Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 9

them why they choose you. Then go to the next one. A
business should be 100-percent focused on the emotions
of the customer.
In the example above, it's in the comfort of knowing
there's an overwhelming sense of reliability and trust in
the professionalism of a shop. For a promo distributor, they
need to know their vendor has their back so they can go
onto the next selling opportunity. They aren't worried the
14 orders they have in-house are going to be late.

When there's an absolute emotional connection between
your business and your customer, it's extremely easy for
them to refer someone else to you. But what prevents most
people from referring something to another person? Fear.
The fear is if they speak up and provide a referral,
something negative might happen, and they'll be blamed
or look bad. Therefore, they don't offer a suggestion when
an opportunity presents itself. But what if you took a deep
dive into why your customers buy from you? Get the facts.
The emotions. The underlying reasons why they keep coming back. Then, you invest time and effort to improve that
customer experience for them. Because you know exactly
what they're looking for, you simply serve better and more
frequent ideas to feed into what they crave. As long as you
operationally don't miss a beat, these customers will become your biggest advocates.
This means more referrals. Better Google reviews. More
customer testimonials. When someone starts talking about
the need for decorated apparel at a business lunch, everyone
at the table hears, "Oh man, you have to call (your company).
They will take great care of you. Here's their info." This is
why companies without anything meaningful to say always
drop to a lower price. It's the only narrative to their story.

People want to be understood. Do you notice me, or am I
simply a transactional sale? So, ask better questions.
* "How are you using these shirts?"
* "What do you want the person wearing (or receiving)
these shirts to think about you?"
* "What is the most important thing to you?"
* "What can't go wrong?"
* "What is your biggest fear about this?"

facing. What will it take to make this next order a success?
What story are they going to tell about your company to
other people after it's all said and done?

Let's wrap this information into "One Big Idea" for your
shop. Start talking to your top customers about why they
do business with you. Don't overthink this. Certainly, don't
assume you know. Get the facts. Then, do something with
them. We want to create a simple marketing strategy that
uses the dominant response from your customers as the
main point of differentiation.
Here's the outline for the "One Big Idea" strategy:
1. One Big Idea. What do we need to know? In the example cited earlier, the customer's response indicated
that reliability and trustworthiness are the main reasons
why they do business with that shop. For you, it might
be different. That's why you're asking your customers
questions. Get to your own "One Source of Truth."
2. One Driving Emotion. How will customers feel if they
use you? Name and label that emotion. List it. With
our example, maybe a potential customer is feeling
overwhelmed or frustrated by their current situation.
Our marketing answer to that is "Relief" or "Comfort"
when you take over and do a better job.
3. One Captivating Story. What stories can you tell
that illustrate this emotional link with your shop? A
customer testimonial works fantastic here.
4. O
 ne Desired Benefit. What are customers hoping to
achieve? With our example, that promo salesperson
can focus their attention on other matters, which is a
better use of their time.
5. One Immediate Action. What should they do right
now? For a potential customer, they should see
themselves in the story. Make it obvious as to what
you want them to do. Click the button. Call you.
Schedule an appointment. Text this number.
Once you understand your customer's emotional relationship with your company, it's easier to construct marketing content that drives more leads your way. After all,
it's those differences that matter.

Marshall Atkinson is the owner of Atkinson Consulting, LLC, based in

These questions aren't about the product. They're focused on the customer or the end-user. If you want to differentiate your business from the competition, construct a
better customer experience. Start by asking better questions
to understand the challenges and problems your customer is

Mesa, Arizona. He coaches apparel decoration companies on operational efficiency, continuous improvement, workflow strategy, business
planning, employee motivation, management, and sustainability. He is
a frequent tradeshow speaker, author, and host of two podcasts, as well
as co-founder of the Shirt Lab educational company. He can be reached




Screen Printing - April/May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - April/May 2020

Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Intro
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover1
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover2
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 1
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Contents
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 3
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 4
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 5
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 6
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 7
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 8
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 9
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Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 20
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover3
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover4