The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 7 Issue 18
Friday, September 15th, 2006

In this issue:


I Can't Understand You

    "Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it."
      --- Robert South

The young lady behind the counter at the fast food restaurant did not make eye contact with me as I placed my order. When she spoke, it was barely audible and I had to ask her to repeat herself several times. Finally, I gave up, left the restaurant and went home to eat.

My story is just one of many and I'm certain that you have them too. Stories of businesses that you refuse to frequent ever again because their "front people" simply turned you off with their lack of good communication skills.

    "For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough."
      --- Zig Ziglar

The front people are those folks who answer your phone, greet your customers at the counter, sell your products, and provide service for them. These are the people who you want trained to speak the Queens's English without fault. You want them to have excellent communication skills and to portray a professional image. They are your company to your customers.

    "It is my custom to keep on talking until I get the audience cowed."
      --- Mark Twain

The best way (and cheapest!) to train communications skills is to role play. You play the part of the customer and have your employee answer the phone, sell you a product, or demonstrate a sign. Whatever their role is, go over it with them again and again until you are completely satisfied that they represent you in the best possible light.

These practice sessions do not take that long and the training is usually fun for those involved. They will remember to smile, speak clearly, care about the customer, and represent the business well.

    "To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art"
      --- Chinese Proverb

While you are at it, make sure to communicate to your team that returning phone calls is just as important as closing a sale. It will make or break a sale. Too many today believe that it is not a priority to return calls.

I returned a call to a business that left me a message. I left a voice mail. When I called again, a few days later, to the receptionist I explained that my call had not been returned from so-and-so. The receptionist asked me, "How many messages did you leave?" Taken aback, I asked, "Well, how many does it take?"

    "In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you've got a good team, you can't do much with the other two."
      --- Lee Iacocca

If you want to invest more money into training your employees to communicate well, many junior college campuses offer communication courses. The investment is well worth it to see your team really shine in their customer relationships.

    "A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it."
      --- Scott Allen

The time that you save in re-doing orders, smoothing out customer complaints, and making up for lost productivity can be used for guiding your company to new heights. You will recoup profits that would have been lost due to poor communication skills.

Make it a priority today to improve your own communication skills and to training those around you to do the same.

    "Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision"
      --- Peter Drucker

Advertiser - SGIA '06
All Signs Point to SGIA ’06
September 26-29, 2006 - Las Vegas

See what’s around the bend at SGIA ’06.

When you cruise the show floor, you’ll:

  • Open new doors to business success
  • Think innovation and inspiration.
  • Think new markets.
  • Think success!
In addition to seeing the latest technologies — hardware, software and consumables — you’ll build your personal network and your knowledge base all at the same time.

To Register Online Go to:

Feature Articles

Snapshot of the Sign Industry 3rd Quarter 2006
By Johnny Duncan went looking at a handful of companies from various areas of the country as well as different segments of our industry to put our finger on the pulse and determine the state of the industry and where we are heading.
Read the article...

Ink, Glorious Ink
By Jennifer LeClaire

You have two choices: buy cheap ink and yield cheap signs, or buy quality ink and yield quality signs. Find out why ink makes such a dramatic difference in large-format printing.
Read the article...

Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the article archive:
      View the archive now

Advertiser - HP
The latest from HP is all about outdoor.

Introducing the new low-solvent HP Designjet 9000s series printer. Designed specifically for signs, banners, vehicle graphics and other large-format applications that require excellent image quality and durability, the HP Designjet 9000s series printer truly delivers. Take advantage of leading speed and HP reliability to help maximize uptime and increase profitability. Experience it for yourself. See a demo and get a BBQ utensil gift set*.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Learn more right now at

Funny Signs

A sign outside a furniture store in northern Virginia:

    "ANTIQUE Tables Made Here Daily"

At an Assembly of God church in Waupun, WI: (sent in Carl Velzke from Vinyl Graphics, Oostburg, WI)

    "Sign Broken: Message Inside"

Seen at a junkyard in North Carolina:

    "Drive Reckless. It Helps Business!"

Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to:

Product Showcases

All Signs Point to SGIA ’06 in Las Vegas September 26-29, 2006
See what’s around the bend at SGIA ’06. When you cruise the show floor, you’ll open new doors to business success. Think innovation and inspiration. Think new markets. Think success! In addition to seeing the latest technologies — hardware, software and consumables — you’ll build your personal network and your knowledge base all at the same time.
Read on...

Read R-Mail Vol. 24 for the latest Roland news and information
This issue of R-Mail is packed with information on new Roland products, events and promotions.
Read on...

New Fills cd with 1200+ images for digital printers for $199.00
Click above for these and other featured products from JSI Sign Systems
Read on...

Mercury Retractable Banner Stands by Testrite!
Made in the U.S.A. Telescopic pole system for varying heights. Easy to use Hook Loop mounting system. Free travel bag. 24''-36''-48''-60'' widths. Price- single sided 36'' about $100 wholesale depending on quantity.
Read on...

Advertise a product showcase for just $90 per month. Get with the program!
Call or email for more details: 888-350-3357 ext. 201 or

Sign Industry News

Sign Marketplace Press Releases
See what's new and what's happening in our industry all in one place.
Go Now --->

INDUSTRY ALERT- EPA Reconsiders On-premise Rulemaking
By International Sign Association

Find the latest legislative moves that effect our industry.
Read the article...

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The Sign Industry Pros That Make All This Possible

Visit our friends and advertisiers that support this publication:

  Advance Corp, Braille-Tac™ Div.:
  Alcan Composites:
  EXPOGO, Inc.:
  Graphtec America:
  Info-Lite LED:
  International Sign Association (ISA):
  Roland DGA:
  Sheffield Plastics Inc:
  United States Sign Council (USSC):
  Wasatch: Car Wraps:

We want your feedback! Let us know what we can do to serve you better. Send us your comments to us at: or give us a call at 407-656-5892

- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

If your company wishes to sponsor this newsletter, please contact Sean Scott at:
or call 888-350-3357 xt 201 to learn more about this and other great advertising opportunities within

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