An excerpt from AP May 2020 – by CMYKhub national sales director Paul Norton
With the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects being far reaching, every business is under stress and facing challenges at the moment. But if we look at the print landscape without taking COVID-19 into factor, over the past few years, the dollar value increase per job has decreased, meaning a lot of jobs are being done, but in smaller quantities.
On the other hand, the quality of print has improved drastically. So, we’re seeing a return on better print, as opposed to just commodity print. This is not to devalue general printing as it is still extremely relevant, though this change in work mix has been noticed. With all print, we need to be more engaged with the use of it.
Being a trade-only manufacturer, we print for other printers and resellers. Our business has invested in state-of-the-art technology and equipment so that we can produce solutions for other resellers. We’re trying to create longevity in our industry and change the mindset of people having to be manufacturers and making products themselves, to selling and servicing customers that they know and love. This is not to take away investing in equipment for you to manufacture.
But for businesses to consider the return on that investment, they need to have the right equipment based on what they do. Buying high capacity equipment and thinking this will be the driver of work coming to you is a false economy.
A part of our goal as a business is to train not only in products that we do, but educate our printers and resellers on ways they can communicate better with their clients via print, to keep them relevant in a market that is constantly changing.
We found that our biggest strength is also our biggest challenge – our strength is our massive network of resellers and partnerships but our biggest challenge is getting them to communicate with the end customer the right way.
We’ve taken a two-pronged approach to this communication coaching and selling a product mix:
- Sell what a product means to someone – it’s all about feeling and emotion; it’s not just about selling the product itself. We train them to identify the emotional attachment that print has with that person and what that printed piece is going to be doing for them. This then creates a ‘want’ instead of just a ‘need’.
- How to use the product to create business continuity – identifying what other options they could have, which is cross-selling, and why these options might be better for them to include, keeping in mind what they want to achieve.
At CMYKhub, we empower our clients with the tools to use great technology to extend relationships they already have to sell better and to sell more products more often without having the burden of investment.
Not only have we invested in some state-of-the-art machinery that enables digital embellishing, laminates, and being able to order in huge volumes, our customers get the benefit of our buying power and the ability to share that investment along with our knowledge transfer and support. Our biggest investment is our passionate staff, and their ability to add value. Culture is a huge value-add in any business.
Better value print involves more customised, tailored solutions that involve touch and feel like new velvet laminates, Scodix, and raised metal embellishing, which are visually more impactful as well. The technology we invested in evokes touch; print as a general product is touch-based, and we bring it to the next level by evoking an emotional connection.
It is in times like these that we can appreciate the value of connecting with people face-to-face. Whilst digital platforms have a vital place in business and how we communicate, we think that print will resurge post COVID-19, as consumers have a new-found appreciation for the tactile nature of things.
Sometimes, customers don’t exactly know what they want so we want our resellers to be able to add value by opening up their eyes to other solutions that addresses a more wholesome need. This then creates trust between both parties. If you help them grow their business, your ability to do more business with them will grow. Price is always compared when this hasn’t happened.
So, businesses that don’t have a value-add strategy should be looking closely into what you’re doing now, draw a circle around that and don’t expect that to change. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what the result that you have always got. People are looking for more now so you need to be addressing their wants, building trust, confidence and ultimately, rapport.
For smaller businesses that don’t have the capacity to make larger investments, they can still value-add by partnering with businesses like CMYKhub. But the key here is to understand their business, why they do what they do, how they’re going to help customers, and having the right product for them. The value is your ability to do this well and is 70 per cent of a buyer’s decision making process.
The digital version of AP May 2020 is available here.
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