Printbuyers Online

Sales rep seeks better ways to work with prospective customers

Answered by Suzanne Morgan, founder, Print Buyers

Are there any new and exciting ways to “get in the door” with prospective customers? I’m a former print buyer and now an account executive at a printing company.


You may or may not consider customer education a “new” or “exciting” way to reach out to prospective customers, but I believe this is the most effective way to engage print buyers and earn their trust.

Print buyers, novice to seasoned, have a continual need to learn more about printing technology and the business of print buying. There’s so much to learn and the bar is continually raised as technology improves and industry players change.

When I recommend offering education to print buyers, I’m not just suggesting a once a year or even quarterly seminar held at your print plant. Those half-day or full-day seminars can be very valuable to prospective clients, but often take so much work to put together and promote that printers fail to offer this training consistently.

I recommend that you think outside the box and start small, because consistently providing expertise is the key. Here are some ideas:

  • Send a weekly educational tip by e-mail to current customers and prospects.

  • Regularly suggest resources that are helpful to print buyers (i.e. the PBO e-community, magazines, Websites, articles, etc.)

  • Once a month, send a sample of a unique print job that your company produced and explain how that job helped another buying company.

  • Offer informal “box lunch” sessions (topics could include a general Q&A from participants, paper technology, proofing, etc.)

  • Start a monthly informal lunch group (yourself and a few print buyers from different organizations) to discuss common problems print buyers face

  • Offer to train a new print buyer by having them spend a day or two with you and your associates at the printing facility

The goal is to provide value (from the print buyer’s perspective) before you ask for the print job. As a former print buyer, you know that the expertise of the sales representative is one of the most important factors in deciding to work with a printing company. So give those prospects tangible examples of the expertise that they can come to depend on by working with you.

   © 2016 Print Buyers, Inc.