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How can you win more customers for your printing business

Written by Colin Gillman on 06 March 2017.

Photo381657 resizedAnybody who has run a printing business for any time will at some stage ask themselves the question “How do I get more customers?” The trouble with this is it’s a perennial question that has no right or wrong answer. You could always start by learning to think differently and to learn to change or adapt the way you approach the problem. 

You might start by looking to your existing customers for example, because if you can sell them additional printed products and services you probably wouldn’t be asking the question in the first place. Your existing customers are the fastest, and least costly, way for you to pick up new business. It’s also a positive step in the right direction, and is also the first step on the journey toward thinking about how you can offer new products and services to an existing client base. 

This also comes down to how well do you know your customers? Do you speak with them much? Do you ask many questions of them about their business? Do they have a customer facing newsletter or any other means where they might better communicate with their end customers? You might even ask them outright if they too want to win more customers for their business. However, the list of possible questions is pretty much limitless, but it goes without saying that if you ask keep asking enough questions of your existing customers you will undoubtedly begin to uncover more opportunities where you can eventually provide a solution, even if you can’t straight away.

Once you start the process of thinking differently you will begin to see more clearly the direction you wish to go. Some printing companies do this by investing in new types of production equipment and then offering these new services to their customers. The problem with this approach is it’s a little like putting the cart before the horse. It is also why I think the initial approach to cross-media solutions was such a balls up, because nobody really understood it in the first place. 

We had a dedicated cross-media trade show and a magazine to go with it, but the problem with the show was nobody quite understood how any of these new fangled cross-media ‘solutions’ could work for them, and all the the magazine did was repeat much of the jargon that nobody understood in the first place. So cross-media was largely overlooked by the majority of PSPs in the printing industry, so much so that in the UK there are probably less than 100 companies offering a full cross-media selling solution. Less than 100? Doesn’t that sound like an opportunity to you? Well it certainly does to me!

So we realise there is no single right answer to the question of how to win more customers for your printing business, but for anyone looking to start having this conversation, I strongly recommend a visit to Sign & Digital UK where I will be hosting a talk session in the Business Theatre at 11.00am on day one - Tuesday 28th March - called ‘More money, more customers, more focus’ where print service providers from across all sectors of our industry can begin the process of learning to think differently about the question of winning new customers and generating more revenue. 

It all starts with the question. Once you start asking the right questions, you'll be able to find what you're looking for a lot sooner than you might think. 

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