10 Ways to Get More Attention –DanaMay 2012 By Margie Dana
One of the most common questions I get from printing industry salespeople is simply this: “Margie, can you tell me how to get buyers’ attention?” Usually, I hear this from newer print sales reps. I think they expect me to have a silver bullet for solving the problem.
If only it were that easy.
It is the burning issue for reps everywhere—and who can blame them? Times are tough for printers. It’s hard to get through on a cold call. Print buyers aren’t easy to find in Internet searches. Why? Because titles for those responsible for sourcing print are all over the place. You can’t really find them listed on most corporate Websites. There is LinkedIn, of course, though printers have to pull way back on their “sales” tendencies when engaging with buyers there.
Let me be clear: when I say “print buyer,” I mean a professional who’s in some way responsible for getting things printed for his or her employer. This two-word phrase is a descriptive one. More and more print buyers have found themselves in expanded roles, dealing with anything from purchasing widgets, as well as printing, to publishing content across many media channels. (Sidebar: these are the lucky ones. Others have been “retired” by their companies as print was upstaged by newer, digital media channels.)
Let’s face it, print sales reps today need a brand new bag of tricks and tips to get noticed by prospects. While I don’t have a simple solution, I want to share some tactics or sales “behaviors” that would definitely help printers stand apart. Here’s my list of 10 smart ways to get buyers’ attention, in no particular order.
1) Send something interesting in the mail. As is the case for probably everyone, my daily mail consists mostly of junk and bills. How depressing. Make my day by sending me something I have to open, something with such an unusual shape or heft that I can’t ignore it. Maybe it’s produced on a special substrate. Maybe the copy on the outer piece is so intriguing that I rip open the package.
2) While we’re talking mail, make it personal. You’ve got the tools to personalize direct mail. Make sure the concept is clever, not hackneyed, and that the creative is exquisite. If you can’t do a VDP campaign that’s original, send something that’s addressed by hand. When I get a letter or a package that’s hand addressed, it’s the very first thing I open. It could be a card, a letter, a book wrapped in brown paper or just an oversized envelope. No matter; it gets my undivided attention.