There has been much discussion about the “If you build it, they will come” philosophy, which was made famous by the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Although this is not a sound approach to achieving solid business growth, the best practices of our industry’s leaders suggest that there may be a grain of truth to this message.
As an inkjet printing company, your search for new customers needs to be pretty specific. Your prospects should be using printed materials, of course, or at least considering it. And there are probably many other qualifiers you’re using to identify hot leads.
Smart print service providers (PSPs) align their products and services to the needs of the markets that they serve. Investing in a new technology like production inkjet often results in improved productivity and reduced operating costs, enabling PSPs to better serve their clients. Even more importantly, each new generation of technological investments will likely bring increased innovation and a wealth of new capabilities that can create market differentiation.
You did it!
You worked and worked and worked. Phone call after phone call after postcard after drop-by after email after social media stalking…and it has now paid off: You’ve got your first appointment with a new potential customer for your digital/inkjet printer equipment! Congratulations! Woo-hoo! Let the doves loose! But…
What if you knew that your success during a sales presentation on digital/inkjet printing was predetermined? That is, what if it was the steps you took prior to walking in the door that accounted for the success or failure of the meeting? In fact, this is exactly the case. In addition to knowing what you are going to say, you must also think about what you might hear and be ready for response.
Customer objections are an unavoidable part of selling. While many sales reps often think of a customer objection as rejection, it is not. A sales objection is a request for more information, not a refusal. Successful sales reps view objections as an opportunity to provide customers with thoughtful responses to alleviate concerns, change minds, and win customers. Overall, sales objections are an opportunity to advance a sale and should be viewed as:
Signifying customer interest
Indicating customers don’t have adequate information
Years ago, a print company in Vancouver bought one of the first black-and-white digital print pieces of equipment. It was a big deal. The equipment manufacturer made a lot of noise about the purchase. There was an open house, complete with balloons and confetti and wine and cheese, and all new marketing materials were sent out to announce the availability of this new technology.
As a marketing professional you’re always looking for ways to retain and up-sell the customers you have, find prospective new customers, and break into promising new markets. But here’s the problem: You need to know the lay of the land—who’s buying and selling what, where, and why—to construct a marketing program that really kills it!
"Who buys your digital/inkjet print?" If there was one question that we would eliminate from your sales portfolio of opening lines, it would be this one. Why? Let's follow the scenario through and see where it leads us…
You: "Who buys your digital/inkjet print?"
Customer: "That would be me."
You: "I sell print. I sell digital and inkjet print, too. Do you have anything that I can quote on for you?"
Customer: "Sure. Give me a price for 5000 of these."
You’ve heard us say this before. NINETY percent of salespeople do not have a regular prospecting process that they follow with any kind of regularity. So, odds are, if you are reading this, you fall into that ninety percent. You are reading this blog and that’s a good start.