Why Print Salespeople Need to Think Like Bank Robbers
“Why do you rob banks?”
That’s what someone asked the famous American bank robber Willie Sutton. His reply was simple: "That's where the money is."
Printing companies should think in exactly the same way
You should be making sure you go where the money is. The way for a print salesperson to do this is not by robbing a bank. It’s by picking the right type of customer.
Salespeople who are selective about their customers will create better partnerships with their clients. They will have chosen customers who will be right for their company. They are more likely to reach the business targets that they set out to achieve. They also will probably have more fun doing it.
Salespeople who try and win any business are more likely to end up with nightmare clients. It will be a lot more difficult for them to achieve the right goals. They are more likely to end up with commodity buyers.
If I targeted all types of business, I would swiftly go out of business
My main service is providing training to printing companies. If I targeted all companies I would probably spend all my time selling. I would get a much higher rate of refusal from my sales approaches. I wouldn’t bring in the right amount of work.
There is a simple reason for this. There are two types of printing companies where my services don’t fit. The first is trade printing companies, as my services revolve around working with end users. The second is small printing companies because they do not have enough staff to be able to devote time to printing services.
Print salespeople need to target specific prospects to get the right conversion rates. They will also find that they are more likely to win higher profit margins.
Here’s a case study from the printing industry
One company I work with targets shipping operators in the United Kingdom (where they are based). They understand the costs of big boats being delayed in port for administrative issues. So they offer a service where they keep up-to-date health and safety signage packs ready for clients. They meet boats as they arrive in port with all the signage they need.
They have successfully won clients in this way because they are so focused on a market. Prospects understand why they should use this company as opposed to others. Pricing is much less of an issue.
But some people may see a problem.
Is this enough work to fill their presses?
Of course not. However, this is just one of the target markets that they successfully sell into.
Here’s a route you can follow to achieve similar results.
Follow these action points to improve your sales margins
- Review your customer base and select your most profitable customers
- Create a profile around these customers
- Adapt your sales strategies to target similar customers
After all, if you stick to targeting any old prospect you may struggle to book the work you need. Then you may start running out of money. If that’s the case, you may need to follow the example of Willie Sutton and start robbing banks...
P.S. Get some more ideas on how to get better margins from buyers. Download Matthew’s free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/
Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.
Download his free e-book, "Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them" and check out his recently launched book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met."