Strategic Alliances vs. Cold Calling in Flexible Packaging

Strategic Alliances vs. Cold Calling in Flexible Packaging

Cold Calling is Dead & Strategic Alliances are Fast Tracking NBD

I was recently visiting with Google in Gardnerville, Nevada. Yes, Google … The plant manager is not ‘Googly’ but has wisdom and understands the key drivers and points of focus necessary when it comes to creating, and management. I have been working with him for over 2 years now, and consider him a friend. During my visit we were having a cordial conversation about technology, time, and unwelcome solicitations from diligent salespeople. At this point in our discussion I noticed that there was no hard line office phone or fax in the building. He said they ‘didn’t need one’ and noted it as a means for nothing but a tool for unwanted harassment from vendors that he didn’t know. All true … and terrifying, if you sell phone books for a livelihood.

My point here is that ‘cold calling’ is dead, and so are all the typical old school methods associated with ‘getting in’ for those brave sales souls who ‘refuse to lose’ and take ‘No’ for an answer from prospective sources of new business. Yes, in this age of technological leaps – working smart – has displaced yesterday methodology for capturing new business revenue. Working smart – entails reaching out and looking into the managerial level challenges facing printers, converters, laminators and extruders in the world of Flexible Packaging. Having access to a particular substrate or converting process – just isn’t good enough – anymore. There needs to be an innate, or obvious synergy, between two or more companies that – working together – creates a competitive advantage.

This well thought out and synergistic approach (between former competitors) creates opportunities for both entities involved that would not be possible without the collective efforts of both. Thus, Strategic Alliances are molded at the top. They eliminate most, if not all, of the unnecessary Sales & Marketing expenses necessary to bond new relationships in the detail oriented Flexible Packaging world ground game.

For example, please consider the importance of both specialty papers and films to any serious or large Food Packaging converter. The old school approach for ‘paper’ manufacturers was always to solely seek out opportunities to displace ‘flexible packaging films’ in the Food Packaging Segment. For the film extruder – the reverse of this scenario would be true. Now and with that said, let’s consider the average customer, or converting client, of both these manufacturers that could actually benefit by being offered – both substrates simultaneously – from both manufacturers – from within their collective current product mixes. No, this is not Distribution … This would be large volume direct drop ship opportunities that demanded best pricing scenarios. To this point as well, every NBD substrate converting opportunity – has very specific and unique characteristics – that distinguish it apart from other similar applications, or previously commercialized designs. Being able to put the converting customer first in ‘all’ of his or her needs during this vitally important creation phase – adds a true value of expanded options – to the face of both companies involved.

Thus, you can see the importance of seeking out manufacturing ‘partners’ that are already strategically tied to the same converting customer base, and have established business relationships globally to draw from. This capacity to – add on – to these by utilizing the currently commercialized contacts from ongoing business relationships with their counterparts on different continents is another critical consideration. Also, and vital to my point here as well, is this new Strategic Alliance ultimately offers a deeper more diversified product mix and overall substrate package that includes both specialty paper and films.

Finally, this approach literally creates a – Menu for Success – for the informed, educated, and New Age converting substrate sourcing specialist. It initially opens new doors, and over time will most certainly increase sales revenues for both manufacturers that have now become strategically aligned and – selling direct – into a large, demanding and very sophisticated converting customer base.

Joe Lambert, Film Sourcing Specialist

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