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

Printlandia - The Blog

Federated Mutual Group and Federated Life Company named to 2018 Ward’s 50® Top Performers

Posted Friday, August 17, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

FederatedWard Group®, a Cincinnati-based consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, recently named Federated Mutual to the top 50 U.S.-based property and casualty companies and Federated Life to the top 50 U.S.-based life insurance companies.

Ward Group annually recognizes 50 property and casualty, and 50 life-health companies that have excelled at balancing financial safety, consistency, and performance during the past five years. They conducted separate analyses on nearly 3,000 property and casualty companies and 700 life-health companies.

“We are proud to have not only our mutual company, but also our life company listed on the Ward’s 50 Top Performer list,” said Federated Insurance Chairman and CEO Jeff Fetters. “Our continued recognition by Ward Group reaffirms the strength of our risk management efforts in helping our clients succeed.”

“Low investment returns, rising loss costs, and competitive market conditions continue to impact financial returns for the industry. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results,” said Jeff Rieder, partner and head of Ward Group.

Founded in 1904, Federated Insurance is a national insurance and risk management organization that serves the property, casualty, and life insurance needs of clients in select industries. The organization has more than 500 recommendations from state, regional, and national associations and buying groups and is rated A+ (Superior) by industry analyst A.M. Best®.

At Federated Insurance, It’s Our Business to Protect Yours.®

Permalink to this entry

Improve Your Sales Conversations Now - It's Easy!

Posted Friday, August 17, 2018 by Lisa D. Magnuson, Chief Corporate Sales Strategist, Topline Sales.

Most sales people agree that planning ahead of time for important sales calls is a precursor for successful call outcomes. However, based on my observation in working with hundreds of sales people over the years, many continue to ’wing it’. Sales call after sales call, they leave the entire outcome to chance.

Pre-Call Planning Overview

The goal of pre-call planning, used in all stages of the sales process, is to think through all the important aspects of a sales call in advance of the meeting. It starts with a clear understanding of your position in your sales process and where the prospect is in their buying journey.

Advance planning ensures you and all participants are on the same page prior to the customer meeting, thereby increasing the overall effectiveness of the call. Ultimately, consistent pre-call planning improves your ability to effectively manage desired change for the customer and optimize your sales results.

Purpose of Pre-Call Planning

  • Increase sales call effectiveness
  • Pre-planning ensures all participants are on the same page
  • Frees sales people up to listen and stay flexible
  • Baseline approach to preparing for sales meetings

What Happens When You’re Not Prepared?

  • No sale
  • Stalled sales process
  • Lack of confidence (from customer) in you and your company
  • Waste of time - both yours and your customers
  • Reduced percentage of securing future meetings
  • No agreement on next steps/sale process in limbo
  • Exasperate an already poor customer situation (prior issues)

Summary of Benefits

  • Increase sales call effectiveness and in so doing boost close ratios by 20% or more
  • Accelerate your sales process through strategic thinking and careful planning
  • Ensure customer meetings are productive through an agenda where all participants are on the same page
  • Enhance your ability to truly listen and stay focused and flexible
  • Avoid ’Bad’ calls and the associated fallout of a poorly executed customer exchange

TOP Line Account™ Sales Success Model

  • Common close ratio: 25%
  • Add consistent pre-call planning: +20%
  • Add account strategy work (Including Win Themes™, competitive blocks and executive engagement): +20 - 30%
  • New close ratio: 65 - 75%

To help you jump-start your efforts and ensure a higher or more consistent degree of success, I’m offering an easy to use Pre-Call Planning Tool. Simply CLICK HERE and scroll down to the Pre-Call Planning Guide to download your fillable PDF today.

About Lisa Magnuson:

Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers. Learn more at

Permalink to this entry

Meet "The Management Guys"

Posted Friday, August 10, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

Management Guys

Have you heard? There’s a new member benefit at PPI, and they call themselves The Management Guys. They are a consulting partnership with more than 75 years of experience in the printing industry, bringing you solid, sensible answers with just a no-cost phone call. Custom reports provided on case by case basis within a few days for less than $1,000.

Some popular questions that have been answered:

  • How can I improve my “hit ratio” on estimates?
  • What prices should I use to grow my business profitably?
  • What will happen to my bottom line if I buy a new press?
  • If I sold my business what could I get for it?
  • How can I get a higher price for my business?
  • How do I decide to extend credit?
  • How can I pay sales reps to build the right kind of business?
  • Which Information System should I buy and what should I expect it to do for me?

CONTACT Bob and Gerry for answers!

Bob Lindgren | | 818.219.3855

Gerry Michael | | 206.310.1119

Permalink to this entry

2018 Print Market Atlas Now Available to Members!

Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

PMAFor the fifth year, PIA’s Center for Print Economics and Management has compiled a report using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the County Business Patterns database. In the 2018 Print Market Atlas, the Center reported data from fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

Print owners have used this report to get a glimpse of what the market looks like in their area. The Atlas offers information on how many establishments, shipments, and employees are in their area to give decision makers the tools they need to make choices on where to lead their company.

Members can download the report for free from the Printing Industries of America online store. The report is $200 for non-members.

For more information regarding the 2018 Print Market Atlas, contact .

Download the PDF here.

Permalink to this entry

How High Can You Go? How to Manage Legal and Illegal Drug Use In The Workplace

Posted Monday, July 30, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

In this era of legalized marijuana and an ongoing opioid crisis, how can companies manage employees that may be using these or other drugs?

To better assist you with navigating drug policies, we have created an interactive map that displays information regarding the medical or recreational marijuana legalization status in each state. You can select legal or illegal in the designated boxes to determine the status of marijuana laws and view information for each individual state. The map will be continuously updated with relevant information. To access the interactive map, click here.


In case you missed the How High Can You Go? How to Manage Legal and Illegal Drug Use In The Workplace webinar, click here to access the webinar recording, which covers:

  • The severity of the problem of drugs in the workplace

  • Understanding modern marijuana, both medical and recreational

  • A review of the laws regulating marijuana

  • Strategies for managing medical marijuana use

  • Recognizing prescription and non-prescription opioid use

  • Methods of drug testing

  • Pros and cons of pre-employment drug testing

  • Sample drug policy

For questions on this issue, please contact Printing Industries of America’s Director of Human Relations Adriane Harrison for assistance at 412-259-1707 or .

Permalink to this entry