In this market, everyone in the company needs to be part of the sales team. Owners, general managers, production managers, CSRs, designers, prepress—are all resources that can be used early in the sale process. To win big deals, everyone needs to be ready, know their role, and be prepared to uniquely position the company and the company’s products and services for the customer.
An Internet sense of urgency is required for all prospects.
What in the past was fast is not fast enough anymore. Many salespeople and companies have not yet adapted to Internet speed. Waiting until tomorrow is not good enough.
A sense of urgency has always been a characteristic of top salespeople. However responsiveness and what it means to move fast have changed in the last few years. Having been impressed with the urgency of doing, Leonardo DeVinci once said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” He was talking about 14th century speed. Even then, great salespeople were impatient and hated to wait.
If you identify a hot prospect, move at warp speed. Don’t wait for next week. Do it today. Salespeople seldom get a second chance to make up for a lackadaisical effort. There is no reward for a good try in printing sales. If the prospect cannot be moved along the pipeline, pull the plug quickly. Accelerate opportunities in the pipeline.
There must be a personalized and creative approach for every account.
Great salespeople do not rely on generic brochures, standard applications and memorized value propositions. We have found that this not only turns off prospects, but in many cases caused salespeople to lose business. Customers have repeatedly told us they want salespeople who know their business. That means that printing salespeople are now required to personalize and customize each sales call to the customer’s specific situation.
Customizing each customer engagement requires preparation, creativity, and concentration. Presentations must be well prepared, timely, and interesting to arouse customer curiosity and interest. Successful salespeople are always upgrading consultative selling skills and industry knowledge. They do not wait for their company to train them.
Though the requirement for successful salespeople to exhibit a high level of sales and interpersonal skills still remains critical, all other aspects of sales must be reviewed. What industry knowledge a salesperson needs to know and the steps necessary to engage customers have changed over the last few years. This is a good time to take another look and re-evaluate basic selling principles.
As always, selling large print campaigns and projects is not a 30 day business, but salespeople must close business every 30 days. PN
Joe Rickard is a training leader and consultant who works with printing and technology companies in the graphic arts to improve their sales and operational effectiveness. He is the founder of Intellective Solutions, a provider of customized sales, operational and sales management training material and services. Contact Rickard at 845-753-6156, email@example.com or visit. www.intellectives.com