Sales 101

Did you ever notice when you get a new car how suddenly everyone is driving the same car?

A few weeks ago I wrote about oatmeal, and guess what? Now oatmeal is everywhere, including being offered on a flight I recently took from Chicago to Orange County. I fly over 100,000 miles per year and I don’t recall ever having been offered oatmeal as a meal choice in the past. I promise I am not making this up.

Similarly, now that we have wide format printers that can digitally print metallic silver ink, I’m noticing more and more applications for it. Admittedly, I never looked for it in the past, but now that it’s top of mind, metallic printing possibilities are popping up everywhere. So the question is: how do we get the word out? We can’t expect consumers to ask for something that they don’t even know exists, or is possible.

I met with the CEO and president of a major sign company here in Orange County recently. We talked about several general business and industry issues, and also had a lengthy discussion about our new metallic silver ink printers. At the end of our meeting we offered our visitors a stack of metallic ink print samples we had prepared. They declined and instead just took a couple of small samples. Two days later the CEO of the sign company contacts us and says “we need more samples!” Turns out he showed the sample we gave him to one of his customers who is interested in having some metallic silver digital printing done. Who knew?

My point is that anything new requires some missionary work. We’ll do our part, but if you’re in a position to quote a job, don’t assume that your customer knows what he/she wants. Surely they think they do, but only to the extent that they know what is possible.

Oatmeal on a flight? Who knew?

Thanks for reading.

Dave Goward

Dave Goward

Dave Goward, CEO of Roland DGA Corporation, has more than 35 years of sales, marketing and management experience, including 24 years in the sign and graphics industry and 16 years with Roland DGA Corp. He enjoys fine automobiles and good wine and hates oatmeal.