Join in the community forum! The thINK blog is a place for community members to share their opinions, best practices, successes, and challenges. Add your comments to the blogs published here or write a blog and we’ll post it for you.


You Should Already Know

You Should Already Know

By Bill Farquhars… on December 03, 2020

The worst question you can ask someone close to you is, “What  do you want for your birthday?” This also applies to choosing a Christmas gift. Why is it a bad question? Because if they are someone truly close to you, shouldn’t you know already? Shouldn’t you have thought about this well in advance? It’s not like the date is a mystery. Shouldn’t you be paying attention to their interests enough to have a good guess as to what would be a thoughtful gift?

And what about your clients? Consider your top 10 customers. What do you know about them? What do you know about their future? Could inkjet printing be a part of it?

A big part of your vulnerability in each account comes down to being a good match for them in 2021. Sure, you can wait for the phone to ring, take the customer request, and hope you are the only one receiving a call like this. Or, you could do some thinking and some research to learn enough about their company and their industry and their opportunities to offer up some ideas even before they ask.

Customers want you to know about your products and services.

Customers want Amazon-level communication and ease of ordering.

And customers don’t ever want to be asked what they want for their birthday, what they want for Christmas, or what their needs are going to be in the future.

You should already know!

You cannot control the economy. You can’t control the way the coronavirus affects your customer base. You have no control over a large part of the vendor-decision-making process. However, getting in lockstep with the customer is something that is completely within your control. They care that you care. It matters that you have taken the time to do the research.

Despite what they will tell you, clients have the option to do business with you if they so choose. They can bend the rules or ignore them entirely in order to give you an order. So, spend some time to understand, at minimum, your top accounts and where they are headed.

The best “gift” is knowing what someone needs or wants without them having to tell you.


Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. He can be found at

Kelly Mallozzi is a content creator for the graphic arts. She can be found at