Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just got my latest issue of Canvas - August 2008

As usual, there are lots of interesting things that professionals are saying about selling print this month at Canvas. There's one about pricing and one about the view from the print buyers point of view. But, that's for another day. But there is one article that is really special. It's called Winning the Hearts and Minds by Brian Sullivan . Brian tells the story of Major Ed Croot, part of the Army's elite Special Forces.

Here's two of the best paragraphs:
My directive as an Army Special Forces Soldier was to kill, capture, destroy, disrupt, and deny the enemy. I realize that is only 20 per cent of what I do. Perhaps the more important 80 percent is to help Iraqi and Afghan people live normal lives". - Major Croot (on page 37)

"So what can salespeople and business leaders take away from Major Croot? Think of the lessons he has learned. It is difficult to force anybody into anything. A "kill, capture, destroy, disrupt and deny" attitude in dealing with colleagues and customers only fortifies their defenses and makes it difficult to positively impact their lives. Just as Croot and our nation have learned that "selling" ideas is easier once trust is built, that rule also applies to us . . .regardless of whether we are selling a product or an idea." - Brian Sullivan, CSP. (page 39)
It's definitely worth getting your hands on an issue to read the whole thing. Since it is such a thought provoking piece, it provoked some thoughts for me. And I do have just one very minor quibble. You can read them here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Embracing Change is Dumb" - Dr. Webb

This one is a must read. Click here.

When I was an adolescent, I loved change. Even today, it is interesting. But it's not fun. It's too much stress, way too much work, and much too risky. Risk brings stress. Sometimes it's creative stress, good. More often it is dysfunctional stress, bad. But there is no choice. Everyday anything can change. If you are printer, it probably already has.

Businesspeople live with change constantly; every single part of their day has something to do with change. If you don't deal with or create change, you're out of business. Sales is a great example. We wouldn't have salespeople if we didn't have a need to send emissaries out to convince people to change.

My only minor quibble is that the salespeople are there as much to respond to the change that is happening even more than convincing people to change. Convincing people to change is much too dangerous. It should only be tried by some of the top professionals, some of the time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How to become a Print sales superstar

Picked this up from PowerHomeBiz Small & Home Business Blog:
Voss Graham of Lawn and Landscape Magazine wrote a great article on how to become a sales superstar. To become a sales superstar, you need to master 10 critical decision making areas that create sales success, as follows:
1. Sales superstars are always learning
2. Business acumen
3. Preparedness

4. Industry knowledge
5. Questioning skills
6. Listening
7. Think like an owner
8. Creative problem solving
9. Practice, practice, practice
10. Self confidence
You can read the details here.

Applying the wisdom shared with me by a trucker I worked with, back in the day ... read the rest

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Designers and Digital Print...The Good News

A couple of years ago, I lead a team of students and faculty who worked with Bob Wagner and Mike Riebesehl from Xerox to produce the Art and Science of Digital Printing, The Parsons Guide to Getting it Right. Back then, it was a pretty big deal. Now a group in Germany got together, decided what they wanted to do, sent it to and it has worldwide distribution. My guess is that the total printing cost was the $19 they are charging on the web. Ain't life grand?

I found the following at Speak Up, an author-based, reader-supported community devoted to graphic design open to conversation and dialogue.
"It's funny how things change. Five years ago I wouldn't have given second thought to producing print material with digital printing. No, only offset printing.. . . . More or less, the art of offset printing has been properly documented and even mastered. Now it's digital printing's turn.

Well, sort of. This past July, fourteen students attended a two-day workshop at Germany's Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences with Prof. Frank Philippin and London-based designer James Goggin.

. . .The result of the workshop is Dear Lulu, a fantastic and imaginative resource that puts digital printing to the test through a Do-It-Yourself presentation that fits right in with philosophy of print on demand that makes it such an alluring proposition for designers looking to publish with little financial risk and with pretty decent results in return.

Read the design brief here
You can buy a copy (96 pages) or download a full set of PDF for free here.