Key Takeaways from NAPL’s “Historic Opportunity Awaits the Printing Industry” Webinar
Yesterday was NAPL’s (National Association for Printing Leadership) “Historic Opportunity Awaits the Printing Industry” webinar. Printing industry experts discussed the current state of the industry as well as what top notch printing companies are doing to ensure their success.
Sounds pretty stellar, huh? No worries if you couldn’t attend though, I’ve compiled a list of key takeaways. (You can thank me later—I accept chocolate as payment.)
“If you’re going to grow your sales, it’ll likely be from taking it from someone else.”
According to NAPL Vice President and Senior Consultant Mike Philie, in the current state of the industry your best bet to growing your business will be to move the work from your competition who’s been doing it.
Now, we all know that you’d love this—but your future clients (who currently belong to someone else) wouldn’t necessarily. It’s work to switch printing companies. And they won’t do it just because you ask nicely. You have to earn it—and them. You need to know these prospective clients’ businesses backwards and forwards. Play dot to dot with what those clients are trying to do with your company’s existing technology and expertise. Can you offer them something more than what they were already getting? As Mike eloquently put it, “If you don’t understand your client’s business and you can’t make an impact, you don’t deserve their business.”
“It’s important to be efficient, but it’s more important to be effective.”
“Nothing is more wasteful than being efficient at something you don’t need to be,” said Kean University Professor Gregory D’Amico. And I couldn’t agree more.
To grow your business, you need to zone in on the things you do best and then focus on those things. As claimed by Gregory, “80% of results are coming from 20% of your efforts.” Yikes. Those numbers sting. Soothe that sensation by putting that 20% at the top of your priorities list.
“How can we deliver services that are profitable for us and helpful for them?”
If you haven’t asked this question posed by Robert Rosen, president of R.H. Rosen & Associates, to your company lately—you should. Go on. I’ll wait.
According to Robert, top printing companies used to set themselves apart by doing many of the same things as other companies—they just did them better. But this won’t work anymore. Now, top companies work hard to maintain their existing sales volume while finding new values to sell.
The printing companies who are current top dogs are the ones who are good at seeing what they already do well and figuring out how they can do more of it—and not only do more of it, but add value to it. NAPL President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph P. Truncale added to this that you must ask your current clients not only “How do you like what we’re doing?” but also “How do you like it in comparison with your best alternative?”
I know that this growing, changing, competitive market is intimidating to analyze, but you’re a warrior. Even if you don’t appear as one, you are because you’ve toughed it out thus far. And as Robert put it, “You know the answers, the key is asking the right questions (…) [and to] make everything that’s happening an opportunity rather than a threat.”
Special thanks to NAPL and Joseph Truncale for hosting this lovely webinar and to all of the guests: Andrew Paparozzi, Tim Fischer, Mike Philie, Gregory D’Amico and Robert Rosen.
What other keys has your printing company found in adapting to the changing market?