have heard that July and December were down months. Printers could expect to see their sales plummet twice a year as print buyers took vacation or enjoyed the holidays.

That sounds logical, but the more printers I meet the more I begin to think this is just an urban myth. I am finding there are printers have smoothed out the roller coaster sales ride by constantly working on increasing sales. They don’t stop their sales activities when they get busy with printing. They keep making sales calls. They use the same tools and technology they are selling to customers to improve their own sales.

The new products and services driving successful print companies relate to helping customers get more leads. QR codes, websites, variable data printing, mobile marketing, mailing, Personal URLs, ebroadcasts, and social media are tools that help send a targeted message meant to improve a brand and create interest in a company. The successful printers use these tools to get more of their own leads and to demonstrate how the tools can help their customers.
Buying doesn’t stop in the summer and neither should selling activities. Most printing customers don’t shut their businesses down in the summer. The reality is that it isn’t customers who stop buying in the summer. The printer stops selling. Vacations, longer days and warm weather can change a company’s focus and lazy summer days become lazy selling days.

Print companies must continue their selling activities every day. They need to be touching customers in some way constantly so they will be the first printer a customer thinks about when they want to order something.

For a print shop to be successful, they have to develop a sales funnel to keep touching the customers. With websites, e-newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., printers can easily keep an ongoing dialog with their customers year round. They just got to do it.
No printer should be slow in the summer. They should be busy touching customers, making sales calls and asking for the order.

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