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Print Confessions

By Graphic Arts Professionals

About Print

Print Confessions is brought to you by Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi. Each week, read the thoughts of a different graphic arts professional who will share a point of view that can only be written anonymously, and then join in the conversation by posting a comment.

5 Things I’d Like to Share with All Print Sales Reps

I have worked with many print sales representatives over the 25 years I have been in the industry. For a very brief stint, I was also one of them. In those exhaustive years, there are some things that I have learned that I would love to share with all print sales reps who read this blog.
1) Your prospects are changing.

Print buyers are becoming more evolved, knowledgeable, keen and aggressive. Gone are the days of taking orders on bar napkins. Oh wait, you all probably know this. Then why are you still using old sales techniques to try to convince prospect that your firm is better, more cost-effective and has a quicker turnaround than the shop down the street. Buyers don’t care.

2) Know what you are selling. 

You are not selling a product. You are selling yourself and a concept. For printers to evolve, they need to get out of the mindset of being a PSP (print service provider) or MSP (marketing service provider). You are a CSP (communications service provider). You need to sell all forms of communications—from ink on paper, through marketing, lead generation, content management and networking.

Your business is unique. Everyone needs your expertise and services. Provide them with more than just ink and paper.

3) Master personality assessment.

Selling based on personality is not a new concept. What is new is selling based on your personality. Not all personalities communicate well with others. Know your type and that of each prospect. Figure out how to sell to them and what weaknesses you face arising from your personality type communicating with theirs.

There are four major personality types:
  • Amiable,
  • Analytical,
  • Expressive and
  • Driver.

Which one are you?

4) Don’t wait until it is too late. 

I recently spoke with an owner/sales rep that was leery of embracing technology. A longtime customer of his asked about a technology and the owner thought he had time to research it.

After a week, the customer left because he did not have enough foresight to know about and embrace the technology. Don’t make that mistake. (See #1 above about prospects.)

5) Help your clients make more money.

Think about it. If someone came to you, not selling a product or service, but with the sincere goal of making you more money, wouldn’t you be interested? Help your client make more money by providing them with many different services and tools. (See #2 above.) The more money you make them, the more they will come back to you.

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