Do You Really Want To Sell Something?

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    We are currently searching for some printing services for our new office in Fort Worth, Texas.  Our staff has visited with several printers and shown/explained what we need to have completed.  In many, but not all instances, we continue to be surprised at the answers and responses we have received.  Before I go any further, let me be clear– I am sure what my experience has been so far is not unique to Fort Worth, Texas.
      When we explain/show what our current product is and how we want it to be reproduced, it has been interesting to hear how it either cannot be done the way we want it done, the process is no longer viable or we just don’t do that kind of work.
       OK, we get “we don’t do that kind of work.”  That is totally fair.  Some places do one kind of work, some do another.  If you don’t do what we are seeking, no problem, we’ll go find a firm that does.
       What becomes more interesting is being told what we want is not possible with today’s technology, the colors will not reproduce accurately, the size is not standard or a whole host of other excuses on why what we are seeking is impossible to do.  I clearly get “we don’t do that.”  That is simple.  However, because I have had this work done before, in large quantities, I know that it can be done and has been done before.
        The point of this post is to successfully address the problem that the customer presents.  If you cannot or do not do this work, OK.  Who does?  Where should I go?  Do you have a better idea that would present our material in a more favorable light?  Are there new technologies that will enhance what we are trying to accomplish?  These are all questions that I want to know and your customer wants to know.  After all, I need to have the work done.  Where do I need to go to get it done?  I did not address cost, having your firm outsource it or anything like that.  Those are all viable options–however, I need someone to give me those options.  Sadly, what I have heard most times is “we don’t do that.”  I always ask, “Well, who does or who do you suggest?”  The answer normally is, “I don’t know!”
         Now, if this was specialized brain surgery I would understand!  However, that is not the case!  This is basic, simple 4 color printing– without anything special.
         The next time that a client comes and asks you to do something that you don’t do, your chances of making a sale are far greater if you provide other options that may not have been considered or suggest a competitor who may be able to accomplish what the client needs or wants.  In many cases, you will be able to “up sale” the client on a format or process that he/she may not have considered or was aware of that will enhance the product that he originally came to see you about.
          At the end of the day, I found a printer who knows exactly what I want and is excited about doing the work.  The price is the price, that I know.  Can it be done less expensively.  YES, however, the format in which this particular printer uses is what we were seeking.  Think about this the next time a client asks for something that you don’t do!  You could make a sale that you did not expect to make!
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