I’ve received sales approaches from over 1,400 printing companies over the years
Sadly, many of them were very uninspiring. In fact, I estimate that 98% of them sounded pretty much exactly the same.
Most of them focused on service, quality and competitive pricing. The trouble is, when a buyer hears so many sales pitches like this, they fail to make any impact. Over time, they all start to sound the same. Then, the buyer’s decision comes down to price.
There’s a good reason why so many salespeople use an approach like this
This sort of sales message is a “one size fits all” approach. It doesn’t matter whom you’re talking to: this message won’t say anything that puts them off. Unfortunately, it also won’t say anything to encourage them to buy either.
In my last article we talked about focusing on target markets. Once you and your sales team have identified the types of companies or the market sectors you wish to focus on, it’s a lot easier to create a more effective sales message. Your sales message can become much more customised to these specific prospects you wish to target.
So what should an effective sales message talk about?
Good sales messages concentrate on pain and results
The thing that is most likely to make a prospect turn into a customer is the belief that you can solve one of their business challenges. Producing commodity print won’t solve a business challenge. However, there are plenty of services that printing companies can offer that could be of enormous help to buyers.
Personalised print has been proven to substantially raise response rates to marketing materials. The right web-to-print workflows can dramatically decrease the amount of administration and design time required by a customer. A just-in-time print system, or a good fulfilment warehouse, can drastically reduce a client’s stock holdings.
How do you find the right pain for your prospects?
Do you remember that in my last article I talked about interviewing current clients? It is well worth asking your customers about their business challenges. You will find that similar clients usually face very similar challenges.
However, pain alone will not make the sale.
It’s important to present your solution in the right way
Many sales people understand the issues faced by their clients. But they follow this up with an in-depth description of all the features and benefits of the solutions that they are offering. Generally, prospects do not care about all these details, at least at the beginning of the sales process.
It’s far better to focus on the results. What does implementing your solution actually mean for a prospect? How will it help their business? These are the sorts of topics that will move them much closer to buying from you.
This also makes your opening pitch much simpler
It is simply a case of letting a prospect note that you work with people like them. Then you can mention the business challenges that you find people like them face. Finally, you can tell the prospect how you resolve them.
This sort of approach often leads to a much more detailed and worthwhile conversation. Best of all, it doesn’t focus so much on price. This is also an approach that qualifies customers quickly. After all, if they don’t face the types of challenges that you’re talking about, chances are they will not be a good customer for you anyways.
It’s time to work on your sales message with your sales team
Here are three action points that you can put into practice together:
- Have another team meeting. This time it should focus on creating a powerful sales message.
- Review the client interview that you carried out after my last article. Discuss the pain points that the customer mentioned. This is what you will focus your sales message around.
- Now it’s time to create a results-focused elevator pitch. This is a great workshop exercise for you and your team.
If you follow this process, you will end up being like the 2% of printing companies that have a sales message that stood out from the competition. These were the companies that really did engage me.
Editors Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to help your sales team boost your company’s bottom line through:
- How to Create Bigger Print Profits for your Sales Team
- Avoid the Commodity Trap by Choosing the Right Customers
- Helping your Sales Team Develop a Successful Sales Message
- How Choosing the ‘Right’ Jobs Can Maximize Print Profit Margins
If you’d like more ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them.” You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.