Are You Making a Great Second Impression?
First time buyers have all the fun. Just look around and see all the deals offered for new customers, and the carrots being dangled to entice them. And the niceties don’t stop at rewards; they extend to the attentiveness of salespeople, as well during the prospecting process. Yes, first impressions matter, and I may give you a try...but it’s what you do the second time around that will keep me as a customer.
Recently, I had two experiences that sparked this blog topic. In both cases, I was wooed beyond belief to purchase services. The salespeople for both responded to my e-mails with lightening speed, answered my calls or returned them promptly, patiently answering my rapid-fire arsenal of questions (I ask A LOT of them!), and took me through the functionality of their products. I wasn’t being a pain or randomly wasting people’s time, I was asking "buying" questions and answering them paid off since I ended up purchasing.
The Honeymoon is Over...
After my credit card was charged, my sales reps became impossible to reach. One still has not responded, and the other responded by introducing me to someone else who could help me, which they haven’t to date. The result? I cancelled one service, and the other I am in the process of moving.
Bait and Switch This!
As a print customer, I have had this happen to me many times. To get a foot in the door, or a single job to print, a rep would do whatever it took to make it happen. Before government oversight, I admit being a print buyer did have some perks, but in our post Sarbaines-Oxley world, where lunches can literally be Federal offenses, sales reps are left showering us with attention and massive discounts to achieve the same goals. I would strongly suggest you think long-term before setting expectations and pricing at levels that cannot be delivered on consistently.
Third Time’s The Charm...
Like sophomore album releases, we all know that the follow-up is what creates fans. If you wooed me and won a job, showed me equal or greater effort with the second, the next one I send is the indication that we can work together. So make sure your prospecting always sets you up for being a platinum artist versus a one-hit wonder!
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts From The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the No. 1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl No. 1 at Girls Who Print, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors and sits on the board of the The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, and is an advisor for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer and now works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers and members, and achieve success with their social media, content marketing, event marketing and sales endeavors.