Never, Never, Never give up learning

Winston Churchill gave new meaning to the concept of perseverance. He famously said, “Never, never, never give up.” We would add one word to his quote, “learning.” We’re never too old and should never be too busy to continue the learning process.

Learning is lifelong, life-sustaining, and the foundation of what keeps moving us forward individually and as a civilization. In our industry, it’s what separates surefootedness from quicksand.

As we prepare for another back-to-school season, let’s look at ways to build upon existing knowledge to further educate—and in the process engage—your customers. It will drive confidence in your ability to be a “go to” trusted advisor, along with revving up sales revenues.

Schedule time on your calendar to keep learning; it’s important. By making regular self-education a habit, it will become the priority instead of the afterthought that it can be otherwise.

In today’s “big data” world, the biggest challenge isn’t finding information; it’s finding intel that’s relevant, compelling and thought-provoking—the kind of stuff you want to share with customers to get them thinking, and buying. Besides a deluge of readable articles, there’s a whole universe of audio and video possibilities, from webinars and podcasts to a variety of audio and video channels. Here are a few fast and easy ways to start achieving the objective of going back to school in the digital printing arena:

  • Identify a short list (3-6) of trade publications that you feel merit regular review. Most major publications now have online versions, so it can be as easy as a couple clicks to start reading. For example, go to Label & Narrow Web ( or Paper, Film & Foil Converter ( and take a look around. Chances are you will soon find something valuable that you can talk about with customers, link to from your website or enewsletter, or save as a PDF that can be emailed in its entirety.
  • Do a Google search about topics of interest to your customer community (e.g., “latest in label printing trends.”) Even with broad search terms such as these, you will see articles and tidbits of interest. Then, it’s just a matter of how to reference this material in a discussion with a customer, or use it as a teaching tool to discuss a particular technique, technology or challenge. Depending on your learning style and preference, you can search Google, Youtube, various podcasts, webinars, et al. It’s amazing what a few keywords will uncover.
  • Ask your customers what they want to know more about as part of a general relationship-building conversation. Then, go find relevant material that helps fill the need. You’ll learn something, and so will they. Convey this in a helpful, non-sales way that lets customers know you’re listening…and responding.

And, whatever you do, never, never, never give up learning.

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