There’s a dangerous myth in print sales

This is the myth that, if you want to improve your results, you need to work harder. Firstly, there are only so many hours in the day that you can work. Secondly, doing more of the same activity usually results in diminishing returns. You won’t normally achieve twice the result for doing twice the amount of work.

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It’s far better to work smarter than harder

However, if you want your sales team to work smarter, it’s important to educate them. Many sales people receive no training or information when they join a new company. That is dangerous. It means that they risk using poor sales messages. They may end up selling products that are totally unsuitable for their new company.

Even sales people that do receive education face a problem.

Most sales education is company-focused

Some of the first things sales people are told involve all the company’s technology and products. However, most buyers simply do not understand or care about what equipment your company has. Nor do they really understand why they should buy the products that you produce.

Next, sales people are told about all the features and benefits of their new company. These usually revolve around the fantastic service and excellent quality that are provided. They will often also be told about their competitive pricing. In other words, they are told about exactly the same things that every other printing company talks about.

Finally, sales people are educated about the company marketing message. However, typically this simply covers the machines, products, features and benefits that we have already discussed.

It’s generally not a great way to engage buyers.PUBLIC_SECTOR_INSIGHT_1_DAY_1-7513

Here’s an alternative way to educate your sales force

Tell them about your customers and the sort of customers that you want to win. Most people love to talk about their company. But it is far better to be in the customer’s world.

Here are three things that you should explain to your sales team:

  1. Teach them about the market sectors that you focus on
  2. Educate them about your ideal customers
  3. Tell your sales team how you help your clients

A sales team equipped with this information will be well-placed to sell effectively to the right new prospects. However, there is a problem for many companies.

What happens if you don’t have this information?

In my experience, the majority of printing companies do not yet have much of this information. Do not worry. I am going to cover this issue in my next article.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series focused on effective sales and sales-training tactics:

PS If you’d like great 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.