“Customer don’t understand what we do”
Sometimes the amount of effort put into a job by a printing company seems unappreciated. Customers don’t seem to know about the processes required to create a job. They don’t seem to care about the amount of skill involved.
And while they may not appreciate nor understand what is involved in a printing job, this can actually be a big advantage for the printer.
Customers who do understand print can be dangerous
I used to have a full-time role as a print buyer. I understood all the processes that were involved. That wasn’t always good for the printing companies I dealt with.
For instance, I knew how to specify a job exactly how I wanted. I knew which presses and finishing equipment were best suited for my jobs. I wasn’t going to fall for any excuses by the sales person on why something couldn’t be achieved.
This made life difficult for printing companies. If their plant wasn’t exactly suited to what I wanted, it was difficult for them to be competitive. They couldn’t suggest changes to jobs to make them more efficient for their factory. They found it hard to suggest ways in which they could add value for me. Inevitably, I, like many other experienced buyers, often focused on price.
I may have been an efficient buyer, but that didn’t make me a profitable one.
Less knowledgeable buyers can be far more profitable
Today’s buyer typically knows nothing about print. Print is generally only a small part of their job. They have a whole load of other things they have to sort out as well.
Often, today’s buyers aren’t particularly interested in the print itself. They concentrate more on the results that print brings them. This makes life a lot easier for a printing company. They have many more opportunities to add value for a customer. That means they have a much better chance of raising their profit margin as well.
Let’s see how this can work in practice
Many buyers struggle to specify even simple print jobs correctly. The printing company typically has to help them. So they have ample opportunity to help the customer create a piece of print that really works for them.
Take, for example, the simple request of a brochure. The customer can be told about the advantages of a heavier stock or the increased engagement that a tactile cover finish offers. Suddenly, a straightforward job just became a lot more interesting for the printing company.
It doesn’t matter if customers don’t appreciate the finer details of the printing process
It simply means that you have a great opportunity to create a more worthwhile business relationship with your client.
Editors Note: This post is part of a larger series on managing your customers:
- Why an Uneducated Customer is Great for your Business
- Why you Should Fire a Customer Today
- What Types of Customers Should you Consider Getting Rid of?
- How to Fire your Customer
PS: If you’d like great ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.