We’ve all been there – you’re talking to a new customer and things are going well but you can’t quite get them over the finish line and commit to buying. How do you make it so that you can consistently take people from ‘new prospects’ to ‘loyal clients’?
The answer? You need a solid sales process. A sales process is a strategic plan that you can repeat with each prospective client to guide them into finalising a deal. So, from the moment someone new walks into your store, you can see how you’re going to add them to your books.
Keep reading to find out how printers, specifically, can make this transition.
Even before they’ve set foot in your store, you can be putting work into letting as many potential clients as possible know who you are. This step takes a little bit of research to get right so get in the habit of asking your clients how they found out about you, what they were looking for, and why they chose you over your competition.
The answers to these three questions can help you formulate a better marketing and advertising plan. You might be surprised at the results. For example, it might come out that many clients actually found you online, proving that you should invest more into online campaigns than ads in local publications.
2. Building Trust
Great! They’ve found you, they know who you are. Now, you have a short moment to make a strong first impression and prove to them that you can be trusted with their print. This doesn’t have to take up much time as long as you build a rapport with the prospect.
This can be a nice point to casually ask how they heard about you or drop in some facts about how long you’ve been in the industry. Again, this doesn’t have to take long. When you’re ready, ask permission to question them in more detail about their needs so that you transition nicely into…
3. Approaching the Sale
This is the time to figure out exactly what they need. You want to give them the best service possible and you can only do that with more information. What kind of organisation do they work for? What event are they buying for? What’s their budget and when do they need it by?
By doing this, you’re also proving that you’re willing to find the best deal for them. You’re the expert after all. They might not know exactly what they’re looking for but you can figure it out to make sure all their needs are met.
4. Presenting Solutions
You’ve asked all your questions and now it’s time to suggest some answers for them. Above all, make sure that what you offer them really does meet their needs. Show some genuine thought and consideration. Customers will appreciate that much more than plain ‘sales-talk’.
Focus on how they will benefit and how you differ from your competitors. Provide samples where you can to get them engaged with the product. This is also your opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. Be careful not to let this alienate them, though – keep everything centred on helping them.
Time to wrap things up. Here is where you need to shift your language focus to a tone that assumes they’ve committed to ordering. Stop asking questions and start making statements. Here are a couple of phrases you could use;
• “So, to summarise, you’re wanting some 450gsm business cards with soft-touch lamination and rounded corners, is that right?”
• “All we need to do now is upload your artwork onto our system and we can get your print to you before the weekend.”
• “Unless you have any more questions, I think we’ve got everything we need to get started.”
As soon as you get the green light, you want to move fast. It sounds bad but it’s true, you don’t want them to have a chance to change their mind. Bring them over to your ‘buying area’ and show them how their artwork will look.
6. Following Up
It can be easy to forget about clients once they’ve left your shop but follow-ups are an important part in forming their long-lasting loyalty. Show your customers that you care about their business by making sure that your print has done what it needed to.
This doesn’t have to be more than email if you like, just something quick to check in and make sure everything went smoothly. Don’t forget to ask for feedback so that you can improve your service wherever possible. All this helps a new client to trust you in the future.
Learn more about offering solutions to your clients in our free, downloadable eBook, What Kind of a Print Seller Are You?