Matt Ellis, General Manager of Luminar, sits down for a chat about the company’s positive work and sales culture.
Matt Ellis understands the relationship between having an engaged workforce and being a trusted name in the printing and labelling industry. By supporting an upbeat work culture and motivating his staff to have genuine product knowledge, sales has become a positive differentiator rather than a negative stereotype.
How long have you been working as General Manager of Luminar?
Going on five years now.
What interests you about the label industry?
It may sound basic, but labels have a huge impact on the decisions we make in our daily lives. When you break it down, they play a pivotal role in getting your product noticed and convincing consumers to choose your brand over another. So, it comes as no surprise that I’m passionate about marketing and consumer behaviour – I find both really interesting. In my experience, the most successful businesses genuinely care about their labels.
What challenges do you see in the label industry?
Far too many label businesses don’t understand what a client truly needs or the problems they’re experiencing. So, I’d say quality of service and duty of care are two challenges within the industry. At the moment, a lot of big printing companies are buying smaller label businesses. While this could be a threat, it’s actually a great opportunity for companies like us. Arguably it makes Luminar more agile, as we can innovate far quicker than the big boys. I can personally vouch for our work ethic – there’s no slowing down in sight and we have many exciting projects in the pipeline.
Why is it important for all team members to have sales skills, not just sales staff?
There’s a strong link between a positive company culture and effective selling. Statistics show that a company’s culture directly impacts employee retention, productivity, and therefore success. Understanding the role of having a positive workplace culture in supporting sales is crucial for the success of our clients’ business and our business (and all businesses for that matter).
Ultimately, selling should be about identifying a client’s need or problem and communicating a solution. I know many companies that think it’s the sole duty of sales professionals to ‘sell’ and I don’t entirely agree with that mindset. While management have a responsibility in encouraging sales teams to promote the company’s purpose and mission, it should be done as a leadership quality rather than a propaganda tool. Managers need to lead by example, and teach their crew how to sell solutions by being interested and engaged with the products and services the company offers. We’re all sales people – whether this be in applying for a job (where you’re selling skills relating to the available role), or on the dating scene (promoting that you’re a great catch). At the end of the day, customers are more likely to trust sales people who show confidence in both themselves and what they’re selling.
Sales people often battle with negative stereotypes. Why do you think this is?
You’re right. For most people, the ‘salesperson’ title conjures up images of a dodgy car salesman or perhaps someone who cold calls about life insurance just as you’re sitting down for dinner! It’s unfortunate, as there’s some really hardworking people out there (and here at Luminar) who aren’t looking to manipulate, but simply want to provide clients with solutions.
At the moment, I’m trying to disprove the stereotype that ‘salesperson’ means a crooked member of staff trying to coerce you into buying something you don’t need. It can be difficult to find a balance – but, as I’ve already mentioned – the more we know and understand our clients, the more effective we can be in providing genuine solutions in a trusting way.
How do you empower your staff, especially in the areas of sales and customer experience?
Here at Luminar, every team member understands it’s OK to have a problem. But, no good comes from investing oxygen in this problem without devising a solution. We strive to empower our workforce in making decisions that solve client concerns. This ethos also applies to prospective clients. We’re all working towards a common goal: serving our clients at the highest level. Through collaboration and effective communication, we know the wants and needs of our clients and what they value. Meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations gives us the loyal customers we have today – something we’re really proud of.
How do you stay motivated to perform your best?
I write my goals down twice a day. Doing this provides clarity surrounding my own goals and the steps needed in achieving the mission of the business. I celebrate small wins quietly, but always have my eye on where and what the company should be striving for in the long term.
What sets Luminar apart from other printing and label companies?
It’s quite simple really. We understand our customers at a deeper level than other companies – we know the direction businesses are heading and what is needed to be successful. We are always innovating and changing. If fact, we want to do more of it. Print technology is forever evolving, so quality is not enough anymore. It’s sad, but some printing businesses are closing down fast because they’re not adapting to the fast-paced information age we’re living in. Business values are changing and it’s Luminar Label’s responsibility, on behalf of our clients, to know those values.
What would you like to do with the company in the next five years?
I want our clients to view us as a partner rather than a printer. Getting there will require having rock solid systems and technologies that drive transparency and constructive communication. Increasing clients’ bottom line through collaborative brainstorming and innovating is also a current and future commitment.
I want to position Luminar as the standard in quality service and innovation in the label and print industry. I want other printing businesses to reference us when talking about what success looks like.
Finally, you often inspire your customers with quotes on your social media platforms. What’s your favourite quote?
“Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice.” – Bob Proctor
For more information on our products and services, or to get started on your next labelling project, contact Matt for a quick quote.