Beyond direct mail, what kind of shape is your building signage in? If any of your lights are out, this would be a really good time to fix them. How about window graphics? Are they in good shape? Can they be seen at a maximum distance? Do you have an awning out front, from which you can hang a banner?
How about your delivery vehicle? How about your personal car, for that matter? On one hand, I would feel pretty stupid driving around town with a “David Fellman & Associates” sign on my car. On the other hand, though, if visibility was critical to my business success, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If I were you, I would even extend that to my employees. I’d even be willing to pay them for the opportunity to put my signs on their cars. (How’s that, by the way, for thinking outside the box?)
Do you spend money on radio advertising? I wouldn’t do that. From my perspective, the demographics are just too hard to figure out. The same goes for television, because the “spots” that most printers can afford are probably not at the times that printing buyers are watching TV, and again, the demographics on who’s watching what are too complex to guarantee success. I would, though, consider billboard advertising—there’s a lot of visibility! The key is a sign location that gets a lot of traffic. And here’s something else to consider: The billboard guys have seen a significant drop in their business too. There are good sites available in most cities, and the pricing is pretty aggressive.
Here’s a final thought for today. As I wrote earlier, invisibility is a very bad thing for both a printing salesperson and a printing company. If you’re a salesperson—or the owner in the sales role—how do you deal with customers who are content to just send in their orders when they need something, and prospects who don’t want to spend any time with another printing salesperson?
The answer is both complex and simple, and the simple part is to not be just another printing salesperson. Okay, maybe that’s a simple statement that is complex in execution, but it gives me something to write about next month. For now, let’s operate on the assumption that some of your customers and prospects will be happy to spend time with you if you ask them to!
Dave Fellman is the president of David Fellman & Associates, Cary, NC; a sales and marketing consulting firm serving numerous segments of the graphic arts industry. Contact Dave by phone at 800/325-9634, by fax at 919/363-4069, or by email at email@example.com. Visit his website at www.davefellman.com. See the ad for Dave’s products and services in this issue.