Do Printers Hire Former Print Buyers?
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?
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com