The industry as a whole has tended to make a fundamental error in its approach to training salespeople to sell digital services, asserted David Tashji, a partner with the Winters Group sales consultancy in Westford, MA, during a session dedicated to the topic. “People learn by doing,” he observed.
Yet, most training development efforts have focused on paper-based resources and classroom activities, Tashji noted. He said printers should follow the explain»perform»debrief model, with an emphasis on perform and debrief.
“Rainmakers are made, not born. They see the customer as a friend and seek to understand the customer’s business better than their own,” the consultant added.
In his session on understanding customer needs, Brad Lena, PIA/GATF senior technical consultant, said that way of thinking applies to the business as a whole. “Is it your customer or customer’s customer that is most important to your business?” he asked “How you answer that question defines what kind of company you are. Print marketers focus on the customer’s customer.”
Print marketers consult on the design, objective and content of the piece. If customers express a concern about sharing sensitive databases, he suggested asking just to see the field headers, not any actual data, as a way to learn what information clients are capturing. The consultant also advised against just dumping data into a piece for the sake of making it variable.
“Variable data needs to be relevant,” Lena said. “It’s not about improving an existing marketing program; it’s a different approach to marketing.”
Xerox Printer Makes Colorful ‘Statement’
ROCHESTER, NY—Xerox Corp. has ramped up its presence in the burgeoning transpromotional printing market by announcing its first full-color, continuous-feed printing system.
Capable of printing at 226 feet per minute (fpm) or 493 images per minute (ipm) two-up, simplex on 81⁄2x11˝ paper, and 986 ipm when in the duplex configuration, the Xerox 490/980 will reportedly be the fastest device of its kind.