Business people who sell print

By Mike Philie
In August 26, 2010

How would you gauge your contribution to your clients’ success through the products and services you and your company provide? If you provide data driven campaigns that include response data and analytics you have access to some hard numbers. What if you provide print and print related services that don’t include any data, how do you know the impact you make vs. your competition? How do you know what to do more of and what to do less of? Maybe it’s time that you ask your clients for some tangible feedback. What you’re looking for is what where they able to do with your company that they couldn’t have achieved as easily using someone else? Go ahead, ask them. Be aware though as you’ll get some responses that may not be that flattering but I’m sure that there will be some that are real home runs.

Your goal is to determine the contribution you make to your clients’ success, get them to acknowledge it (until they do it really doesn’t matter), document the steps you took to deliver that value and look for other opportunities and clients to repeat the process. With your “business person” hat on you’ll be searching for companies that you can make a difference with. These searches seldom have anything to do with the product you deliver by itself and more often are connected to the situation the client might be in, your ability to recognize it and deliver the product and services that are again connected to their recognized issues. Always try to connect those dots.

There are plenty of printing reps selling printing. There aren’t that many business people who happen to sell print. There is a difference and that difference can impact margins, revenue, access to influencers and where you sit at the table.

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.


  1. Well said, Mike. What we have to be about is not just putting ink on paper, but rather, ensuring our clients’ success. If we do that, then our success will naturally follow.

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