Written by Matthew Parker
Print Industry Consultant
In my last article, I talked about the need to sell value if you want to receive a better margin on your print work. But how do you actually achieve this? If you read much of the information out there you may think that you need to invest large sums of money in the latest multi-channel solutions.
While that is certainly an option that has worked well for some printing companies, adding value doesn’t have to involve large amounts of investment. In fact, many printing companies already have value added solutions in house. It’s just that sometimes the true value adding opportunity of these solutions hasn’t been seen yet.
So here are six ways in which you can add value to your printing services.
One excellent (and easy) way to add value is to sell design services as well. Design is much more emotional than print. That means prospects are prepared to pay more for the right level of design.
2. Web Design
It may seem strange suggesting that printing companies offer competitor channels. However, this allows you to manage a much higher percentage of a client’s communications. This can stop a client moving spend away from print to web. It also creates the opportunity to have a much greater relationship with a client and help them with their messaging ideas and strategies, as well as delivering products.
Offering just in time printing and fulfilment offers a client the opportunity to reduce wasted material. They are often also often able to reduce storage costs and some of their administration overheads. There is potential value here that allows a conversation that is very different to the cost of print.
4. Wide Format
Offering wide format services allows an easy upsell to many clients. It also stops them from going to the competition for alternative services. Going to the competition always carries a risk of you losing work or having to reduce prices. Wide format services help create a one-stop shop offering to your clients.
Research shows that the response rate of marketing has a very definite uplift if pieces are personalised. Printing companies have the opportunity to show their clients how they can add return on investment to their clients’ marketing efforts. Basic personalisation does not necessarily mean investing in a lot of expensive software. Once you have shown that this is a proven route to extra sales, you may wish to invest in higher end solutions.
6. Multi-Channel Solutions
Many people are now saying that printing companies needs to become marketing services providers. This can involve a big change in culture. You don’t have to make such a big leap. Nevertheless, you will definitely add further return on investment for your clients’ marketing efforts through multichannel solutions. The addition of personalised URLs and the tracking of the customer journey can be of immense value for your clients.
Many print companies have at least some of these solutions in place already. You may have the opportunity to create a value added sales proposition right now.
However, not all companies offer these services yet.
What happens if I don’t want to offer these services?
Not all companies have the right skills in-house or even the desire to produce some of these services. They are not right for everyone.
If this is the case, consider partnering with another company to offer some of these services. Your Xerox account handler will often be able to make appropriate introductions for you, if necessary.
However, it’s not just what you sell. It’s also whom you sell something to.
Make sure you look out for my next piece
In the next blog I’ll be talking about the importance of selecting the right prospects.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on creating value:
- How Pizza can Teach us a Valuable Lesson about Buyers…and Help to Improve your Profit Margins
- The Cheese Principle: How to Add Profit to Commodity Print
- Six Ways to Add Value to your Print Sales
- Why Some Customers May Not Value Your Services – And Why Others Will Pay Handsomely For Them
Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably. Find out more about Matthew on his site.
Speaking of multi-channel solutions, I wonder how many printers are exploring SMM, blogging, etc?
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Thanks for your kind comments – I am glad you found it useful 🙂
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