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Seeking Insight

The printing industry is ripe with experts. Expertise on equipment, paper, ink, and how to achieve a result. We have color samples, paper samples, and finishing that we proudly display. I know, I have much of our work displayed throughout the office. Somewhere in each of these samples are insights that should be part of any discussion with a client. Clients come to me with a request to produce collateral for a conference. 5000. A great order. Many of my peers would eagerly submit an estimate and take care of the order. There's a missing component. Insight. Figuring out what the ultimate goal of the produced item is, how will it be used, where and when is something every executive providing a service or product should be doing. It's important to ask the client these questions and provide insight when you can. This is not just a printing industry issue. Many of my clients describe what they do instead of the results they create and the insight they bring. In my clients conference order, as an example, I offered up some things for them to think about such as driving traffic to their booth with a pre-conference mailing, and heating chocolate chip cookies in the booth (the smell draws them in). I also offered up geo-fencing the conference center as a way to serve ads to attendees for 30 days after. It became a lengthy discussion. Probably more than they needed but I love this type of discussion and enjoy learning more about them as the discussion usually evolves into broader business issues. Sometimes my insights are appreciated and sometimes they are ignored. In all cases the process trains me to think more about my clients needs and results they are after. For me, that's a good thing and something I try to train my staff to do. While printing is all over, insights and good ideas are not.  

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