Buyers Do Not Care!
One thing has become clear to me, after having time with print buyers across the country. They do not care! So, you are thinking, “Ryan, what don’t they care about?” Good question.
Well, first there is no (for the most part) full-time print buyer in today’s world. There are people, such as a communications manager or a marketing director, who oversee this responsibility among many other duties. And, they see printing as a necessary evil. This means one more thing they have to handle and get done.
Second, many have come to view print as a commodity and that low price is what matters. Third, they do not care about your equipment, FSC certifications, high-quality work, automated proofing or color control systems. Sorry—to them this sounds like you are Charlie Brown. You know...WHAH-WA—WHAH-WA—WHAH-WA.
Have you ever heard of the acronym WIFM? You know the one that means “what’s in it for me?” I challenge you to tune in to a new station in your sales efforts. The call number is WIFT. What’s in it for them? What are you bringing to the table that really wows a buyer? Anything? I cannot tell you the number of times in my career—in either running a printing company or consulting in the field—that I have watched a salesperson bore a buyer and me to death.
You see, if you want them to care, you need them to understand your “why,” not your whats and hows. If you sell at the “why” level, you communicate how you can provide them headache relief and powerful solutions. In contrast, when you share at the “how and what” level, you talk about basic and boring things.
For example, work and turn versus sheet wise OR the weight of the paper, OR the type of ink, OR inline of offline processes OR line screen. This is ALL BORING. They do not care. For that matter, I do not care...and quite frankly, anyone who is going to remain relevant in sales in 2013 and beyond in this industry, needs to embrace this as soon as possible.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com