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6 Tactics for Successfully Selling Digital Print

For those accustomed to selling traditional lithographic print, making the transition to selling digital print can be challenging.

Whereas offset jobs are seen as a commoditized ‘easy sell’, digital print jobs require consultative selling. This means they are more involved, have longer sales cycles, and are a bit more complex.

Not exactly music to your sales team’s ears.

Historically, the more print your customers ordered, the greater the payday for the sales rep. But those days have long been changing.

As run lengths decline, turn times tighten, and the need for personalization rises – so, too, do the demands for digital print.

Here are tips to help you, or your sales team, become more effective in selling these services.

1. Understand digital print applications
Before you can be successful in selling digital print, you must first develop a deep understanding of the solutions it enables.

For example, grocers needing to promote weekly specials of freezer items could benefit from durable POP signage printed on synthetic substrates. Meanwhile, college admissions directors looking to increase enrollment might be interested in a targeted, multichannel direct mail campaign.

2. Become a master of vertical markets
Each of your customers has a unique business and competes in a very specialized market. Because digital print is about solution selling, you must truly understand the ins and outs of the markets they compete in.

Start small. Become ultra familiar with one or two markets, such as education, hospitality, healthcare, or retail. You’ll want to understand market trends, legal and regulatory issues, competitive threats, and business pressures. To help get you up to speed, Mohawk offers a variety of vertical-focused presentations.

3. Do your homework
Before calling on a customer, make sure to do your research first. Do your best to learn the details of their business. Visit their website, read their blog, view their social media accounts, study their competition, and read what their customers are saying.

Being this prepared will not only help you make a positive first impression, but you’ll also have real solutions and insights to bring to the table.

4. Call on the right person
Unlike traditional print sales, selling digital print solutions requires you to fine-tune your approach. No longer will your contacts always be situated in the purchasing departments. Instead, you’ll need to move up the value chain. You’ll be talking with creatives, production managers and members of the C-suite.

Gone are the days where you quote the greatest amount of print for the cheapest possible unit price. Now, conversations will be results driven. Your vocabulary will include response rates, return on marketing investment, conversion rates, website traffic and more.

5. Focus on the right issues
Your clients won’t be able to tell the difference between a piece printed on offset or digital print technology. And they won’t care, either. Remember, your new audience does not speak the language of a print buyer. Instead, they live and breathe results.

Starting a conversation with speeds, feeds, run lengths, unit costs, or other technical specifications is a sure dead-end. Use your knowledge on the specific vertical your customer competes in and the information you’ve gathered on their company to lead a strategic dialogue that solves their pain points.

Learn what matters to your customers and frame the discussion appropriately. Starting a conversation with, “how would you like to enhance upsell opportunities and strengthen customer loyalty” is sure to pique interest. But don’t stop there. You’ll need to put it into the context of a real-world application that strikes a personal chord with your client.

6. Back it up
Always come prepared with case studies and print samples. Your new C-level audience is sure to be very visual and detail oriented. Bringing real-life examples of how you’ve helped similar companies in similar industries will paint a strong picture.

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Remember, you are not selling print – you are selling a solution to solve their problems.

This article is reprinted with Mohawk’s permission from the Mohawk Makeready series. To view the original article and check out the other Mohawk resources, click here.