A Tale of Two Challah Tables –Dana
It's not about the bread; it's never about the bread. She tends to chat about the weather and where she's been traveling or where she's heading to. We've spoken about growing vegetables and tending flowers. She is just delightful. When I buy bread, I buy it from her. Sure, I love challah, but I find that I buy a loaf because she's the one selling it. Does this make sense?
Believe it or not, this relates to selling printing and also to representing your printing company when you're among prospects.
Take the example of printers exhibiting at events for print buyers. Most printers staffing their display tables stand behind the tables like Woman A at my gym. They're passive. They're quiet. They don't make conversation. The table is a barrier, an impediment, to engaging with customers walking by. If I had my way, there would be NO tables at these events. They only intimidate both staffers and attendees.
The next time you exhibit at a conference, don't hide behind your table. If you must remain there, take a page from Woman B's book—and engage passersby with conversation. Don't feel compelled to "make like a car salesman" and rattle off features of your products. Have a conversation with people at the event. Find out about them. Listen for things you might have in common. Be relaxed and just talk. If you push sales too hard, you'll chase them away.
How else might a printer engage a prospect? I have a few ideas.
1) Find ways to ask, "How are we doing?"
I know printers who include a mini-survey with every delivery, which encourages customers to jot down their initial reactions and return them to the printer. You can achieve the same results by e-mailing customers after a delivery has been made or, depending on the relationship you or your sales rep has with a particular customer, picking up the phone and calling.