Just a Kiss-off in Disguise

Ah…Objections. We hear them all the time. From, “I’m too busy to meet with you.” to “I’m happy with my current vendor.” to “I have no need for what you are selling.” If nothing else, they are direct.

If you are aggressive and talented, you can try and overcome them. But what about indirect objections? “What are you talking about, Kelly,” you ask?

How many times have you heard this…“Send me some samples and if I like what I see, maybe I’ll give you a try.” Sound familiar?

In reality, this is nothing more than another veiled objection! How many times have you landed a new account based solely on the samples that you sent to someone you have never met before? How does sending samples help you understand his/her business, and help you solve his/her problems? The answer is probably very seldom, if ever. And, without being there to tell the story of the project that resulted in the samples that you send, how will you know how those samples are perceived?

When a prospect asks you for samples, they are really putting you off. They are saying, “You have given me no compelling reason to listen to you any more or agree to meet with you, but I am too nice and conflict-averse to tell you this.”

If you are proactive enough to be calling prospects to try to land some new business, first of all—good for you! And secondly, I would advise that you come up with a powerful opening statement that will steer the conversation away from your equipment and your prices, and TOWARD how you can help them. Here’s a great one that I got from Bill Farquaharson of Aspirefor.com…

“My job is to help you either reduce the cost of your documents or increase their value.”

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • http://MargieDana Margie Dana

    Hi, Kelly,

    I have asked buyers about samples quite a bit, and believe it or not, some of them request samples from prospecting printers to see what kinds of work they produce. It’s not always a kiss-off.

  • http://BillFarquharson Bill Farquharson

    Kelly, the problem that I have with coughing up samples is that you aren’t there to talk about them. Let’s suppose you send museum-quality samples. The client says, “Oh, they look expensive.” If you send standard run-of-the-mill samples, the reaction might be, “I guess they’re just like everyone else.” Kiss off or not, I favor delivering samples and sharing the story behind them.

  • http://StephenEugeneAdams Stephen Eugene Adams

    Kelly, I have a drawer in my desk that I stack vendor samples and brochures. When the drawer gets full, I pull from the bottom and throw it in the recycle bin. Of course, asking for samples or agreeing to accept samples is a blowoff. My advice, don’t send samples because they won’t remember anyway. If they do, then you can rush over and discuss your samples with them