Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Printers Need To Raise Prices

It is amazing the pricing strategies that some printing companies use to gain new business. One strategy that has been around for ages is to offer discounts for first time buyers to show prospects the quality and service they can receive if they were to become a regular customer. The discount might get the job the first time, but it doesn’t guarantee you will get the next job at the higher price. You just trained your customer that you are willing to give lower prices.

I suggest another tactic you can use with a new customer, especially if creative design is involved, is to raise your regular price 10 to 15 percent. This allows you to test your pricing structure and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table. Printers create custom work. In the case of most custom manufacturing, the price goes up when the customer selects a manufacturer that provides better service and quality.

The primary reason that most printers are attracted to discounts and low price selling is that it replaces the best way to sell printing. The best way to sell is to get in front of the customer and ask for an order. The reason aso many printers are failing is that they hope that customers will call, ask for a price, and then buy because it is the lowest price they have found. There is too much competition to just sit back and wait for customers to call and then hope a low price will attract them to buy.
The only printers being really successful with that strategy are the low cost producers who maintain their margins by using production efficiencies and keeping sales costs low by selling over the Internet. The typical printer is still a job shop that custom produces every order to the customer’s specifications. Producing custom work has a higher cost and has to be sold at a higher price.

If printers are contacting customers, making sales calls, finding out what customers need, and asking for the order, they won’t have to use discounting and low prices to build sales. Printing customers, especially those who need creative services, are willing to pay to get the high quality and service that only a profitable printer can provide.

So when the next new customer asks for a price, take your regular price and raise it. You may find that the only one really concerned about low prices is you.

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