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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.

How to Land an Appointment with a Marketing Manager

Before I went to work in the printing industry, I was a marketing manager. Now that I manage the marketing and sales departments of a printer, I hear sob stories about how hard it is to get appointments with marketing directors. I’ve dusted off my “private sector” marketing hat to help print sales reps gain appointments with that magical marketing person.

Here’s what I’d say to reps after they’ve asked me for an appointment:

To Sales Rep #1:

I could tell you were surprised that I didn’t let you set an appointment with me. Here’s why:

1) You didn’t give me a reason to say “no” to someone else so I could say “yes” to you. I already have a printer. I know what printed pieces look like. I’m perfectly happy with what I have already.

2) The list of equipment you rattled off means nothing to me. They’re metal boxes just like everyone else’s. I don’t care if someone knits my mailers with their teeth as long as they look good and go out on time. Really.

3) You didn’t ask me one meaningful question. “Would you like to see my digital color samples?” is not a meaningful question. You didn’t ask if I was busy when you called. You interrupted me in the middle of a busy day, and barely told me your name before launching into your pitch.

4)  I get a dozen calls a week from printers. Most of you sound alike—desperate and pushy. Go away.

To Sales Rep #2:

You had me at “Hello…” You pronounced my name correctly and introduced yourself like a human being, not a sales shark. You asked if I could spare a couple of minutes before speeding on. Nicely done, but our ensuing conversations are why I wanted to see you.

1) You agreeably stated that your company supports marketing efforts by providing cross-media communications resources to help me measure my ROMI and justify my budget requests. (ROMI = Return on Marketing Investment.)

2)  You discussed the complexity of creating and working with a marketing plan, and made it obvious that you know I don’t make decisions on the fly. My goals, objectives and strategies are determined months in advance.

3) You told me that you could help me increase response rates and reduce the cost per response by efficiently integrating my digital, print and direct marketing. You can even supply a dashboard for me to stay on top of the analytics.

4) You asked me if I am being tasked with providing leads for the sales force, and discussed ways of automating the process and creating a lead-nurturing system that can be tracked and measured.

5) You let me ask questions, and answered thoughtfully. You emailed me a video detailing some programs, and then called to discuss the details. You followed up with links to white papers  related to the topics we discussed and some of the gaps that need to be filled in my program.

Now, I’m ready to sit down with you as I plan a campaign. You showed me a well-rounded suite of solutions, demonstrated the ability to provide useful information, and you clearly see the bigger picture of my marketing plan.

******* case you’ve missed the point: Marketing directors are BUSY. They may have a big budget, but they are under constant pressure to prove that they’re spending the money effectively. Otherwise, the budget gets CUT!

If you don’t take the time to learn what they do and help them measure results in a way that keeps them funded, why should they take the time to listen to you? Do you think you’re the only person who wants to print their stuff?

Instead, you need to be the person who helps marketing directs get responses, track results and prove that they should keep their jobs!

It’s that simple.

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