Don't Leave Accounts in a Bind
Talk to printed business products customers about their book and booklet needs—before they talk to the competition
Distributors who are not handling the book and booklet needs within their printed business products accounts are leaving money on the table—and, quite possibly, their customers in a bind.
Said Bruce Tanner, president of First Class Printing, Fayetteville, Tenn., "Our orders are not coming from distributors specializing in book and booklet sales, but from those providing forms, stationery, labels and other printed business products who are taking the time to go a little deeper into their existing accounts and discuss book and booklet needs with customers."
And, the needs are definitely there. He pointed out that manufacturing plants require instruction and usage booklets, health-care facilities provide tons of patient education and awareness materials, human resources departments utilize employee handbooks, as well a variety of pamphlets and manuals, and marketing departments need product catalogs and sales booklets. "We get orders for everything from simple, black-and-white booklets all the way through to annual reports that require commercial printing skills," added Tanner.
Grace Rishel, president of Wichita, Kansas-based ADR/BookPrint, agreed that there are numerous opportunities within distributors' customer bases for selling the products, and that they are often not being tapped. When asked about the best prospects to target, she replied that there really are no typical end-users of these products. "Any company, industry or market can utilize books, booklets, pamphlets, manuals, directories, reports and other multi-page documents," she said.
For those new to book and booklet sales, ADR/BookPrint offers a free educational tool titled The Five Minute Guide for Selling Books and Manuals. However, most forms distributors should be able to transition into selling these products quite comfortably and successfully.
Rishel noted that most distributors have well-established anchor accounts, and suggested these as great starting points. "If it's a hospital, go to the personnel department and ask to bid on the publications that are used, perhaps employee manuals and insurance information," she offered. "If the hospital has a training department, ask about training and orientation materials. The hospital may also have a school of nursing—investigate opportunities there, as well."