Sales Relationships : Don’t Cut Out Print Buyers
To go around them is a slap in the face,” she remarks.
Dana acknowledges that when a client’s print buying unit is too far removed from the marketing department, a printer may be justified in assuming that the full breadth of their marketing-driven solutions (mobile, QR codes, Augmented
Reality, highly targeted marketing) is going to fall on deaf ears. Still, she cautions against selling buyers short; they understand the evolution printers are experiencing, and it’s their job to ensure that the finest, most competent vendors are secured.
“One thing we all agree on is that the earlier you get the professional providers involved (in a project), the better chance of success you as a customer will have,” Dana says.
“The most sophisticated buying professionals know that. I’ve polled these people; most have 10- to 15-plus years of experience, and they get it. Don’t underestimate them; they know an awful lot,” she adds. “They get their service providers involved very early on. (Print buyers) who are brand new don’t know, however. How experienced the customer is will tell a printing (sales) rep an awful lot. You need to have selling strategies for each.”
But the strategy of going behind the print buyer’s back? That increases the risk of getting your firm blackballed, according to Dana, and that’s no idle threat.
“It’s the kiss of death. That would be all I have to know—that a (sales rep) went around me,” Dana adds. “Does he think he’s going to get anywhere? Not while I’m around, and that’s the truth. It’s totally
insulting...step on someone’s toes and they’re going to fight back.” PI