How Can We Convince Our Print Buyers to Lean into Marketing When Many are Fearful and Don’t Want to Spend Money?
This is a tough question, and in truth, this question could be answered in two words:
“Ok, wait just a minute. I thought you were supposed to be Marketing Ideas For Printers, and you were going to actually give me ideas to help me sell more printing?”
Yes, you’re right. But think about it. How would it feel if the tables were turned and someone was trying to convince you to buy something? If you’re like most, the instant you felt that tension or pressure, you’d high-tail it in the opposite direction.
That’s because we all like to make our own decisions and be in control of our own direction. So, how do you gain influence to sway other peoples’ decisions? You focus on connection.
Without that connection, there isn’t trust, and trust is required to get those print buyers following you whether they’re in the middle of a pandemic of not.
To make good on our promise to bring you ideas to help you sell more printing, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind if you need help swaying your print buyers right now.
Do: Remember that You’re the Muse.
Inspiration begets inspiration. It’s the fuel that sparks new ideas and makes us all want to jump on board and feel like we’re not alone.
You are the marketing inspiration for your print buyers.
So, the question becomes: how are you inspiring your print buyers with your own marketing? If your print business has gone silent during COVID-19, that’s the marketing example you’re portraying to your print buyers. If, however, you’re focusing on the importance of communication, you’re inspiring your print buyers to do the same.
So focus on being that example by promoting authenticity. Show that you’re there to offer help if/when they need it and make yourself available.
Don’t: Try to Become a Pandemic Expert.
These days, it seems like everyone’s an expert on the pandemic. Access to online information and free speech has its benefits, but in times like these, too many opinions and theories can make your head spin, and the truth appear hazy.
Instead of touting opinions or predictions about the virus, leave the medical expertise to the medical experts. Think about what your print buyers want from you and be the PRINT and MARKETING expert they need during this time.
Do: Focus Your Efforts Locally First.
Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on local and community engagement, and you have an opportunity to bring enormous value in this arena.
Brainstorm ways that other businesses in your community can create stronger emotional ties and boost local awareness by offering ideas on how they can get involved in the community through print.
Offer something of value that will help them and (this is key) that’s easy for them. For example, “If you’re struggling, wondering what you should say to your target market right now, you’re not alone. We’ve put together this helpful postcard you can send to your audience…” (Side note: You could even use the COVID-19 postcard found here and adjust it for your print buyers.)
Think longterm in your offers. You might lose on the front-end, but in the long-run, you’ll solidify relationships that will make your business more successful in the end.
Don’t: Use Fear!
This one is worth repeating: Don’t use fear!
The “what ifs” are already running rampant, so now is not the time to be scaring people into what may happen if they aren’t currently marketing their businesses. Remember, and be sensitive to the fact, that this is new for ALL of us.
Instead, focus your marketing and messaging around a hope-filled future. Instead of “doom and gloom” what-if questions, help your print buyers imagine a prosperous future, a grand re-opening, and what they can do to prepare for that glorious day.
Do: Think Two-Level Marketing.
Printers like you and Marketing Ideas For Printers have something in common: we market on two levels.
Not only do we both need to focus on marketing our own companies, but we also have to look at marketing on a different level, through the lens of how we help our customers market themselves as well.
The best way you can do that is to become a marketing sieve. Put yourself underneath a faucet of valuable marketing information. Hang on to that good stuff that sticks and then rework it into pieces that will work best to be caught in the sieves of your audience.
- What three things did you learn from that latest webinar that your print buyers would want to know?
- Could that blog post you read be reworked to inspire your print buyers?
- What new direct mail information did you learn from that last training that you could pass along through educational content for your print buyers?
Keep your eyes and ears open for ways to position yourself as the place where they’ll go for answers. The more you offer helpful information, the more you’ll become a voice and a face they trust.
Empathy Trumps Marketing
While it may feel like your sales and marketing hands are tied behind your back, the truth is, this is how marketing should ALWAYS be: craving connection, and not promotion, and focused on the humanity that says, “we’re all in this together.”
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