Goals are Not Just for Sports

goals

In school and at work, we are often told to create goals and to strive to reach them. After all, achieving our goals is a measure of success and a method of how to pursue our dreams. Goals are a big part of managing marketing and sales in most companies, and they are the markers of who is producing and who is not. Not everyone has the same training in hitting goals, however, nor do goals create motivation for everyone.

What Can We Learn from Goals in Sports?

The easiest way to demonstrate goal setting is to look at sports. Every sport has a goal to reach to win the game. Goals can be achieved through hitting a ball out of the park, into a net, throwing it into a basket, or even by racing to a finish line. Most of these goals are made from years of preparation, training, and study of the game they represent. No athlete achieves success without that training, no matter how easy the achievement looks to the spectator. Athletes work through injuries, bad days, failures, and practice. Achievements are the culmination of hours and hours of work.

Obstacles

The point of a goal is to help you achieve success even with the stumbling blocks and barriers that stand before you. A goal is a guiding light to keep you on your journey or path. Henry Ford said that “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” The obstacles will always be there to keep you from making the goal. You may not have the experience, the education, or the opportunities that your peers or competitors do, however, you can still achieve your goals if you are willing to keep working towards them.

Applying Goals to Business

Like sports, business goals can be short-term or long-term. For instance, you can have a goal of getting ten items completed by the end of your work day. That is a short-term goal. A long-term goal is establishing 100 new customer accounts by the end of the year. An even longer-term goal is becoming the top business in your category in the city by 2020. The key is establishing goals that are reachable, measurable, and trackable so that you can follow your progress as you work towards the goal.

While wanting to be the best business in the city by 2020 is possible, a more reasonable goal is to triple your income from your business by 2020. With this goal, you can create the steps that will lead to the goal, and measure your progress as you continue your journey. You will know when you hit your goal by the numbers you achieve without any arbitrary or ambiguous measurements.

How to Keep Your Goals in the Forefront of Your Mind

Weekly meetings to keep everyone on your team on track may be boring, but their function is to make sure the team members are still striving towards group goals. You can do the same with your personal business goals. Remind yourself daily what goals you are working towards and what you need to accomplish that day to move in the right direction. Remember that keeping your eyes on the goal will help to remove the obstacles.


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2014 Integrated Marketing Campaign

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Planning an Integrated Marketing Campaign for the New Year

We’re all connected to the businesses around us in a variety of ways: social media posts, direct mail flyers, advertisements in favorite magazines, commercials on television, and even ads pasted on the sides of buses. Many businesses, wanting to reach as wide an audience as possible, will advertise using a variety of channels. An integrated marketing campaign involves creating a clear, uniform message that will resonate across all of those channels, increasing name-recognition and driving sales. If that sounds like something your company is looking to do, here are some ways to start developing a plan.

Refining the brand message

Integrated marketing campaigns focus around building brand recognition. Take, for example, Apple. When someone views the Apple logo, they don’t mistake it for an actual drawing of the fruit. They see the company associated with it and the crisp and clean nature of the technology it creates. The same goes for the Nike swoosh and the slogan “Just Do It.” The logo actually inspires people to go out for a run. These brands have been immensely successful in determining their company message and sending it out uniformly across all channels.

It can seem overwhelming for a small business to compete with that level of success, but the key is to start simple. Determine what centralized message customers should draw from a commercial or ad. Summarize the top selling qualities of the business in just a few words.

Taking the message to the street

Remember that no one company can be everything to everyone. Instead, identify a central message and develop a targeted campaign that can be used across different advertising platforms. If a potential customer hears about your company on Facebook, they should come away with the same impression as someone who first heard your name on the radio. This will help them make the connection between the advertisements. Then, when they see a second ad on a bus while driving to work, they’ll think, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of those guys!” If the different ads had completely different messages, the odds of that prospect making the connection would be much smaller. For smaller and newer companies, this can be deadly.

Bring everything back

As you develop your message and the ads you want to use, remember to bring everything back to your website. For most companies, their website is a central point for attracting and engaging customers. This means that all advertising should work at steering people toward that site. Your website should provide contact information, more information about your products and services, and additional incentives to get prospects to buy from you.

Customers like things easy, though. Make sure your online ads provide a clear link that’s easy, appealing, and straightforward. If customers have to look for it, chances are they won’t. This part can be a bit more challenging with paper advertising, since few people are going to remember a long web address. To help these customers, consider adding a QR code or a simplified URL. Also try to keep the website address as catchy and easy to remember as possible.

Creating an integrated marketing campaign can be a fantastic business move. In the modern world, there are countless platforms for advertising and communicating with potential clients. A well-orchestrated campaign will not only reach a large audience, but it will also help increase brand recognition and drive people back to your website. The new year offers a perfect opportunity to get started with a bang by putting these marketing strategies to work for you.

For more information or to request a quote, go to http://www.printitplus.com.

Are You using a Foot-In-The-Door Strategy to Grow Your Business in West Palm Beach?

There’s an extremely powerful strategy to grow your business called the foot-in-the-door (FITD) strategy. FITD plays on psychology to get to the sale. This strategy works well here in West Palm Beach and most every place else because it gets past the prospect’s natural resistance to being sold.

 

The process starts with getting a person to agree to a small request that doesn’t take them outside their comfort zone. From there, you build up to larger requests and bigger yeses.

 

Savvy business owners, marketers, and salespeople have used FITD in one form or another for years, whether they have knowingly defined it that way or not. Some may refer to this strategy as a “loss leader.” The difference is that a loss leader typically involves selling something, often at a very low price or below cost. Retail businesses have used loss leaders successfully for many years. FITD works best when the first offer is for something free.

 

EXAMPLES OF FITD

If you’ve ever been to the mall food court around lunch or dinnertime, you’ll often see savvy restaurant owners assign an employee to offer a small sample tasting of some of the food items on their menu. When passersby accept the sample and taste it, they’ve taken the first tiny step toward a possible yes.

 

One interesting side note with this example: Notice that the employees handing out the samples aren’t going all around the mall or outside in the parking lot at various hours of the day. They pass out the samples to people walking through the food court at lunch or dinnertime. The marketing takeaway: offer your services to people who are most likely to need what you sell when they need it the most.

 

FITD has been used for many years by door-to-door salespeople in many industries, from the person offering to clean a dirty spot on the carpet to the days of the encyclopedia salesperson (remember those?) who would offer a free three book starter set.

 

Perhaps the most notorious example is from the timeshare industry. In exchange for 90 minutes of your time, the FITD offer is a free resort stay or perhaps Disney World tickets. Does it work? Billions of dollars in timeshares sold would seem to indicate a big yes. These techniques are meant to persuade and work extremely well. The danger comes from unscrupulous sellers who abuse the power.

 

FITD has been used in the pharmaceutical industry with enormous success. Pharmaceutical sales representatives leave samples of the drugs their companies sell with the appropriate doctors. The physicians in turn give their patients a free sample along with a prescription that will lead them to become a customer of the pharmaceutical industry.

 

WHAT KIND OF FITD SHOULD YOU OFFER?

Your best FITD strategy should probably be not to “sell” anything at all. Only 2% of prospects are ready to buy at any time and less than 1% will typically buy anything on the first contact. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and ask yourself: What would I need (if I were a customer) to choose this company over the competition? What service or product can you use to let prospects ‘test’ you out that will put your best foot forward and help you make the best first impression?

The FITD strategy is an extremely powerful technique. If you’re not currently using it or have used it in the past and forgotten about it, it’s time to visit it again. Put together a plan to utilize FITD in your favor.

 

Selling successfully for the long term requires building trust with your prospects and even existing customers. The FITD strategy allows you to begin building that trust. But be careful. If it’s done incorrectly or not done at all, then you may experience the door-in-the-face result which is what you want to avoid.

 

At Print-It Plus we continue to offer a variety of printing services, advertising and marketing plans to our clients.  Our printing services include color printing, Giclee printing, offset printing, brochures and direct mail.  We also offer website design and cohesive marketing plans that often incorporate Foot-In-The-Door strategies to help build your business for both short and long term success.

 

For more information, go to http://www.printitplus.com

Connecting your brand with your customers in West Palm Beach

No business starts with the mission of becoming run of the mill and ordinary. But somewhere along the way, after the excitement wears off and the daily routines take over, some businesses seem to lose their way.

Running and managing a business isn’t for the faint of heart.  The daily tasks of keeping the operation flowing smoothly and bringing in enough revenue to keep the lights on while managing customer demands has a way of making one forget about the dream of creating an extraordinary business.

But the reality is that the customers of today want more than just a product or service. They want an experience. Simple delivery of goods and services may bring a customer in, but it takes more effort to turn that buyer into a steady client who will come back often.

Businesses that provide a way for the customer to feel like they’re part of something special (and maybe even a little extraordinary) attract the kind of clients who not only return themselves but also refer others to enjoy the same level of service they loved.

People have a way of flocking to businesses that give them this type of unexpected experience.  This is the type of experience that we strive to give every one of our clients at Print-It Plus, whether the client comes to us for printing, advertising, promotional product, marketing or website design help.

Who wants to go somewhere ordinary when they can experience a business that makes them feel wanted and special? Most people expect average, so when they find a business that goes above and beyond, they don’t need prompting to refer others.

Being different and offering an experience in addition to products and services doesn’t have to be difficult. It only requires that you stand apart from your competitors. Sometimes all that takes are some simple tweaks.

Going above and beyond might be as simple as the presentation you make when you deliver your products and services. The Apple iPhone is just a smartphone. However, from the product announcement down to the packaging, the stage is set that you’re about to experience something extraordinary.

How can you package what you sell in a way that sets you apart?

When you give your customers the expectation that they’re part of something special (a fun company that makes them feel exclusive), then you’ve gone from an ordinary company with a logo to a brand that connects with its clients.

Customers connect with brands that make them feel special. The revenue and profits flow naturally when you can achieve that level of branding.  For more information go to http://www.printitplus.com.

6 Ways to Ramp up Your Referral Marketing in West Palm Beach, Florida

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to grow a business is through strong referrals. Whether these referrals come to you through a system you have in place, through networking at a Chamber of Commerce or through some other group, or because of the solid reputation your business has built over the years, each referral is a precious gift. You have one chance to turn this opportunity into a client who will in turn refer others to your business.

If you drop the ball in some way, not only will you lose this chance for new business, but you could also discourage others from referring business to you. Therefore, you must handle these warm leads with extreme care. Referral Marketing has been a key to our growing our business at Print-It Plus over the last 25 years.  We have received numerous referrals from our printing, direct mail, promotional product, brochure, color printing and website design clients… and the following process is a great outline for anyone trying to turn a referral into a client.

Here are six key steps to consider as you guide a referral into becoming a real client:

1.       Respond quickly. Nothing will stop a referral process faster than slow response and showing a lack of urgency in communication. Lead360 conducted a study of 25 million data points which showed that successful conversion rates are 391% higher when a lead is called back within a minute, 120% within two minutes, 98% within three minutes, 62% in under thirty minutes, and 36% in under an hour. Clearly calling back and following up with referrals quickly is the first and most important part of the process.

2.       Gather information and qualify. Once contact has been made, it’s time to gather any necessary information to make sure there’s a good fit between what the referral is looking for and what you can provide. Having relevant, open-ended questions to ask will help you find what you’re looking for while at the same time establishing your expertise in helping solve client problems. This is the time to develop insight into the scope of the opportunity and key factors.

3.       Be the expert. Once you’ve established that the referral is a good fit for your business, it’s time to do your homework. You must spend a little time to learn about the referral’s business. The more you learn about what your prospect is looking to solve, the better you can prepare a solution. This in turn will position you as the expert who took the time to present a customized solution when your competitors offered a generic, cookie-cutter bid.

4.       Make your offer stand out. The best way to make your offer stand out is by adding value. People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to. You can add value and help your offer stand apart by helping a referral evaluate your capability and see their problem clearer. Relevant, simple, and insightful information that helps your prospect will lead them to buy much more readily than if they feel they are being sold to.

5.       Create a powerful experience. Turning a referral into a client can be as simple as contacting them quickly with information they’re seeking. However, the real secret to make them truly want to do business with you on a consistent basis is to create a “wow” experience. Your “wow” experience doesn’t have to be complex. Building it can be as simple as:

– Responding to inquiries within 30 minutes

– Offering a small gift or thank you note for contacting you

– Sending a small gift or thank you to the person who made the referral

– Delivering a professionally prepared, customized solution with clear information

– Following up after the sale to answer any questions

– Being persistent without being a pest

6.       Use technology. As great as your memory may be, relying on the old pen-and-paper system is just asking for trouble. The way to truly systematize the referral process is by using a CRM system that can help you track your referrals. Determine if the software will help you give the prospects the experience you set in your action plan. But remember that technology can only go so far. Sure, it can help you manage the referrals, but converting those leads into customers takes the human touch that only you can provide.

Turning referrals into customers is not an act of magic or accomplished through luck. It’s done by developing an action plan and by implementing the plan. Keep track, stay organized, and monitor the process. Referral marketing can be a gift that keeps on giving, but only if it’s treated with the care and respect it deserves.

For more information about hiring new employees or on a whole host of other helpful tips to help you take your business to the next level, go to http://www.printitplus.com

Finding Your Next Great Employee in West Palm Beach, Florida

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

Great companies need outstanding employees in order to grow. The problem is finding and retaining that caliber employee. Most small businesses don’t fully understand the process of hiring top-notch employees.  As a result, you can stunt or even halt your growth entirely before it gains the momentum needed to take your business to the next level.

“Effective organizational leadership is simple: 1. Have a vision of where you want to get to. 2. Clearly and persuasively communicate that vision to employees. 3. Be consistent in your behaviors as you strive to achieve that vision.” – from A Roadmap for Employee Engagement by Andy Parsley

Many make the mistake of hiring an employee without clearly thinking the process all the way through. They neglect to think about what they actually want from the new hire. Hiring in this way sets the new employee up for failure before they ever walk in for their first day of work. This turns out to be a waste of time and resources for everyone.

To help avoid this, you need to go through the interview process. The first and most critical step is to write an advertisement that attracts great people in the first place — one that encourages the kind of candidates who want to work for your company.

Thinking this through will also make you consider the short-term and long-term responsibilities and tasks required for this position.

The challenge of finding great job candidates starts with the ad itself. Mediocre job ads attract mediocre workers. To improve your placement ad, you should incorporate the following in the description.

Make your company sound innovative and interesting. This will help attract more dynamic applicants who want to work for a fascinating company. 

Let the applicant know with whom they will most likely be working. Candidates will look forward to learning from someone who is the expert in their field.

 If the location of your company is a plus for applicants, make sure to mention it. The more benefits you can mention in the ad, the more attractive your ad becomes. 

Make sure to mention that the position offers growth for the right candidate. Everyone wants to know that they can grow with the company. This also implies that they will be able to make more money as they grow.

Include the total compensation and benefits in the offer. Paid holidays, flexible hours, and other perks can be very attractive. 

Mention that the position requires hard work and dedication. This can help filter out the lazy applicants before time is wasted with the interview. 

The ad should stand out from all the others. If you want creative, superstar applicants, the ad should be creative, too.

Finding and retaining top talent is one of the most important tasks for any growing company. A strong recruitment ad is just the start but one that can’t be overlooked. Include these tips in your next ad, and hopefully you will attract the type of superstar employee you desire.

For more information about hiring new employees or on a whole host of other helpful tips to help you take your business to the next level, go to http://www.printitplus.com

6 Steps to a Winning Referral Strategy in Palm Beach, Florida

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Referrals are one of the best ways for growing a small business anywhere.  That certainly holds true for small businesses here in Palm Beach and Wellington, as well.  Yet most companies have no formal process in place to make sure this great source for quality leads continues.

Waiting for leads to fall in your lap is not a systematic referral-generation strategy! Some people feel guilty about asking for referrals because they falsely believe they are simply asking for favors. The truth is, if you believe that the products and services you provide deliver real value to people and will benefit those who use them, you’re the one who’s doing the favor in asking for referrals… not the other way around. Achieving that mentality is the first step toward building a solid foundation for your lead-generating referral system.

For example, at Print-It Plus we actively seek out referrals because we know that we give our clients – both new and old – the value, service and finished products that you crave in a printing, marketing and advertising company.  Whether it is digital printing, offset printing, full color printing, business stationery and cards, forms, brochures, logos, promotional products, direct mail, website design and maintenance, email marketing or other marketing solutions, Print-It Plus takes care of all of its referrals the right way.

Here are six steps to turn up your referral-generation machine:

1. Define your most ideal referral. Your chances of finding referrals increases if you know who you’re looking for. The tighter you can articulate the demographic characteristics of your most ideal referral, the better. What are their business needs? What problems do they have that you can solve?

2. Team up with matching referral partners. After defining your ideal referral, identify who would be ideal referral partners for you. Who’s already doing business and in contact with people that fit your most ideal referral profile? Find ways to provide value for them and make it easy for them to refer you.

3. Build a database. Create a contact list of potential referral sources and contacts. This can help you focus your referral-generating campaigns on people who can help you the most. Great communication starts with a focused list of ideal referral partners.

4. Create an incentive. Most people want to help others. You can encourage them to do what they already want to do by giving them an incentive to refer you. Incentives can be something tangible like gift cards, discounts, commissions, and other perks. A simple thank you card and other positive reinforcement goes a long way to building the goodwill generated from helping others.

5. Have a referral script. It’s comforting to know what you’re going to say ahead of time in asking for a referral. Your script should be adapted for face-to-face networking, email communication, phone conversations, and mailed letters. Practice until it becomes natural and not forced.

6. Set goals. An effective system includes a way to measure it. Setting referral goals and tracking results weekly is a great way to build and sustain continual momentum. Tracking your referrals also allows you to see how many referrals it takes to get one new client. 

No system works without action. Start your referral-generating system by implementing and tracking the results. Ask your current network for referrals. This will give you something to build on. As you practice and gain confidence, refine your tactics and branch out to get referrals from other sources. It’s easier than you think.

For more information, go to our website, http://www.printitplus.com.             

The New Age of sales in West Palm Beach – Educate your prospect

Here in West Palm Beach as well as everywhere else, your target audience is being bombarded by sales and marketing messages all the time. Some studies report that the average person is exposed to more than 3,500 advertising messages every single day! We are constantly developing strategies, both consciously and subconsciously, to filter out the hype and obnoxious noise of most of these messages so that we can get our work done and get through our own day with a measure of sanity.

This constant barrage of marketing and sales pitches has caused salespeople to have to change, too. Traditional sales methods, like door-to-door sales, that once worked well have been losing traction and are not effective anymore. But you still need to sell — and you need to get your message across to your potential customers. How can you do that without alienating them at the same time?

The best way to do that in this day and age is to educate and help your prospects instead of simply selling them. Educating your audience with relevant and useful information that will help them make a more informed buying decision allows you to establish yourself and your company as an expert who provides value before ever asking for a sale.

Establishing trust in this manner brings respect. Trust and respect open the way for your prospects to listen. Listening gives you access to valuable time your prospects reserve for those they believe will not waste it with hype and useless pitches.

To decide what kind of information your prospects find useful, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Developing a buyer persona on your most ideal prospects lets you get insight into the information, ideas, and advice that could make a positive difference in their lives and actually help in their decision-making process. 

Helping our prospects and current clients to make the best decisions on how to best utilize their marketing dollars is what we do best here at Print-It Plus.  Our 25 years in the print and marketing business here in Palm Beach County in both up and down economies gives us the knowledge and expertise you need to help you make the right decisions for how best to spend your money, and get the most Return On Investment for each dollar. 

For more information go to http://www.printitplus.com.

Print-It Plus in West Palm Beach – a new take on a 25-year tradition

This post is the first in a new blog created by Print-It Plus.  Print-It Plus is a local print shop in the West Palm Beach area of south Florida that specializes in helping our clients get the most out of your promotional product, marketing and advertising efforts.

 

We love to work with you to customize your marketing campaigns and collateral.  We specialize in many forms of print advertising including direct mail, digital printing, offset printing, full color printing, business stationery, forms, memos, menus, brochures, logos, large print and signs and mailing services.  We also offer website design and maintenance, email marketing programs and other types of e-marketing solutions.

 

We believe that it is our 25 years of experience right here in West Palm Beach combined with our philosophy that we are a solutions provider and here to truly help your business grow through offering meaningful marketing solutions tailored to your business that makes us different.  You can trust that we bring all of that knowledge and desire to bear to make your project the most successful it can be.

 

Lastly, we are a big believer in buying from a local vendor like ourselves.  When you spend $1.00 at a locally owned business, 70 cents of it stays in our local community… But when you spend $1.00 with an online firm that is not even located here in the United States, ALL of that dollar leaves our community and does not come back.

 

For some free marketing advice and more information about our company, sign up to receive our newsletter from our website, http://www.printitplus.com