It isn’t easy to get comfortable in a wholly-new marketing role, and it’s even more of a challenge getting clients to believe you’re a credible marketing resource. Merely changing the tag line on your business card isn’t enough. Nor is telling your existing salesforce to “go out and sell marketing services.”
Our consulting practice has shown us that it takes much longer than planned for printers to make a fundamental transition in their business models. So it’s important to build a realistic plan for the transition.
Be fully committed to making the change. Allocate the resources required – both money and time. Work with a real sense of urgency. But remember that wishing doesn’t make it so. There’s new marketing to do, new capabilities to develop, and an entirely new selling approach – probably including new kinds of salespeople.
And there’s the time required for clients (and maybe your salespeople as well) to see your company in a different light – to understand your new capabilities and believe in your ability to deliver on your new promises.
We all remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – with the perfect bed that wasn’t too hard and wasn’t too soft. Goldilocks wasn’t a management consultant, but maybe she was right about managing change: not too little and not too much. Somewhere in between is just right.
Bob Rosen is president of R.H. Rosen Associates, a New York-area consulting firm that specializes solely in the graphic arts.
Editor’s note: Bob Rosen will team with NAPL’s Joe Truncale to offer change management lessons learned from the industry’s top-performing CEOs at PRINT 13. manroland is hosting this invitation-only evening event on Sept. 9; for more information contact manroland.