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Successfully Selling Wide-Format

(July 2008) posted on Tue Jul 01, 2008

How products, customers, competitors, and technologies play into successful sales.

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By Tim Greene

One of the most important characteristics of the wide-format printing marketplace is that there are relatively low barriers to entry. Essentially, any individual or small print shop that can spend a few thousand dollars on a wide-format printer, along with the required input and finishing equipment can become a wide-format print service provider. Then, it's a matter of growing your business.

But a key factor in growing that wide-format business is the ability to actually sell wide-format printing. Succeeding takes resourcefulness. Creating superior marketing is a constant challenge for any company, in any market segment. And just like other industries, the wide-format printing world is continually faced with new technologies and products, competitors, and challenging customers.

To truly become accomplished and profitable in the wide-format business, you must address it from a sales perspective and do so by: knowing your product; knowing your market; knowing your customers; and knowing your competitors.

Product details and segment targeting
Even though wide-format specialists are selling a service versus selling one particular item, traditional sales techniques still apply. It helps if you can drive demand where there has not been demand. For instance, by showing prospects data that helps them recognize the benefits they will see as a result of more visual advertising, print service providers can drive additional wide-format printing business.

Point-of-purchase is a prime example. In a recent InfoTrends study, retailers were asked for their perspective on the effectiveness of point-of-purchase advertising. Eighty-five percent of retailers surveyed indicated that point-of-purchase graphics are either very or moderately effective at increasing sales of products in their store. This is the kind of data that print service providers should include in their sales and marketing materials because, as retailers see it-and recognize that they could be missing an opportunity to grow their sales through more and better in-store signage-this should drive more wide-format printing. Tip: Customers love visuals, so collect as much written information as possible about your wide-format hardware, software, and media. Keep your brochures handy, open them up in front of your customer, and go over the details of your product and services step by step.