Printbuyers Online

Signs of a True Professional

Supplier selection is one of the most important decisions you can make in properly managing print projects. With the surge of new technology and the increasing pressure to manage information, print buyers need more help than ever.

Consider your suppliers' sales representatives as the communication link between your company and each supplier. We expect more from them than we did just a few years ago. They must be dependable, progressive, and maintain an active involvement with your company and you.

You should only work with sales reps who create an ease of doing business for your business and you while providing on-going education, resources and consulting services.

To separate the superior sales representatives from the mediocre, here are 11 helpful signs.

True sales professionals…

  1. Know something about your business when they first meet with you. They have done their homework and have a compelling reason why they are seeking your business.

  2. Don't give lip service to quality assurance. They offer specific examples, without necessarily being prompted, about their company's quality assurance programs.

  3. Know that it's the little things that make the difference…and that build credibility. True pro's keep the promises they make, such as calling back as scheduled, providing information in a timely manner, etc. Trust is developed before they are awarded the first job.

  4. Come from an organized sales staff. It's frustrating to have several meetings with a sales representative only to find out later that he/she can't handle the account — it's another rep's territory. A supplier's ability to communicate well with its own staff is a clue to its ability to communicate with you.

  5. Go to buyer seminars. Great reps will understand your problems and are eager to learn your business. They are interested in providing educational information and resources.

  6. Demonstrate resourcefulness and a company culture that reflects problem solving. They provide specific examples of how they would handle a problem job, perhaps by detailing how they saved the day for other clients.

  7. Treat all of your staff respectfully, not just the top decision-makers. They understand that the person who answers the phones and runs proofs today soon may be responsible for buying millions of dollars in printing.

  8. Create differentiation from their competitors. They provide value-added services that you may be pressed to find elsewhere.

  9. Understand that providing timely information is sometimes more important than the delivery of the finished job.

  10. Are interested in building long-term relationships, but don't expect you to form a partnership until the benefits of working together are realized trust is established.

  11. Don't try to sell you everything. They understand and select the services products that are the best fit for you. A great salesperson is interested in finding the right match.

When selecting suppliers for your print projects, whether for a contract or a single job, remember what you are buying. Yes, you are buying ink on paper, but more importantly, you are buying expertise, trust, and problem solving. Look for the above qualities in your sales representatives. Don't settle for anything less.

   © 2016 Print Buyers, Inc.