The three types of pain that can help you sell printing

Posted by Matthew Parker

Imagine that a doctor has just announced some bad news to you

What happens if you suddenly discover that you are suffering from an illness that you didn’t realise you had? You will focus on how to get better. Money is suddenly no object.

It’s the same with sales. Show a prospect a problem that they didn’t know they had and they are suddenly interested in how to solve it. If you can help your prospect solve that problem you are in with a great selling opportunity.

Pain makes it easier to sell print

If your customers feel like this you're in with a great chance of selling them some print

If your customers feel like this you’re in with a great chance of selling them some print

People that sell on pain must also solve their customers’ problems. That’s a great way to forming powerful relationships with your clients. You have a much better chance of controlling their buying journey. Both you and your client have a better chance of achieving your targets.

Sales people that focus on features and benefits talk more about themselves. They are not in their customers’ world so much. That means it’s more difficult for most powerful relationships. It is more difficult to control the sale. It is harder for them to achieve their targets.

To get the most out of selling on it is important to understand that prospects and customers generally suffer from one of three types of pain. Here’s the first one.

Cost reduction

There is a huge difference between cost and price. Unfortunately, the two are often confused both by buyers and sellers.

Here’s a case study that illustrates this difference perfectly. I once spoke to a printer management company about outsourcing some of my print requirements. I knew that I would probably end up paying more for my print. So wasn’t it crazy to waste my time on a meeting like that?

The reason I hope that meeting was because the management company wanted to talk about reducing fulfilment costs. It was worth paying higher print prices to achieve what could be a very big fulfilment saving.

However, it’s not always about the bottom line. Here’s another type of pain.

Missed profits

One company that I know sells itself very successfully by talking to their prospects about the possible response rate from their mailings. They frequently end up with meetings which lead to business. This is because they can show that many people they talk too could be achieving more from our mailing lists.

In this case, the pain has nothing to do with cost. Instead, it’s all about achieving a better return on investment.

The third type of pain has got nothing to do with the company.

Personal pain

Sometimes buyers just want an easy life. I recently spoke to a printer that produced flexible packaging. Their anti-static process improved the running rates on wrapping machines.

That’s a pretty good business case for testing out this wrapping. However a recent buyer they talk to wasn’t really interested in how this could help their company. Her issue was the fact that the wrapping machine manager was always shouting at her when things went wrong. If she could improve the running rates, she would get a lot less grief from this person.

How do you know what type of pain to sell on?

Talk to your current customers. You will find out the sort of pains that they are suffering from. These pains will often apply to similar customers.

Once you can diagnose a pain and a solution your sales conversation will often become a lot easier.

Just think of yourself as a doctor of print!

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