Greetings Paper and Print Lovers… ‘tis I, your Intergalactic Ambassador here to impart some inside information that will help you to better understand that elusive creature, the Print Buyer.
I have been studying the Printus Buyerous for many years. Having been one, I’ve had access to how they choose their print provider mates, and make purchasing decisions. Here is the secret to understanding them… they are all different.
Now before you give me the hashtag DUH on that let me elaborate.
You are a printer and have a press. It does things. All of what it does isn’t relevant to all of your customers, or prospects. You offer services, but all of your services aren’t relevant to all of your customers and prospects. However, specific capabilities and services are very relevant to specific customers and prospects. If you can harness that information and formulate it into a sales strategy, you can have more targeted and relevant conversations.
How do you do begin to harness information and create a sales strategy? Ask these seven words to all of your current customers:
What results do I achieve for you?
It may seem simple, and you may THINK you know the answers, but my experience and the experience of printers who have done this would say differently. There is always something you don’t know you are positively contributing to, and other things you think are so important that customers don’t consider a “result” at all.
One of the best examples is a printer who bought a new press and was SOOOO excited that they gained more speed. They sent email blasts with the news, they had a launch event and offered shop tours to customers and prospects see it in action. The problem was with all of the information they were sharing, what THEY thought was important fell into “speeds and feeds” and the customers zoned out. The mad rush of orders for that shiny new press did not start rolling in.
One of the owners contacted me for some help understanding my people. He told me everything they shared during their presentations and sent me the email blasts to review. I replied with one question… Did you let them know this means they have more time on THEIR END to get you a disk, and still make their deadline?
Simply put, customers want to know how you can help them.
I advised the printer to form a list of their customers who always ask for extensions, sometimes ask for extensions, and never ask for extensions. I suggested they start with the always group and resend the email blast highlighting “more time” as the hook. With the second group, the email blast highlighted “more time, when you need it.” The third group didn’t require this result, but if they did, the printer now had messaging around it.
Once the orders starting coming in, I advised the printer to ask the question at hand to the customers who no longer needed extensions, or as frequently. The answers could then be applied to third group and prospects as results-driven value propositions for doing business with this print shop.
Take this example, and run with it. Keep me posted on your results.