Printers: how after-sales will improve your revenues by over 10%
I bought a very useful e-book recently. But it wasn’t just the contents that were useful. I was also impressed by the way that the company cared for me afterwards. I received a number of e-mails. They made sure that I was putting the contents of the book into practice. And that I was benefitting from the results.
I was so impressed that I had no problem in writing a glowing testimonial when asked. And I recommended the book to others when it was suggested.
Print companies would benefit from using similar after-sales activity
Printers who use after-sales activity will create stronger client partnerships. And that means that they will have a better control over their sales pipeline. Which means that they have a better chance of meeting their sales targets.
Printers who don’t use after-sales activity are much less likely to achieve their sales targets. This is because they miss out on the chance of follow-up work from their clients. And they have to spend their time chasing alternative job opportunities. And they have weaker relationships with their clients.
If you want to create strong client partnerships, you need good after-sales activity. This needn’t be complicated. There are just three questions you need to ask. These questions should be asked soon after a job is delivered.
Here’s the first thing you should ask.
1) Printers should ask for feedback on their job
There are a number of reasons why this is a worthwhile enquiry to make. Firstly, you make the print buyer feel a valued client. They will realise that you care about your jobs. And about them as clients.
But you should ask for feedback for other reasons as well. The feedback will let you know if there is anything that you should be doing to improve your service. If there are any issues it gives you a chance to resolve them. And this means you are less likely to lose any clients.
Asking for feedback also helps you to create a dialogue between you and the print buyer. And this gives you the perfect opportunity to ask the next question.
2) Printers should enquire about new jobs
I am always surprised at how few times I am asked when I will next be producing a print job. To me this is a vital question to ask at this point. Firstly you will know when you should next be contacting the customer. But, as importantly, it reminds the customer that they should be talking to you at that point.
Some people feel that asking this question is too pushy. But you should always remember the saying “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. And this applies equally well to the next question.
3) Printers should ask for referrals
This is also the ideal opportunity to ask a print buyer for a referral. You should be asking if they know anyone else you should be talking to. And you should be asking them to introduce you.
Referrals are a great way to get new business. If someone suggests that I accept a call from an acquaintance, I am unlikely to say no. It’s often a successful way to open doors into new companies.
Of course this focus on new contacts may seem very sales orientated. But here’s where many printers make a mistake.
Don’t assume these questions should be asked by the salesperson
Often the person best placed to ask these questions is actually the customer services executive. The print buyer will often see questions from the customer services executive as far less pressured. They often see the customer services executive as a colleague. And therefore they will be much less guarded with their answers.
But some print companies don’t want to ask these questions whether by the salesperson or the customer services executive.
Don’t these questions put too much pressure on the customer?
Print buyers should never feel pressured by these questions. The purpose of them is to help the relationship between the print buyer and the print company. And it should not be difficult for the print buyer to avoid giving information if they wish.
Questioning in this style should not be seen as pushy.
Remember what we have already said in this article
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. So here are three action points to make sure you get:
- Brief your customer service executives that they should ask these three questions after every job
- Measure the results
- Consider rewarding them for extra business that they bring in
Remember that after-sales activity can bring a huge increase in revenue. Just imagine if every customer acted in the way I did when I bought my e-book.
Your sales would soar.
P.S. If you want more ideas on how to improve your print company 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 right now.