Gaining an appointment with a customer and first showing them endless samples and examples of your printing products is a prescription for a failed sales call. It is still a common crutch for many printing salespeople to carry a brief case full of print samples. This is known as a “pitch book”.
Gaining an appointment with a prospective customer who can actually make a decision to buy is the hope and dream of every sales person who sells complex products or services. No new customer is gained unless a customer’s curiosity is elevated to interest and a call to action. The surest way to lose a golden opportunity is to misuse precious face to face time with a customer by sharing information and samples that the customer does not need or care about.
Viewing a “sample dump” during a meeting with salespeople can be a daunting experience for many customers. Though this was a common practice of salespeople in the past, this is a tactic that is past its prime. “Stop me when you see some printing you like” selling strategy is still too common in the printing industry. I not sure it was ever effective. With the time constraints on customers and the multitude of media alternatives to printing, blowing a selling opportunity is not forgivable.
Sharing “pitch books” or “talking samples” is OK is if the examples of what you sell is directly linked to a customer’s interest or need. Anything else will make your customer want to quickly end the conversation. Even worse, the customer may never again agree to see you because they felt you wasted their time.
A much better approach is spending time on confirming the customer’s business and requirements, before showing them examples. By taking the time to really know your customer, you can then share with them solutions that really address their communication goals and problems.