By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!
Yes, I am going there!
When my family went on a road trip, I continually asked my Dad, “Are we there yet?” His answer was always the same “You’ll know when we get there!” But how will I know when we get there, Dad? He would say, “Because we went far enough!”
So my question for Wide-Format Printers -- have you gone far enough?
Consider this -- the entrance ramp to Wide-Format Printing has enabled companies to offer a more profound and broader portfolio with four walls of capabilities. Customers want and need us to lighten their load by combining all marketing and branding products; offset, small format inkjet, packaging, wide-format, grand format, and recently digital media. I didn’t even mention fulfillment and storage --oops!
Did you know you have a much higher success rate in retaining and onboarding new customers if you offer a broader portfolio?
Proven fact -- customers expect a one-stop-shop; okay, I said it!
Buyers could care less about your equipment -- all they care about is that you can handle any project that comes across their desk. They want it done right, on time, at a competitive price!
I need to address an unacceptable pattern I observe in many printing companies. Sales reps are selling one-way -- meaning if they sell offset, they don’t want to sell wide-format, nor do they want any part of it.
Is the solution to assign two sales reps to the same account? I don’t think so!
Could it be that sales reps are intimidated by Wide-Format Printing? The answer is Yes! I surveyed several sales reps, and they freely shared their honest feelings with me. (a few bullet points)
Addressing the Issue!
Selling Wide-Format is intimidating because…
I don’t understand W-F; it’s complicated and scary.
Since I am mostly experienced in offset, my customers will lose confidence in me.
I do not understand our equipment capabilities or the products we can produce.
I ask too many questions, and production gets aggravated with me.
My customers know more about Wide-Format than I do.
No one has time to train me how to sell Wide-Format Printing.
Fixing the Issue!
Selling Wide-Format demands…
An understanding of the “value” we provide our customers – re: Capabilities
A deep-dive into proper applications (what works, what doesn’t)
Education and training regarding substrate options (flexible, rigid, textiles)
Listening to customer(s) needs; ability to “understand” and communicate effectively
Defined and calendared Continual Learning classes (demonstrations and hands-on learning)
Learning Discovery Questions for customer projects
Have we gone far enough, or are we still asking, “Are we there yet?”
Note to Sales Reps: Be an Order Maker, not an Order Taker!