What’s Your Strong Suit?

The other day a printer cold-called me, saying that his was a minority-owned and certified business, and could he please get on our bid list.

I had to break his heart and tell him ours is a professional association, not a “buying entity,” but being in a good mood, I took the time to chat with him at length. (Besides, he is a Southerner and yes-ma’amed me with a delightful politeness we Northerners aren’t used to. It would’ve been rude to cut him off.)

As soon as he told me his firm has minority-owned certification status, I asked the obvious:

”Is this fact front and center on your Website?”

“No,” he replied with a chuckle.

So started our long conversation about making sure a print company’s special strength is made clear to prospects and customers.

I asked for his URL to look up his site on the spot (something he’d not done with my firm before he called, hint, hint).

“Let me guess – this is a PrinterPresence site, isn’t it?”

I think I freaked him out. “Um, yes, it is…” he replied. I’m no psychic. And I wasn’t being critical, just observant: these sites have the same look. His site was attractive enough, but I suggested he go further and customize it. He needs to tell visitors about his special status on the home page. He thought this was a terrific idea. (Yes, I’ll check back in a bit and see if he followed through.)

We looked at a few others pages on his site together, and I found several things to congratulate him on. Often a site just needs refreshing as opposed to an overhaul.

That brings me to you: What’s your strong suit? Is it obvious on your Website?

Don’t tell me you’re a general commercial printer and that you do everything. I’ve heard it for years, and I don’t buy it.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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  • http://Kelly Kelly

    As a former print salesperson I have to say you would be a dream to call on. It s amazing that you take the time to mentor a sales rep instead of just being dismissive. I wish there were more of you out there! There would be better and more thorough sales reps if there were!

  • http://MargieDana Margie Dana

    How kind! I was just in the mood that day and had a few minutes, and honestly the opportunity to give a little advice to a printer presented itself. With one click on my Mac I got to his website and made a few simple suggestions. I hope it helped him – and I’m glad you appreciated it as well.

    Thanks so much!

  • http://DonnaFlanagan Donna Flanagan

    That print rep must have been having his lucky day to reach you and have you spend time with him on the phone!

    I am a print rep for Arandell Corp. I would love any feedback on our website and also “what you feel is the best tactic for sales reps when cold calling” in this crazy economy. Thanks!