How I Got A Printer Fired: A Cautionary Tale
I just read a post from fellow PI blogger Bill Farquharson on NAPL titled, "How I Got A Buyer Fired." I was going to leave a comment, but my comment turned into comments, and those have grown into this post I am sharing here.
Bill has told a story from his point of view, and since I wasn’t involved I can’t comment on the actions of the buyer he "got fired," but I do want to address a few general points from a buyer’s perspective that may be helpful to you when a new person takes over a well-established and long-standing account you service.
First and foremost a new buyer wants to make a good impression on their new employers. That can easily be accomplished by bringing in new resources with new capabilities opening up new marketing opportunities, and/or bringing in new resources to provide services at lower costs. Keep in mind that even though you may have been on the account for 10 years, the buyer is new, and most likely has their own vendors they are loyal to. We don’t "owe" you the business just because you currently have it.
Now not "owing" you doesn’t mean your relationship with the company shouldn’t be respected, but for a service provider to simply expect it’s business as usual is a big mistake. My suggestion would be to contact the new buyer as soon as humanly possible, introduce yourself as a printer currently working with their company, and request a meeting to discuss THEIR goals, and how you can help achieve them. In the meeting, bring samples of the best work you have done with the company, pieces that worked but you have relevant and cost-effective ways to improve upon them, and pieces that didn’t so together you can come up with a better strategy for whatever the issues might have been—i.e. poor design, poor personalization, low-res imagery and so on. No matter what comes up, never throw the old buyer under the bus! If questioned why the projects were produced, respond that the issues were flagged, and ultimately they were signed off as is for printing, and leave it at that.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts From The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the No. 1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl No. 1 at Girls Who Print, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors and sits on the board of the The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, and is an advisor for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer and now works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers and members, and achieve success with their social media, content marketing, event marketing and sales endeavors.