Wednesday, January 31, 2018

5 Sales Presentation Tips You Need To Know

Whether your business is selling widgets or creative ideas, you must make sales to drive revenue. And if you’re selling, then you’re also pitching to potential customers. I’ve been in sales for more than 20 years and have learned a few things along the way that are worth sharing:

The most important part of your sales presentation is the pre-meeting discovery call to uncover your prospect’s issues and needs. Your presentation should respond to everything you learned. Very similar to a job interview, ask the customer what they are looking for in a candidate, then spend the interview positioning yourself accordingly.

Next is preparation. For me, the more prepared I am, the more relaxed and genuine I am. It improves my ability to interact without losing concentration or control of the presentation. Don’t confuse this with a memorized speech: Preparation is about aligning the content and key points that I want to communicate.

An article in Entrepreneur magazine offers some tips for the next step: Sitting down with the potential customer. Here’s a summary of 5 tips to help you refine your sales presentation for greater success:

1.Avoid product knowledge mistakes.
There are three common pitfalls to avoid regarding product knowledge:
1. Not knowing your product
2. Sharing too much about your product
3. Not knowing your competition

The article sums it up well: “You can never know too much but you can certainly talk too much. Become an expert with your product and be able to discuss features, advantages, and benefits better than anyone. When comparing products, know how your product is different, know the advantages, and know how to make sense of the purchase.

2. Control your presentation.
Leading with solid preparation, your ultimate goal is to gain complete control while presenting. “The way to gain control is by getting an agreement. Get the buyer’s full attention, get the product away from other products so they aren’t distracted, and present the product while in full control.”

3. Find what the buyer values.
Tell your customer what you’re going to do and get an agreement. Example: What matters most to you when you purchase uniforms for your staff? Are you looking first for quality or lowest cost? Quality? Great, then let’s discuss how our vendor network allows us to provide the best in brand-name quality.

“Be interesting and reassure the customer with any concerns. Break your presentation down into parts. Know where you’re going to start and end. Always get permission to give the presentation, address the time (how long it’ll take), invite any questions they may have, and start in the same place every time you give the presentation. You want stability for yourself.”

4. Avoid making lazy mistakes.
Always do a demonstration. Don’t take the opportunity for granted when you sit down with your customer. With today’s technology, demonstrations need not be time consuming, but rather, engaging and informative exchanges with your potential customer.

5. Anticipate objections.
You’re going to get objections when you try and do a sales presentation—it happens to the best of us.

“I don’t need to see how it operates”

“I know all about it”

“Don’t shortcut the presentation because this is where you build value. Understand that these objections are reactions, not valid objections. To handle these, be committed to your demonstration. You have to know that your demonstration will be of value to your client.”

Access the full article here:

Do you have sales presentation tips that aren’t on this list? I’d like to hear them. Connect with me @

Good luck!
Bob De Garmo

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Video Marketing Trends You Need to Know

It’s no surprise that in today’s mobile world, incorporating video in your marketing program is essential to making brand connections with your customers. MarketingProfs today released an infographic that sums up the state of video marketing, capturing the latest data about video and trends to watch in 2018. Here are a few highlights:

•    Video content earns 12 times more shares than text and images combined
•    Viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video, as compared to only 10% when they read text
•    Live streaming video is gaining momentum: 82% of consumers polled preferred live video to static social media posts
•    Bite-sized video content and personalized video will be used more and more: 61% of customers prefer custom and individualized content
•    If you aren’t on Instagram already, consider jumping in: In 2017, 8 out of 10 users followed at
•    The new YouTube mobile sharing app will prompt marketers to create more engaging content
Click here to view infographic
least one business on their feed

The infographic below provides the entire video marketing forecast in format that is quick and easy to digest.

There’s no time like the present to evaluate and realign your marketing strategy to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts and your budget. If you’d like some creative ideas for ways to infuse your existing media outreach with video content, connect with me

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

5 Print Marketing Trends For 2018

While we’re all fast at work keeping up with today’s click-through, digital-driven pace, the print industry is experiencing a quiet revival. Perhaps that resurgence is because of its perceived value: A tangible printed piece like a brochure (or ad, or sign…) makes a memorable brand connection with an audience while offering a shelf life that far outlasts a typical social media scroll.

The latest statistics show that expected growth for commercial printing is 1.5% - 3% in 2018, with sales expected to total $84 billion–that’s 9.1% above 2011. That growth is slated to continue through 2024.

This year, Shamrock celebrates 35 years as a print and marketing solutions provider. We’ve grown and diversified along with the advent of digital technology, understanding that there’s not only room for both in your marketing arsenal—but that incorporating both digital channels and tactile touches is essential to success: Print is an important part of a balanced, integrated marketing strategy.

Here are five print marketing trends to consider implementing as part of your marketing effort this year:

Personalization. Customized content creates unique value—and greater relevance. Personalization used to be a novelty; but today, people expect products and services to be adapted and relevant to them: The more you connect with your audience through personalization, the more resistance is dropped. Making a personalized connection increases customer engagement with your brand.

Print & digital integration. Blending online and offline channels as part of an integrated marketing strategy is the key to driving higher conversion rates and making lasting brand impressions. Use your print media to link your audience back to your blog, a landing page, an exclusive video, website or to one of social media channels.

Custom/unique coupon codes. Using a unique coupon is a smart strategy for not only increasing customer engagement but also in gathering personal data about your target audience. Unique coupon codes generate higher ROI than generic coupon codes because they cannot be shared or reproduced—they are aimed at an individual, which creates a more personal connection and an exclusive feel.

Color. According to Pantone, color in 2018 will go bolder—a proven way to make a statement with your audience: Pantone also predicts continued print marketing trends in iridescent color palettes and a move away from pastels. Color evokes emotion, can change a mood and helps tell your brand story—which will you choose to share your brand narrative?

Texture. A study from the University of Iowa found that haptic (touch) memory is the type of memory that has the strongest impact on the human brain. The physical act of holding something makes a stronger connection with the audiences. And so, using print media engages our haptic memory, creating lasting brand awareness. Adding glosses, raised ink, embossing, matte finishes—these create interesting texture for even greater brand connections.

Which of these print marketing trends will you embrace this year? I’m interested in your feedback.

Tim Connor

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shamrock Named to the Print + Promo Top 50 Distributors for 2017

The industry magazine Print + Promo released its annual rankings recognizing the highest-performing distributors based on print sales for fiscal year 2017—and The Shamrock Companies came in at #11. Here’s an excerpt from the Print + Promo website:

“The list, which serves as a barometer for industry health, offers insight into how external factors, like mergers and acquisitions, the economy and political climate, influence print volume among print resellers. For our 2017 Top 50 Distributors list, we evaluated more than 70 companies, totaling $3.50 billion—the distributor segment’s best showing since 2008. We also asked distributors to report how much business they do in major product categories, including printed forms, labels & tags, commercial printing, direct mail, promotional products and more.”

The industry resource reported that among the Top 50 companies…

Promotional products are driving sales revenue: There was an increase in sales for six of nine product categories, with promotional products taking the No. 1 spot due to a $384 million increase in revenue compared to 2016.

We’re in good company in Ohio: In all, 22 U.S. states were headquarters to at least one print distributor on the list. Ohio was the winner with seven Top 50 distributors.

To read the entire article, click on the link below:

On behalf of our entire team at Shamrock, we’re proud to be recognized among the industry’s top distributors and thank our clients, suppliers and vendor partners for sharing in that success.

Here’s to moving on up in 2018!

Tim Connor

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

6 TED Talks to Help You Reach Your Goals in 2018

It’s time for a new beginning, to embark on the journey of a new year filled with opportunities. Whether you’re a person who makes New Year’s resolutions or sets performance goals for yourself and/or your business, it’s nice to have some extra motivation and guidance to help you stay the course.

We found a list of six TED talks compiled by The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center that offers advice on goal-setting and how to follow through on the actions needed to achieve your goals and dreams:

1) Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts
In this three-minute TED Talk, the speaker shows how small steps can lead to big adventures. Inviting activity into your life seems to lead to a richer experience.
2) 5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams by Bel Pesce
In this six-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares five lines of thought that will keep you from reaching your goals, and she also emphasizes the significance of the journey.

3) Four Keys for Setting and Achieving Goals by William Barr
In this eight-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how he was able to build one of the nation’s largest home improvement companies.

4) If You Want to Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus on Them by Reggie Rivers
In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how focusing on the goals can actually prevent you from achieving your goals. By focusing on your behaviors, you will be more driven to follow through.

5) The Key to Success? Grit by Angela Lee Duckworth
In this 6-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how grit is a key ingredient for success. She encourages the audience to live life as a marathon and not a sprint.
6) The Power of Believing That You Can Improve by Carol Dweck
In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how adopting a growth mindset can open you up to greater success. She encourages the audience to see a challenge as a “yet” opportunity.

The fresh start of a new year offers a host of exciting new opportunities, changes and challenges. With the help of these resources, we hope you’ll be making the very most of 2018. Always, we welcome your input: If you have other TED talks to add to this list, please connect with Shamrock on Facebook.

Good luck—and happy new year!
Tim Connor