Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: How to Hunt Successfully
Oh, here come the yabutts.
Yeah, but no print salesperson can be an expert in everything.
Right! Therefore you really should focus your target list in places where you can claim at least some degree of expertise. Take a look at your existing account list. (If you're new, use your company's account list instead.) What are the common threads? Retail? Manufacturing? Agencies? Associations? Healthcare? Other verticals? Where your experience lies, so does your expertise. Choose "suspect" and "prospect" accounts that look like others where you've experienced success.
Yeah, but what if you're new to print sales? Can you be an expert?
Of course you can! For example, if you once were in the insurance business, you could sell marketing and communication solutions to insurance companies. Insurance is an annuity type of product. So is selling print, in a way. Once your foot's in the proverbial door, opportunities keep rolling in, unless you screw up. If you were an insurance adjuster, then you know the importance of servicing accounts on an unpredictable schedule. Guess what? This sounds a lot like what print buyers need: service pros able to work on serving unpredictable demand. Once you build a base book of business in the insurance industry, it's not a stretch to claim expertise in financial services because that's a related industry, too!
Bring it on baby!
Yeah, but what if this print sales position is your first job?
You're still an expert at something. Do you like the great outdoors? Then you know what it's like when outdoor products have poor instructions or lousy packaging. You know the annoyance when outdoor signage fails to communicate properly. You intuitively know substrates, protective coatings and folding sequences that make rugged-use maps easy to use and successful.
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.