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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.


Things that Print Buyers Won’t Tolerate

Remember that old “$100,000 Pyramid”* game show? It was a contest between two teams, each comprised of a TV celebrity and an “average Joe,” who hoped to win the game and, therefore, a lot of money.

There was a big electronic board filled with a pyramid of different categories, which were hidden from the “average Joes.” Each contestant’s partner tried to get him/her to correctly guess the names of categories (worth a certain amount of money) by suggesting things that would be included in each category. Categories moving up the pyramid got increasingly more difficult to identify—and worth more money.

If I hosted such a game show, there’d be a category called: “Things that Print Buyers Won’t Tolerate – for Long.”

Here are some examples of clues a contestant’s partner might give to get him or her to guess the category correctly.
  • Dishonest printers and sales reps – God help you if they catch you in a lie.
  • Waiting too long for a price estimate.
  • Having the spec’d paper switched by a printer—without the buyer’s permission or even knowledge.
  • Invoices that don’t come anywhere near the estimate, even when specs didn’t change; or if they did change, without any discussion about the price by the sales rep.
  • Unresponsive sales or service reps.
  • Sales or service reps impossible to reach by phone in a timely fashion.
  • Misrepresentation (of what printers can and can’t do, equipment at the plant, etc.).
  • Unprofessional behavior.
  • A habit of missing delivery dates.

This is a short, but powerful, list. I can also share another category I’d like to use in this game: “Things that Endear Printers to Their Customers.” It would be much longer.

Another time, perhaps?

* According to Wikipedia, this show started in 1973 as the $10,000 Pyramid, with the late Dick Clark as the host.

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