Three “Virtual Products” You Should Be Selling

Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI) FEI design guru Cecil showed the FEI tribe how white space can function as a highly effective graphic design element. This week, Marketing Tribe Leader Marka explains to Sales Tribe Leader Zoot how selling three “virtual products” can help their fire business overcome pricing objections. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot waltzed into Marka’s office one afternoon. “Got a problem, Marka ol’ buddy.”

Marka looked up from her gyro lunch. “What’s that?”

“It feels as if a larger percentage of fire goods and services are being bought on price than ever before,” Zoot said with concern.

“I understand your frustration,” Marka said. “But the belief that FEI customers will only buy on price is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re feeling pricing pressure, it’s probably because we’re not doing good enough of a job differentiating ourselves.”

“How do we differentiate ourselves better?” Zoot asked.

“Let’s aim to position FEI as a safe haven in the dangerous wild,” Marka suggested. “When we consistently make the people we do business with look good, their fear of making a bad buying decision vanishes. As a result, the frequency of their pricing objections will gradually diminish and we’ll consistently sell more…at better prices.”

“Here are three ‘virtual products’ we can offer to help position FEI as the best choice,” Marka continued.

Marka stood up and scribbled on the whiteboard in her office:

“When a prospect considers working with FEI, one of the first things they ask themselves is ‘Will this decision complicate make my already hectic business life?’” Marka said. “The simple things are very important. We should strive to make all customer ‘touch points’ easy and convenient. Let’s examine how FEI gives estimates, installs torches and trains customers how to use them, answers phones, returns messages, gives job status updates, resolves billing issues and more. Does our O-site provide helpful information—articles, graphics, and videos—on our products and fire in general? Have we structured our business around our customer’s needs or ours?”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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