SPC is committed to developing the next generation of direct marketing professionals. #JakesTake is a fresh perspective from one of our recent graduates of the SPC Internship Program. For more info on this program, check out www.specialtyprintcomm.com. You can also Check out Jake’s previous blogs about his experiences with SPC.
Jake just moved to the next phase on his career journey as a Sales Service Assistant. In this position, he will begin to form relationships with clients and learn sales best practices under some of the industry’s finest.
So, what is Jake’s Take on recently becoming a part of the SPC sales team?
Education Beyond the Classroom
As I’ve explained in blogs in the past, my degree from Western Michigan University was imperative in solidifying my passion for print. My professors consistently mentioned the importance of what we were learning, and how it applied to a career in print. Thankfully, they were correct – and my understanding of SPC’s production capabilities is significantly greater due to my prior knowledge from school. However, a successful sales career in print goes beyond my education and extends into my experience out in the field.
Navigating the Current Market Conditions
Entering the direct mail sales market amid Covid, postal and paper price increases will undoubtedly create challenges over the course of my first year in sales. This is certainly a difficult time for any industry, so taking into consideration these obstacles is important when navigating the sales-side of print. That being said, SPC is uniquely positioned to be nimble enough to find ways around these price increases, while large enough to leverage relationships with vendors.
Already, since coming onboard the SPC sales team, I’ve been able to contribute in finding innovative solutions. When a client was looking for a produced piece to be water proof; I identified and sourced a waterproof substrate as well as thermo-chromatic inks to make it happen.
Another example is when a large retail client was looking for innovate and new format options that could run on their existing paper stock and roll size, I worked with SPC’s marketing and creative team to develop new engaging formats that would fit, comply with all the USPS regulations, and accomplish the goal if increased return on marketing investment.
Learning from the Experts
SPC has some great advantages over its competitors. We have thought-leaders who pave the way in each of our departments. The print industry often talks about the equipment but it’s really the people that allow SPC to be thought leaders in providing solutions for our clients. Our leaders are constantly in the client’s corner, working to find the most-strategic solution for the different challenge of each marketer. Randy Weiler of our USPS Ask Randy series, Garry Nielsen, our VP of Production Planning & Procurement, Manufacturing, all-stars John Gaspari and Teresa Frederick and our SPCFuel marketing team amaze with their strategic solutions. These are just a few of the phenomenal experts supporting our Account Executive Team and clients.
This is the kind of knowledge we leverage to benefit our clients. The knowledge I learned in my time spent in Account Management created a strong foundation from which my sales training could build upon. The three areas of growth within Account Management that have translated best for my journey into sales are:
- A deeper understanding SPC’s production capabilities
- Both internal and external communication skills
- Task management and project workflow skills specifically tailored to SPC
I am eager to continue learning from the account executives who are mentoring me. Joe Carte and Brad Lane have allowed me to shadow their processes, ask questions, and see first-hand how to follow best practices in finding smart direct marketing solutions through our extended team and capabilities. What they have shown me is irreplaceable. Ryan LeFebvre, EVP of Sales and Marketing has been an advocate for me for years. He recognized my will to win early on and I appreciate his belief in me. With their help, I am understanding how to manage tasks and set goals for future success. I look forward to continuing this process and growing with all of these mentors.
Sales Service Assistant