Can Proactive Selling Lead to Upsell Opportunities?

Here’s how one company made a lot of money from print

This company wasn’t actually a printing company. It was a publishing company that had a lot of advertising clients in the music equipment industry. The publishing company knew when all the trade shows were due to happen. It was easy for them to check which of their clients were exhibiting.
Months before each show, the publishing company would contact the relevant clients, remind them that the show was coming up and check what print they might need for the show. They sold an awful lot of print this way.

Welcome to the world of proactive selling

Proactive selling is the technique where companies anticipate their clients’ needs.  In the example above, the publishing company thought about their clients’ print requirements before the client did. They helped their clients organise everything in good time.
Most importantly, if you practice proactive selling, you have a better chance of winning this work. The client would probably leave this type of print until the last minute. Then they may not call you: they may shop around for the provider who can offer the lowest price and quickest turnaround. This very well could be your competition.

Proactive selling can also create more print

If a company leaves its exhibition planning until the last minute, they may choose not to order any print at all. They may decide that they do not have enough time to organise all the printed collateral that they had thought of at the eleventh hour.
A proactive sales call can even persuade a client to order more print than they had planned. Do they need a new exhibition stand? Could they try out some new publicity materials? A call well in advance means a client has time to consider these new ideas. They also have time to put them into action.

It’s easy for clients to sell print proactively

Most companies have times when they know they will need print. It is often easy to research:

  • Events that the client is attending
  • Time of the year when they have a marketing push
  • New product launches
  • Mailing schedules
  • Sales

You may be surprised at how little planning many companies do for these sorts of events.

Here are three steps to start selling proactively

  1. Target your clients that are the least organised
  2. Research the events which drive their print purchasing
  3. Create a schedule of calls to make around these events

Now you can profit from proactive selling as much as the publishing company.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to upsell:

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.

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