It starts with knowing what you are good at, and no, it’s probably not something highlighted on your equipment list. Your best clients will probably tell you that it begins with your understanding of their business, and understanding how they use print to help drive that business. This can be especially helpful in new business development. Too often I see reps auditioning for a prospect instead of confidently explaining what they are good at and how they can make a positive impact on their business. Winning the work that matters begins with understanding yourself, your company, and the needs of your prospect or customer.
Anyone looks like a potential client
Without a clear vision of what your ideal client looks like, anyone looks like a potential client. New business development is hard, and it’s even harder if you’re not certain on what you’re looking for. Having a message that is clear, meaningful, and relevant to a potential client certainly helps in getting their attention and an opportunity to meet. Doesn’t make it fool proof, but it helps. Some folks may be well served by tapping the brakes a bit and rethinking their outbound messaging.
You are uniquely qualified
If you’re looking to get a new customer, or grow market share with existing customers, winning the work that matters begins by positioning yourself as uniquely qualified to do the work. That means much more than the physical ability to produce the product. It includes how you produce the product, the customer experience, the questions you ask, your company’s responsiveness, and finally the attention to detail from start to finish. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Don’t lose sight of while the quality of the finished piece remains extremely important, it’s how you got there that they will probably remember.
Your contribution to the process
With a project for an existing customer or a new one, what are you bringing to the table? What contributions can you make to the process and why do your current clients value it? The better you understand what that is, and is validated by your clients, the more that you can use that as a differentiator in the marketplace. This isn’t about patting yourself on the shoulder, rather it’s about articulating the value that you deliver to your clients with every project or interaction. If you want to win the work that matters, you need to be relevant in the equation.
Wrap it up in a bow
Let’s wrap up these thoughts. Winning the work that matters for your business begins with understanding yourself, your company, and the needs of your prospect or customer. Have a message that is clear, meaningful, and relevant to a potential client helps in getting their attention and an opportunity to meet. Work to position yourself as being uniquely qualified to do the work and don’t lose sight that while the quality of the finished piece remains extremely important, it’s how you got there that they will probably remember. Finally, to win the work that matters, you need to be relevant in the eyes of your customer. All sounds easy right? Some would say common sense. Execution is the key so work on these points and become the best you can be at each of them.
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 advice, 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.