Smart Sales Growth in a Slow Growth Market
Guest Post: Gordon Griffiths, Connecting for Results
If printers keep taking part in the ‘print is dead’ conversation, they will start to believe it themselves. They’ll also start thinking it’s ok and a sales drop is normal. Once I heard a strong sales leader lecturing on how to grow sales in a recession, and he started with, “What recession?”. I say if there is a slowdown in growth for the industry, it doesn’t mean it has to happen at your shop.
I was with a printing company in Toronto that had high prices and a creative group with sheet-fed and web that had more sales capacity than equipment capacity. The next company I went to was the opposite and nick named the ‘no frills’ printer. The company with a strong sales group could turn down work for credit reasons, bad fit, low margin, etc. Whereas the company short on sales talent took the job as they were not sure there was another opportunity coming along to fill the space on the scheduling board.
So, can you guess what we did? Oh yes, we built a sales group which lead to a complete company turnaround. There was a good result as we had a period of time before that of ‘quote and hope’. A good lesson learned.
You cannot stop growing a business no matter the circumstances. Once you stop growing, you start to die.
I recently discovered a company that has grown from $40 million to $68 million in the last 4.5 years with unbelievable profits and they are now adding equipment to support their 32 salespeople. (I wonder if they even knew about Covid?).
It’s quite simple – you just need a plan and a champion to ensure you are persistence with the execution. Today it’s even harder to hire people from other companies unless there is poor service or culture. However, in 5 years or less you can build your own professional sales team starting with recruiting bright, passionate people you can educate about your company and sales. You will keep them if you have a good company culture and provide them with the opportunity to grow. Treat them fairly and you will not lose your investment.
Gordon Griffiths is a highly respected corporate leader throughout North America. He has successfully led some of the most high-profile printing companies, including Cenveo’s International operations, Quebecor Printing, and Ronald’s Printing. He was responsible for profitable operations, in many cases requiring turnaround efforts to return to profits, for almost 100 individual manufacturing plants. Annual sales at individual plants ranged from over $5 million to over $100 million. He continues to demonstrate his innovative approach, as he was the founder of a marketing services company that was taken public and achieved annual sales of over $125 million.
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