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Michael Casey

Pressing Ahead

By Michael Casey

About Michael

Michael Casey is the founder of Survey Advantage and strategic partner with several printer associations and franchises. By leveraging information from a printer’s estimation and production software, Mike’s business has helped hundreds of printers automate their customer feedback and lead generation process. He may be reached via e-mail or (401) 560-0311 ext. 103. Read printer case studies on the Survey Advantage Website.

Five 'Must Haves' to Win Big Deals

Today, more than ever, prospective buyers do online background checks when considering a new printer, even if recommended by a friend. According to a recent YouGov survey of 2,000 consumers under 35 years of age, 55 percent use social media to vent about a bad customer service. The percentage of online venting consumers will only grow over time. My guess is that it was in the low teens just a few years ago. It doesn’t take the inventor of the internet, Al Gore, to know the fastest and most effective way to learn everything you can about a prospective supplier is to go online. Now let’s look at the print buyers thought process and determine what you may want to consider to “cover all your bases.”

1. Print buyers look for a solid Website with fantastic, relevant, current content. Especially if they are considering you for non-print marketing services. This can be an overwhelming task for some printers, but you must have a foundation to post content quickly when you want. Your Website content should showcase your strengths and expertise. If you don’t have it today you are either sunk or quickly sinking.

2. Print buyers look for customer reviews. Sixty-five percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that has positive online review, according to the 2013 BrightLocals Consumer Survey. Print buyers are no different. They look for online reviews on Google Plus, Yelp! or other social media/review sites. An easy way to drive five star reviews is to build redirects into your online survey process.  Make it easy for loyal customers to leave a review. Three percent of those taking a survey will give you a nice plug if they see a nice landing page when they hit submit. Over time you will have a growing list of reviews helping both your online search ranking and buyer background checks.

3. Print buyers want references and to scan testimonials for familiar companies, people, industries, etc. You must have an easy way to post positive testimonials to your Website continuously. Again, these can be gathered through your survey process. Overwhelm those looking at your Website with dozens of testimonials a month that feed from your survey process. There is no reason why a $1 million printer can’t get at least 10 fresh testimonials per month with no effort by leveraging an online survey process. Don’t forget to put a date stamp on every testimonial when placing on your Website. Let them know that the testimonials are not from 10 years ago and the cherry picked ones, but instead recent customers that are WOWed.

4. Print buyers will throw out a wide net to their LinkedIn or Facebook community asking for printer recommendations. Make sure you are participating in these places and have a nice company profile. If they put your name in the search for LinkedIn or Facebook they should see a nice profile with active participation.  

5. Print buyers will type your company name or the words “printers city state” i.e. “printers Chicago IL” into the browser search bar to see what comes back. What will they find? You hope the search results reveal lots of positive references to your business, and the online reviews on Google Plus or Yelp! are right there on the first page. Make sure you preserve your brand with pushing five star reviews, posting relevant content to your Website, and pushing out press releases or articles. Put your best foot forward. It is a new ballgame. Well a five-year-old ballgame that is not going to end soon.  

Keep in mind you must stake claim to your Google Plus company profile and build out your company specific social media pages. For most printers they put a radius around their shop and look for any business within that territory. Do the same thing online so they find you in that online radius. It is now the cost of doing business. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone. Many companies out there will manage this for you, but make sure to do a background check on them! Make sure they are covering all THEIR bases. Good luck.

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