Sales Relationships : Don’t Cut Out Print Buyers
Simply put, is it wise or profitable to seek out requisitioners or corporate-level types, as opposed to print buyers, in search of work? Taking it a step further, as printers take on more of the services that have traditionally been identified with advertising agencies, can our marketing-evolved printer play nice with an ad agency client?
It’s all in the approach.
Print sales representatives and media buyers often feel like they’re being pushy when contacting an advertising agency, and that shouldn’t be the case, notes Larry Meador, brand catalyst for Lake Mary, FL-based evok Advertising. That’s too bad, Meador says, because he needs talented people to better serve his own customers.
“My job is to listen to you and understand what your job capabilities are, so I can deliver the best quality product for my client,” Meador remarks. “Don’t be timid about calling me. If I don’t listen to you, then I’m failing my customer. I provide sales for my agency too, so I know what it’s like to make cold call sales. It’s in the way you approach it. You’ve got to bring me a solution.”
Meador hardly sounds like someone defending a turf that is being infringed upon. In reality, Meador and other ad agencies are relying on print and numerous print-related service technologies to put a bow on the agency client’s job. Meador doesn’t want to hear a recitation of a printer’s equipment list. He wants to get excited about a cool or neat application that can perhaps serve as that bow. A creative fold, a unique foil stamp, an example of a recent cross-media campaign. The best way to get Meador excited is to show him your work in action.
“It’s tough, because as an ad agency, we’re supposed to be on the forefront with the latest trends. But, it’s hard for us to keep up because the industry is evolving so fast,” Meador says. “Really good relationships are those where (printers) spend that extra time to come in and let us know what’s going on, so we can incorporate those elements into our marketing plans or our designs. Then, we can produce the best, most creative designs and integrated plans to maintain our client relationships. We’re leaning on those vendors a little more now than we used to.”