The Creative Sale
There are skills you need for sales and there are skills you need for life. Sometimes they intersect. This sales tip is one of those times …
As my children would tell you, there are two conversations you never bring to me. The first is problems that are within your control to fix. The second is problems that you have not thought through and at least attempted to find a solution. My overall belief is, there is always a way. It just takes a creative mind.
Creative thinking. What a gift this is and what a necessary skill for differentiating yourself, for solving problems, and for earning a coveted place with clients. Yet not many of us think creatively. Personally, I blame the school system which is why my three daughters went through Montessori until grade 7. Different subject. Different time.
For the rest of us, myself included, we need to learn to think creatively and yes, I believe this to be a skill one can acquire.
Let's say a client hands you something to quote or better yet, it's a prospect. You are given the specs of the job and a quantity or two and sent on your way. The linear thinker/sales person hands it to Estimating without giving it much thought. He/She comes up with the cost, adds profit, sharpens the pencil, and provides the quote. If you work for Lemming Printing, this is the status quo.
I urge you to see things differently. See what you are handed as a solution to a problem. But is it the right solution? That's the question you need to ask. What problem are they trying to solve? Do they even have the right problem? That is, are they asking the right questions? This is hard to explain in a 2 1/2 minute sales tip but very often I find people struggling with one issue when actually the real problem is something else it takes a fresh pair of eyes to come in and ask question after question, even — and perhaps especially — stupid ones. The result might very well be you have found a new solution, the right solution. As a result, you win the order not on price but on the basis of your ideas.
There is a book that helped me to create a more creative mind I highly recommend it. It's called, "The Five Elements of Effective Thinking." As I write this sales Tip, I am also reminding myself to reread it.
Look beyond the specifications of the job. Be curious. Question assumptions. Challenge the status quo. Lemming Printing is hard to beat on price but easy to be with a little creativity.
If you needs sales and are willing to put in the work, go to BillFarquharson.com and click on the “Training” link in the header. If you need sales but lack the commitment for that program, buy my 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever on Amazon.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.