PIP Triad’s Business Growth Strategist, Lee Whitaker sat down with Sean Loranger recently to discuss his outlook on sales and advice for the print industry:
Keep moving. Keep learning. Keep growing. That’s the advice from Top Salesperson Lee Whitaker of Jimmy and Judy Brumley’s PIP Triad in North Carolina (Burlington, Greensboro and High Point). Lee, who is a recipient of the Don F. Lowe Salesperson of the Year award, says succeeding in this economic environment is all about not standing still.
“Don’t just watch the economy and think you can wait it out,” he says. “You need to continue growing and learning and reaching out to businesses with the variety of services you’re able to offer.
“We’re betting that, as businesses increase their spending, they’ll need to do much more with much less and will be seeking one-stop shops where they can have all of their marketing needs addressed and met. That’s what we want to be for them.
“Yes it’s a challenging economy and it’s been tough on all industries, but we have a lot to offer in both experience and services.”
Lee says his center is working hard to “marry” new marketing services such as website, email blasts and social networking with the more traditional print offerings.
“We’ve worked hard at increasing our knowledge and abilities so we’re able to offer more services for our customers. These ‘new” services, we’re finding, are leading to the birth of new opportunities in the print arena, too. This makes for a full circle of services for our customers—and that makes us stand out from our competitors.”
Lee is also discovering that his emphasis on providing the full suite of services is resulting in more internal referrals to marketing departments within his clients’ companies. “We’re no longer just working with a project in one department but we’re able to step in and help the client’s marketing managers in reviewing the big picture for that company; we can be part of the team and help meet their goals.”
Conversations with marketing professionals mean salespeople need to know the “marketing language” and understand how the concepts work in real-world applications.
“Training from Franchise Services is vital for salespeople,” Lee says. “We’ve also created marketing case studies so our customers can see how our programs have helped other businesses succeed.”
Digital color projects and signage are easy first steps in adding new services, Lee says. “We already understand paper and we understand toner and ink. That makes signage and digital a great bridge. So many of our conversations with customers these days start with signage and advance from there.
“If you’ve already built a relationship selling print, you can expand to other areas, even if you’re in a smaller center,” Lee says.
If your center doesn’t have a capability a customer needs, find a source that does, he adds. “I’m lucky in that I’m in one of the top five centers in our network and we have a lot of in-house services we can provide. But, if you’re a salesperson in a smaller center, team up with Creative Services for websites or another supplier for signage.
“No matter how small your center is, you can provide the services that will position you as the one-stop shop for your customers.”
July 23, 2013, Sean Loranger
We’re proud of our entire sales team here at PIP Triad.
Congrats Lee, thanks for all that you do!!