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.

 

Do Printers Hire Former Print Buyers?

3
 
Even before the recession hit us all between the eyes, I knew several printers who moved ‘across the aisle’ to corporate print buying positions. They were owners and sales reps, mostly.

This is a natural move, in my mind. Print buyer candidates who have prior manufacturing experience tend to be highly regarded for these positions (when they exist).

I’ve always wondered if the reverse were true: Do printing companies hire former print buyers? If so, for what roles?

I would think having a seasoned print buyer on staff makes a lot of sense, presuming the individual’s skills, references and personality all point to “Hire this person pronto,” and not “Danger! Run away!”

Wouldn’t an experienced print buyer make a terrific CSR? They can practically hit the ground running. They know what print customers experience, how they think about working with printers, what their pain points are, and of course, how to treat them professionally.

What about print sales? Selling skills are a whole different animal, I know, but surely there are former buyers who have the “sales gene,” and with some training and guidance they could be very successful at selling print and related services.

The reason I bring this up is because right now there are a lot of corporate print buyers on the lookout for new work, due to budget cuts and layoffs.

It seems to me that using their industry knowledge and sourcing skills would be a top priority for most buyers, whether they work as print buyers or in a related capacity for print manufacturers.

And this thought: would it be valuable to have one or two of these print buyers come in and have a discussion with a printer’s sales team and/or service team? Even if you don’t have a job to offer, could you learn some interesting things about buyers’ points of view by working with one of these ‘free agents’ until he or she lands a new gig?

Just a thought.

Industry Centers:

3

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Roy Waterhouse - Posted on March 07, 2010
We have never hired a print buyer for a position but we have worked with several print buyers who were former print sales people. Generally we find that the buyer has a little more empathy than someone brought in from another non-print related area. Regardless of where the buyer is from they are still looking for many of the same things - speed, trustworthiness, accuracy, price, quality. The former print people may be a little more understanding when problems happen.
William Thompson - Posted on March 05, 2010
As both a former print sales person and most recently a print buyer / print production person, I agree that we have much to offer a printer as far as insight. Our experiences dealing with both sales persons as well as production can give a printer a clear view into "how the other half" sees them. Print buyers actually want a lot more than the lowest price. From my perspective, I always wanted a strong relationship with a printer that was based on mutual respect and benefit. If anyone is interested in anymore insight, please feel free to contact me. William Thompson http://www.linkedin.com/in/williambthompson
Mike Dudek - Posted on March 05, 2010
When we hired a former purchasing person to be a sales rep they couldn't change their hat. They were too worried about always selling for the lowest price which was how they liked to purchase. I wouldn't do it again.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Roy Waterhouse - Posted on March 07, 2010
We have never hired a print buyer for a position but we have worked with several print buyers who were former print sales people. Generally we find that the buyer has a little more empathy than someone brought in from another non-print related area. Regardless of where the buyer is from they are still looking for many of the same things - speed, trustworthiness, accuracy, price, quality. The former print people may be a little more understanding when problems happen.
William Thompson - Posted on March 05, 2010
As both a former print sales person and most recently a print buyer / print production person, I agree that we have much to offer a printer as far as insight. Our experiences dealing with both sales persons as well as production can give a printer a clear view into "how the other half" sees them. Print buyers actually want a lot more than the lowest price. From my perspective, I always wanted a strong relationship with a printer that was based on mutual respect and benefit. If anyone is interested in anymore insight, please feel free to contact me. William Thompson http://www.linkedin.com/in/williambthompson
Mike Dudek - Posted on March 05, 2010
When we hired a former purchasing person to be a sales rep they couldn't change their hat. They were too worried about always selling for the lowest price which was how they liked to purchase. I wouldn't do it again.