Clearly a Good Idea: Creating a Framed, Multi-Panel Display

Printing transportable displays

Lou Fiore, owner of Speedway Custom Photo Lab in Daytona Beach, Fla., came up with a unique way to create a six-panel display that Volusia County could take with them and hang up for presentations and trade shows.

The key to this display is in the almost-invisible means by which the panels are held together so that it’s one unit with six parts, equally spaced. Fiore used Clear Power Tabs, typically used as a substitute for banner corner grommets, to evenly space and keep the panels together as one piece.

“If you lay a Power Tab out straight, the loop in the tab is a half-inch on either side. They hang with these invisible connectors, which the customer thought was cool,” explains Fiore. “They wanted something versatile that they could take to trade shows and conferences. You can hardly see the connecting tabs, even if you’re standing in front of them. And as a bonus, because of the flexibility of the tabs, all six panels fold flat over each other to make it the size of a single panel for easy transport.”

Each panel is 3/16″ Ultra Mount foam core panel framed with plastic poster trim. The graphics were printed on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper with an Epson 9800 and laminated with GBC 5 Mil Octiva Lo-Melt Emboss 50 Laminate.

The Difference a Print Makes with Randy McNeilly at Upcoming Photo Conferences

Fine art photography studio decor

In a presentation entitled A Renaissance in Portrait Photography, Randy McNeilly will provide photographers with his keys to differentiation in the photography market at the Southwest PPA Regional Convention and the Virginia Professional Photographers Association annual convention.

Photography studio layoutThe Southwest PPA Regional Convention will be held in Irving, Texas (near Dallas) Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, and the Virginia convention will likely be held in late January (the exact dates and venue have not been announced).

McNeilly is working on the content for his presentation and the dates and times have not been scheduled yet. Check back here at the LexJet Blog for updates on those events and McNeilly’s seminar dates and times.

Photo studio and printingAn important facet of his presentation, says McNeilly, will be how printing differentiates and adds value to photography. As a 30-year veteran with 27 years of those 30 printing his own work McNeilly has honed his craft and solidified his approach to the market.

“The program is really about how to differentiate yourself in this market, and it’s built around being a print maker. For instance, we go out and take a light meter and color meter reading where a customer will be hanging the print and make a big production out of hand making a print,” says McNeilly. “We use the options we have available to us now with all the different inkjet print materials, and it’s about making print making part of the craft and the product. It really separates me from everyone else because no one else has those conversations.”

McNeilly has an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 and an Epson Stylus Pro 4880. The print quality and overall production capability of each are maximized with the ImagePrint RIP. McNeilly says he prefers LexJet’s Sunset Photo eSatin Paper for day-to-day print work and Sunset Select Matte Canvas for larger display prints. He sells the prints unfinished, allowing the opportunity for value-added options like coatings (Sunset Gloss Coating) and framing.

Printing fine art portrait photography“Digital photography is the best thing that’s happened to photography but the worst thing to happen to professional photographers,” says McNeilly. “That’s why print making is such an important component to our business. It’s about providing a custom product to my clients.”

McNeilly has earned the equivalent of six Master of Photography degrees, a PPA Imaging Excellence Award, became an affiliate juror and is currently a jury chairman in training. In 2009 Randy became the 100th photographer in the world to receive the Fellowship from the American Society of Photographers.

For more information about McNeilly Photography, go to, and stay tuned here for the latest information about McNeilly’s presentations at the Southwest PPA and Virginia conferences.

Make up Your Mind and Improve Your Sales Techniques, Part 4

The third piece in this five-part series zeroed in on the importance of honesty with our customers and channeling our efforts intelligently to obtain maximum results. I also pointed out some ideas on how to create win-win encounters with customers. These encounters lead to successful business results for the customer and for you.

Sales techniques and policiesHere, in part four, I will cover why simple, straightforward presentations and proposals help you win more business. I’ll also discuss why helping and guiding your customers in an organized way will lead to solid customer relationships and higher levels of customer satisfaction. These are points 7 and 8 from the Make Up Your Mind Essay…

7. That the power of your sales presentation will always lie in its simplicity.

All business segments have their unique “speak.” People who might be listening to a conversation between two individuals in the digital printing industry may think they are speaking in code. To them, the conversation might as well be in another language, and in many ways it is. Production folks may use terms like color correction, ink adhesion and laminate tunneling. Those of us on the inside get it, but others don’t. It’s cool. It makes us a part of the collective. It shows that we know what’s what in our profession. However, using industry slang can be a deadly trap for sales professionals. How so?

  • It doesn’t separate us from our competition
  • It works great in production, but terribly in the business office
  • It causes us to assume that the person we’re talking to understands what we’re talking about
  • We want to show our customers what we know instead of focusing on what they need
  • Our priority becomes features and functions, not benefits

You get the picture. We fall into the trap of telling customers what they should buy, instead of why it’s better to buy from us. Lexjet co-founder Art Lambert uses a phrase I like a lot when it comes to working with people who want to sell to him. He says, “Get to the verb.”

This simply means that if you want him to do/buy something, ask him what you want to do right up front. Follow that request with a solid set of reasons why doing what you ask will benefit him and his business. Here’s an example:

Request: “Art, I’m here today to ask you to move LexJet’s banking business to First Federal.”

Benefit: “First Federal will create a local LexJet-Only team focused exclusively on your financial requirements. That team will learn about the LexJet’s unique money management processes and then develop custom tailored programs to improve your financial efficiency. This will help LexJet achieve improved financial flexibility and provide for future investment and profitable growth. We have this program in place with twenty major customers now and their financial growth and efficiency has improved 18% in only two years. At LexJet’s current sales volume, our program would deliver an additional $500,000 to your annual bottom line.”

Response: “That sounds pretty good. I’d be interested in learning more about that program.”

The approach is simple, but effective. What do you want, why should I do it and why should I do it with you?

As salespeople, it’s important for us to tailor how we communicate to who we’re talking to and in what department. However, the simple approach above will most likely always move the conversation forward.

8. That the purchase must be “helped along” and is more often made because you guide the prospect’s behavior in an effective, organized manner.

There is an old sales cliché I like a lot. It says, “Stop selling, start helping.” A companion phrase that goes along with that one is, “If you’re not helping, you’re hurting.” I like these because they help me to stay focused on what matters to my customers and not what on matters to me in the salesperson/customer relationship.

Okay, so you have a solution you know will really help your customers’ business and will help them help their customers. Great! How do you help your customer integrate your solution into their current business environment? You need to have a plan. In this case you will need a new solution adoption plan.

A new solution adoption plan doesn’t tell your customer what they should do with your new solution; it answers the standard journalist questions of:

Who? Who makes it happen?

What? What detailed steps need to be taken to make it happen?

Where? Which area of the business will be positively affected?

When? What are the specific milestones and project deadline?

Why? These are the great results you will realize from doing this.

How? Your plan.

How Much? What revenue increases or cost savings will the customer receive?

The key here is to do the work for them. Make it easy for them to say yes to your solution. Guide them. Lead them. Always be the most important part of the solution. Why? When the need help, they’ll come to you. When they encounter a  problem, they come to you to solve it. When they want positive results, they come to you first.

In the final installment of this series, we’ll discuss why knowing you customer is more important that knowing your product. We’ll then close by telling you why the topics covered in this series are critical to your ongoing growth and professional development.

And, for Part 1 of this series, click here; for Part 2 click here; and for Part 3, click here.

Until next time…

How To Video: Sunset Pro Photo Albums

How to use a professional photo albumLexJet’s new Sunset Pro Photo Albums are professional grade, do-it-yourself albums. The albums are extremely easy to use with a peel-and-stick PSA adhesive for simple mounting of photographs. They are perfect for album applications of all types, including weddings, family or individual portraits, portfolios, graduates, high school seniors, presentations and more. 

In the video embedded below, you can learn about the albums and the process for mounting photographs in the album:

Photo Albums Made Easy: Peel, Stick and Go with Sunset Pro Photo Albums

Easy to use photo albums for professional photographersIf you’re looking for a new and easy way to create photo albums, be sure to check out LexJet’s new Sunset Pro Photo Albums, which are designed to be elegant and simple for a unique presentation of your work.

The do-it-yourself, professionally-crafted albums were designed to give you control of the photo album process. They are economical, easy to use and ideal for any type of photo album or photographic presentation, including graduates, high school senior sessions, weddings, family photos, portfolios and more.

Sunset Pro Photo Albums, made of a rich black leatherette material, are now available in 2.5 in. x 3.5 in., 5 in. x 7 in., 8 in. x 8 in., 8 in. x 10 in., and 10 in. x 10 in. sizes. Each page features a peel-and-stick adhesive that makes album creation quick and easy.

If you’d like to find out more about the new albums, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538, click here for the product specifications and click here for a how-to video on using the albums.