Connecting Your Business with the Industry’s Best
Print Access Find the right printer for the BEST results.
print Access

Printlandia - The Blog

Summer Selling Success: Part 1

Posted Monday, June 12, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

Don’t miss Leslie Groene’s Special Event Hosted by PPI: Sales in the Summer: Seminar for Success in both Seattle and Portland.

1. Learn the Customer:

Every time you’re with a customer, make it a point to learn something personal and professional about them. Don’t allow your time together to be so focused on the immediate business opportunity that you miss out on additional, long-term information. It’s the long- term information you gain that will help you retain the customer, and the longer you have a customer, the more likely they are to refer others to you.When you’re gathering information about the person, look for items that are of common interest to you both. These are the items that will help you propel the business relationship to the next level.

2. A Perception is Worth a Thousand Words:

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a high end store to purchase a product and arrived a few minutes before it opened. The store signage indicated that it opened at 11:00am and as we waited out front I noticed that there was a company meeting being conducted inside. Well, as we waited outside with a couple more customers, they continued the meeting for another 5 minutes well past the posted opening time at which point we left to purchase our item from a competitor. This has also happened to me at a large national bank where I waited at the door past their posted opening time while they conducted an internal meeting. In both instances the employees inside could readily see that there were customers waiting outside.

I think you get my point….As sales/business professionals:

  • Are you “open” when your customers need you and want to buy something from you?
  • Are you more focused on the process than the customers’ needs?
  • Is your company more internally focused than externally focused?
  • Is your company more internally focused than externally focused?
  • Think about these concepts so that you can make your client expectations of you and your company a reality!

In today’s business climate, we all have numerous competitors who can provide service or products similar to ours. The difference lies in the confidence we provide the customer. Before you begin the next conversation, think “confidence” — not just in what you plan and say, but in how the other person will perceive you.

3. Opening the Sales Call:

Always start off a sales call by covering three things: 1. Gain a clear understanding of the amount of time the call will take. 2. Make sure the customer knows what the objective of the call is. 3. Relate the reason for the current sales call to the previous sales call you had with the person, or to information you may have sent them.Connecting the current sales call to something previous gives the customer the comfort of knowing you remember fully everything that may have already occurred. This also gives the customer the comfort of knowing you respect their time and that whatever is decided in this current meeting will be acted upon by you.

4. “Your Price is Not High Enough”:

OK, so you’ve never heard that line, but wouldn’t it be great to hear it? A price can never be too high –it’s only too high when we haven’t taken the time to find out what the true benefits are of the item we’re selling. Remember, there is no such thing as “too expensive.” There is only the belief that the potential gain from something is not worth the cost.This principle explains why one person might be willing to pay only $10,000 for a car, while the car might be worth $100,000 to another person. The difference? The perceived benefit.Next time you’re about to buy or sell something, think in terms of the benefits the customer can gain from using it and not the price you’re asking. When it comes right down to it, there is nothing that is too expensive — it only lacks sufficient benefits to warrant the price.

5. Celebrate Your Customer’s Anniversary:

For salespeople who have retained customers for a period of years, it’s special to recognize them and their relationship with you. It’s also a great way for your customers to realize how much you think of them and a great way for you to take the relationship to an even higher level through this personalized type of communication.

**Focus Point

73. Engage in competitive analysis, a constant requirement to keep your edge!**

Knowing what the competition is up to is invaluable. This means knowing about every benefit and feature that anyone is offering in the battle for sales. When you are formulating your sales and marketing plan, take the time to find out what the industry leaders are doing. Go to their web sites and review their promotional materials. See who their clients are and what they are doing for them. Your competitors are not going to send you their materials. But if you have a supportive network of friends, they can help keep you up to speed on what the competition is doing to get ahead and stay ahead. This process can be as simple as reading your industry trades and reviewing the competing ads.

Make sure your firm and your services get listed on all the “free” links and other resource information transmitted within your industry. Usually, there is a “hot” newsletter in the industry that most of the leading clients subscribe to and read; make sure that publication profiles your company and your services.

Even in these times of continual technological breakthroughs, most of the techniques for making sales are tried and true and do not change. As we know, the techniques that get us face-to-face with potential clients are the best ones, because that personal connection can drive their business to us.

In real estate, listing agents provide competitive property analysis and project potential sales prices, hoping to acquire a listing. Other brokers and agents send periodical newsletters with tips and recent sales prices in the neighborhood.

To expedite sales, many real estate offices now tape tours of their sellers’ properties or offer web-related access or services to find qualified buyers. In other industries, firms constantly try to “one up” the competition by developing clever marketing slogans that differentiate themselves through superior advertising ideas. This is the basis for consumer advertising campaigns that often spend millions of dollars to create product awareness and drive purchasing.

Industries that involve high finance, investments or legal services put more of a premium on knowledge, expertise and communication. A client will want the best counsel for every business contact or transaction. However, we still must know what the competition is up to – to counter any initiatives they try with our clients.

Become aware of the tone your competition is using to reach its potential client base. Learn as much as possible about using the best and most appropriate graphic design and advertising aesthetic to describe your services. This is especially vital for professionals such as lawyers, accountants and management consultants.

Permalink to this entry

How Our Fiduciary Standard Protects You

Posted Monday, June 12, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

Source: Printer’s 401k

By: Joe Trybula

You may have heard media reports about a new fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that President Trump has rescinded. Understandably, you may have questions about how this might impact to your 401k plan. The rule was designed to ensure recommendations made by financial advisors to their clients regarding their 401k plan are always made in the best interests of the client without any conflicts of interest.

As a Registered Investment Advisor, we are already under the highest fiduciary standard – so enacting the rule or rescinding it doesn’t change our status. We have had this higher standard in place all along and will continue to do so. It’s always been part of our DNA.

We have been serving as a fiduciary all along:

A “fiduciary” who manages an investor’s assets has a legal and ethical obligation to put the investor’s interests first. That means helping the investor make decisions in his or her best interests. This fiduciary standard has always been at the core of our firm’s mission to our clients.

Here’s how we will protect you and your investments:

• We always put your needs first. We are committed to the highest professional and personal standards, and this commitment remains as strong as ever. Our sole focus is on your financial needs and goals and how we can best help you pursue them.

• We always act in your best interests. We are committed to putting your needs and goals before those of our firm. We strive to avoid any conflicts of interest, and if they arise and are unavoidable, we disclose these to you immediately. We provide a high level of transparency around any fees or expenses associated with your accounts, so that you always know what you own and what you’re paying for it, so there are never any surprises.

• We are an independent and objective resource. As an independent firm, we provide you with objective, unbiased advice based solely on your needs and goals. We provide guidance that is truly objective, unencumbered by any potential conflicts of interest. We have no vested interest in promoting a particular product or service. Our only interest is that your financial objectives are met.

UNDERSTANDING THE FIDUCIARY STANDARD

In financial services, there have traditionally been two types of standards: the suitability standard and the fiduciary standard.

The suitability standard is defined as determining whether an investment product or strategy is “suitable” for the investor based on his or her financial objectives and risk comfort level. Many advisors operate under the suitability standard where the advisor simply determines whether a recommended product or strategy is suitable for the client.

The fiduciary standard is a higher level of responsibility for the advisor. The fiduciary standard goes beyond suitability and requires that any advice on products and strategies be provided in the best interests of the investor. The fiduciary standard of care requires that the advisor take into consideration whether the fees are reasonable, whether there are any conflicts of interest, and whether the investments are adequately diversified.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

As your advisor, we adhere to the fiduciary standard, and we believe this model of disclosure and transparency is in your best interests. In our view, you deserve to have your needs put first and the strategies and investment products we recommend should align according to those needs.

Our fiduciary standard mandates that every single recommendation we make must be based on your best interests, and there is no circumstance when we can place our interests above yours. By adhering to the fiduciary standard, we believe we can provide you with the highest standard of care for all your investment and retirement needs.

SAFEGUARDING YOUR FINANCIAL DREAMS

When it comes to managing your money, your financial relationships should be built on a foundation of trust, integrity and transparency. Not all firms and advisors adhere to the same legal and regulatory standards.

We remain committed to earning and maintaining your trust through expert advice and effective strategies custom tailored to your unique needs. We define our success by seeing you succeed in achieving your financial goals. And our focus remains on serving your interests first and foremost.

Permalink to this entry

Total Eclipse of the Sun to be commemorated on a Forever Stamp

Posted Monday, June 5, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger. The public is asked to share the news on social media using the hashtag #EclipseStamps.

Tens of millions of people in the United States hope to view this rare event, which has not been seen on the U.S. mainland since 1979. The eclipse will travel a narrow path across the entire country for the first time since 1918. The path will run west to east from Oregon to South Carolina and will include portions of 14 states.

The June 20, 1:30 p.m. MT First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie. The University is celebrating the summer solstice on June 20. Prior to the event, visitors are encouraged to arrive at 11:30 a.m. to witness a unique architectural feature where a single beam of sunlight shines on a silver dollar embedded in the floor, which occurs at noon on the summer solstice in the UW Art Museum’s Rotunda Gallery.

The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps may be pre-ordered at usps.com/shop in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance.

Thermochromic Ink

The stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.

In the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps will reveal a second image. Using the body heat of your thumb or fingers and rubbing the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the Moon (Espenak also took the photograph of the Full Moon). The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

A total eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon completely blocks the visible solar disk from view, casting a shadow on Earth. The 70-mile-wide shadow path of the eclipse, known as the “path of totality,” will traverse the country diagonally, appearing first in Oregon (mid-morning local time) and exiting some 2,500 miles east and 90 minutes later off the coast of South Carolina (mid-afternoon local time).

A total solar eclipse provides us with the only chance to see the Sun’s corona — its extended outer atmosphere — without specialized instruments. During the total phase of an eclipse the corona appears as a gossamer white halo around the black disk of the Moon, resembling the petals of a flower reaching out into space.

Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamp.

The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Permalink to this entry

Ransomware Alert: Defend Yourself Against WannaCrypt

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt text

Source: KirkpatrickPrice

On Friday May 12th, 2017, a large ransomware attack was launched, known as WannaCrypt (a.k.a. WannaCry), which infected more than 230,000 computers across 150 countries, and counting. This unprecedented cyberattack has left organizations struggling in the aftermath as they try to recover. WannaCrypt demands payment of ransom in bitcoin and has spread in several ways; phishing emails and as a worm on unpatched computers.

The attackers responsible for WannaCrypt used the EternalBlue exploit which attacks computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided by many had they installed the updated patch that was released as “critical” by Microsoft to mitigate this vulnerability on March 14th, 2017.

KirkpatrickPrice is urging organizations to update this patch immediately, and to always update patches in a timely manner – particularly critical updates. Organizations must be proactive with their security in order to defend against potential ransomware attacks. Here are four things your organization should do today to protect against a ransomware attack.

4 Things your Organization Should do Today to Prevent WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack:

  1. Update – Updating security patches and keeping operating systems up to date is a critical activity for preventing a malicious cyber-attack, such as WannaCrypt. As organizations have learned from this devastating ransomware, weaknesses in applications and operating systems are the target of malicious hackers. Don’t leave a known vulnerability open to attack.

  2. Backup – When organizations are victims of ransomware attacks, they are pressured to pay a ransom to get back all of their data and files that have been stolen and encrypted by the attackers. Performing regular backups on entire machines can ensure that the data that is critical to your business will still be available. Regularly performing backups for critical data, files, and systems can help make the recovery and restoration process quicker and easier.

  3. Train – Your weakest link will always be your employees. Ransomware targets the human element. By regularly training your employees to recognize and avoid phishing attempts and other strategically crafted social engineering attacks can lessen your chances of being the next WannaCrypt target. KirkpatrickPrice offers phishing assessments and security awareness training that can help spread awareness and educate the workforce.

  4. Test – Performing an advanced external penetration test is a strategic approach to identify weaknesses in network and application security, as would a hacker. Penetration tests allow you to identify and prioritize your risks in order to prevent hackers from infiltrating your critical systems. It can also help you avoid a costly breach and loss of business operability that ransomware attacks will cause.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’ve become the next victim of a devastating ransomware attack like WannaCrypt. Do these things to prevent a ransomware attack today and don’t forget to perform regular risk assessments to ensure that you’re properly protecting your organization against any and all malicious threats. For more information about ransomware prevention or risk assessments, contact me today at s.morris@kirkpatrickprice.com.

Permalink to this entry

PPI's Newest Program - The Digital Technology Council

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt textMany things are changing in the industry, most of all technology. Technology to process work, to operate more efficiently, to provide better information to customers – it is all changing the way we operate our business.

To better serve PPI members on technology issues, we have partnered with printing associations across the nation to launch a new program – PPI’s Digital Technology Council (DTC). The DTC will be PPI’s opportunity to address the latest technology in our industry to ensure that members have access to new, exciting tools and resources helping to shape the future of print.

There is no special fee or membership needed for professionals and employees of PPI member companies to participate in the DTC. For now, the delivery of the education and resources will be through webinars and articles, although future face-to-face meetings and sessions will be offered through the DTC as well.

DTC’s webinar will be Improving Digital Workflows presented by EFI on June 6 at 11:00 AM PST. Visit our website at ppiassociation.org>events to register. I hope you can join us.

Permalink to this entry