Why I paid 12.5% more than the lowest quote for a recent print job (and was happy to spend the extra)

Posted by Matthew Parker

Many print companies tell me that print buyers only choose on price.  And that print buyers are only interested in the lowest quote.  Everything is about price.  And printers must focus on providing the lowest prices.

But there ARE often opportunities for print companies to make more profit

Printers can improve profit margins – find out more in this article

In my last article I highlighted how mind-set can be an issue.  With this case study I want to show that there are also opportunities to create extra value when working with print buyers.

Printers that apply the lessons in this article will achieve higher print profits.  But they’ll also create stronger customer relationships.  And that means they’ll have more control over managing their sales.

Print companies that don’t apply these lessons won’t have the same control over their sales.  They’ll be selling on price all the time.  And that means that they won’t achieve better customer relationships.  And they won’t achieve higher print profits.

So let’s look at how higher profits can be achieved.

Let’s look at how a print company persuaded me to pay 12.5% more than the lowest price

I had to buy a marketing brochure.  The brochure was a vital sales tool for an important exhibition.  The trouble was that the exhibition opened in a couple of days.  And no-one had told me that the brochure was needed for the exhibition until that morning…

Fortunately I had three suppliers who were able to quote on the tight schedule.  But, when I received the quotes, one of these printers had come in with a slightly different proposition. This printer was willing to:

  • Make a 7am delivery to the exhibition to make sure that my company had everything they needed before the doors opened
  • Guarantee no charge if delivery wasn’t made on time

I could have chosen the cheapest price.  And that would have saved me the extra 12.5%.  But this print company was offering me and the marketing team peace of mind.  There would be a lot of questions if this brochure wasn’t delivered on time.  And we had a printer that was prepared to really work to make sure that this project succeeded.

So I was very happy to pay the extra for this job.  But there were three factors that led me to this decision.

1)     The printer was adding specific value

I was happy to pay more because we were receiving more from the printer.  And the extra service that we were receiving was of real value to this situation.

I wasn’t paying more for some vague promise of better service, or premium delivery.  This printer was offering me a very specific extra:  a timed delivery, early in the morning.

But it wasn’t just that the extra was specific.

2)     The printer had made that value specific to my pain points

The extra value was very relevant to the concerns I had about this project.  If the printer had made specific offers on the quality of the brochure I wouldn’t have paid extra for this project.  Premium quality was not the issue.  Being on time was.

If the brochure wasn’t at the exhibition the marketing team and I had a problem.  And that’s why this added value was of interest to us.  It was centred around us avoiding this potential problem.

And the printer had gone further than just making promises.

3)     There was a guarantee

The printer had specifically stated that if they did not deliver on time we would pay nothing.  This gave us re-assurance that the printer really would deliver.  They weren’t just making empty promises.

And, if things did go wrong, there would be no endless arguments about compensation.  The printer had guaranteed not to charge us.

So I was very happy to pay the extra 12.5%.  And I believe that many buyers would be in a similar situation.  However, when I mention this example to printers, I often hear an objection.

There aren’t many print jobs like this

There are actually more jobs with issues behind them than many printers realise.  And this is because they are busy turning out quotes.  But many printers do not ask the customer more about the job first.  So they do not understand the issues that the customer may be facing and where the printer may be able to add value.  And make more profit.

Here are three action points to get you on the road to that extra profit

  1. Make sure you question print buyers more.  Make sure you find out about the background to the jobs on which you are quoting.
  2. Create some value added services that you can offer your clients.  Male sure that relate to pain points the client may have.
  3. Create a guarantee for your company’s services.

Then you’ll be able to start seeing the added value that you can offer your print customers.  And the opportunities for extra profits.  And you’ll find out it doesn’t always have to be about the lowest price.
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P.S.  Do you want more ideas on how to improve relations with your print customers?  Then you should subscribe to the Profitable Print Relationships newsletter.  You’ll also receive our free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”.  So sign up right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/

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