Sign & Digital Graphics

February '19

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70 • February 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Taking a different approach to selling a sign Scott Franko owns Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at www. Our sign shop, however, was like many of yours—operat- ing primarily within a regional sandbox the size of a 90-mile radius by producing a variety of signs and graphics. We were not in the business of national accounts, though we were able to attract and service the right ones that fit our capabilities. The best source of fuel for our business engine came from local and regional projects. That same fuel was also fueling a growing number of com- peting sign companies. Because of that, I challenged our salespeople to sell impres- sions while selling signs in order to stand out and widen the range of projects we could engage in. By doing this, we could grow and become a brand that stands out from the other brand- ers. I knew it could work from my own personal experience. Like them, I started out in sales. Before I was made president, I joined the sign company straight out of college with my design degree. My first job was to help with design and in sales. I didn't know a thing about signs. But I did have some experience in commercial construction from my high school and college job with a general contractor. The way I saw my job was to merge art and construction together in order to provide a branding solution for the cus- tomer. Notice I didn't ever say the words "sell" or "sign." When I looked around our sign shop I saw an ability to provide visual products that in turn would produce or make positive impres- sions through signage, printed graphics, displays, and custom three dimensional production and ornamental fabricated struc- tures. My perspective was different from the other salespeople at the time. They thought in terms of signs. I thought in terms of branding. Is one right and one wrong? Absolutely not. But I outsold the other salespeople in my first year where some of them already had over 10 years of sign sales experience. What made the difference, I believe, was the personal sales motto I adopted and was implementing; More Than Just Signs. That motto opened up conversations and expanded possibili- ties. It allowed me the opportunity to sell faÇade enhancements and freestanding canopy structures as well as the signs to be placed onto them. It allowed me into the front end of the entire exhibit or display conversation rather than just receive an order for some graphics at the end. It provided the bang I needed to boost my sales. BAM! is how I did it. BAM! is what I call the trilogy of branding, advertising and marketing. When executed correctly, they can create a very big impact and contribute immediately to your goals. BAM! has the I once told our sales team to try selling signs without saying the word "sign." You can imagine the looks I got in return. After all, we were a sign company. At the time I had just been made the new company presi- dent. To the sales people, they understood their primary objec- tive as selling signs. To me, I had another vision and version of the professional service they provided to our customers—to be sellers of impressions, not just sellers of signs. I know many people in sign sales who have done extraor- dinarily well in their careers by simply staying committed and focused on selling a sign or landing a relationship with an entity that needs a lot of signs without having to complicate the pro- cess by introducing more concepts or expanded services. This formula seems to work best for those in the national accounts or providing specific wholesale sign products. BAM! Making a Bang in Your Sales B Y S C O T T F R A N K O Building Your Impressions RUNNING THE BUSINESS

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