Tour clients should not only leave with a package of marketing materials and samples, but also something personal that displays your company name and logo. The best items to give out are ones that they may keep in their office and others may see, such as a coffee mug, note cube, memo pads, etc. You should follow up immediately with a thank you letter, and perhaps include a gift certificate or coupon to encourage the client to give you an immediate order.
Like Attracts Like
Join a networking group to expand your marketing area. Find out about all of the networking groups in your area. Join the one that has the most members in an area in which you would like to do more business. Don’t be deterred from joining the group, even if it meets several miles away. If your customers in your primary marketing area are ordering 20% less, then you need to expand your marketing area by at least 20%. Better yet, double your marketing area. Businesses are less concerned today about dealing with a printer that is in their “backyard.” Most orders now come in via email, your website, by fax, by phone or by picking up the job.
The easy part for printers when they join a networking group is to get orders from the existing members, but the real reason to be involved is to get to know the key influential members. Get them to introduce you to their customers and friends. How do you do that? Meet with them at their office and find out who they want to meet or do business with. Then introduce them to people you know that fit that profile.
What this does, is plant IOU’s with each member you help. Then have them meet at your office and they will reciprocate with introductions/referrals. Don’t just get the names of companies and contacts, but have them physically introduce you. The best case scenario is a joint meeting, and if that is not possible, then suggest a phone call, a personal letter, or an email introduction. Don’t ever just wait to get leads from the networking group because it won’t happen.
These are three relatively simple and inexpensive ways to create more sales activity, which should lead to more estimates and more orders. Don’t just implement one of these methods, but do all three. And do them now.
Mitch Evans is president of Mitch Evans Consulting, which is specifically targeted to meet the consulting needs of the quick and small commercial printing industry. His areas of expertise are in strategic planning, valuation, mergers and acquisition, financial planning, new technology, and “1-2-1” coaching. Evans regularly speaks to printing associations and groups on these and related subjects. Contact him at 561/351-6950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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If your customers in your primary marketing area are ordering 20% less, then you need to expand your marketing area by at least 20%. Better yet, double your marketing area. Businesses are less concerned today about dealing with a printer that is in their “backyard.”