4 Questions to Ask Before Pricing that Next Job

Recently, I received two prices and one very thoughtful conversation while pricing a print job from three printers. The thoughtful conversation won the deal.

Instead of chucking out a price based on the request for pricing (RFP) document, product specifications and quantity, slow down a bit. Take the time to consider the four questions below to increase your chances of winning the job. If the print buyer is unwilling or unable to share the big picture, you are working at the wrong level, positioned as just another of the three bid printers, or on the outside looking in with no hope of winning.

Question 1: “Did another printer write this RFP for the buyer?”

Have you ever received an RFP and thought to yourself, “This looks like a printer wrote it!” You’re probably right and that printer is in the driver’s seat. It happened to us last week. We received a RFP and concluded another firm had the inside track. We walked away without bidding and spent time elsewhere.

You might disagree with our decision, but we’d rather spend time with customers creating RFPs, planning projects from scratch, or working with customers who don’t send RFPs in the first place. Think about your chances of winning before responding, or at least consider doing a little exploration by first asking the buyer a few questions.

Question 2: “Can you please explain the overall project and how this print job fits in?”

Your hope is that the buyer will explain how the job fits into the overall objective to understand the big picture. This will open up more questions to help you better serve the customer’s needs, offer advice, save them money, change the approach and increase the likelihood of a successful result. The print job is just the tip of the iceberg.

Michael Casey is the founder of Survey Advantage and strategic partner with several printer associations and franchises. By leveraging information from a printer’s estimation and production software, Mike’s business has helped hundreds of printers automate their customer feedback and lead generation process. He may be reached via e-mail or (401) 560-0311 ext. 103. Read printer case studies on the Survey Advantage Website.
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