Driving the sales cycle

I went out on a sales call with one of my clients last week. The discussion was mostly about lead generation. The prospect told us that his salespeople closed most of their leads on the first call, and as we were driving away, my client said: “I wish this business was more like that one. … Read more →

In praise of micromanagement

The subject of micromanagement came up in a Dilbert comic strip I read recently. “I can’t wait to see the changes I asked you to make on the interface,” Dilbert said. “I haven’t started yet,” his colleague replied. “I had a few questions. In the meantime, I only did work for people who yelled at … Read more →

When should you fire a salesperson?

I’ve written a lot over the years about hiring salespeople, specifically about making better hiring decisions than much of the printing industry has. This month, I want to deal with a sort-of-related topic: the question of when to fire a salesperson. Short Answer The short answer to that question is that you should fire a salesperson … Read more →

Honesty is the best policy

Which is the most important in printing sales:  to be honest with customers, with the production side of your business, or with yourself? I think too many salespeople are dishonest with at least one of those parties. You might be surprised at which one I think causes the most damage. Honest With Customers Salespeople make … Read more →

Discrimination Rears Its Head

I’m in favor of discrimination. But let me make this clear. I am not in favor of racial discrimination, or gender discrimination, or age discrimination. I don’t believe that anyone’s religion makes him/her better or worse than anyone else, and I do believe that gays should have every right that straights have. I’m a pretty … Read more →

Every little bit helps

I’d like to offer you a choice. You can either have a salesperson with exceptional closing skills and terrible organizational skills, or the other way around. Which would you choose? I posted that question on my Facebook page. Limiting the data to those I’m pretty sure are printshop or signshop owners, respondents chose closing skills … Read more →

A Natural Salesman

I just got off the phone with a printer who’s getting ready to hire a new salesperson. “I’m really geeked about this guy,” he said. “He’s a natural salesman. Very outgoing, obviously a people person, and he’s smooth without being oily. I like him a lot!” “He sounds very likeable,” I said. “But is he … Read more →

Do you get my drift?

One of my clients recently told me that he feels like he’s drifting. “It’s like the wind pushes me through the whole day. I’m not in control. It is. And most of the time, when I get to the end of the day, I don’t like where I’ve been. I want to stop that.” Reactive/Proactive … Read more →


When I was a kid, I built a lot of model airplanes. From about 4th Grade to 6th Grade, I built everything from WWII fighters to Cold-War era jets. They knew me by name at the model store in the town where I grew up. These days I don’t build models, but I do build … Read more →

Rolling Stones and Printing Sales

What my client actually said was “I’m not getting very much in the way of satisfaction from this.” What I heard in the soundtrack section of my brain was da da, da da daaaaah. I’m pretty sure Mick Jagger and Keith Richards weren’t thinking about printing sales when they wrote “Satisfaction” back in 1965, but … Read more →

Do you have happy customers?

It’s a fairly simple question: Do you have happy customers? Hopefully your answer is yes. But that leads to a second question: How do you know that you have happy customers? The answer to that one takes us back to something that’s really quite simple – you ask them! You do not assume that they’re … Read more →