Smoothing The Roller Coaster: Finding Sustainable Revenue Requires Re-Evaluation

Written by Clay Hall
on January 11th, 2021

By Clay Hall, Vice President of Sales, Reno Type

It’s safe to say 2020 served challenges to every business, no matter the industry, no matter the customer base. Based on my observations (virtually), the pandemic disrupted and complicated our paths to revenue – offering hope one day, then snatching that out from underneath our feet the next. It forced us all to re-envision how to extract as much ROI from our advertising dollars as possible. 

Whether you’ve gotten used to this roller coaster or not, we’re all hoping 2021 will be more comfortable. 

Unfortunately, here’s the reality: you can’t plan on hope.  

The year 2021, as sparkling as it seems, isn’t guaranteed to bring improved revenues. The stock market is volatile, real demands don’t coincide with Wall Street opinions, and consumer behavior is proving cautious as folks spend conservatively. To smooth things out, we need to lean into what we know. 

In my position at Reno Type, I get the chance to help clients understand how to maximize or grow revenues. As I’ve counseled them, I will advise you similarly: this, too, will pass. In the interim, we need to re-evaluate our actions to take the emotionally exhausting volatility out of our local businesses’ volatility. 

Dollars are still circulating in this economy, which means that filling the top of your lead funnel requires identifying where they’ve trickled and how you can invite them into your fold. To do that, I encourage you to: 

  • Lean into your people – Our respective teams observe the world through their lenses. What do they see daily that is different from what you see daily? Chances are they might be able to bring to the table an anecdote or idea that could open a new revenue opportunity up. Have they observed a specific industry that is performing better than others? Loop their collective data and network into a consistent feedback loop so you can uncover opportunities in real-time, whether that’s through a touch-base meeting or merely adding them to your existing sales meetings if it’s possible.
  • Lean into your customers – What have they done successfully? How can you take their successes and amplify them? Are you doing everything possible you can to elevate their position or platform? What are the hallmarks of their model that are working or not working, and from there, can you identify other potential customers to prospect into that might have similar environments? Have you reached out to former clients recently? Talking to past clients who already know you is a terrific opportunity to add incremental sales. Reviewing the dormant accounts in your book of business is a powerful method for lead generation right now. Those companies that experience success will recognize it is hard-earned and may be willing to offer you testimonials, referrals, or even the chance to expand their current agreements with you. 
    • Additionally, don’t forget to celebrate the new clients or acknowledge those still with you. You’d be surprised how effective a handwritten thank you note can be in providing kindness in a world that is presently scary. Your clients will remember the small things you do to make life a little bit better for them.
  • Lean into your processes – What can you automate? What process can you improve or fix? Whatever you can eliminate from your to-do list and allow an automated system saves time for the tasks that either require more brainpower or allow you to fill the gap by building bridges to new relationships or cultivating your existing relationships. What new processes can you integrate that will help you identify new clients (setting a Google alert, stock market roundup, a webinar schedule, an update on sales process methodology)? If you can determine what doesn’t work, you can remove and replace it with practices that feed a more robust, healthier bottom line.

These efforts will help you position yourself and your company on a firmer foundation, one that will be ready to field clients when markets do return. You will have learned where in your team that you can find new information and give team members a means to invest in its viability. You will have established to your existing clients that they are valued and appreciated and set a baseline for gratitude to carry into the future. You will have eliminated cluttered tasks that detract from more valuable expenditures of your time. 

While many of us are unclear of what the road ahead is going to look like, I can offer this: leaning into our strengths as individuals and as teams who can collaborate is something I’ve witnessed help weather companies past financial turmoil. Sustainable futures have been built during the bubble burst, the 2008 recession and plenty of other economic hardships. We’re going to get through this hardship as well, but we must be careful not to place too much weight on hope and, instead, look to each other to make sure we’re approaching the future strategically.

Clay Hall,
Vice President Sales
Reno Type

As a sales leader with experience building new business and growing existing revenue, Clay Hall has spent most of his career understanding how to help others win. With multiple years spent at AIA Corporation, a top-10 promotional products distributor community in the United States comprising nearly 300 independent distributors nationwide, the span of Clay’s career has led him to work with many of the companies that find their way into the national dialog daily. These brands include Staples, Apple, Intel, 24-Hour Fitness, FedEx, SiriusXM and more. Prior to leaving AIA Corporation, Clay hosted “On Air with AIA,” a podcast where he interviewed such high ranking industry leaders as Eric Coryell (author of “Revolutionize Teamwork: How to Create and Lead Accountable Teams”), Stacy Tuschl, best-selling author, speaker, owner of 7-figure businesses and creator of the Foot Traffic Formula, and Tim Andrews, president and CEO of Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). Additionally, Clay has been featured in multiple industry-specific outlets, speaking on innovation and insights. 

Now at Reno Type in Reno, a professional services and printing organization renowned for being ahead of the printing curve in Northern Nevada, Clay serves an expert source in relationship building, new business development, and revenue growth. He’s helped former clients forge deeper relationships (turning what would have been $75,000 into $250,000) and helped teams under his management obtain 50M in revenue earned.