The Sixth Myth of Print Sales: Selling Service and Quality is a Great Way to Get New Customers

The following is an excerpt from Matthew Parker’s Seven Myths of Print Sales Series:
I have been approached by over 1,400 printing companies. That’s a lot of print sales pitches to sit through! So now I play a little game. Here’s how it goes.
In my last article, I explained how most print sales pitches sound exactly the same to buyers. My game centers around these similarities. I have a little tick list. Every time I get a new sales pitch from a print company, I bring out the list.
As the printer goes through their sales pitch, I see how many elements I can tick off my list. You can see the four key points from the list in my last article. Right now, I want to focus on two elements off my list. This is because many print sales people think that they are a great way to sell to prospects. In reality, they often lose sales.
Selling on service and quality rarely works.
Print salespeople who avoid selling on service and quality are more likely to engage with buyers. They are more likely to create a worthwhile relationship with them. They will also have more control over the sales process. So they are more likely to achieve the sales targets that they have set themselves.
Print sales people who sell on service, quality and similar offerings will find it harder to achieve their sales targets. They will struggle to control the sales process. This is because buyers will have heard their message many times before. So they will treat them as commodity sellers. These print sales people will find it harder to create profitable customer relationships.
Some print sales people will be surprised at what I’m saying.
Surely buyers require service and quality?
I am not sure that this is quite the right way of putting things. Certainly, buyers require service and quality. But they also expect these as standard. Saying that you have great service and quality is not enough to attract a buyer.
There are vastly varying standards of service and quality within the print industry. However, not all customers require the highest levels. Some are quite happy with acceptable levels of service and quality.
So if service and quality are no longer enough to attract a buyer, what should a print salesperson do? Here are three other things that are much more likely to engage a buyer.
Talking to a prospect about the problems they are facing is a great way to engage their interest. If you can solve a problem for the prospect then they are much more likely to engage with you. They are much more likely to purchase from you.
As long as you can make their pain go away, you will be in a very powerful selling position. Here is another topic that puts you in a good selling position.
If you can explain to a prospect why your company is different to the competition, then they are more likely to consider if you. Many print salespeople struggle to find a point of difference. That is why so many sales conversations come back to service and quality.
Service and quality do not make a point of difference. The only exception to this is if you have some specific feature that really matters to the customer.
Here’s another way you can make your company sound different.
Unusual services.
These days, just selling print on paper is a sure-fire way to get commoditized. You need to be able to sell value added services as well. And you need to make sure that these are different from your competitors.
Some printers in the magazine sector have done this very successfully. They have started selling solutions which allow publishers to publishing digital channels as well as print.
Let’s look at another example.
To continue reading this post from Matthew Parker, click here.

PPR_logo_RGBMatthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably.  Find out more about Matthew on his site.

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