It’s Time for an Intervention —Farquharson/Tedesco
As such, we are willing to offer up an idea for a compromise: You are free to delete our first three phone calls. After that, you must pick up. This way, you can maintain the giddy feeling that comes from having power and dominion over us, and we still get rewarded for diligence. That's a win-win, my friend. A second idea would be to have open hours once a month and grant us an audience.
• Another thought would be to set aside time each month giving sales reps you are currently not buying from the chance to come and discuss their products and services. You might think you have it all figured out, but what if there is a better print solution out there? You don't know what you don't know, and you won't know until you look around, you know?
• Next, we ask that when awarding a job, you consider more than just price. Why doesn't creativity matter any more? What about those times when we come up with the best print solution and you bid out our ideas anyway? That does little to encourage innovation on our part, not to mention the damage it does to our relationship. A good vendor is as important as a good customer. We are trained professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. What we ask in return is a fair shake at earning an order.
Don't Sell on Price Alone
To share an industry secret, lean in and listen hard because our voice is lowering. Here it is: There is always a lower price out there. Always. Always! You can chase that nickel down the road forever or you can make it a part of the decision. Which leads us to another point...
• Why do you talk out of both sides of your mouth? Your company isn't the lowest price in your industry. You don't sell on price alone, so why do you buy that way? Your salespeople build relationships and sell solutions. It says so right on your Website. How is it that you speak one philosophy and follow another? Hey, if you claim to be the lowest cost vendor then we certainly see how you'd buy that way, too. But, we ask that you walk the walk.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.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 BillFarquharson.com.