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Selling Print: Best Practices

Three Steps to Success

As you grow your business, you may have tried several approaches to selling print services. Web-to-Print storefronts are popular, but so is the relationship-based approach of selling print directly to individuals and businesses that need your services. You may have one or more salespeople calling on clients, people in the office making calls, or a combination of all sales channels to keep the work coming in. Every option is a good one, but how you position what you sell to current customers and prospects can make a difference in your success and growth.

The top three elements to consider when selling print are:

  • The Story
  • Proof Points
  • The Follow-Up

The Story

Many of the best salespeople excel at crafting compelling reasons for people to believe in their products and services. But being able to tell stories is not something everyone does naturally. Focus on creating stories to surround how the sales team positions the business to clients and prospects, as well as the products and services to put print in context. Focus on how print is the natural enhancement of every marketing campaign, bringing dimensionality and texture to the story. 

If you don’t have a stack of stories, think about the last ten customers you sold to. What was the problem they were trying to solve with print? Who was the target audience for the print or promotional products they purchased? How did the project help them reach their goals? Whether they bought business cards, brochures, banners, or buttons — every sale has a story. 

Your Homework: 

  1. Make a list of clients and products sold in the last six months.
  2. Look at order volumes, unusual orders, and specialty projects.
  3. Create a paragraph that tells the story of each project and add it to your website.
  4. Socialize them with the sales support and customer service teams so they can leverage them in their conversations.

Your Goal: For every product, develop a story that everyone knows. For sales, stories can help move a customer forward in their buying decisions. For the support teams, the stories can help them answer questions that arise during production.  

The Print Selling Proof Points

As you build your stories, look for opportunities to talk about how print reaches the widest audience. As much as we assume everyone has internet access, the FCC says that 6% of the US population lacks access to reliable broadband service, and in rural areas, that number jumps to 25%. Print also makes the most memorable impression. It’s tactile and engaging, making it ideal for helping clients promote their products, services, candidacies, and events. It can also be the perfect companion to an online presence when QR codes and website addresses are included to drive traffic! Include this information in conversations with your clients. 

For every story, build proof points that link your products to customer satisfaction and success. Think about order-to-delivery times and your ability to meet customer deadlines. Think about the versatility of the products you can deliver and the value it brings to clients with diverse needs. Customer testimonials are a great source of promotional material and can become stories to support your pitches to prospects. 

Your Homework: Identify your happiest customers and talk to them about what makes them return to you. Ask if there are print projects they use other companies to produce, and if so, why? Ask about how they identify success for the print products they buy. Consider sending a short email survey to customers or adding one to your web-to-print portal to ask customers if they would recommend you. 

Your Goal: Proof points based on data help salespeople tell a business-focused story that can help to seal the deal. Consider surveying every client after delivery to ask the questions: How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? This is the fundamental question used to build a net promoter score (NPS) based on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. That one question can help to develop an NPS score to promote, but also quickly find potential problems in a customer relationship that could stall future sales. 

The Print Selling Follow-Up

The follow-up is how you build relationships. The NPS is only one facet of follow-ups. Part of the discipline of selling print is the art of listening as the customer defines what they want. It continues as you make your pitch to determine if you need to adjust your pitch or work in more opportunities. The prevailing wisdom in sales is that the most profitable deals are made with existing customers, especially if you can capture more of their wallet share over time with upselling and cross-selling. 

One of the essential elements of your 4over relationship is your ability to offer the broadest range of print and promotional items, as well as signs and banners. Your mission is to find the products that can help you expand your relationships with clients and prospects. For more print-selling tips, talk to your 4over team today.

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As one of North America’s largest trade-only printers and a trusted source for print fulfillment since 2001, 4over helps print, design, and other creative services resellers grow profitable businesses. We do this by offering a vast selection of quality print products at guaranteed trade-only prices. Our expansive e-commerce catalog includes everything from standard marketing collateral like business cards and brochures, to harder-to-find specialty, large format, and promotional products.

Our capabilities span gang run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing across six production facilities, staffed by experienced, committed operations teams. With locations across North America, state-of-the-art equipment such as powerful Incas and Scodix UV machines, and fast turnarounds, 4over offers our customers savings, selection, and scale. We serve large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between. Learn more at Trade.4over.com

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