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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."

 

What Banks Can Teach Printers

 
What are the odds that you will leave your existing bank? How badly would they need to screw up before you would leave them? And most importantly of all, how can you garner this same devotion from your customers?

In late November of last year, I moved from a town south of Boston to one that is a little west of there. Before I left, I asked the bank manager if there was a branch near my new home and she said she didn’t think so.

My heart sank.

I knew I had to give up my dry cleaner. It was likely that I would need a new dentist. The woman who cuts my hair is on maternity leave so she’s a wildcard. New mechanic. New grocery store. New favorite restaurant. New take-out menus. I’m okay with all of it. But a new bank? Ugh!

As it turned out, there is an Eastern Bank roughly 200 feet from my front door. I’m looking at it right now, as a matter of fact.

Do you bank online? If so, then you understand why I was heartbroken about having to switch. The process of getting set up on a new system is arduous and time-consuming. You need to enter the remittance information for all of your vendors, including the account numbers. It’s like losing your iPhone and having to start from scratch if you haven’t backed up (which reminds me...).

What banks have done is to make it easy to stay and hard to leave. All bank lobbies look the same. There is little difference in the people who work there. The ATMs are identical. In many ways, the industry is homogeneous.

Sound familiar?

And yet, banks have figured out how to keep customers from switching. One bank in Boston actually offered a service where they would do the data entry for you. Brilliant!

The easier we can make it for our clients to reorder, the more likely they are to stay with us. Housing and controlling a customer’s data also ensures repeat business. Good customer service and a quick response to questions can be important, but connecting with a client electronically is critical to achieving customer loyalty.

Either that or you can give out toasters all day long. Apparently, that works too.

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or bfarquharson@napl.org.

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