Back to Basics

By Mike Philie
In September 20, 2009

It was exciting to hear about the success stories from printers at Print 09. While the industry in general continues to struggle through these turbulent times there was some good news at the show. What were these companies doing that the others were not? Hard to pinpoint for sure but a few things they had in common:

  • The owners and senior leadership could clearly describe their strategy and were focused on getting everyone in the company aligned to deliver on the effort;
  • They had increased the marketing effort for the company so that their message was loud and clear to their clients and prospects. They were positioning themselves to be the leaders in their markets so that as things improved, they would be well positioned for success; 
  • Many said their results were not acceptable this year, so they continue to take costs and time out of their workflow by using the technology that they already own to its fullest, continue to look at new technology and use the downturn to make sure they have the right people in the right positions;   
  • Sales were still an issue with most firms as many of their top clients have reduced their print spend. While they hadn't really lost any clients, they just weren't spending like they have in the past. The companies that had several large clients that made up a large percentage of their revenue seemed to be more impacted than those with a diversified client mix. Most have reduced their capacity, hours and overhead to match the new sales level and some have compensated somewhat by a renewed focus [and success] on business development within inactive as well as new accounts;  

It was made clear that there were many factors that attributed to the success stories and that there were no silver bullets to be had. The key was having the company leadership identify what they could do with the resources at their disposal, in the markets that they were in and get busy. Pretty basic thinking no doubt. In these cases though, action spoke louder than words and they are making it happen. Continued success! 

Mike Philie

Mike works with printing companies that are not satisfied with their sales and business development performance, and are looking to get objective advice and strategic direction on how to improve the results of their business. His engagements can range from providing input on the overall sales strategy to building business development pipelines while training the processes of “selling” in today’s marketplace. Mike quickly establishes himself as a trusted resource and advisor to the owners and senior staff of his client companies through his personal involvement, and very quietly and effectively becomes an extension of their staff.

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