One of the primary benefits of implementing Print MIS — and the key to generating ROI — is the ability to run more jobs through production faster. The automation that allows you to do this frees up capacity so you can do more - but the big question is, how do you convert the opportunity created by this efficiency into new revenue?
When print shops make the leap to Avanti Slingshot and start to see the benefits of automation for their business, the focus soon turns to business development. Large business clients can create significant and consistent revenue for your print shop — but you have to land them first. With your Print MIS in place and a solid set of sales and marketing strategies, you’re well on your way to taking advantage of your improved production capacity.
Read on to learn more about the top five strategies that you can employ today to land the large customers that can transform your business. Then, start planning, prospecting and producing!
Strategy 1: Play to Your Strengths
Look at the data from your Print MIS to determine which types of customers are most profitable for your business - and go after more of them. You might find, for example, that real estate companies tend to be less profitable than car dealers. If you plan to launch a proactive effort to grow your customer base, it makes more sense to expend your efforts going after car dealers than real estate companies, since you’ll get more bang for your buck with each new dealership that you land.
Alternatively, if you already own the market where you’re strongest, research other markets that might be similar and could generate the same type of profitability for your business. Using the example above, you might find that it makes sense to pursue recreational vehicle or heavy equipment dealers if auto dealers are a strong market for your print shop.
Strategy 2: Know Your Target
Once you know where your shop excels, take the time to deeply understand that market, your competition, and the pain points that prospects might be experiencing. Think about what their printing needs might be — including products, services, volumes and turnarounds — and why your offering is tailored to address those requirements.
Strategy 3: Ask Your Customers
Research shows that referred customers are more loyal and more profitable than any other type of customer. Have you asked your existing, happy business customers if they can think of another business that might benefit from your competitive pricing, friendly service and fast turnarounds? Sometimes, it's as easy as simply asking the question. The key to getting referrals is all in the timing — make sure that you ask at the right time, when your customer is still excited about your relationship. And remember to follow-up and make it easy for them to give the introduction.
To take referral marketing to the next level, think about an incentive program that could encourage your existing customers to make an introduction. Could you offer a discount on services or a gift card to the referrer? Sometimes, a little incentive goes a long way.
Strategy 4: Get Personal
When the time comes to launch a customer acquisition campaign, leverage personalization to make an impact. Data from Salesforce’s State of the Connected Consumer Report indicates that 49 percent of business buyers will ignore communications from companies unless it’s personalized to them; and 75 percent expect tailored engagement based on past interactions. Sending out a generic email blast won’t cut it — in fact, it can even do more harm than good, with Evergage reporting that 63 percent of buyers get annoyed by generic ad blasts.
The good news is, research shows that you don’t need to have exhaustive data on your customers to effectively personalize your outreach: emails that included insights relevant to the prospect’s industry performed better (in terms of click-through rates and appointments set) than those that were specific to the prospect’s company and included personal details. Whenever you reach out to a prospective customer, take the time to craft a message that shows that you know them and understand their needs, but don’t worry about getting too specific.
Strategy 5: Leverage Social Proof
Social proof is a phenomenon whereby people copy the behaviors of those around them, in order to make the right decision or take the correct course of action. Leveraging social proof in your marketing, in the form of customer case studies, testimonials and certifications, can help to show your prospects why you’re the best print shop for their business.
For example, while you can explain how your print shop leverages automation to drive faster turnarounds and better end results, having one of your customers share how you helped them with those attributes is more convincing than you saying the same thing. Sharing that you’re active in the Avanti User Group indicates that your print shop is tech-forward and committed to innovation — it’s another reason for your prospects to believe that you can support the high-stakes needs of their business.
The ability to add new business is an ROI multiplier for Print MIS. Now that you have the time to focus on business development and the capacity to support greater volume, get to work implementing these strategies — and watch your revenues grow!