A Sales Lesson Worth Repeating
I saw Frank Romano in Las Vegas at EFI Connect back in January and he told me he was amazed that I am able to create so much content regarding print sales without repeating myself.
Well, sorry Frank, but this one is a retread of sorts…
I was rifling through some files recently and came across a photocopy of a sign that hung in the lobby of Victor Graphics, located in Baltimore. I recall grabbing it and asking the receptionist if I could capture the image and bring it home with me. Reading it again today, I was reminded of a different era, of a time when the sales rep was held in higher regard and we were sought out for our subject matter expertise and not just a price.
I miss those days for more than one reason, and finding the copy I made brought that feeling back. Here is how it read:
“Sales People Welcomed”
“You will receive courteous attention here, for we are mindful that our own salespeople are making calls every day, seeking interviews and business just as you are. We are glad to have you call, because it is an important part of our business to keep in touch with new developments and changes in products and services. Can you tell us something new…Something we should know…Or show us how your goods or services can help us do a better job?
We shall keep you waiting no longer than is necessary. While here, please feel free to avail yourself of our facilities and telephones.
Thank you for coming to see us.
Victor Graphics, Inc.”
Doesn’t that sound like a company that you want to do business with? Wouldn’t you strive to go above and beyond for a company like that?
This kind of treatment of the outside vendor is rare today. That’s a shame. A good vendor is as important as a good customer. Treat us like a commodity and you will have one experience. Treat us like a valued partner and you will have quite another.
Victor Graphics was purchased recently by Bang Printing but Tom Hicks and his welcoming pineapple logo will forever be my reminder of a better day.
I hope that that sign is still in the lobby (although I doubt visiting sales reps need to use a telephone!). It’s the sign of a good company and (forgive me, Frank) it's a lesson worth repeating.
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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.
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