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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

The Three Words You Must Use if You Want Effective Client Communications


The babysitter looked very worried and totally confused
My six-year-old daughter had just tried to explain how to play her new game. The poor babysitter had received a jumbled set of instructions that made no sense at all.

She looked most relieved when we gave her a set of game rules. At last she had received some structured, easy-to-understand communication.

I sometimes see print salespeople speaking like six-year-olds

They don't give much thought as to how they will handle the conversation. As a result, the client doesn't really understand what the salesperson is trying to achieve—they are not receiving structured, easy-to-understand communication.

It's vital to spend a little time planning before sending any communication out.

Here are three words you should use to plan a communication
Print salespeople who use these words will create better relationships with their prospects and clients. They will have more control over the conversation. They are likely to achieve their goals.

Print salespeople who ignore these words are more likely to come away having achieved nothing from the conversation. They won't control what is happening. The client is more likely to get frustrated. The client and salesperson will struggle to create a bond.

So here are the three words.

Who are you speaking to? It's worth thinking about the type of language they like. Are they formal or informal?

It's also worth thinking about the sort of person that they are. What will make them respond best? Can you make them look good in their job? Or would they prefer a problem to be removed from their desk?

Once you've sorted Who, you can move onto the next word.

Why are you talking to this person? I often receive phone calls from print salespeople who are just calling to check. That sort of call is a waste of their time and my time. It achieves nothing.

Your communication should always be for a reason. That brings us neatly on to the third word.

What do you want the other person to do as a result of your communication? The natural answer is that you want them to place the business! However, you need to be more specific than this. What is the next step you want them to take on the sales cycle?

Do you want them to give you a request for a quote? Or a referral? Maybe you need them to visit the factory. At the end of your communication you need to be very precise in telling the other person what you want them to do.  You need to give them exact instructions.

Some people may feel that I am wasting my time writing this.

Isn't this obvious?
Let's face it, we all often dive into a conversation without enough thought. I am certainly guilty of this.

It only takes five minutes to prepare in this way. But the results can be very beneficial.

Remember, this isn’t just for conversations
You should use the same Who, Why, What system every time you write a letter or e-mail as well. You should also use it if you are planning a marketing campaign, writing Website copy or creating a new company brochure.

We need to avoid a "one size fits all" mentality.

Here are three action points to get great results from your communications

  • Set aside a short time before any call or e-mail
  • Remember Who, Why, What
  • Be very clear in telling the other person what you want them to do

These three words are the key to creating clear communications. Your clients and prospects will be grateful that you remembered them. Best of all, you won’t sound like a six-year-old.

P.S. Give your sales efforts a quick health check. Download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” at

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