“Can I trust you with my life…?” The room collectively chuckled, but the speaker was serious. And yes, he was talking about printing. In today’s world of social media and endless emails and texts, relationships still matter. It’s easy to find yourself doubting the importance of relationships in today’s fast-paced business world. I know I’m guilty.
I had the opportunity to represent SPC during a forum hosted by the Great Lakes Graphics Association. The forum included a small group of successful print buyers sharing their ideas and experiences around sales and supplier relationships. The three buyers led a very candid Q&A session for a room filled with industry professionals, and SPC got the chance to hear the voice of the customer.
Perspective from the other side of the table
The focus of the buyers’ message centered around relationships, trust, competency and trends. Hearing the perspective from the other side of the table was invaluable. Rarely do I get to hear open and honest feedback on sales techniques, and ultimately how to genuinely earn a buyer’s trust. The most important job SPC has to do is make the right decisions in support of our clients’ business. Our clients trust us with their money, brand, campaign and growth initiatives. That trust goes beyond the latest technology, printing press, or the best lean initiatives. While technical competency is a key component in vendor selection, the value of a vendor truly caring about their customer’s success was a crucial component each buyer mentioned.
One conversation stuck with me, and it was centered on the growing complexity of data in direct mail. This particular buyer was stressing the importance of a printer’s ability to grow with market demands, including complex variable digital printing. His point was this: as his campaigns become more complex, has his vendor shown interest in collaborating to execute these increasingly difficult jobs? Are they growing in a way that coincides with the market’s needs? Are these vendors willing to do the hard work of planned, targeted growth?
Growth from relevance
It gave me peace of mind to know that SPC has been dedicated to continual learning, growth, and change to support the evolution of data-based direct marketing. The path to growth is staying relevant—and more importantly, creating successful partnerships with our clients. Being true experts and partners in data-driven direct mail allows SPC to continue supporting our clients’ brand and business.
My mother has always said, “All good relationships include great communication, compromise and listening to the other person’s perspective.” Turns out, Mom was right.
Strategic Accounts Executive