Sales Pitches Strike Out

Sample of Harris’ artwork. (Double click to enlarge.)

(Blog #9 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)

We have completed nine weeks of sales training. There are 43 more sessions and voilà, you are a millionaire and probably own the company, which by the way, is now much larger and listed among the Printing Impressions Top 400. Unless, of course, you sell for R.R. Donnelley and there’s no place to move up to on the list—but at least you will need a much better accountant to prepare your tax return.

You are a marketing tool for your company. You are also a salesperson, but your role is greatly expanded to include a marketing aspect when you sell in this industry. This marketing role is greater in smaller companies where there is no corporate marketing department, marketing budget or marketing plan. I have said this and written it many times, just as you have read it and heard it many times.

The concept is so important, however, that is must be repeated often and practiced consistently. Selling is a function of marketing and marketing is comprised of many components. The ultimate role of marketing is to make selling easy, or at least easier.

Since you are a marketing communications device, it is imperative that you describe yourself and your company in an engaging and entertaining fashion. That should leave the prospect saying, “I’m willing to speak with this person again. I might even allow her/him to quote some work. Or I might allow him/her to come over and tell me even more about her/his company.”

I know this will be hard to accept, but 71.9 percent of our industry’s salespeople do a lousy job of describing their companies in an introductory 2-3 minute monologue. Trust me, I track this kind of stuff.

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.

Related Content