How to increase your print sales by interviewing your clients

Posted by Matthew Parker

“I assume you’d like some chocolate cake, Matthew?”

I’m a well-known chocoholic. If I want a hot drink, I’ll choose hot chocolate. If I’m having ice cream, I’ll choose chocolate (unless double chocolate is on offer). When I’m writing articles, I have some chocolate to give my brain some energy.

But I’m not that keen on chocolate cake.

When it comes to cake, I love a good lemon drizzle cake. Unfortunately, most people simply assume that I’ll be having chocolate cake. They are surprised when I politely decline. If you want me to consume cake, you need to avoid making assumptions.

If we want prospects to consume our marketing we must avoid making assumptions about them

You need to interview your clients to get the best marketing results

You need to interview your clients to get the best marketing results

It would be easy to assume that they want to read about print. In fact, this is rarely the case. We need to find the subject that really interests them. We need to find the equivalent of my lemon drizzle cake.

The best way to find out a prospect’s interests is to interview them.

Here’s why you should interview your prospects

Printing companies that interview prospects will create better relationships with them when they produce marketing material. As a result, the prospects are more likely to engage with this material. The printing company will have better control over their sales pipeline. They are more likely to achieve the sales results that they want.

Printing companies that do not interview their prospects may struggle to get the same levels of sales. Their prospects will not be so interested in the marketing material. They won’t engage with the printing company. That vital relationship with a prospect will not be formed.

Here is a three-step system to get engagement and build relationships with the prospects.

Interview your best clients

Ask them about the challenges in their business. Ask them what they would like to read about that would help them in their jobs. You will soon build up a great picture of the type of prospect you’re trying to attract.

Remember to keep the questions open-ended. It doesn’t have to be all about print.

When you’ve done this you can move onto the next step.

Create content around your prospects’ interests

Suddenly your marketing becomes about the prospect, rather than you. That’s why prospects will become engaged with it.

Remember, you don’t have to write the content yourself. You could outsource it to a professional. Or you could source articles that cover the topics your clients are interested in. I am subscribed to a couple of newsletters which simply send me interesting links on a weekly basis. I look forward to receiving them.

However, the prospect may be engaged but you also need to make sure they take action.

Create a call to action

You need to tell your prospect what they need to do. At the end of any content you post or send a prospect you must have a call to action.

Many people think that this is a call to buy. This is rarely effective. It is far better to encourage a prospect to engage with you on a more personal level. This may be able to sign up to an email list. Or it may be a call for them to contact you by phone about a specific subject.

Let’s see how this works in real life.

Here’s a case study

I worked with one client who is a magazine printer. Originally, this company was sending out content and marketing messages all about print. However, when we interviewed some of their clients, we found out this was not the best content to be distributing.

Their clients were more interested in two subjects: ad revenues and how to be more flexible on scheduling. The content that the printing company is distributing is now much more focused around these subjects.

As a result, engagement has increased.

However, some printing companies may feel that these are not subjects for them.

Surely printing companies should talk about print?

Printing companies should talk about what interests their clients and prospects. Unsurprisingly, this is frequently not print!

However, because we are all in the printing industry it is easy to forget this. That’s why this three-step system is so important.

Remember the three action points to prospect engagement

  1. Interview
  2. Create content
  3. Have a call to action

Then you will soon be on the route to giving your clients what they want.

By the way, if I am visiting you, remember to engage me with lemon drizzle cake :)
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