With the right approach, print distributors can liquidate their products without any issues. Of course, it's important that the quality of the materials is sound, but even the most well-manufactured labels, checks and other business forms can be tough to get off the racks.

Facing the digital climate
The sales department is the print industry's first line of defense against digital competitors. Many enterprises have surmised that there's not much of need for print anymore – much of the materials traditionally presented in tangible form are now being transferred electronically. However, skilled customer representatives could make a case against virtual documentation by pointing out that physical documents are:

  • Easier to organize
  • More hidden from criminals
  • Simpler to edit and write notes on
  • A way for businesses to promote brand unity
  • Customizable by industry (print manufacturers can create certain forms pertaining to automotive, health care, financing, etc.)

Touching on these aspects during the sales pitch will enable distributors to enlighten companies on the print-versus-digital realm. The bottom line is that although digital may look spotless, there are a number of blemishes that often go unnoticed when organizations invest in new technology.

Pay attention to personality
If organizations wanted to sell products through automated customer service systems, sales departments wouldn't exist. Stephen Key, a contributor to Entrepreneur and experienced Sales professional, outlined three key things professionals should keep in mind when trying to solidify a new contract.

  1. Don't create a facade: Putting on a mask and trying to be the person a prospective customer wants you to be isn't productive. People feel more comfortable communicating with those who are comfortable with themselves.
  2. Keep the pitch short and strong: Giving a grandiose, 10-minute presentation on how print can help an enterprise won't cut it. A purpose should be stated the moment comfort is established, which takes about 10 seconds or less. Professionals lead busy lives, so let them get back to work.
  3. Know the prospect: How can a salesperson expect to tell a business leader why their enterprise needs printed forms if no prior knowledge of the customer's practice exists? It's important for print distributors to do their research on the companies they're targeting.

Print-specific tactics
Jennifer Matt, a contributor to WhatTheyThink, acknowledged that print sales teams should focus on two things: utilizing technology properly and presenting potential clients with a solution to a critical need.

In regard to the former point, print sales teams are leveraging multiple channels to communicate with their customers. Matt acknowledged that they assume prospects want to leverage email, phone, Web chat and other features to connect in real-time. However, she pointed out that many people use these amenities because it gives them the ability to reinitiate a conversation whenever it's most convenient for them.

Finally, Matt noted that every company needs to spread brand awareness. One way of doing that is by exploiting tangible marketing materials for all they're worth. A salesperson should show customers how printed graphics can be personalized for target audiences and track the progress of marketing campaigns.

By taking the aforementioned tactics into practice, print distributors will remain strong contenders in the digital realm.