Agencies have always charged for their strategic thinking. In contrast, many printers give it away as part of the price of getting print business. For print providers to thrive in today’s economy, this practice needs to change.

This was the case made on a panel presentation I led at the On Demand Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia about value pricing. It addressed one of the hottest topics our customers confront: How can they ensure being properly compensated for all the digital services they’re providing? And it featured two leading thinkers on the topic: Waleed Ashoo, president of graphic communications services provider, Lithexcel, and Joe Rickard, founder of sales and sales management training and consulting company, Intellective Solutions.

Waleed shared his shop’s value-based pricing approach and described how he abandoned the traditional cost-plus pricing approach about four years ago. Now he calculates fees based on hourly rates assigned to every aspect of a job, with additional markups for rapid turnaround, difficult client relationship management and other factors. He presents comprehensive programs to his clients and rarely breaks out costs of individual services.

Joe Rickard spoke from his experience helping dozens of print providers develop their pricing and business strategies. He emphasized that transitioning to value-based pricing involves a company-wide transformation that’s not just about price, but about mindsets, particularly within sales and management. He stressed the importance of understanding the business value your work delivers in helping your clients meet their objectives — and then charging for a fair portion of the value provided.

Are you establishing value-based pricing, or do you encounter impediments that keep you from pursuing this more profitable approach?

The first 10 people who post a response will receive a free copy of the Xerox ProfitAccelerator Value-Based Pricing Guide, which can help steer your transition to value pricing.