Printing Impressions

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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.

 

I Know What Print Buyers Don’t Want

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Last week, a printer emailed me asking if I had a handy list of what print buyers want. It got me thinking. Any list I compiled (or anyone compiled, for that matter) would have to be generalized. Print buyers don’t all think alike. They have individual styles, priorities, skills and buying practices.

While had I intended to create that list here today, I opted instead to turn it on its head and tell you what print buyers don’t want. Next time, I will tell you what they want.

22 things that print buyers don’t want...

• To be harassed by cold-calling print reps who have nothing exceptional to offer.

• To be contacted by print reps who haven’t done their homework on a particular buyer and her or his company/industry.

• To be surprised by an unexpected ANYTHING during the production process.

• To be kept in the dark when problems arise that will jeopardize the deadline, cost and/or quality of the printed piece.

• The runaround. They don’t want to have to chase down their sales or service rep when they call the plant looking for them.

• To be lied to—about capabilities, pricing, quality, delivery dates, paper spec’d, etc.

• To be the last one to hear that one of their printers has suddenly shut its doors.

• To wait for estimates.

• To get an invoice that doesn’t come close to the expected price.

• To be forced to work with a printing company chosen by someone else (i.e., their boss).

• To be spoken to condescendingly by a printer who doesn’t take the time to find out how much experience they have.

• To be intimidated by jargon-spouting print reps who don’t take the time to find out that a buyer is brand new in the field.

• To be treated like corporate stepchildren, while Creative & Editorial get all the glory.

• To be excluded from marketing strategy discussions.

• To have to pull teeth to get basic info from a printer when a job is in production; i.e., when will the proof be ready, when did the job ship, where one’s samples are.

• Printers to automatically assume that price is their #1 priority.

• To go through all sorts of hoops getting a simple job quoted and sent to a printer.

• To have to hunt all over a printer’s website looking for key information, like company contacts.

• To find out that the equipment list on a printer’s site doesn’t match what’s in the plant.

• To have a printer switch a spec’d sheet for something else—without conferring with them.

• To work with inefficient project management systems/software.

• To be undervalued as professionals.

Food for thought? These are my own reflections. Hope they inspire you—and your Comments are most welcome.

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Bob Adams - Posted on August 20, 2010
Good points. Print professionals are a diverse group and come to the industry from different directions and different disciplines. The more professional we all can be the better. Thanks for the article.
Lynn Hamilton - Posted on August 18, 2010
As always, Margie is right on target in her insight with this list. I could go line by line and give examples of each one. The one that stands out the most is a very new and inexperienced sales rep calling on me, who made huge assumptions about our business without doing any research. When he figured out he was getting no where with me, he put me on a conference call with his management. Within 5 minutes they were apologizing to me for his behavior!
Margie - Posted on August 15, 2010
Thanks, everyone - sometimes the obvious needs to be spelled out :) Margie
Stephen Eugene Adams - Posted on August 14, 2010
Margie, Great points. All print salespeople should read this list. I will make sure all of mine do. Steve
Lynelle Furbush - Posted on August 13, 2010
This is awesome!!! Great job! I couldn't agree more!
buyer for large company - Posted on August 12, 2010
You forgot print reps who show up at your office and walk into your office. Not only is it rude and I would never do it to them when I show up for a press check, but who do they think they are????... it is CREEPY... and they know who they are. I refuse to give jobs to a vendor because of that.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Bob Adams - Posted on August 20, 2010
Good points. Print professionals are a diverse group and come to the industry from different directions and different disciplines. The more professional we all can be the better. Thanks for the article.
Lynn Hamilton - Posted on August 18, 2010
As always, Margie is right on target in her insight with this list. I could go line by line and give examples of each one. The one that stands out the most is a very new and inexperienced sales rep calling on me, who made huge assumptions about our business without doing any research. When he figured out he was getting no where with me, he put me on a conference call with his management. Within 5 minutes they were apologizing to me for his behavior!
Margie - Posted on August 15, 2010
Thanks, everyone - sometimes the obvious needs to be spelled out :) Margie
Stephen Eugene Adams - Posted on August 14, 2010
Margie, Great points. All print salespeople should read this list. I will make sure all of mine do. Steve
Lynelle Furbush - Posted on August 13, 2010
This is awesome!!! Great job! I couldn't agree more!
buyer for large company - Posted on August 12, 2010
You forgot print reps who show up at your office and walk into your office. Not only is it rude and I would never do it to them when I show up for a press check, but who do they think they are????... it is CREEPY... and they know who they are. I refuse to give jobs to a vendor because of that.