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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

Why Phone Store Syndrome Sucks: Five Ways to Upsell Successfully


Have you ever walked away after purchasing something new and felt disappointed? 

This happened to me recently. I had just purchased my new smartphone. My disappointment was not in the item. My disappointment was in the selling process. The store had taken my money and given me the item. And I felt disappointed.

Surely the store had done just what I wanted? Actually, they had failed in one key task.

They had failed to upsell me
I was ready to buy a new case for the phone. I was ready to buy new software. I was in full buying mode.

Many people enjoy being sold to. They are happy to buy more. This applies to business purchases as much as consumer purchases.

But you have to offer the buyer the right opportunity. 

I’m always surprised at how many upsell opportunities printing sales people miss.

Here’s a list of some of the ways in which you should be upselling me:

1. Remind me of extra services you can offer

Most printing companies offer more than ink on paper these days. Many will offer design, data management, Web-to-print, postal services and fulfillment. So tell me about them. Give me some case studies on how you have helped other businesses grow when they have used these services.

2. Tell me how I can improve my specification
A lot of specification changes that I am offered focus on how to reduce cost. Why not tell me about how I can make my product have more impact. Could I be using a fifth color, a better paper stock or a new finishing technique? Could I be using personalization to increase the return on my investment? Again, it helps if you have some case studies that show how these changes to specification will improve my business results.

3. Give me a run-on price

Make sure a run-on price is included in the estimate, even if I didn’t ask for it. Many customers don’t realize how little it costs them to get a few more items printed. You may be able to persuade me to order more than I had planned.

4. Ask me about how I use the product

This may not seem like a direct upsell. However, if a product is linked to a regular event or campaign you will know when to ring up to get the repeat order.

5. Ask me when the next print project is coming up

You need to make sure you're there to win the next project.

These strategies may seem simple, but they will help you
Printing sales people that practice these techniques will achieve a higher turnover from their customers. They will have better control over their sales pipeline. They can spend less time cold calling. Also, they will find that they have a stronger relationship with their customers.

Printing sales people that ignore such strategies won’t have the same level of relationship. Their customers will treat them more as commodity sales people. They will struggle to achieve the same turnover.

Remember the cost and effort involved in winning new customers
It’s expensive to win new customers. It can cost twelve times as much for a company to win new business as opposed to upselling existing clients. 

That’s why it’s vital to focus on the upsell.

Here are three action points to get you upselling more

  1. Pick a customer where you feel there is more potential.
  2. Pick two of these techniques and use them in the next conversation with them.
  3. Make sure you measure the turnover of the account and your success in upselling.

It’s your duty to offer an upsell to a customer
They’ll feel disappointed if you don’t. Just like I did when I walked away from the phone store.

P.S. Download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” at

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