This is becoming less of a myth as more traditional print salespeople successfully transition to selling nontraditional and new printing products and related services. Though not all can or want to make the transition, we have seen enough evidence to be convinced that those salespeople who possess the right skills and knowledge can and do make the transition.
8. Lie: Direct selling will eventually be replaced by the Web.
Yes, much of consumer and commodity printing is and will continue to be sold over the Web through a variety of ways. Customized, tailored, integrated and relationship-driven printing solutions and services will continue to be sold by direct salespeople. The Internet and Web tools, such as video, business networks and Web conferencing, will support sales efforts. However, it will come down to the skill and capability of the salesperson and team.
9. Misconception: Selling printing is a numbers game.
This is only partially false. Sales people must be smart and work very hard. Carefully targeting the right accounts and being able to sell at multiple levels within an account is equally or just as important. As we mentioned in previous columns, maximizing qualified sales calls, presentations and proposals is much more critical than randomly making a lot of sales calls.
10. Myth: Every customer is a prospect for more printing sales.
Just like the old adage, “The customer is always right,” not every customer is a prospect for more printing sales. This often separates the great from the good. Knowing and targeting the right accounts to invest time and energy is a big part of modern day selling.
11. Myth: Great salespeople do not make great sales managers
This is a commonly held belief. Not all great salespeople make great sales managers, but many successful sales managers were and are great salespeople. Many of the competencies and skills required to be a great sales manager including communication, confidence and developing sales strategies are also important to the success of salespeople.
To be successful in sales, individuals need to possess the correct personal traits of confidence, creativity, work ethic, communication skills and persistence. After that, they need a deep and current knowledge of their products and services, the graphic communications industry, technology and the sales and buying process as well general sales skills.
Joe Rickard is a sales training leader and consultant who works with printing and technology companies in the graphic arts to improve their sales effectiveness. He is the founder of Intellective Solutions, a provider of customized sales and sales management training material and services. Contact Rickard at (845) 753-6156, email@example.com, or visit www.intellectivesolutions.com.