With all of the digital innovations and advancements that have taken place in the past few years, business leaders might be lulled into believing that these environments and assets are the only ones that matter. However, this could not be further from the truth, as print forms are still a critical aspect of sales, marketing and more in the modern private sector, and it would likely be difficult to come across as a legitimate establishment without at least some physical documents in the hands of representatives.
Now, first and foremost, it is important to remember that the connection between print and digital media is where companies will find the most opportunities to excel and differentiate themselves from others in their markets. Too many firms will put all of their chips on one number, rather than working to develop and deliver the most consistent and preferable image across channels, mediums and environments.
For the purposes of this blog, the sales department and staff will be the target of discussion, with leaders therein working to understand how and why they should be leveraging certain types of physical print forms during initial meetings with prospects and through out the lifecycle. When the digital aspects are covered, such as design, websites and the like, these print forms can go a long way in driving the image of the sales professional and, subsequently, the business itself, in the eyes of current and prospective clientele.
1. Sales slicks
If you are sending your sales staff out into the field with nothing in their hands but a pad and pen, chances are they are not going to touch upon the preferences of the average corporate decision-maker. It is worth noting and many experienced businessmen will joke, saying that these forms need to be perfect, both with respect to design and the content populating the page, but will often be given a brief glance, never to be evaluated again by the recipient.
That being said, it is simply an expectation that should be obliged to build the right type of rapport – and make the desirable statement – to the prospect. Work with a proven provider of print forms to get these ready to go for your next sales meeting.
2. Business cards
Another traditional document that has withstood the test of time, business cards will always be an essential asset in the salesperson's toolkit. Some like them simple, while others prefer their business cards to stick out from the crowd, and this will all be dictated by the personality of the staff members and general policies of the business.
As a leader, always consider standardizing these documents to ensure that different sales people are not giving varying prospects a breadth of perspectives during the very formative first impression aspects of the sales cycle.
3. Case studies
These should certainly be available online, but again will carry far more weight in the eyes of the average corporate purchaser when available in print form during initial and intermediate sales meetings. Case studies do not only provide prospects with evidence of what they are supposed to expect from a professional relationship with the company, but also the ways in which the firm handles its business.
Along with sales slicks, case studies in print form can be the perfect complement to first explain the services or products being pitched, then proving how other clients have had positive experiences in the past. Try to once again standardize the design of case studies, and make sure they go with the themes and general aesthetic presented in the sales slicks to truly impress the prospects right from the start.
Putting it all together
When these three items are perfected and ready to go, consider procuring folders from your print provider that still align with your brand image and placing these documents into one clean, easy to comprehend batch. Again, chances are the prospect will open that folder, page through it a bit and then begin the discussion with the sales staff, but this necessary gesture can be an exceptional method of garnering the respect – and attention – of a potential client that has been around the circuit for decades.