This blog originally published in Printing Impressions
What’s a great account look like for your business? Is it one with top revenues and profits or one from the handful of vertical markets that you are expert in? Many printing companies force rank the sales and profit numbers of their accounts and pick out the top ones as their great accounts. Perhaps they are … perhaps they’re not. What else should you consider and are there hidden costs, or benefits that don’t show up on the cost sheet?
A few of the first-level questions include do they pay on time, and are they easy to work with? Moving up the ladder you may want to know how well do they utilize the full range of the services that you offer and do you have a distinct competitive advantage over your next best competitor with this account? Do they have recurring work that is predictable and scheduled or are they all over the map? And finally, how is their business and their industry doing? There are many more questions that we can add to this evaluation, but you get the idea. I first started writing about these issues several years ago and they are just as relevant, if not even more today.
Why is this relevant? Well, if you’re chasing new business and trying to grow existing accounts, you need to have a good picture of what you’re actually looking for. I understand that this might not be applicable to all companies, but for those with a sales team and a marketing initiative, this becomes your target audience and your target message. After all, simply being able to fog a mirror does not make someone a good prospect.
Doing this exercise on a regular basis helps owners and managers objectively evaluate the existing client base, determine the great and good accounts and begin pointing to the strategy you’ll need to nurture and grow their business. This evaluation will also identify accounts that you are no longer suited to help in a cost-effective way, and you may want to recommend to your competitors.
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.