Why failing to educate customers can lead to print companies going bust

Posted by Matthew Parker

I have an important duty as a parent. It is my duty to educate my daughter.

It is my responsibility to make sure that she behaves properly. It is my responsibility to make sure that she understands how to interact with other people. And it is my responsibility to make sure that she is capable of leading a fulfilled and happy life when it is time for her to leave home.

But parents are not the only people who must educate in this way.

The print industry has a duty to educate its customers

Print companies who educate will end up with better customer relationships. Their clients will see them as companies who are able to help them develop their businesses. Print companies will therefore have a better control over their sales pipeline. They have a better chance of achieving their sales targets.

Print companies must educate their clients in order to get the best sales

Print companies must educate their clients in order to get the best sales

Print companies that do not educate are not only failing in their duty to the print industry, but will also find it harder to achieve their sales targets.  They will not be regarded by their customers as a source of useful business information. They will struggle to achieve good customer relationships.

However, these are not the only reasons why print companies should educate their customers. Here are three more reasons.

You need to show customers that print is a vital channel of communication

I don’t need to tell me that the printing industry is under intense pressure from E communication.  Businesses would not function without emails and SMS. But that doesn’t mean that print has no place.

Here is an interesting case study of how a marketing campaign increased its return on investment by using print.  Unfortunately, many companies are unaware of the fact that they could be getting better results by using print. The printing industry has failed to make its case clearly.

Print companies need to make sure that they are constantly telling their customers and prospects about such case studies. It is not just about promoting print. There is another good reason for doing this.

You need to show customers that you are more than a commodity producer

Commodity producers do not care about their customers. They simply produce the jobs that they are asked to. And they win those orders on lowest price.

Suppliers that give their customers useful information become more than commodity producers. They become trusted sources of information.  Customers are more likely to ask for their advice at the beginning of a project. These suppliers are more likely to win this type of work.

Educating your customers is about more than just telling them at the advantages of print. It is about positioning yourself correctly in their supply base.  However, there is on other reason why you should be telling them why they should be using print.

No-one else is going to educate them

It is down to you to persuade your customers and prospects to use print. If you fail to do this, there is a danger that they will transfer their print budgets to E communication.  Your failure to educate them could lead to your company going bust.

However, many print sales people do not subscribe to this point of view.

I’m too busy selling to educate

Much of this education does not take too much time to manage.  You can provide it by mailshots and newsletters (and even, dare I say, by e-mail!).  Subscribers to my blog receive regular links to articles that show the effectiveness of prin

It is also important to remember what may happen to your company if you do not carry out this activity.  There are also added benefits.

Here’s how educating prospects helped me

I send out regular articles to print buyers. As a result of this, several major companies have approached me. I did not have to make any sales efforts.  The customer approached me, ready to buy.

So education can lead to increase sales.

Here are three action points to get your education program going

  1. Build a customer and prospect list – but make sure that everyone on this list has opted in, or agreed to being on the list.
  2. Find useful resources that promote print – you do not have to produce your own original material. You will find plenty of resources on my regular blog posts.
  3. Create a timetable – it is important to communicate regularly and consistently with your customers and prospects.

Remember your responsibilities

Just as I have my responsibilities as a parent, you have responsibilities as a print company.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your prospects and customers understand the value of print. It is your responsibility to make sure that they spend their communication budget in the correct way.  They should not spend it all on E communication.
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P.S. Find out how other companies are successfully spreading the word about print.   Download your free copy of  “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” now.

Download “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” now

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