Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 8

FORGET SIGNS -
SELL YOURSELF
TEVE Metheny has an
unmistakable southern
drawl and a penchant
for storytelling. Recently,
he called me to solicit an auction
donation to benefit the Mid-South
Sign Association's (MSSA) scholarship program. Oh, and had I heard
of the MSSA's work? Did I know that
the association offers guides to local
legislation, a post-ISA expo overview
and hands-on training?
No one, Steve told me, does more
for local signshops than the MSSA.
Most touching was his description of
its scholarship beneficiaries: collegeage children of MSSA members - who
might otherwise be unable to afford
tuition, books and fees.
At the Sign Expo this year, as I chatted with ISA President Lori Anderson
about the association's plans to ease
sharing of data from the Signage
Research Foundation and introduce
kids to the industry (Google "Sign
Manufacturing Day"), I asked if she
knew Steve.
"Metheny?!" she exclaimed. "Of
course!" It's not surprising; Steve's the
kind of guy who should be training
next-gen CEO's. He not only garnered
an auction donation from ST with his
heartfelt appeal, but nudged me to
consider a larger gift next year - and
attend the MSSA conference this
summer.
It was, frankly, a stronger sell than
I received at some booths at ISA.
While there's no lack of knowledge
and tech at the show, some companies simply do a better job pitching
me than others - and it's not always
relative to size and budget.

S

8

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

JUNE 2017

Whether you're an exhibitor or
attendee at the show, you're selling
something. So be like Steve. Don't
sit back, fold your arms and wait for
someone to talk to you. Step forward.
Use each conversation to learn more
about your customer. And share three
essentials about yourself: what you
do, who you serve and - most importantly - how you are different than
your competitors.
I often speak to a dozen companies
in a single day who produce similar
products. I promise you: They're quite
different. Executive personalities drive
company culture and approaches to
sharing information vary widely. Yet
the companies that are easy to work
with are all alike in the same ways:
their demeanor is welcoming; they are
familiar with their competitors and
can explain what sets their products
apart; and they are aware of industry
trends and happenings.
Be like these winning brands. Know
what your competitors offer (visit their
websites and social media accounts),
how much they charge and how they
sell. Envision yourself as one company
in an ecosystem of providers. Tell each
customer, succinctly, how you're different. Ask them to partner with you.

ROBIN DONOVAN
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
robin.donovan@stmediagroup.com

You can bid on Signs of the Times'
and others' donations to the MSSA's
auction during the SignConnexion
conference, July 26-30, in Memphis.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - June 2017

Signs of the Times - June 2017
Contents
From the Editor
St Update
At Large
Tech Review
Vehicles + Vinyl
Design Matters
Nuts + Bolts
Trending Times Square
Smart Surroundings
Digital Sign Manufacturing
Strictly Electric: A Goodman Sign
New Products
Advertising Index
Last Look
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Intro
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - BB1
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - BB2
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Signs of the Times - June 2017
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - BD_L
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - BD
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Cover2
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 1
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Contents
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 3
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 4
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 5
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 6
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - From the Editor
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 8
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 9
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - St Update
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - At Large
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 20
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 21
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Tech Review
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 23
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Vehicles + Vinyl
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 25
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 26
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 27
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Design Matters
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 29
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Nuts + Bolts
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Trending Times Square
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Smart Surroundings
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 51
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Digital Sign Manufacturing
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 57
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Strictly Electric: A Goodman Sign
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - 63
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - New Products
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Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Advertising Index
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Last Look
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Cover3
Signs of the Times - June 2017 - Cover4
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