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About Matthew

Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.

Download his free e-book, “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them

How Salespeople Can Take the Lead


Have you ever been leapt upon by an over-enthusiastic wet and muddy dog?
It's not a nice feeling. And my first response to such an encounter is to wonder why the owner can't control their pet.

I'm sure dog owners don't want their pets covering strangers in damp, muddy paw prints. But if they don't exercise the right level of control that's what's going to happen.

Printing salespeople will also get unwanted results if they don't exercise control
They need to exercise control over their prospects. If conversations are managed correctly, the salesperson is more likely to get the work. They are more likely to create a good relationship with the prospect.

Salespeople who don't control conversations will struggle to achieve the profit levels that they want. That's assuming they even won the work in the first place. That's because, as the buyer, I will be firmly in control.

As a buyer, I'll always try to get a salesperson to do things MY way
I want the printing salesperson to follow my lead. That means I get to tell the salesperson what they're going to talk about and when. I get to put the proposals first. The salesperson is forced to respond to me. They never get a chance to take the lead.

As a buyer, I find it very easy to control a conversation or negotiation with a printing salesperson. The main reason for this is that few people try to take control of a conversation.

However, it is easy to for a print rep to take the lead
At the beginning of any conversation, if you set out your agenda the other party is forced to follow it. That means you are in control of what is happening. And you control when things happen.

If you are not already using this technique, you should start putting it into practice. You will find it much simpler to make sales conversations go your way. You will also find that conversations about price are much easier.

Not all salespeople will agree with what I'm saying.

Surely it's better to let the customer set the agenda?
I completely disagree with this. If you want to get results, you need to ensure that you control the customer's journey. The most effective way to do this is to set the agenda.

You will find life much easier if a prospect or client is doing things YOUR way.

Follow these three action points

  • Write down an agenda before you start a conversation or attend a meeting.
  • Present the agenda at the beginning of the conversation.
  • Make sure you follow the agenda as the conversation progresses.

If you don't follow agenda setting you may end up with unintended consequences. You may have exactly the same feelings as the owner who has just seen their dog cover someone with muddy pawprints.

P.S. Get a buyer’s view of printing sales. Download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” at

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