Why Print Businesses Shouldn’t Dodge Disastrous Reviews

patches o'houlihan dogeball dodge a wrench

On the most recent episode of PrinterChat, a Podcasts from The Printerverse series co-hosted by me, Jamie McLennan, Creative Print Strategist at DMR Graphics, and Will Crabtree, Owner of Tampa Media, the topic of testimonials for print businesses came up during a discussion about finding, hiring, training and keeping sales stars with our guest Paul Castain, Chief Sales Officer at Castain Training Systems.

The entire episode and part 1 of our discussion with Paul is worth a listen whether you are in sales or not. In part 2, he shares some of the best interview questions applicable for any role in any company I’ve ever heard, and advice for hiring employees who will perform, and last. It was at that point in our conversation that testimonials came up.

“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball” ~ Patches O’Houlihan

Have wiser words ever been spoken? If you need a quick “Dodgeball” reference check, here you go.

Patches’ strategy for being prepared for the worst to master the best of circumstances applies to more than just wrenches and dodgeballs. Apply it to your testimonial strategy to attract customers with more complicated needs, and bigger budgets.

In the pod, I mentioned that in my agency days, I would provide recommendations and testimonials based on how a printer dealt with a crisis. If there wasn’t a crisis to call upon, I focused on how they resolved an issue. If the printer was lucky, we had experienced both and I had more to share about the recovery process.

“When something goes wrong, this company will make it right” … is the foundation of a testimonial that will attract agencies and print customers with big budgets who admittedly cause problems as well as get caught up in them. A printing PARTNER is crucial at this moment in time from the buyer’s perspective. Those testimonials will stand out and provide a broader range of customer experience perspectives than only sharing testimonials when everything goes right.

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The next time a disaster strikes ask your customer for feedback on how you handled the problem, whether was it resolved to their satisfaction, and how you can do better next time.

It’s incredible intel to share with your team, it can lead to proactive process changes and increased productivity, and the worst disaster stories shared by happy, loyal customers about how you saved the day are testimonial gold – especially if the problem was “your fault’ and you acknowledge that.

Fighting with printers over botched jobs is not uncommon. Since no professional print buyer with big clients will ever believe your work is error-free, highlighting your mistakes and how you fixed them gives this group peace of mind and a glimpse into what they can expect when things go wrong … no matter who is at fault.

Spoiler Alert: Paul took this concept and morphed it into a winning sales strategy, especially when you are up against multiple companies for an account.

Listen here… or find Podcasts from The Printerverse where you listen to pods. Subscribe so you never miss an episode!



See Deborah’s featured post: Reality Check: The Perception of Printing

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Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international industry speaker and blogger, and the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn. She provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through education, events, Podcasts From The Printerverse, ProjectPeacock.TV, and an array of community-lifting initiatives including Girls Who Print, Elevate Print, #PrintChat, #PrintLife, International Print Day, and Print Across America.

Deborah also helps companies create more meaningful and profitable customer relationships by utilizing more than 25 years of experience as an agency, brand, and corporate print buyer who has assessed, hired and worked with a plethora of printers and service providers.

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