I Know What Print Buyers Don’t Want
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.