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Congratulations. By sticking with us through this five-part email series, you’ve demonstrated that meeting the needs of your print buyers is important to you.

To bring you back up to speed, print buyers have five basic needs. We’ve discussed four of them so far:

The last need we’ll cover is what we’ll call a “sleeper.” In other words, it’s one of those things that you know is important, but it always seems to fall down on your list, overrun by things like your day-to-day operations, marketing your business, or focusing on generating new leads.

Consider this: When someone appreciates your efforts as a print owner, how does it make you feel? When that business owner comes to you for help, and you’re able to meet their need, it’s nice, isn’t it?

That’s because just as much as you love that feeling, appreciation is something your print buyers are looking for as well every time they do business with you.

Print buyers need appreciation, and here’s how you can provide it.

Why Appreciation is Important

Appreciation is one of those needs that you only know you need once you’re no longer feeling it.

That’s because as appreciation starts to fade away or wane, it starts to create a certain coldness in a relationship or an impersonal feeling of sorts that no one looks forward to. Your print buyers recognize this coldness at those big-box online printers where they’ve felt like just a number. And that’s precisely where you can step in.

Appreciation is a common need of print buyers, and it can set you apart from your competition if you make a choice not to overlook it. Besides, did you know that a study by The Rockefeller Corporation indicates that 82% of customers will leave a business if they feel the company doesn’t care about them?

Appreciation: An Investment Worth Making

When you invest in your print buyers’ need for appreciation, it will never depreciate.

It’s simple, really. By taking care of your prospects and customers, they will take care of you. Your focus on appreciation will breed loyalty by giving your print buyers a reason to return to do business with you.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Saddle Up, “Partner”

Showing appreciation typically starts by changing your mindset.

Instead of seeing yourself as “just” a printer or “just” a vendor, ditch that mentality and start viewing yourself as you actually are: a partner. Then, just as in any other relationship, ask yourself, “What would a partner do to keep a relationship going?” and work from there.

Remember, vendors only print things, but partners connect with their print buyers regularly. Yes, everyone is busy, but you’ll quickly find it’s worth your efforts. You’ll build long-lasting relationships and get a better handle on what your print buyers need from you.

2. Get Out Your Pen

Showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It can be as simple as a handwritten note to your print buyer. Here’s an example:

“Dear Rod, I can’t believe it’s been five years since you placed your first printing order with us. It’s been such a pleasure to work with you over that time and see your business continue to grow year after year. We count it a true joy and pleasure to partner with you and are happy to celebrate you today. We know that you could order printing from anywhere else, so thank you for allowing us to serve you. Please let us know how we can continue to serve you. Thank you! John” 

Don’t underestimate the impact a few words can have. Even Chick-fil-A has captured this simple concept by showing their appreciation to every customer with two words: “My pleasure.”

“We’re living in what I like to call the ‘Thank You Economy,’ because only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way — and do it authentically — are going to have a prayer of competing.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

3. Break the Rules

You know who never breaks the rules? The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you showed up at their office with donuts, coffee, or even a million dollars, if it was 4:31 PM, the doors would be locked, and you’d be out of luck.

The sterileness of business like that is why you never hear someone tell you they’ve built a lasting relationship with their local DMV.

If you want to show your print buyers appreciation, break your own rules every once in a while. Do that rush job, stay a little later or come in a little early, or whatever else you wouldn’t “normally” do because you know it will convey your appreciation.

You’ll be surprised at just how far the line of “For you? Sure!” will take you. So, break the rules sometimes if it means focusing on the needs of your customer.

Appreciation Is…

As with anything worthwhile, conveying appreciation to your buyers and meeting their needs takes work, but it’s worth it. Appreciation is:

Service, price, quality, action, and appreciation – these are the needs of your print buyers. If your print company takes the time to meet them, you will sell more printing and propel your business to the next level.

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