4 Keys to Selling Print
According to Bill Farquharson, one of the keys to selling print is to focus on solving a customer’s problems or pain points, rather than focusing on the actual print.
“If you want to sell more print, stop selling print,” Farquharson says. “What print does is fascinating, but not the technology itself.”
On Sunday afternoon, Farquharson, a graphic arts sales trainer and business development coach, presented “I Know Why Your Sales Reps Aren’t Selling More,” in the Idealliance Solutions Theater during PRINT 17 in Chicago. During the presentation, Farquharson outlined four sales fundamentals that, when followed, are likely to lead to sales success.
The first fundamental Farquharson discussed is delivering a high value, well-researched sales call. By beginning a sales call with knowledge of the customer’s industry and what their potential needs may be, a salesperson is put at an advantage because they can explain how print can provide a solution to these specific needs. Additionally, Farquharson explained that by asking open ended questions during a call, a salesperson can find out more about the customer’s needs and provide more educated solutions to those problems.
“If I could teach one thing, it’s how to look at a company and know what their business needs are,” Farquharson said. “Not their print needs.”
Establish a process
The next sales fundamental that Farquharson discussed is the importance of establishing a process and sticking to it. Not all salespeople should follow the same process, but it is important for them to establish one that works for them and adhere to it. Farquharson said that this is one of the sales fundamentals that often gets overlooked, stating that based on results from a sales assessment test on his website, nine out of 10 salespeople don’t have a process.
The third sales fundamental that Farquharson discussed was diligence, calling it the salesperson’s “ace card.” He said that it’s important for salespeople to make all of the calls they had planned, but making one more is generally a good decision. “There is no such thing as a diligent failure,” he said.
Lastly, Farquharson said that bad time management is a major pitfall that tends to trap salespeople. He expressed the importance of always looking ahead and to “never leave today without having tomorrow planned.”
Farquharson explained that salespeople can ensure their futures are predetermined to be successful based on the work they put in in advance. For example, he said that this time of year is extremely important in sales and by putting in the work now, it will pay off in the months ahead.
“Right now you are dictating your end of 2017 sales,” Farquharson said. “And when your Q1 2018 is going really well, you’ll know it’s because you did your job in Q3.”