A Proven Way to Lose a Print Sale
Roughly 30 minutes from our house is an excellent college, Bridgewater State University (BSU). Our twins are seniors in high school and are considering options, including BSU. We had done an initial campus visit and both were impressed enough to return.
This past Saturday, the school held an open house and I skipped my morning golf plans (no small sacrifice) to bring them for a second look.
The day started with a presentation by the president. He was phenomenal, very clearly proud of this hidden gem of a state school, and gave a speech that had heads nodding in approval.
So far, so good …
The Dean of Admissions spoke next; covering things like application requirements the twins could meet. He invited two existing students to speak about their experiences and viewpoint.
I checked in with the girls and they were increasingly positive.
But that’s when the day went sideways.
The next part of the open house was concurrent sessions, each talking about the different course options. Ours was Humanities.
This “sales” presentation/disaster was a combination of no rehearsal, no experience, and no anticipation. Momentum came to a complete halt and people headed for the doorway long before she was done speaking. I so badly wanted to pull the woman aside and help her with some advice.
I’ll tell you instead:
- Rehearse! Take the time to practice and seek feedback. When you're giving a sales presentation, you need to treat it as a special event … because it is!
- Anticipate! During Q&A, someone asked about the Communications program. Her response was shocking to me: “That is our most popular major. We have no one here who can speak about that. Next question … ” Are you kidding me? It wasn’t as if someone asked about Rural Asian History from the period of 1745 to 1747. How can you not be ready for the single most popular major in your department?
- Study! When you’re giving a presentation and someone asks a question, repeat the question first before giving an answer. That way, everyone can benefit, not just the person who asked. Study how others do it and learn from their example.
- Prepare! If you bring someone with you on your sales call, give him or her some guidelines upfront, starting with: “Be brief.” She couldn’t get the mic back from this one guy.
Fortunately, the twins did not lose their enthusiasm for the school, thanks in part to a certain stepfather summarizing the high points of the day and even laughing with them about how horrible that part of the day was.
Getting face time to make a sales presentation with a customer is very difficult. Don’t drop the ball crossing the finish line. Put the time in so you can make the best of this opportunity.
Become a Sales Vault Insider and help Bill pay for college! Go to BillFarquharson.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036.
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.