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I was just talking to a salesperson on the phone yesterday and we were discussing that he recently lost a sale based on the quality of the ComColor vs. a copier. Our conversation prompted me to share this with you.
This “quality” question has been a frustrating issue in varying degrees for many years. Let me share a few thoughts that may be helpful from my interactions with churches. These are things church people won’t tell you, but may be helpful in understanding how to answer this challenge.
PLEASE, PLEASE consider what follows very carefully because it isn’t what you have heard from other sources and may take a little thought to see the practical application behind all I’m sharing. Hang in there with me because all is not lost and by the end you’ll see some genuine reasons to share with the church why they need a ComColor or Digital Duplicator.
In the eyes of the church, the ComColor as great as it is or the improvements of the Digital Duplicator, do not and will never have the “quality” of a good copier or offset press.
The important phrase here is “in the eyes of the church.” It doesn’t matter what the dpi is on the ComColor, it doesn’t matter how crisp the black is now, it doesn’t matter to them that the quality of the ComColor has improved greatly over the years (don’t even bring that up, they don’t care).
What matters to them, and how they define quality is that it is slick and shiny.
Because of this, the definition of “quality” to a church means very different things than it does to a business and you need to approach suggestions on how to deal with it in a different way than you would to a business.What I am going to tell you is what really matters to churches and what you need to be honest about if you want to sell to them.
To your trained eye, the copier bulletin they show you might be a really bad print job and the color consistency may not hold through a long run and all sorts of other issues may be present, but in the eyes of many people making equipment decisions in the church, slick and shiny equals “quality” and non-shiney, ink-based images equal less than high quality. I recently saw a church bulletin that had color calibration so off it made my stomach churn, but the person showing it to me was literally thrilled at how “shiny” it was and how bright it looked.
In addition to slick and shiny often being their definition of quality, this idea of quality is tied to the self image of the person and church showing it to you. For them to do any less than this for the bulletin, the major showpiece for the church would be to think less of the reputation of the church and the staff. Though I personally greatly disagree with this view, it is held by many and we need to honor it.
Bottom line, don’t even bother with the bulletin if they seem stuck on it and the current quality they are producing.
Again and again, I tell Salespeople–don’t even bother with the bulletin. Especially if it is a Catholic church and they have one of the professional services do it. YOU WILL NEVER WIN that battle (or rarely, a few have). But some sales people don’t listen, try to keep on that one piece and just get push back and resentment. The result is that church won’t ever buy from them and they may have just missed out on the opportunity to sell to the huge adult education program and church school in the Parish.
Do not argue. You will not win. Winning isn’t the point, a sale is.
BUT all is not lost because……
This is where you pivot to ALL the other pieces the church prints because Churches don’t have the same standards for print pieces other than the church bulletin!
In the business world, Salespeople are coached to talk about the ComColor as “business color.” Fine for business, but that doesn’t really mean much to the church. Don’t use that term. It is an obvious clue you don’t understand the church. For churches, talk about “ministry color” or “ministry printing.”
Here is an example. You go into a church and they show you their gorgeous bulletin. You realize there is no way they will change that. Immediately pivot and say something like,
“Wow that is gorgeous! What a great system you have for getting that done!
“Let’s leave the bulletin aside and talk about a whole different level of printing, all the other ministry printing you do in the church.
“Tell me, how do you print your connection cards or the materials for the children’s ministry or outreach postcards? How would you like to do these at a lower cost and much faster speeds?
“And since this is ink-based printing, people can write more easily on the connection cards and kids can color on their materials. How does that sound?
“And would you like to see how you can print your own outreach postcards and door-hangers at a FRACTION of the cost of outside companies charge?
“Or what about envelopes? How would you like to be able to print ministry messages on the front of them that will assure they get opened?
“In addition to the print production costs themselves, how would you like to print at a fraction of the energy costs and in a much more environmentally friendly way?”
Bring Samples that illustrate these things
Here are some links to samples you can print ahead of time to show what can be done with a ComColor printer. THEY ARE NOT bulletin samples. Again, that is like screaming “look at the faded out quality!” which is what the church will see if you show them a bulletin printed on the ComColor and one printed on their copier.
But color on connection cards, super cute stuff for kids, post-cards and door-hangers, envelopes with teaser text on the outside, they don’t have samples of those printed on the copier because they don’t even think about printing many of these important communication pieces in-house.
About the links to Samples: pay attention!
The first link below is to a link on this site, it is for envelopes. There are other samples scattered all over this site, just click on the “SAMPLE” label at the top bar to go to them. However, the other links go the Effective Church Communications Site because I wanted to link you to EASTER samples which will greatly appeal to churches at this time of year.
***These links are for ECC MEMBERS ONLY. If you have not signed up for FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP (a $299 value) in Effective Church Communications, CLICK HERE for information on how to do that. This free offer will only be good through March 31, 2017. It will give you access to many, many resources that will help you understand and sell to churches.
CLICK on the labels below to go to the samples:
EASTER Samples: in this section are postcards, door-hangers, connection cards, children’s materials, invitations.
***In addition to showing these samples, offer to personalize and print them for your church clients. The ZIP file under each set of samples has both the ready-to-print PDF files and editable MS Publisher files.
If you focus on other pieces, this is often what happens
The church gets a ComColor machine and of course they LOVE it.
After a few months someone suggests they try the bulletin on it. It runs faster, cooler, cheaper and again….so much faster. The quality seems even better than when they first looked at the machine. And it didn’t jam on the whole run.
The end of the story, chances are they will soon be printing everything with the ComColor. It happens. And then you can use them as a referral church. Hold a Lunch & Learn there and let the other churches in the neigborhood see how great things worked out for them.
Moral of the story—don’t let fighting about quality sabotage your sales. Do all you can to get them using a ComColor—trying it out, printing and giving them lots of samples. When they get engaged with the machine, it will sell itself.