My background in sales began when I was 15, I sold pillows at a Flea Market! Sales are a wonderful career for many men and women, I enjoyed it for over 30 years, but now that I’m on the front end of sales, I find that marketing presents more of a challenge to me than sales ever did.
Occasionally I get to slide my sales hat back on, when we are short-handed in the office, I’ll take calls, run the chat room and help customers with their printing needs.
This is a story (customer name and company withheld) of a recent call I took, on a day when we had 3 people in the field, 1 on vacation and it was only Joe and myself providing customer service for several hours.
Joe’s on a call when the second line rang. The phone in my office not to set ring on incoming calls, because it’s better for our customers to talk to a project coordinator, not the marketing manager. So the phone rings and Joe is talking to another customer on another line, I run to the lobby to answer the main line and: “Heritage Printing, this is Kevin, how can I help you?”
A very nice and obviously stressed reply was “I need 3 retractable banners; can you help me?”
I answer “Yes, we can easily make you some retractable banners.”
Her reply “I need them tomorrow at noon!”
Now I knew why there was stress in her voice, something obviously happened to her banners. She must have comprehended this upon arriving at the event and without her main marketing materials, she knew more banners had to be done ASAP.
When I take calls, I always ask how they found us.
She said “I found you on Google!”
“Life Happens” is an often used phrase with us, we developed our business model around it. We have positioned ourselves with:
The best printing equipment
We can provide our products when your “Hair is on Fire”(a term Joe and I both love).
It was around 11:30 on a Wednesday morning when I took that call, so it would be a tight window to get 3 retractable banners made from scratch and delivered to a DC event, so I asked her our 3 main questions:
Do you have your artwork for the retractable banner?YES
Can you email it to us now?YES
Do you need this shipped to you or will you pick it up at our facility?DELIVERED TO DC
Our conversation switched over to the banner stand she needed (we have several sizes and models) since she was viewing our website as we talked, she knew exactly what model she needed. We exchanged some information and I politely asked her to send us the artwork and be ready for a call from Joe to confirm the order, receive the quote and make payment.
I heard the relief in her voice immediately.
Joe was finishing his call as I walked into his off and handed him my notes, I told him of this “Hair on Fire”order for 3 retractable banners. He gave me that smile he always gets when he about to relieve someone’s stress and with a few quick questions, he was on the phone pricing the job and taking payment. The banners were printed and made into a retractable banner at our Waldorf, MD facility by Terry and Steve, our wide format team in Maryland. Wayne Magoon, one of our sales staff, had a meeting scheduled in DC Thursday morning, so it would be an easy delivery for him.
Our new customer was ecstatic and very relieved to have the banners at her DC event, especially 3 hours early! Needless to say, Wayne got all the Kudos for such an outstanding job, but he graciously referred the credit to our team and how we are structured to expedite such orders.
Here’s the timeline:
11:24the customer calls Heritage
11:45the artwork arrives via email
12:17the order is confirmed and payment made
1:26Terry Blenman receives the order in Waldorf and converts the file into “Print Ready” format
2:36Steve Bailey is handed the job ticket, accesses the files, sets the printer and begins the job
3:58Steve Bailey begins installing the banners into the retractable stands
4:30Wayne Magoon loads the banners into the Heritage delivery van and drives it home for the evening
8:27Wayne Magoon leaves Waldorf on route to DC
9:02Customer hugs Wayne!
This is a typical situation for us, most sign shops in Charlotte or DC reject the “Need it NOW!”orders. Most sign companies don’t want to provide a retractable banner in such a tight time frame, but that’s the way Heritage Printing operates. Joe Gass and his brother Steve make certain we have a dedicated staff and an adequate stock of our necessary components to complete orders for our most commonly requested products in those extra tight time limits.
It’s not just a banner, we can expedite orders for numerous products:
Banners, both Retractable and w/o hardware
Standoff Lobby Sign
Another quick example: earlier this year, it was 6:00 pm when we received the artwork for a 100 page, perfect bound book that had to be distributed for a DC presentation by 9:00 am the next morning. Our guys worked until 2:00 am and the customer picked it up in Waldorf at 7:00 am the next morning!
Whether it’s a retractable banner, perfect bound book or many of our commonly produced products, if your artwork is ready, we can make it happen!