Commercial printing suffers from the “you all look the same to me” syndrome. It’s incredibly difficult for one general commercial printer to look different from others. It’s especially true in the eyes of the inexperienced.
For years I’ve written extensively on how printers can improve their visibility and highlight their special offerings. Today I’m sharing three key ways for you to be more attractive to customers new to the field:
- Be prepared for every meeting and phone call. This means you must do your homework about the person, his or her company, and the particular industry. This one thing will make the most difference in how you’re perceived. It stuns me how many calls I get – still – from salesmen who haven’t a clue.
- Approach your first conversation as an opportunity to learn. It must be torture to leave your sales hat at home. But please do. Of course your goal is to get a new customer, but you have to first get some comfort and a sort of professional acceptance by a prospect before you go for the jugular. In fact, forget I said ‘jugular.’ Establish yourself as a professional and an expert. Get to know what prospects need. Or be pushy and get shut down.
- Always be resourceful. You have solutions and suggestions for all sorts of projects (hopefully). Prospects and customers appreciate knowing how to get something done quicker, more efficiently, or in a more spectacular way. Once you’ve established yourself as this kind of ‘printing architect,’ you’ll be a professional they turn to for answers.
These three simple suggestions for improving your print sales skills will instantly set you apart from other printers. They indicate you’re putting your prospects (and customers) first – not your sales goals.
© 2015 Margie Dana