Almost all the printers I speak with say that if they can get a client to visit them, take a tour, etc., that it dramatically increases their chances of winning the account. No arguments from me on this. Having a great facility can truly be a competitive advantage. So how many prospects and key accounts do you anticipate coming in this week for a tour? How about last week? I thought so.
This thought goes beyond traditional lunch and learns and press okays (remember those?). This is an intentional act to make your facility a place where prospects and customers feel they can come to learn, work, design, test, build prototypes or proof of concepts, or even experiment with their next new big idea. What if you were able to carve out some square footage and make it an inviting space – become the go-to print facility for these folks to go to in your marketplace?
I read with interest recently about how Dick’s Sporting Goods was changing their retail footprint to include things like climbing walls, an outdoor track that can double as a skating rink in the winter, and golf simulator bays. Sounds like they want those customers to spend some extra time in the store. Not unlike some of the convenience stores that have electric charging stations for cars. They have been increasing the size of the stores and making it so the customers will shop and buy stuff while their cars are charging. That’s it, maybe also include a car charging station at your shop – not sure if that’s feasible, but you get the message. So, if Dick’s and c-stores can do this, why not printing companies?
You may have a designated area that can be reserved ahead of time. Provide an inviting place for these folks to work and to share their next big new ideas with you. You could provide a menu of options that your visitors could work on. And based on who was coming in and what they wanted to do, allocate one or two staff members to act as their guides for their time with you. And who knows, maybe when they are finished, you can give them a tour and ask for the order.
It’s just an idea, what do you think?
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.