Are You Wasting Your Time With Your Print Sales?

Here’s the story of a friend of mine who tried to buy some print
He was excited. He was starting up a new business. And he was ready to invest in a few thousand dollars in print.

So my friend approached three printing companies. He rang them up and explained his requirements.

At first all went well
All the printing companies were pleased to hear from him. One company spent a considerable time on the phone understanding his needs. They had a lengthy conversation, helping him to create the right specifications.

Two companies went even further. They both sent a sales rep to visit. They were happy to invest the time from their sales team to try and win the business.

My friend was impressed by the approach of all the companies
They all seemed to offer a good level of help and service. He could see himself potentially working with any of these companies. So he asked them all to submit prices.

The prices all arrived. Unfortunately, all were rather higher than my friend’s budget. It was clear that a further conversation was needed to change the specifications and come up with the right solution without over-spending.

So what happened next?

My friend expected some follow up from the companies. He thought that they would call soon after submitting prices. After all, they had invested considerable time and effort in a meeting and in producing a print quote.

They had an opportunity to discuss the quote with my friend. They could have worked out an alternative solution and potentially win the business.

It appears that none of the companies were that bothered…
That was certainly the impression that my friend received. So he went to his design company and asked them to handle the print on his behalf.

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
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  • Kate Dunn

    Mathew, great story and I am sure this happens all the time.

    I think part of the problem is the focus on a single job quote rather than the lifetime value of the prospect. Your friend’s company can take off and these three printers will lose far more than the single print job.

    I am not a fan of emailing or faxing quotes at all. If the rep thought about the potential lifetime value of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, I doubt they would have failed to follow up let alone email the proposal. A conversation to provide the price will give the sales rep the opportunity to engage with the prospect and ask question to learn that they are concerned about the price. With this information the sales rep has a fighting chance to justify the price by reinforcing the value or set a next step to resolve the concerns by coming up with another option. It’s just so easy for reps to email quotes and then never know what the prospect was thinking when they looked at it. And as you relayed in your story, it’s a heck of a lot easier to forget to follow up if you just email the proposal quote over.

  • Matthew Parker

    Great points Kate – thanks for sharing them.