Margie Dana offers five tips for hosting a customer event.
I recently moderated a 60-minute conversation with three seasoned buying professionals during an online event.
Margie Dana explains that it could be beneficial for companies to hold workshops that offer attendees something of value.
The question about print customers and a printer’s equipment list comes up often, as it did last week on the webinar I participated in. During that event, I brought this up because it’s significant. In the recent study I did with John Zarwan, in which we collected data from 315 professional print buyers, 73 percent of those surveyed said that a printer’s equipment influences their selection of print partners—at least some of the time.
Margie Dana explains that sometimes, letting your customers know that you’ve made mistakes, but recovered well, can set you apart.
Building and maintaining a relationship with customers depends largely on the sales rep’s communication skills.
Sometimes I get really badly written emails. Ones from younger reps can sometimes be particularly horrifying.
Forget all that talk about survey fatigue. Printers need to survey their customers every few years to learn important things.
Your customers don’t visit your site unless you have an ecommerce or file-sharing functionality they use. Your site is for prospects. Many are looking for your exact services. Your name came up in conversation, or they found you from something they read or saw online. They clicked on your site to check you out. What will they find there?
If you take the time to "look within" and find out more about your employees, you just might find your company blogger, or video producer, or photographer, or social media maven. Your reach expands exponentially, and your employees are happier because they get to do something they really love.
Having been there, I’ll testify to the fact that print customers have left printers because they get unacceptable treatment. Too often, they’d much rather switch than fight. The reality is, customers like coddling, whether we’re guests at a hotel, diners at a restaurant, or clients of a printer.
Being upfront with your print customers usually works best. If a proof is running late, or a delivery date can't realistically be met, or that special paper hasn't yet arrived, don’t hide it. Tell your customers. They’d rather find out there’s a potential complication and hear how you’re resolving it than find out after the fact that you knew all the while there was trouble brewing.
Say goodbye to the "one-and-done" news or press release. Say hello to the news item that gets tailored to different uses. It then gets shared across multiple channels, where it can do your company much more good.
The following list comes from over 20 years of my being a corporate print buyer or working with them, hosting events for them, and listening to them. At the end of the day, successful sales reps respect their customers and strive to deliver what each one expects.
I always go to Direct Tire in Watertown, MA, to have my snow tires mounted. At some point, I realized how chock-full of printed materials their waiting room was. Let me try to recall the incredible amount of printed things I saw.