The Power Plant Tour
Did you know that one in three people who test drive a car buy a car? That’s one of those little factoids that only guys like me and Cliff Clavin store in our memory banks. I picked it up years ago while at a car dealership. I was interviewing a sales manager and he threw that out there at me. Dealers do everything they can to get a prospect behind the wheel. Without the test drive, a potential customer is likely to walk out the door and move on.
I don’t think even Cliffy has any statistics on the percentage of customers who purchase after touring a printing company, but I would bet that someone is far more likely to buy after they have gone for a walk through the shop.
Plant tours are not just for prospects, however. You might consider bringing all of your existing clients through, as well. Assuming that your customers are aware of everything you are capable of will lead you to hearing a very painful statement: "I didn’t know you did that." Those six words are typically followed by, "I just gave away an order for those the other day."
A few tips for you:
- Put the customer’s name on a welcome sign in the lobby.
- Make everyone in the plant aware of who is coming through.
- See to it that the customer meets everyone in production who has a hand in the manufacturing of his or her piece.
- Make sure that any work in-house being done for that customer’s competition is not visible.
Ask if the client has ever been on a plant tour before. Take your time. Work in some questions about type of print they are currently buying. See it as a walking sales call. You might even consider taking their picture with some of the employees and then including it in your newsletter or just printing it out and mailing it to the customer along with a thank you note. Tell the history of the company. Grab some samples (especially if there is anything in production that their kids might like). Have fun with it! It doesn’t need to be serious.
Gift shops are optional.
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Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at Epicomm (formerly NAPL). His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.