Published Articles

A Paradigm Shift of Foundational Proportions

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on March/April 2009

But when will industry leaders get it? Only if and when they do will our industry's economic performance become viable long-term.

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Improving the Customer's Economic Well Being

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on January/February 2009

Your customer gets to decide who stays in business and that will not change.

There exists an increasingly discrete selection of where customers invest their precious dollars. Previous years' budgets are being rolled-back to zero, and re-examined for: "Is this really necessary?" and, "Why did we do this, and what did we get as a return?"

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Creating & Nurturing Relationship Equity

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on November/December 2008

Initiating opportunities for the buyer to become more important 
to the supplier in ways other than higher price.

We were known for being able to call major clients for work when we needed it. No one from the outside taught us to do that, and I personally had never read about sales or marketing types being able to do this, though I'm confident a few of the best could.

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You Only Need One ... or Maybe Two Account Execs

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on Sept/Oct 2008

Don't settle for mediocrity. The road to mediocrity 
is guaranteed to lead to financial ruin

A common complaint I experience from CEOs is not so much lack of business. In fact, many of them admit there's significant business available to be pursued. Their number one complaint, as I've experienced it, is lack of qualified, ambitious, business development personnel.

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Market Driven Strategy

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on July/August 2008

Do Your Homework, First & Often

Identifying what target customer market to pursue is critical because all customer dollars are not equal.

You have a gold mind (hidden) in your customer list. With some frequency, I ask clients if I might take a look at their customer lists for purposes of identifying customers who could be organized into a specific target customer market. Questions follow like: "What do you sell each of these accounts? How is their business meaningful to you? and Is this a customer market you've purposefully pursued (or has it developed quietly on its own inertia)?"

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Missing: Business Development Leadership

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on May/June 2008

When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were - to the very last minute - a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Taking Care of Current Business

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on March/April 2008

Evidence is that graphic solutions providers don't know much about their top 20 customers beyond: the name of the person who last signed purchase orders, what the customer historically buys, and how the customer pays.

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Account Management from the Inside

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on September/October 2007

Customer's changing needs, and ongoing compression of time require that an unusually competent and responsible lead person be available - on behalf of the customers - to deal with the issues.

Several industry trends are moving within our companies that tend to serve customers changing needs, and which can noticeably influence company profitability. A growing number of organizations - of all sizes, locations, and designs - are recognizing that after a new account is brought in, there's an elevated need for proactive account management from an "inside, central position." This central position inevitably affects the performance (and morale) of the production team, the originating account executive, customers' perceptions of the supplier organization, and ultimately supplier profitability.

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Your Stealth Customer Attrition

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on July/August 2007

Buyers are expected to manage more, faster, and with increasing complexity. 
Wrong purchasing decisions, such as a change in suppliers, 
have disproportionate penalty costs.

In this article we reveal evidence of a market condition and trend we repeatedly gather information to support. That said, we also repeatedly experience that the organization capable and willing to act on the evidence is rare.

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Your Customer's Marketing Campaign

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on May/June 2007

Customers Need Support from Suppliers

The golden rule for becoming an effective part of your customer's marketing plans: Treat their resources and time the way you want your resources and time to be treated.

Historically, my biases included that most supplies do not know their target customer's business model. By business model, I mean issues relating to performance objectives and priorities; sources of pain; culture and values; and ambitions. However, that condition is changing as:

  • Customers' senior managements are becoming more demanding of preferred suppliers, and
  • Enlightened suppliers' senior managements understand they must be proactive with target customers.
»Read more