About the Author: Don Weston Started working in the printing industry over 50 years ago and remains the mentor of the owner of Weston Graphics, Inc. Online Printing Services available.
In my early selling days, I would walk into a major corporation’s purchasing department and see ten to twenty printers waiting for appointments. It didn’t take long to figure out that I had to do something to separate me from the rest of these printers; but what?
Permit me to digress for a moment. When I was a kid of 14 or 15, I worked part time in my uncle’s candy store. He taught me a lesson I have never forgotten. After I had sold some cigarettes to a gentleman, he said to me, “Don, it doesn’t cost anything to say thank you to a customer and it might cause him to come back.”
You are probably ahead of me now. To separate myself, I developed two letters: One said, “Thank you for the time you spent with me when I called at your office; it is greatly appreciated.” The other said “I’m sorry to have missed you when I called at your office. I hope to see you on my next visit. In the meantime if you feel we may be able to be of service, please feel free to call upon me.”
This may sound a bit old fashioned but I can’t tell you how many times, when I made a second call, the buyer said to me, “You’re the guy that wrote me the letter” and I got in to see him.
I also wanted, if possible, to leave the buyer smiling. I would tell him or her that of course they have someone who handles their printing, but we have something no other printer in California has. And when they asked me what, I answered, “ME.”
So much for thank you. The next bit of advice is, “Don’t be greedy.”
I remember once when I ran a small printing company, a lady came in with the copy for a small but thick booklet. She said she needed seven thousand copies. It was nothing that we could handle but perhaps we could farm it out. I contacted Times Mirror Press, (you might as well start at the top) and a gentleman came out and I showed him the copy. He said it was no problem. He returned with a price and I asked him what was in it for us and he told me. I mentioned to him that I could not expose the company for that small an amount. Instead, I gave him the customer’s info and told him to go directly to her.
Unknown by me at the time, it was one of the smartest moves I could have made. The Times salesman put me in touch with the outside printing buyer at the Times and we did what they considered small jobs; College manuals, booklets of all sorts and even part of the Kelly Blue Book. I had asked the buyer why they did not do these jobs themselves and his reply was, “We have five unions here and even though we can set a page in the phone book in about twenty minutes, it would take us forever to produce one of the jobs we give you.”
Here is another “old fashioned thought:” In this era of email, I would be willing to bet if you wanted to thank an account, it could best be done by writing, of all things, A LETTER! Here is your thank–you letter:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for permitting us to be of service to you and your company. Once again, thank you.
Are you selling Online Printing Services or Cars? What have you done? You have taken one small step to separate you from the others. Good luck and good selling.See more articles by Mr. Weston HERE. Read about the Author HERE. Related Posts