Gimbel & Associates Blog

How to Switch to Solution Selling

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on Mar 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

As your organization transitions from selling products and print jobs to selling solutions, your sales techniques must evolve. The ultimate value of a print solution is not the printed product. It is the actionable results that come from the print. These results help your clients grow and achieve their specific business goals.
 
This post is all about making those sales process changes. If you follow these guidelines, your sales performance will improve.
 
It Starts Before the First Sales Call
 
Before you begin calling on prospects, answer these questions:
 
Why do customers buy from your organization?
  • What can you do that others cannot? What case studies or testimonials can you use?
  • What skills or business practices differentiate you from competitors?
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Topics: sales, solution selling

Getting to Yes

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on Jun 23, 2017 10:29:21 AM

Impact Sales Performance
Printing companies used tried and true sales strategies in the 80’s and 90’s, but those techniques are yielding fewer results today. Print service providers need new strategies to stand above the competition and attract business that spurs growth. At Gimbel & Associates we’ve been teaching print industry salespeople how to react to the ever changing business environment in which they find themselves, with great success.
 
The process is evolutionary. Companies don’t change overnight, but we’re sharing helpful tips that can have an immediate impact on sales performance. These ideas will encourage customers to say “yes” more often.
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Topics: consultative selling, solution selling, challenger sale, sales, sales strategies, getting to yes

How to Create a Business Marketing Plan for Inkjet     Part 2

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on Dec 7, 2016 3:26:31 PM

Marketing and Sales Must Work Together

Creating a Business Marketing Plan for Inkjet includes several steps. Success relies upon an honest evaluation of the print service provider and a detailed analysis of customers, competitors, and market trends. If inkjet is new to everyone in the organization, or an introspective examination of the current condition is difficult, then ask for opinions from outside observers and experts to help build the business plan.

In Part 1 of this post we described assessment, review, and goal-setting activities necessary to establish a baseline and the desired objectives for developing new business for an inkjet platform. Part 2 focuses on the marketing and sales strategies print service providers must consider to achieve the desired outcomes.

Marketing Strategy

Print service providers achieving the greatest return on their inkjet platform investments have approached marketing differently from their strategies for traditional offset or toner-based printing. Their focus is on using inkjet to help customers meet their marketing or customer communications objectives, rather than on the printed output itself. Creating awareness, interest, and demand for inkjet-enabled benefits is the job of the print provider’s marketing strategy.

Inkjet-specific marketing materials can point out how a service provider’s inkjet operation can:

  • Improve response rates for customer marketing materials by making documents more personalized

  • Use data to create relevant documents and images designed to improve customer experiences

  • Embed promotional, informational, or educational content in transactional documents

  • Reduce customer service calls by creating easily understood documents

  • Drive targeted messaging in other channels and integrate printed materials into multi-channel campaigns

  • Get documents produced sooner due to shortened proofing and preparation times

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Topics: marketing, sales, marketing strategy, sales process, marketing plan

Consultative Selling - Teaching Your Sales Team a New Approach

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on May 18, 2016 12:13:01 PM

How To Turn Your Staff Into Consultative Sellers

In a previous post I pointed out the need to transition to consultative selling from traditional approaches used by most print service providers. This isn’t an easy task. Retraining a sales team to use a different set of skills is a hard thing to do. It doesn’t involve just the salespeople; it is an enterprise-wide effort. Top management must support consultative selling as part of their company culture to change the mindset from focusing on print jobs to enabling customers’ business goals. It’s about why they print, not what.

One of the most important concepts to ingrain in your salespeople is that relationships come first and selling comes second. Building relationships with customers includes developing trust and credibility. To earn that trust salespeople must take a true interest in understanding client needs, demonstrating empathy, and always maintaining integrity.

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Topics: sales, consultative selling, marketing, how to

Consultative Selling – Business Development Breeds Better Sales

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on Apr 18, 2016 11:57:05 AM


Why You Should Care About Consultative Selling

Over the last several years journalists and experts have advised printing companies they must change to be competitive in a multi-channel communications world. Many print providers have responded by updating hardware, software, and technology. We think the key to successfully generating revenue from those investments, and the way to expand your business, is by adopting a consultative approach to working with your customers. We’ve already helped many clients make that transition.

Consultative selling is different from the method used for decades in the print business, best described as “commodity” or “transactional” selling. In a typical print services sales presentation, the salesperson spends most of their time describing what their company has to offer. The conversation is dominated with details such as printing specifications, papers, finishing capabilities, mail preparation, and volume price breaks.

Today - “Here is what we have – want to buy it?”

In a print focused, commodity-type relationship, the print services discussed are generally available from many providers and the buyer has many vendors to choose from. The most important distinguishing factor is price. Customer loyalty is tenuous at best. If youbrochures.jpg are selling print in a price based relationship, the value of continuing to do business with your company can be easily diminished or eliminated by lower prices touted by the competition.

Transactional customer relationships are a bit stronger than commodity selling in that a print service provider may have developed a niche or specialization within a certain market or service. Their record of performance and limited competition allows them to charge more, but leaves little room for expanding customer relationships beyond that particular area of expertise. Customers may keep coming back because there are no viable options. Once they find an alternative though, accounts become vulnerable.

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Topics: sales, consultative selling, marketing

Grow Your Business by Selling Value, Not Print

Posted by Lois Ritarossi on Mar 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Print providers are in an excellent position to help their customers understand the unique benefits of print communications, how to get the greatest return from their investments in printed material, and how to integrate print and digital media to raise the effectiveness of all the channels. Focusing on how customers benefit from their services is the way to get customers thinking of a print service provider as a strategic partner rather than a vendor.

 This requires shifting sales conversations away from production-related specifications such as print volumes, finishing, and paper stocks. Value-added discussions should be about business goals such as conversion rates, customer retention, upselling, lifetime customer value, and customer experience. 

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Topics: sales, consultative selling, multi-channel campaigns, sales effectiveness, variable data printing, digital print