Printing Impressions

You will be automatically redirected to piworld in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Advertisement
Advertisement
 
Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.

 

What's Your Strong Suit?

3
 
The other day a printer cold-called me, saying that his was a minority-owned and certified business, and could he please get on our bid list.

I had to break his heart and tell him ours is a professional association, not a "buying entity," but being in a good mood, I took the time to chat with him at length. (Besides, he is a Southerner and yes-ma'amed me with a delightful politeness we Northerners aren't used to. It would've been rude to cut him off.)

As soon as he told me his firm has minority-owned certification status, I asked the obvious: "Is this fact front and center on your Website?"

"No," he replied with a chuckle.

So started our long conversation about making sure a print company's special strength is made clear to prospects and customers. I asked for his URL to look up his site on the spot (something he'd not done with my firm before he called, hint, hint).

"Let me guess - this is a PrinterPresence site, isn't it?" I think I freaked him out. "Um, yes, it is…" he replied. I'm no psychic. And I wasn't being critical, just observant: these sites have the same look. His site was attractive enough, but I suggested he go further and customize it.  He needs to tell visitors about his special status on the home page. He thought this was a terrific idea. (Yes, I'll check back in a bit and see if he followed through.)

We looked at a few others pages on his site together, and I found several things to congratulate him on. Often a site just needs refreshing as opposed to an overhaul.

That brings me to you: What's your strong suit? Is it obvious on your Website?

Don't tell me you're a general commercial printer and that you do everything. I've heard it for years, and I don't buy it.

Ask your best customers why they stick with you. They'll be happy to tell you. Maybe you'll get lucky, and one of them will put your special strength in terms both creative and fresh. I've found that such mining for customer feedback results in real nuggets of value. It's a low-cost effort for high-quality results.

Industry Centers:

3

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Donna Flanagan - Posted on May 11, 2010
Margie, That print rep must have been having his lucky day to reach you and have you spend time with him on the phone! I am a print rep for Arandell Corp. I would love any feedback on our website and also "what you feel is the best tactic for sales reps when cold calling" in this crazy economy. Thanks!
Margie Dana - Posted on May 11, 2010
Kelly, How kind! I was just in the mood that day and had a few minutes, and honestly the opportunity to give a little advice to a printer presented itself. With one click on my Mac I got to his website and made a few simple suggestions. I hope it helped him - and I'm glad you appreciated it as well. Thanks so much! Margie
Kelly - Posted on May 10, 2010
As a former print salesperson I have to say you would be a dream to call on. It s amazing that you take the time to mentor a sales rep instead of just being dismissive. I wish there were more of you out there! There would be better and more thorough sales reps if there were! THANKS
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Donna Flanagan - Posted on May 11, 2010
Margie, That print rep must have been having his lucky day to reach you and have you spend time with him on the phone! I am a print rep for Arandell Corp. I would love any feedback on our website and also "what you feel is the best tactic for sales reps when cold calling" in this crazy economy. Thanks!
Margie Dana - Posted on May 11, 2010
Kelly, How kind! I was just in the mood that day and had a few minutes, and honestly the opportunity to give a little advice to a printer presented itself. With one click on my Mac I got to his website and made a few simple suggestions. I hope it helped him - and I'm glad you appreciated it as well. Thanks so much! Margie
Kelly - Posted on May 10, 2010
As a former print salesperson I have to say you would be a dream to call on. It s amazing that you take the time to mentor a sales rep instead of just being dismissive. I wish there were more of you out there! There would be better and more thorough sales reps if there were! THANKS