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Return to ahleprinting.com.

Ahle Printing May 15, 2018

An adroit mixture of everyday settings and extraordinary events.
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The world of business and finance gets skewered, as Bottom Liners tackles subjects such as foreign takeovers, office policies, getting a raise, and the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
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A wry look at the absurdities of everyday life.
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In today's complex world of family issues, Focus on the Family provides grounded, practical advice for those dealing with family problems.
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A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
Ahle Printing
Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip

Listen. Solve. Repeat.

Boost Sales with Trust

Take Note

Coloring Your World
A Message From Ahle Printing
The Way I See It

A kindergarten teacher was helping a boy with a math question and she asked, “If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?” The boy confidently answered, “Four.” Surprised, thinking the boy didn’t listen properly, the teacher asked again, “Listen closely this time… If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?” Seeing the look of disappointment on her face, the boy hesitantly replied, “Four.”

Assuming maybe the boy didn’t like apples, she asked, “If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?” He replied, “Three.” The teacher smiled victoriously and asked one more time, “Now, if I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?” Without missing a beat, the boy again replied, “Four.”

Confused and becoming slightly annoyed, the teacher asked how that could be possible. The boy smiled and replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”

Here’s the way I see it: When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect to hear, don’t always assume they are wrong. If you’d like answers to all of your printing questions, we’re here to help!

Idea of the Week
6 Steps To Customer-Centric Writing

Most business owners come ingrained with a laser-like focus on their business. They'll swell with pride and "shout it from the rooftops" to tell you about their newest, exciting product or service. However, like the majority of people in business, they tend to take a business-focused approach, focusing on promoting the features or specs of the product and making sure that you know how this new product or service is the best of the best.

Look at me, guy with megaphone

Herein lies the rub, as they say. While shouting it from the rooftops might seem like a good approach, customers don't necessarily want to hear about your business. Instead, they want to hear about how your company will help THEM. They are more concerned that you understand their need and are offering a solution to address it.

Here's where customer-centric writing and promotion comes in. Instead of writing with the focus on you and your business, you can stand out from the crowd by thinking about how your new product or service will benefit your customers. Writing with your client in mind demonstrates that you understand their needs and want to help them achieve their goals. Writing with empathy creates better connections, improved communication, and happier outcomes. Happy customers become your business's greatest fans.

Here are six steps to help you shift your perspective to be more customer-centric:

  1. List at least three to five main features of your business.
  2. Arrange the list beginning with the most important feature.
  3. Now look at the list, select the first feature, and dig down to what that feature means to your customer. For example, if you are in the tire business and one of the features is that you're within walking distance of a mall, then you might put "location" on your list.
  4. Step into your customer's mindset. What does your location mean for them? How will it solve their problem? The benefit is they can drop off their car, shop, have lunch, or meet a friend instead of sitting in a dull waiting room.
  5. Take the next feature you listed and then go through the same process. Rinse and repeat with the rest of the features.
  6. If you've never looked at your business this way before, it's likely that you might not be sure of what your customers do want and need. How can you find out? That's where tip #6 comes in. Even if you've been in business for a while and think you know the needs of your customers, it's good to refresh your viewpoint.

  7. Pay attention to the questions they have and ask them for more information about what they're trying to do. Don't assume you know what they want, find out by talking to them.

Cartoon group with 2 word bubbles

Your customers are individuals, with goals and dreams unique to them. They come to you for help to make these happen. What does your company do for them? That's the direction your marketing writing needs to take.

When you practice customer-centric marketing, you not only differentiate yourself from competitors, you establish the basis for customer loyalty, repeat business, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

See more great ideas like this!
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Marketing Tip
Ways to Build Customer Trust

It’s been said that the most expensive thing in the world is trust. It can take years to earn, and just a matter of seconds to lose. Here are a few tips for building trust and credibility with your customers:

  • Be honest and transparent about your strengths and weaknesses. If your product isn’t right for a customer, you should be secure enough to guide them in the right direction, even if it means referring them to your competition.

  • Gather testimonials and customer reviews, and encourage prospects to reach out to your references so they can learn more about your products and customer service from a customer perspective.

  • Boost your availability and communication channels. Ensure your phones are answered by real people. Add a live chat option on your website. Reply quickly to customer service comments or questions on social media. Depending on your product/service, consider providing an emergency phone number for after-hours.

  • Never talk poorly about your competition. This will look immature and disrespectful.

  • Under-promise and over-deliver. For example, if you expect a product to arrive in a week, tell the customer it takes 10 days. Never risk breaking your promises.

  • Improve your website security. Use trusted payment options, display your trust badges proudly, and increase your basic SSL protection.

  • Engage with your audience on social media. By updating customers with news and information, and responding to questions or comments, you can build brand visibility and trust.

  • When customers have a bad experience, be appreciative when they tell you about it (rather than just telling their family and friends). Take advantage of this opportunity to go above and beyond to make them happy.

Another way to increase customer trust is with quality marketing materials. If you’d like help creating professional marketing materials to portray your company image, give us a call today!

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Uncommon Product
Mini Notepads

Mini notepads are a useful giveaway item that your audience will appreciate. Not only are they handy for taking quick notes or writing to-do lists, but their small stature allows them to easily fit into your pocket, briefcase, or purse.

Because notepads are used again and again, a 25- or 50-page mini-notepad provides a marketing opportunity on each page. To increase the usability of your notepad, add lines and/or a magnet on the back. In addition, creative notepads with rounded edges, die-cut shapes, or brightly colored paper are great ways to get attention and be memorable.

Stop by today if you’d like help creating useful promotional products your customers and prospects will enjoy using. We’d love to help you create mini-notepads that will get used again and again!

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Tech Tip
How Paper Affects Printed Colors

Deciding which type and finish of paper to use for a print job is very important and can have a significant impact on the way printed ink appears in real life. For example, if you order letterhead, business cards, and brochures using different types of paper for each project, they may all appear to have been printed using different ink colors, even though the ink color is identical.

On coated paper, the ink sits on top of the coating, which makes ink colors appear sharper and more vibrant. On uncoated paper, the ink is absorbed into the fibers of the paper, appearing duller and less vibrant. Recycled paper and colored paper can also alter the appearance of the printed ink.

To see real-life examples, we encourage you to compare a Pantone Color Bridge swatch book between coated vs. uncoated paper. The same ink colors appear very differently depending on the type of paper used. PMS colors also indicate whether they’re designed for coated stock (Pantone 185 C, for example) or an uncoated stock (Pantone 185 U).

If you have questions or need advice about papers and ink colors, please contact us. Our printing experts can also show you sample books that highlight various effects on particular paper stocks, with or without varnish. These samples can help you visualize what your printed piece will look like before committing ink to paper.

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