This past week, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting with a few of my peers at Print 13 to discuss how printers should be marketing themselves. It was a great panel. I was honored to be sitting with such intelligent people in the industry. This roundtable event was sponsored by the LinkedIn Group “Market Your Printing Company,” Mary Beth Smith, and Print Media Center.
The session has been archived and can still be viewed online. It is well worth your time. I promise. Give it a watch, and comment below as to your thoughts and suggestions.
Julie Hansen, in her article “ACT Like a Sales Pro,” points out 4 key concepts that can help you on your next print sales call.
Your best role as a seller is yourself. Be authentic and be genuine. Buyers will see through an “act.”
But there is a way you are like an actor: You often must audition to convince the buyer that you are right for the part. Here’s how actors do it:
• Warm up. A professional actor never goes on stage – or into an audition – without physically and vocally warming up. Print sales pros should do the same. Get your head into the game before the curtain rises.
• Embrace obstacles. Overcoming obstacles is a critical element of any drama. It keeps the audience engaged. Share obstacles you’ve overcome with other customers, in a dramatic way. Ditto for objections. Your “audience” will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see how you’ll address them.
• Don’t sweat mistakes. When stage actors drop a line or mishandle a prop, it shows their humanity. More important is whether you recover gracefully. Humor helps.
• Practice your improv skills. You don’t know how your audience will react, so you have to be quick on your feet. Practice beforehand with colleagues or friends, and invite them to throw you curve balls.
What other skills have you learned to help on a print sales call?
In a perfect world, every e-mail we send to a potential print client would be read and get a response right immediately. The unfortunate part is that most potential clients are too busy to even look at all their e-mails, much less act on them.
With some simple tweaks, eliciting a response in 20 seconds is possible. Just remember the three biggest reason prospects ignore e-mails:
1. They never got your e-mail in the first place. Spam filters are becoming more and more aggressive. Messages with attachments (especially large ones), lots of links, graphics and other gimmicks are likely to get blocked. Keep your e-mails simple and image free, even in your e-mail signature. They’ll have a lot easier time getting past spam traps and filters.
2. You didn’t give prospects a strong enough call-to-action. No one cares about your company’s long track record of success. Prospects are too focused on their own problems and issues. Use your e-mail message to emphasize common issues and triggering events you can solve. Make them want to engage with you! Give them a strong call-to-action that tells them what the next step is with you. That will help start the sales conversation.
3. It seemed like too much to deal with at the moment. Your goal is to make your e-mail sound not just compelling, but also easy to act on. If your e-mail seems like something that’s going to take recipients away from what they were thinking about, the chances are good they aren’t going to bother. Give them a clear specific call to action that you’d like them to take after they read your e-mail. Do not litter the email with many messages or links. Tell them what you want them to do using a simple sentence. Then make sure that what you’ve asked them to do doesn’t take more than a moment or two.
Even following these steps, you will never achieve a 100% response rate on your prospecting e-mail campaigns. If you can take the time to incorporate these tips into what you do, however, you’ll see an enormous improvement.
Back in May of this year, Ilya Pozin of Forbes magazine published an infographic on email signatures. As I was reading through some past blog articles, I was reminded of it again. Below are some very interesting stats on email signatures. When is the last time you looked at your signature? Do you have best practices in place to effectively market you and your printing company? What are your thoughts for best practices in the printing industry?
I spent last weekend attending the ICED Franchise Conference. I was invited to be a guest speaker and they are a very valued client of ours. The topic for the weekend was Marketing in the printing industry. I walked away after meeting some wonderful people energized and excited about printing. Not that I wasn’t in the past. I did exclaim during my presentation, at the top of my lungs, “I LOVE PRINT!” What the weekend did was remind me how much I love print.
So riding that high, I opened up my RSS feeds this morning only to find another great article about printing. I LOVE PRINT! I wanted to take a few moments and share with you the article so that you may also remember that print is not dead. Give it a read and comment below on your thoughts.
Have a great day, oh, and if I did not tell you enough yet, “I LOVE PRINT!”
Join us: When you are at the FORK in the road, which way should your organization go?
Monday, June 17, 201311am Eastern • 10am Central • 9am Mountain • 8am Pacific
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Like Alice in Wonderland’s choice of staying in Wonderland or heading home, i.e., which road should you take, there are a number of different directions that you can take in growing the front end of your printing business.
Do I hire more sales reps?
Do I engage in Social Media?
Do I buy another company?
Do I buy outsourced services that I do not manufacture?
Do I do a talent assessment to see who fits in my organization now, three years from now and five years from now?
This roundtable session will allow print service providers to engage in communications (note communications with an “s” = two way dialogue) with other thought leaders in the industry to discuss which road to take in 2013 and beyond. Printing Industry experts Ryan Sauers, from Sauers Consulting Strategies, and Joe Kern and Melissa Sienicki from PagePath Technologies, Inc. will help guide attendees down the right road to sales and organizational growth and success.
This session is an excellent resource for Owners, Executives, Sales Managers as well as Sales Representatives.
Registration is free and open to any print professional.
PLEASE COME PREPARED TO SHARE, DISCUSS AND HELP!