Why Some Customers May Not Value Your Services – And Why Others Will Pay Handsomely For Them

Written by Matthew Parker
Print Industry Consultant
Are your customers willing to pay more for the services you offer?
What is the value of my daughter’s drawings?
I love my daughter’s drawings. They may not be quite ready for hanging in a major gallery, but to me they are priceless.  However, you are unlikely to be prepared to pay anything for them!
Different people have different ideas on the value of an item.
Different customers value print services differently.
Just like my daughter’s drawings, some people value certain print services highly whilst others consider these services to be worthless.
Printing companies that have worked on finding the right customers for their services will create better client relationships. They will have a better chance of achieving the results that they are looking for.
Printing companies that offer value-added services to customers without thinking about their needs will struggle to achieve the same results. They may find that their client relationships are actually worth less because their customers feel that the sales people do not understand them.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of this:
I was working with a client recently that sent out a lot of important financial statements. It was vital for them to work with a printer that had a proven disaster recovery plan. However, for most people a problem with a print job does not spell the end of their business. So disaster recovery is less of an issue.
A less extreme example is that of design. Clients who have an in-house designer won’t care about the fact that you offer design services. In contrast, many clients may be delighted at the fact that they don’t have to source a designer as well as a printing company.
Extra value will only be accepted by the right target audience.
When it comes to offering value-added services, you need to make sure that you have profiled the right type of customer. Otherwise you may be wasting time offering your services to the wrong people.
If you are planning to offer new services to your existing clients, this needs thought as well. You should talk to your clients to make sure there really is a need for the new services you are planning on offering.
Some people may be unconvinced by this.
Won’t I miss out on the chance of extra sales by focusing on specific customers?
In actual fact, the opposite may be true. You are more likely to have a higher sales conversion rate because you are focusing on people who will be interested in your services.
Remember, you can’t be all things to all people.
Here’s a three-step process to making sure you have the right customers:

  1. Write out a profile of the type of customer that you believe will use your value-added services
  2. Write out a list of prospects or customers that fit this profile
  3. Talk to some of these prospects and customers to make sure that you have made the right assumptions about them

I am brutally realistic about the value of my daughter’s drawings. You need to be the same about the value of your services to different market sectors.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on creating value:

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. Download his e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” for free here

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  1. Katherine January 28, 2014 -

    Matthew, I think your point about not being all things to all people is key. Ask any marketer what answer they hate the most when asking clients about their target markets: EVERYONE! That’s not true for any business. Printers are certainly not going to appeal to your daughter, at least, not yet!

  2. Matthew January 29, 2014 -

    Katherine, thanks for your comments. In the workshops I run for printing companies I really focus on the importance of target market. Most messages from printing companies that I receive don’t engage because they are targetted to work for everyone – not me personally.

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