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How to stop a prospect from buying

Part 2 of “6 lessons about selling print learned from a visit to the pub”

Here’s how to put my friend off his beer with one word

If you mention citrus he will automatically refuse to taste it! He is also keen to avoid any beer that mentions mango, passion fruit or grapefruit. I suspect that it actually has nothing to do with the taste of the beer. He simply dislikes that sort of description.

When we went to the pub on our recent visit we discovered a dark beer that was supposed to taste of roasted malt, coffee and grapefruit! That immediately stopped my friend from ordering it, even though he loves dark beers.

Sometimes, we put people off buying even though we think we are encouraging them

Is this how a customer feels after your sales pitch?

Is this how a customer feels after your sales pitch?

As sales people, we are often tempted to use complicated or clever words. We think it makes our products sound more exciting or better. However, these words often have exactly the opposite effect on the customer. They can be put off by something more complicated. The clever words may seem frightening. Or the customer may think that they mean something completely different to what was intended.

If grapefruit hadn’t been mentioned, my friend might well have bought this beer.

We have to be especially careful of wording in the print industry

Our industry uses a lot of technical language. I see sales people talk to people about substrates, when they could simply say paper. They talk about four-colour process rather than colour printing. And when it comes to finishing they love to talk about PUR binding and reticulation.

As a result, the customer becomes confused. The whole process of buying print becomes too complicated. Remember, most customers simply want a product, not a printing work of art.

Customers can suffer from too much information

Most people don’t need to know that you are printing their brochure on a 275gsm, triple coated, gloss woodfree art. They simply need to know that it’s on high quality shiny paper.

Likewise, as I pointed out in the previous article in this series many customers don’t want lots of complicated choices. They simply want to be able to choose between a standard and a premium option. There is no need to give a full technical specification of each option when they are choosing.

It is particularly important to remember this if we are selling workflow solutions

Technical people love their jargon! I am normally lost about 60 seconds into any conversation with an IT specialist! However, the technical team are often brought in to introduce workflow solutions to customers. They are the people who explain how to upload files, or the advantages of web-to-print or why customers should buy a multi-channel campaign.

However, they are often also exactly the sort of people who can put customers off. They love to show all the technical bell and whistles. They love to show every option on the software. But it is usually too much for the customer.

These people are brought in because often the sales team doesn’t really understand the solution they are being asked to sell. But if the sales team don’t understand it, what chance does the customer have? It is far better to create a sales pitch that can be delivered by anyone – and especially those without any technical training.

That brings us neatly on to this week’s action point.

It is time to review your language

Do you accidentally put customers off by using technical jargon? Do you use too much complicated language? There’s a simple was to find out if this applies.

Run some of your sales messages past people who aren’t involved in the print industry. Make sure you ask them to have a look at your sales letters, your website and your brochures as well. If they understand everything you say then all is well. But if they start asking you questions, or making fun of the language you are using, then it’s time for a review.

Roasted malt, coffee and grapefruit beer?

Despite my misgivings, I tried a taster. But I did this mainly because I like a challenge! Actually, the beer was lovely! But I nearly didn’t try it. And my friend still refused to try it. How much more might they have sold with a simpler description?

Make sure you keep it simple to sell more print. You should also make sure you charge the right profit margin. Find out more in next week’s article “Do You Have The Right Profit Margin?”
PS Are you looking for other simple but effective strategies to help you connect with today’s buyers? Download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.

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