Three Reasons Why Print Buyers Do NOT Buy on Price
(This is a special guest blog from Matthew Parker. After buying print for over twenty years, Matthew now runs Print & Procurement Ltd. and the website www.ProfitablePrintRelationships.com Many print companies are frustrated that their prospects and customers do not engage with them in the way that they want. Matthew helps printers and print management companies create more effective and more profitable customer relationships.)
Price, price, price!
That’s all we ever hear about in the print industry these days. That’s what print buyers buy on. So that’s what printers sell on.
And it’s turning print into a commodity market.
But it’s not always about price
It is perfectly possible to sell on other issues than price. Printers who choose not to sell on price are in control of their profit margins. They create great client partnerships. And they achieve the goals that they set out.
Printers who sell on price often don’t even get round to setting goals. They are too busy chasing the next job. They have no control over their sales pipeline. They fail to create client partnerships. And they certainly don’t achieve what they could do.
So here are three ways to start achieving.
1) Sell on cost not price
It is usually easy to reduce a client’s print costs by changing the way they do things. And if you can change their costs then you don’t need to reduce your prices. Simple changes to specification or schedule can often achieve the spend reductions that a client is looking for.
But costs can also be reduced by process.
2) Work efficiently with your clients
Efficient processes reduce overheads for both your clients and you. Price matrices, online ordering and web to print all reduce administration time for you and your client.
Imagine how you could use that time. You chase up late payers. Or make more sales appointments. And your client can use the extra time profitably as well.
You could use the extra time to implement my third strategy.
3) Create sticky solutions
These days clients often show little loyalty to their printers. So it’s important to find ways that makes it more difficult for them to move. Can you tie a client in through design? Or data management? Or a web to print system?
All of these solutions means that a client can’t just suddenly take their pdf to a competitor. They will have to put time and effort into moving supplier. And that means that they are more likely to say with you.
But surely a good relationship is enough to keep a client?
Relationships are really important in sales. But these days relationships are not enough. Print buyers need strong reasons to stay with a printer. And cost reduction, efficiency and sticky solutions are all compelling reasons.
Of course, when your clients buy into these reasons, you need to be sure that you have the right cost management in place. So it is vital that print company owners brief their sales team. The sales team should be aware of the costs, gross margins and expected profits. Then they’ll be ready to create the right revenues and the right profits for the company.
However, there is one other key element that the sales team need to focus on.
These strategies won’t be compelling without the right sales message
Being able to give a prospect a strong sales message is vital. I have recorded some podcasts about this here: http://profitableprintrelationships.com/sales-training/ .
But sales messages need substance. So get going with these three action points. Then you can be sure that you’ll have a compelling offering for your customers.
Pick a key customer. It should be someone with whom you have a strong working relationship. But someone where you feel that you can make a difference.
Together, work out how you can reduce their costs. Work out how you can work more efficiently with them. And work out how you can make them a sticky customer.
Use them as a case study to sell these solutions to other customers and prospects.
Then you can make sure that you can tell people that it’s not all about price, price, price.
If you want more ideas on how to improve your print company then you should subscribe to Matthew’s Profitable Print Relationships newsletter. You’ll also receive his free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”. Sign up at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/
Rock LaManna is the President and CEO of the LaManna Alliance. The LaManna Alliance helps printing owners and CEOs use their company financials to prioritize and choose the proper strategic transition – including mergers, acquisitions, organic growth, and exit / succession plans.