MOST SHOPS RELY 100 percent on word of mouth and referral business to grow. Can you build a proactive strategy to go out and find business? The answer is yes, and it’s easier than it might seem.
I hear it from almost every print shop I talk to: “We’ve always relied on inbound business and word of mouth or customer referrals. I’d like to go out and find business and proactively build revenue.”
It’s fascinating to me that some shops have built substantial businesses without actually picking up the phone, sending targeted email campaigns, or even having a strategy in place to drive predictable revenue growth.
This highlights a tremendous opportunity for shops that want to go out and proactively grow. It’s fairly easy to stand out. Most shops don’t do it now and aren’t going to do it in the future. If you can create an effective outreach strategy, it can have a measurable impact on your revenue. As business owners, we get cold called/emailed every day. Why do you think that is? Because if done well, it works!
Here are five best practices to keep in mind once you make the commitment to owning new revenue production for your shop:
Leads: Build solid target lists. Create lead lists focused on the markets where you’re most profitable today or where you would like additional revenue to come from. Data is cheap and super accurate. Let’s say I want to sell to construction companies that have more than 100 employees in the Midwest. Through a number of online tools, you can actually download lists of general managers, operation managers, marketing directors, or whatever contact you’re hoping to target with emails, phone numbers, physical addresses, etc.Advertisement
Messaging: Create messaging that shows your knowledge of their industry. Make statements like: “We help other construction companies and I’d like to see if we can help you in the same way.”
Outreach: Once you have a solid target list and message, an outreach strategy comes into play. I’d recommend a creative mix of outreach, including email, phone, in-person drop offs (if possible), and even LinkedIn/Instagram/Facebook direct messages.
Automation: Outbound outreach is 100 percent a numbers game. If your message is defined and on point, the more people you target with effective campaigns, the more meetings you will set. There are several email automation tools out there that will allow you to email thousands of contacts a week in a streamlined, hands-off way. This is the only way to do it at scale. You should also consider a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to help organize your activity history with the leads you’ve created.
Measure: Most data shows that it takes eight to nine solid touches for people to remember your name, company, and what you do. Most businesses stop after two or three. We need to build campaigns that include eight-plus touches and last for a month or more.
Following these five steps will get you on a path to creating a more predictable revenue stream. However, this isn’t easy. It’s the least fun part of the sales process for most folks. It can be an arduous, monotonous, and rejection-filled process. But, it works! If you want to own your growth and drive more revenue, you must create a similar strategy as discussed here, and then execute.
— Kevin Baumgart of SetSales (setsales.co)Advertisement
Let’s Talk About It
Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry
LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.
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