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How to Become a Superstar –DeWese

February 2011

You were given some assignments last month. You had 30 days to complete the assignments. I hope you didn't let me down. There's nothing worse than a grouchy, 68-year-old columnist.

Do you even remember the assignments? I wish I had all of you gathered in a giant auditorium or, better yet, a huge venue like Jerry Jones' Cowboys Stadium. I could wander around among you, tap you on the shoulder and order you to read one of your assignments out loud to the crowd.

Then you'd damn sure be prepared.

What were those assignments? Okay, I'll stop playing with you.

1. You were to write a list of 30 benefits associated with printing at your company. Take your time, and write the list slowly. Think about the importance of each benefits statement from the perspective of a customer.

In other words, put yourself in your client's shoes and list the benefits in his/her words, not yours. (Actually, I should have said, "a list of 30 benefits associated with being a customer of your company.") That would encompass all of your services, assuming you do more than put ink on paper.

2. Next, list 10 indirect questions that you might ask any customer or prospect. Indirect questions result in answers that are information dumps. These present opportunities for you to gain in-depth insight into the client's buyer behavior and printing needs. Writing the questions, as in the case of the benefits, will burn them into your brain; they will then reside for use over and over again.

More Calls = More Money

There was also a third assignment that I snuck in at the end of my January column. It was to pledge to make twice as many face-to-face sales calls in 2011 as you made in 2010. If you made that decision, and kept that promise to yourself, you should have already made at least 30 to 40 sales calls since making the commitment. This assumes you averaged one call per day during 2010.

Much depends on your company, the kind of printing you produce and the market(s) you serve. If you're a small shop with half-size sheetfed equipment seeking to serve small- to mid-size organizations (notice I didn't say companies, because your market could include for-profit corporations, as well as non-profit organizations like associations, government and charities), you might have averaged five calls per day last year. If, on the other hand, you sell for a relatively large, heatset web printing operation with exotic in-line finishing equipment serving direct mail buyers, then you might have averaged only one call every other day during 2010.

 

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