Why your sales message can help a prospect choose another print company (even if you’ve made a great pitch)

Posted by Matthew Parker

Can you imagine creating a great sales message to engage your customer?  It focusses on a small target audience.  It highlights a key pain.  And it shows that you have a fantastic solution to this pain.

Can you imagine seeing the buyer’s eyes light up as you explain this to them.  Can you imagine the buyer exclaiming that this is exactly what they need?

And can you imagine the buyer going to another printer and asking them to provide your solution?

Wouldn’t you feel disappointed, frustrated and robbed of your rightful job?

This situation happens to print companies all the time

Is your print competitor taking deals from you? Find out how to stop this

In fact, I know several print companies that are frightened to give good ideas to their customers.  And they are frightened because they know the customer is likely to take that idea and put it out to tender.

There’s a reason for this.

Most print companies think it is because the buyer is only interested in price.  But if this was the case then the buyer would negotiate with the printer.  They wouldn’t place the job elsewhere.

The real reason is that the buyer doesn’t really understand why they should use that particular printer.  The printer has given the buyer a great solution.  But the buyer feels that they could use any number of suppliers to provide that solution.  They see no reason why they should use that particular printer.

That’s why printers need difference

Printers who sell on difference will find it easier to create long term relationships with their customers.  Their customers will have a reason for using that printer, rather than other printers.  So they will be more likely to stay loyal to them.  And, naturally, that means that the printer will get more repeat business.  So they won’t need the same level of new business.  It will be easier for them to achieve their sales targets.

Printers who don’t sell on difference will be commodity suppliers.  Their customers have no reason to stay with them.  They will chop and change between print suppliers according to who is the cheapest at the time.  So these printers will be constantly searching for new customers.  But, in turn, those customers will also choose on price.  And the vicious circle will continue.  Those printers will find achieving their sales targets a constant struggle.

To avoid this struggle you need difference.

So what is difference?

Difference is the way in which a printer makes itself stand out from the competition.  It is the way that it sticks in the buyer’s mind.  Difference is the reason why the customer feels that they have to use that printer.  It is the reason why they won’t go to another supplier.

Difference is your unique selling point.

There are three ways to find your difference.  And you can do the first one with a simple phone call.

Ask a customer

Sometimes your clients can see more clearly than you.  They understand what makes you different.  This book has already encouraged you to sit down and talk more with your best customers.  So, when you do this,  here are some other questions to ask them:

“Why do you use us?”

“What makes us different from the competition?”

“In what ways are we unusual?”

Remember, that the customer might not come up with what you are expecting.  I have often found this when I have interviewed customers for my printing clients.  But it is the customer that is right.  They will understand exactly what they need from you and your business.

Let’s look at an example of this.  When I was helping a printer that did a lot of work from schools I interviewed some clients.  Both the printer and I assumed that it was the project management that made them stand out.

But it turned out that this wasn’t the case at all.  It was actually the samples that made the printer stand out.  It was the fact that, whatever a client was thinking about, the printer could show them a sample.  The competition did not have the same range of finished samples.

But it wasn’t until I interviewed the clients that we found this out.

However, sometimes clients won’t come up with an answer that you can use in a sales message.  Sometimes they will pick on things that are really hard to make different.  And then you need to move on to the next way of finding a point of difference.  You can find out about these methods in “How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price”.

Difference can be incredibly powerful.  And this is because it is really focussed on the target market.  This is an important rule when deciding on your difference.

Your difference must be of value to the target market

Whichever method you choose for picking your difference, you must remember your target market.  What value will the difference bring to them?  Let’s look at some common mistakes.

Naturally customers want acceptable quality print.  But the best possible quality is not usually relevant to all markets.

Other printers focus on fantastic service.  But not all customers want to be contacted at frequent intervals.  They just want to place an order and be done with it.

So the difference needs to be something that works for your target market.  And there’s another important issue with difference.

You have to be able to deliver on your difference

It is no good telling your customers about your difference if you don’t actually put it into practice.  Earlier we talked about a printer that used samples as their difference.  But they can only use this as a difference if they can actually show a customer all the samples that they say they can.

What would happen if the printer talked about lots of samples and then could only show one or two?  The customer would soon see that the printer could not live up to the sales message.  And they would be disillusioned with the printer.  They would not see them as a trustworthy supplier.  They’d start looking for someone else.

Difference only works if you deliver on it.  But when you have difference and you deliver on it, it is really powerful.

Start working on your difference this week

It’s the only way to stop that buyer going elsewhere for the solution that you offer.

This is an extract from “How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price”   Invest in your copy today and join printers who are improving their sales messages right now.  You’ll benefit from the special launch offer price as well.

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P.S.  Do you want more ideas on how to sell to your print customers more effectively?  Then you should subscribe to the Profitable Print Relationships newsletter.  You’ll also receive our free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”.  So sign up straight away.

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