Being Part Of The Solution

June 11th, 2013 - Posted by Jonathan Silvester, Brand Development


You may already be a bit tired of hearing the various selling methodologies being pushed by training organisations and consultants; solution selling, consultative selling, partnership selling, value selling and a whole heap more. Very often they also come with a whole heap of management jargon too and with no examples or case studies relevant to our own industry. Without relevancy and straightforward practical tips we are not really able to see how it can directly benefit our own business. For any print provider moving into the web to print arena, however, there is a real need to address the way in which print services will be sold and the style of the sales approach. My own experience of selling online print services for a print group and that of our own RTT customers underlines the definite shift in mindset and approach that is required in order to succeed. So what in practice needs to change when selling online print services?

Well there is no doubt in my mind that web to print is just about the most effective sales tool for the modern print provider, but there is a major issue in the way it is currently being sold. Web to print in itself is not the key to success! Buying any piece of technology or even any piece of kit for our press room does not guarantee us the sales growth and capacity we need to succeed. The print provider has to bring more to the table than just online ordering. We do therefore believe that the industry has to make a fundamental shift in mindset to effectively sell web to print services to businesses.

For some buyers of print (particularly the younger “online natives”), the ability to edit, order and proof online instantly, will be regarded as a great benefit and they will want this control and this “self-service route”. But in truth the majority will want to see a more compelling argument if they are being asked to possibly switch suppliers, or maybe place all of their print with just one single print provider. So the print provider must be focused on how the web to print offering can provide a winning solution that can deliver real benefit and a real return on investment (ROI) to the client. They must be focused on a “what can I solve” approach for each client. The solutions offered will be varied and the way the solution is presented will be key to success. Simply trotting out a load of generic benefits like; 24/7 access, brand control, more targeted marketing, less admin, time savings etc, is simply not going to win you the business in most cases.

RedTie are now spending a good deal of time and effort providing seminars to its web to print users on selling print services in the modern economy. We think it is generally true that the modern print buyer does not want to talk to a print salesperson. They want to talk to someone who can solve problems and offer them ROI. This means the traditional salesperson must change his approach to be successful and he must sell the “difference”. You will find that most buyers of print already expect, and probably take for granted, a competitive print price, quality, flexibility, high levels of service, environmental responsibility, ISO quality standards, etc. So the print salesperson must be offering something new and something genuinely compelling; something they do not take for granted. This is how they are going to differentiate themselves from competitors and start selling the difference.

Changing your approach to begin to sell print solutions rather than just print products requires a thorough understanding of the potential of web to print. This is why I am spending a good deal of my time these days taking our seminars and training events out on the road to share case studies and success stories and offer real practical help and advice on selling in the modern economy. The reality is that businesses prefer to do business online these days. If you are not online and do not provide online services then customers will simply not find you and they will find someone else to do business with. Printers need to be where their customer are – and that is most definitely online!

You will find the next free seminar available to book online here