Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Mindset of a Communication Services Provider

Get your head out of the sand. If you can start thinking of more than just a shift in technology or product line, becoming a Communication Services Provider is at least to start with, a shift of mindset. As a CSP, you’ll still be a Printer or a Print
Services Provider (PSP) but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real change is in your head, it is one of your overall perspectives of your business and your company.

Here are four ways to adopt and implement yourself as a Communication Services Provider

1st Start by talking to your customers. Really when was the last time you talked to your key accounts on what they need, not just in the way of printing but about their entire communication needs and process.

2nd Selling a product or service is only one step of what you need to be doing. Selling printing makes you a commodity. Selling a communication service makes you a total service filling out a full need, not a part. If you do it right, this interacting with customers should of course be a constant back and forth process for the entire life cycle of the customer. As a Communication Services Provider you need to learn about the reason behind the products and services they buy. With each service and transaction you make, you need to know and ask “What is that client’s ultimate goal and reason for doing this.”

As there Communication Services Provider your mind needs to be project based, not product based. You are solving a problem not a requirement of that problem. You’re starting a communication partnership, instead of just being a print vendor. If you understand your customer’s print marketing goals and how those align with their overall marketing goals you start to become valued partner. If all you do is pick up the phone, take the order and then hang up and do the job, become noting more than a commodity.

3rd Start Selling Solutions. Shifting from PSP to CSP means you’ll have to sell yourself in terms of total solutions instead of just products. The print part of a project is just that, only part of the solution. Now you need to communicate the benefits of print in the context of the total communication and marketing system.

The brochure you print, the flier you produced, your direct mail offering you have going out isn’t important because it’s just a piece of paper or a nicely typeset invitation to purchase your client’s product. All of those things mean nothing really. You can go out and buy them anywhere. The direct mail pieces, the flier, the brochure, are nothing without knowledge of the entire process. You need to be selling the solution not the product.

4th the all important Follow Up. If you have listened to and understand your client’s business goals and communication and marketing objectives, you’re finally in a position to follow up with them and offer them true value. Your printing company is already part of the communication and marketing process. Now, take those isolated printed pieces and make it a communication campaign with all the other parts of the channels of marketing and communication.

As a Communication Services Provider, you can sell clients on creating complete projects both on and off line, which allow you to track campaign result and engagement. You can further automate the process to report to your clients on exactly how the mail performed–who went to the personalized webpage, how long they stayed and whether they acted truly interested. In other words, you can become a total marketing partner, actively delivering leads, reporting marketing effectiveness and using measurement tools to make future campaigns more effective for them

Just remember becoming a Communication Services Provider means changing your perspective, then match that with your product and service offerings. You aren’t just selling a new product: you’re partnering with a client to help them find total communication solutions not just print solutions that solve their problems.

Larson Notes & Satire:  So how will your company grow in 2013? Only in one way? Print if you’re a printer? Signs if you’re a sign shop? Yet you could be more, so much more. If there was a way for you to become a complete communication company for your key accounts at no cost to you, would you?

If you want your business to be more, call us for an appointment.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

1 comment:

Pavlos Lombardi said...

Thanks for the awesome information. I've always been pretty curious as to how this all works. My grandfather actually has been doing something similar to this, and after reading this I think I might follow in his footsteps. It seems like a really rewarding career.