By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!
Definition: “Call-On” -- make use of someone or something as a source of help.
Calling on Manufacturers!
It is your responsibility to make sure Wide-Format PSPs obtain the latest and greatest information about new and improved finished goods you produce for our industry? (i.e., rigid substrates, flexible substrates, textiles, laminates, adhesives, hardware, finishing tools, software, and newly released equipment)?
Do you depend on Distributors to present your products in detail – it’s not happening!
Instead, you should introduce your goods directly -- with printable samples, application sheets, product sheets, fabrication guides, and cleaning guides. We realize you can’t include pricing; however, you can list your distributors.
Here are suggested contacts (in order)!
- Production Manager - Operations Manager - Sales Manager (Sales) – Purchasing – Estimating
Here is what happens -- if the Production Manager does not approve your product because it does not meet their needs – it won’t travel to other departments! So the Production Managers are the one(s) you need to impress with the product quality, value, and practical applications.
When and if your product is approved, the Production Managers will ask for it by name! So, why the hesitation ensuring they have everything they need to make the right decisions for their customers.
Saving money by not providing samples and product information sheets to the end-users – is counterproductive. If they can’t see it, feel it, and understand how it can help them – they won’t buy it!!
Calling on Distributors!
Sometimes, you are in a tight spot, I get that. New and improved products are coming at you left and right – with minimal to zero product information as teaching moments. And obtaining samples from many manufacturers is downright ridiculous. Could it be that you are not demanding product samples and informational sheets from manufacturers? After all – they do want you to sell their products! Right?
Wide-Format PSPs need your help and education to assist them in making the correct purchase(s) for specific projects.
NOTE: The biggest misconception, in my opinion, is that Manufacturers and Distributors assume that PSPs know all things Wide-Format material capabilities. Well, they don’t!
Here are a few complaints I hear weekly from Wide-Format PSPs!
- No one on staff can help me.
- Why hire people who know nothing about Wide-Format printing?
- It takes forever to receive pricing!
- I never receive the delivery or backorder updates?
- They don’t listen to my questions – they want to move to the next call.
- I give up!
It doesn’t matter if you think you are providing exceptional customer service; it matters that your customers think you are!
Attention: Manufacturers and Distributors: How can you work together better to help the Wide-Format PSPs become more successful in growing their businesses? Specific and defined collaboration is a Win-Win!
Maybe the first step is an account review -- asking the questions, you may not want to hear the answers!
Don’t be an ORDER TAKER, be an ORDER MAKER!