Sign & Digital Graphics

January '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • January 2019 • 31 "the best." With the emphasis on qual- ity improvement in today's marketplace, quality has been correctly redefined to mean "meeting or exceeding customers' expectations." The best way to ensure you are selling a quality product is to constantly ask your customers the right questions. Quality won't mean the same thing to all people. Many times sign and digital graphics business owners confuse state-of-the-art technology with quality. For example, if a new sunglasses store only needs a Grand Opening sign to last through its first few weeks of being in business, why must it be a 15-foot, four-color process, digi- tally-printed, weather-fast, laminated, premium vinyl banner? Conversely, if that same company were sponsor- ing the National 3-on-3 Basketball Championships and Winter Festival that was to be broadcasted on ESPN, an eye- catching, top-of-the-line banner would be the appropriate choice. It all depends on the situation and the customer's needs. At Your Service The way the customer is treated dur- ing the "romance" phase, close and trans- action of the sale is defined by the word salesmanship. Examples of salesmanship include the friendly greeting and listen- ing skills of your customer-service and sales representatives, the enticing pro- motion in a print ad, the straightforward answers customers receive to their ques- tions, and your well-known reputation as a seller. Nowhere else in the selling process are those first two elements of successful sales—likeability and trust- worthiness—put to the test as in your salesmanship. To evaluate this aspect of your selling ability, you may want to recruit associates and friends as "secret shoppers," to call your company in the role of prospective customers. Their feedback about how they're treated may be very eye opening. For the purpose of this discussion, I'll define service as the care and support that is offered to the customer after the sale. Examples of service include (but are certainly not limited to) the length and strength of your warranty, and flexibility of your return policies, along with addi- tional training and troubleshooting help for end users. Many marketing gurus currently emphasize the importance of service and support in today's markets—a phenomenon likely due to the evolution of our service-oriented society. Accordingly, customers today assume that a liberal guarantee accompanies the purchase of most products or services. Be careful here. Taking too much pride in your company's "whatever it takes" ser- vice philosophy may raise your custom- ers' expectations without increasing your revenues proportionately. Seek a balance. Delivery depends on the expectation your customer has regarding when they will actually be able to touch, experience or see the product or service. On-time and just-in-time delivery are buzzwords being tossed around liberally in business circles these days—but they're still quite accurate. Customers are simply not will- ing to pay premium prices for excuses about why the product or service wasn't delivered on time. Late-delivery or non- delivery events are the primary reasons customers fire suppliers. Sure, there are sometimes mitigating circumstances that allow a second chance to be given. But, by and large, when you say something will be there and it ain't there, you're probably driving the final nail into the coffin that contains your relationship with that customer. People buy from people they like, trust, and with whom it is convenient to do business. Phoenix February 1-2, 2019 TRAINING in the HALL IEC-Interstate Electric Co .....107 Mimaki USA ........................131 PDS Equipment ...................125 TRAINING STOP Please visit THENBMSHOW.com for more information.

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