Call Us (800) 736-0688

If you were asked today what the most valuable thing is in your print business, what would you say?

When that question is asked, business owners default to listing off the most expensive things, equating value with how much something costs. It’s an easy connection to make.

However, if you look at it from another angle, you can lose expensive equipment, your best team members, and even your lucky socks and still keep a business afloat.

But there is one thing that a business absolutely cannot lose in order to remain viable: customers. 

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, but did you know that 76% of those customers expect a company to understand their needs? Yikes! No pressure, right?

This means that to succeed in selling more printing, you need to ask yourself how your printing firm can better understand your buyers’ needs.

That’s the question we’re unpacking this week in “Growing Your Existing Accounts: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself.”

What Exactly is a Print Buyer Need?

The first step is to figure out what a print buyer need actually is and what it looks like.

You can break it down by thinking of customer needs as anything that will trigger them to buy your product or service. Things such as value (cost + usefulness), convenience (saving time), trustworthiness or reliability (doing what you promise), and feelings of being listened to and supported (customer service).

Hubspot recently made a list of the 16 most common types of customer needs and broke those needs down by product or service:

Product Needs Service Needs
  • Functionality
  • Empathy
  • Price
  • Fairness
  • Convenience
  • Transparency
  • Experience
  • Control
  • Design
  • Options
  • Reliability
  • Information
  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Efficiency
  • Compatibility

3 Ways to Understand the Needs of Your Print Buyers Better

With so many customer needs, where do you start in meeting them?  Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Put Yourself in Your Print Buyers’ Shoes

There’s a reason empathy makes the top of the service needs list.

“Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.”Anonymous

It’s vital that you play the role of your print buyer once in a while and view your business through their eyes. Can your client quickly and easily reorder their printing through your website? Does your website content answer their questions and/or aim to help them grow their business? Do they feel connected to you through regular marketing pieces, such as direct mail or social media?

It’s in answering these questions that you’ll uncover any unmet needs of your buyers and make the changes necessary to exceed their expectations.

2. Analyze Your Print Buyers’ Purchasing Behavior

“I know no way of judging the future but by the past.” – Patrick Henry

That Patrick Henry guy was one wise Founding Father. His wisdom can even be applied to the buying behavior of your print clients.

A Contact Relationship Management (CRM) tool is one way to gather information on your clients. This type of sophisticated tool can provide you with targeted customer data and can help you improve your overall print buyer satisfaction. You can then put that data to work for you by identifying the patterns in your data. Those patterns will help you judge your buyers’ future needs more effectively and allow you to upsell or cross-sell to them where appropriate.

Sometimes you don’t even need fancy gadgets and tools to figure out your clients’ buying behavior. Sometimes all you need are your powers of observation. For example, if you notice you get several orders from different people within one company, your observations will tell you that their company would benefit from a private online ordering portal. Or, if you notice a company ordering business cards every other week but only have to change a couple of pieces of information per card, you can reach out and get them set up on with a design tool that will allow them to customize their “templated” items, proof, and order in minutes.

3. Ask for Feedback

Lastly, there’s no substitute for the simple and genuine act of asking for feedback and actively listening to your print clients’ responses.

You can do this with a simple check-in by phone or use those print skills to your advantage with a customer survey form. Just remember, if you’re going to ask for feedback, you have to be prepared to make some changes. Sometimes that feedback may be tough to hear, but unless you’re proactively consulting your customers, you’ll never discover those areas that need improving.

Join us again next week when we’ll tackle the question,
“How can we remain top-of-mind with our print buyers?”

    Reignite Your Print Business Today!

    Sign up below to learn more about solutions aimed at helping you fan your print sales and sell more printing!

    By clicking this button, you submit your information to MI4P,
    who will use it to communicate with you regarding this and other services.