If I Trained Sales Reps
15. Visit major portals like PIworld.com daily. Your professional education is an ongoing one. Hopefully, you have access to trade publications at your company. You can always access most of them online as well.
16. Check out your local direct marketing associations. Lots of marketers are involved with print campaigns and have decision-making responsibility for choosing print. Familiarize yourself with local trade groups. Are there events you should attend? Should you (or your company) join a group and become active?
17. Remind customers about all you offer. Even if a customer’s ordered only one product type from you in the past, you need to keep all customers informed of everything you can do.
18. Don’t let them see you sweat. Salespeople are part actors. We customers like to believe you have it all under control, even if you don’t. Exude confidence and poise. Be positive.
19. Be a person of integrity. It’s the #1 quality customers seek in a print rep. If we find you’ve been dishonest, you’re history. Plus, we’ll tell our friends.
20. Do what you say you’ll do. This is all about professionalism. You’ll gain customers’ trust and develop a business relationship that will help your career.
21. Be a resource. Customers appreciate sales reps who help them in other ways. Think about these services: graphic design, web site development, email marketing, mailing/fulfillment, copywriting and video services. If you don’t offer them, have referrals to give your customers. Be generous with your knowledge and your network; it will help you in the long run.
22. Follow up to bids you don't win. Find out why you lost a job; it may not always be obvious. If nothing else, it shows you're interested.
23. Keep an eye on the competition. Who do you lose work to, and why? What do they have that you don't? In what ways do they outperform you and vice versa?
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com