July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 5 1 For example, if your current clients use banners and it is a segment of busi- ness that is both profitable and accomplished, then search for clients that need banners. But don't stop looking for new products and services that you can add. In my field of recognition and awards products, some of my friends in the same business haven't kept looking for new avenues of products to offer. Many have developed nothing but other ways of doing the same thing. I am talking about new items and services to offer clients. Who knows what you might find that sells with better margins and less competition. Keep striving to improve, but don't abandon the product or services that are the keystone of your present business. Now, where do you find these new items? If you keep looking in the same places, you won't find them. Go to markets outside your normal channels. I know of about four people in our Recognition Roundtable focus group who spend much of their time exploring new items that they can retrofit to their buyer's needs. It works and puts these folks ahead of the marketplace. They continuously search for a better way to serve their existing clients with better margins and less effort, yet with products that complement their offerings. WHAT IF I CAN'T FIND NEW CLIENTS IN MY AREA? The answer is simple. Here is a true story that those of you who have attended my seminars over the years may have heard. When I was struggling with my business, my dad asked me if I wanted to go fishing… we never went fishing. (Sometimes he would take me deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico when we were on vacation in Florida, but that was it.) I agreed and thought this might be one of my dad's teaching moments—it was. He let me think for a day or so, then he said, "Steve, when we go fishing this weekend, what kind of fish do you want to catch?" I said, "Where are we going?" to which he replied, "Just out to Geist Reservoir." Then he asked me, what is your favorite fish? I said a red grouper. He said, "That is what we will fish for this weekend at Geist." I replied, "That isn't possible, is it?" You see, red grouper are saltwater fish. Dad said no, it's not possible, but if you want red grouper, you have got to go where the red grouper are, just like your business. If you want the bigger and better accounts, you have got to go where they are. I got the message loud and clear. That was one teaching moment that changed my selling career and it has never been the same. You, too, can change and refocus your direction and head your salesman ship in a different direction, but it is all up to you. You see, your business is your ship. You are the captain of your ship and you have the opportunity to steer it anywhere you want to take it. Good luck, and let me know how your voyages are doing. GP STEPHEN CAPPER, along with his wife, Nora, and their daughters, Jami and Toni, owns and operates A-1 Awards, Inc. in Indianapolis. He has been associated with the awards and recognition industry since 1958, and has given numerous seminars since 1979. You can contact Steve at 317-546-9000 or via email at

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