How to Make a Sale: A Print Buyer Weighs In
So, I've put together this start-to-finish guide focussing on establishing the relationship, what a print buyer may want (and may not want) to hear, the kind of things that pique our interest and things that can put us off.
Before You Contact Me:
- Research my company. Find out the kind of work that we do.
- Make no assumptions about me, what I do, what I should be doing, or how I could be doing it better. Make no assumptions about my customer base either. Assuming is not learning.
- Research my company. Are we national? Local? Big? Small? Old? New? Family-owned? Non-profit? One location or multiple?
- Be prepared to tell me how you found me and to answer any similar questions.
- Research my company. Discover the kind of products we sell. That will, in turn, provide clues as to the kind of customers we have and what they expect of us.
- Throw out the paragraphs of generic, prepared speech/boilerplate. Narrow it down to three to five relevant bullet points and expand on them briefly. To make this easier, build a good, strong library of them over your career. Pick from—and customize—them accordingly.
- Last but not least, research my company…do you honestly believe your company can provide the quality and service we seem to expect? Are we the kind of customer you want?
Now, you're well prepared to reach out. How do you go about it?
How to Contact Me:
- Send me an e-mail. Follow up a few days later with a call if you don't hear back. Don't contact me more than once in the space of a week. Don't reach out on Mondays or Fridays.
- I want a quick hook, not a 12-paragraph e-mail or a four-minute speech/voicemail. So, don't go into a lot of detail…yet. Remember those bullet points?
- Don't reach out the week before you go on vacation. If it takes me a few days to respond, what if I call and you're out or I get an out of office response? I'm not going to chase you down.
- Don't say you're going to follow up unless you really mean it. If you can't be bothered, why should I be?
Now you've got my attention. If you've impressed me, I'm going to reply, and maybe set up a meeting.