Why You Should NEVER Mail a Sample

(To listen to an audio recording of Bill Farquharson reading his latest blog post, click the embedded player or download the linked mpg3 file.)

Here’s the scenario: You are calling on a prospect and the call seems to be going fairly well. At the end of the conversation, the prospect says, “Sounds great. I’d like to see a sample of your work. Could you put something in the mail to me?”


Let’s say you put a beautiful print sample in an envelope and entrust the U.S. Postal Service with the task of delivering it to your potential client. He opens it and looks it over. This sample represents, naturally, the best work you are capable of producing. After all, you are looking to impress, right?

The problem comes in the potential reaction of said prospect: “Hmmmmm. This looks expensive. I guess they’re one of those pricey, high-quality printers.”

OK, so if there is a risk of that kind of reaction, you’d be better off sending run-of-the-mill print samples, right? Uhhhhh, no.

Here’s why: Sending ordinary samples might yield the response, “These are plain-looking samples. I guess they are an average, every day kind of printer.”

Is THAT what you want? I didn’t think so.

The desired response would be to give the prospect the impression that you are a problem-solver. Unless you send print samples that contain the before-and-after story, you run the risk of sending the wrong message.

So, don’t send a sample; send a story. That will improve your chances of getting the response, “Well, this printing company looks different than the others that I’ve seen. In fact, we have a similar problem and this solution might work for us.”

Sending a sample is risky business. Don’t leave your fate in the eyes of the beholder.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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