Why Channel Partners Shouldn’t Talk About Presses

Surely, if you want to sell a press, you need to talk about it?

Isn’t it crazy to suggest that channel partners stop talking about presses?! You can’t sell something if you don’t talk about it.

However, take a moment to think about the current sales landscape at the moment. There is no doubt that more and more sales conversations are becoming price focused. Many buyers are treating buying a press as a commodity purchase. What has happened to cause this? Here is something that you should consider:

If you lead with the press, you commoditise the sale

Many channel partners choose to focus on all the excellent new features of a Xerox color or monochrome press. They build a case study around why a printing company should upgrade to the latest model. In many cases, they do an excellent job of this. The prospect is ready to buy.

However, you are rarely the only company offering this press. The prospect has been educated as to which product they should purchase. Now they can shop around and find the best deal. This is because many sales conversations are happening back to front.

Lead with the supplier, not the press

In a crowded market, it is important to educate your prospects as to why they should buy from you. What makes you stand out from the competition? What can you offer that others don’t? Why are you worth a premium price?

The aim of this conversation is to create a new role for you and your company. This role is one of a trusted advisor. The prospect should decide whom they are going to deal with before they start thinking about what they are going to buy.

Adopting this approach allows you to have a much more open conversation with prospects and customers. You can talk about what they need and the right services for them, knowing that they are probably going to work with you. If they trust you, they will be ready to listen to your advice. They are more likely to decide on the total package that you offer them, including workflow, consultancy, and backup options.

For this approach to succeed, the conversation needs to start much earlier

If a prospect is ready to buy, it is often too late for you to become a trusted advisor if you are not one already. They need to have partnered with you before the process of choosing a new press begins. Nowadays, it is important to stay in the front of the prospect’s mind on a continuous basis. Simply making contact when you think the prospect will be ready to make a new purchase is no longer enough.

In my next two articles, I will be looking at how to stay in touch regularly and the sort of content that will engage commercial printing companies, and lead them to think of you as a trusted advisor.


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