Commercial printers can attract repeat business through solid research, effective solutions and open communication. One of the best ways to do this is to find ways to stay in contact by scheduling regular meetings with your clients. To have an effective meeting and make an impact, you need to have a specific goal in mind and keep your client as the focus.
For example, you may want to schedule a meeting or drop in to show them a sample that reminded you of them, or demonstrate a new technique that might prove useful to them in the future. This sets a different tone for the meeting, allowing you to capture their interest without being overbearing. You might also consider scheduling a yearly relationship review, perhaps over lunch. This type of meeting gives you a chance to remind your customers of past successes and discuss upcoming plans.
Here are some meeting ideas to consider:
1. Set up a meeting to show real-world examples: Step away from the printer specs. Instead, show them real-world results that are relevant to the work they’re doing and share samples from unique campaigns that demonstrate the great finish produced by your digital printers, or the crisp look that comes off your offset presses. Don’t just tell them you can emboss on foils; put together a sample and show them.
If they need variable data printing, don’t offer examples of basic letterhead or statements; instead, show what the components of a successful personalized and targeted direct mail campaign looks like — from print to social to all other aspects of print and digital marketing. As a commercial printer, you have the skills and knowledge to make your customers look like superheroes. Once you’ve established yourself as a strategic partner, you can — and should — get involved early and often.
2. Set up a meeting to discuss what’s trending in print design: Use every opportunity to demonstrate your printing and paper expertise by showing them what’s trending in print design. Again, step away from the specs and find ways to show how paper and print selection can change the mood of a printed piece, or how print can work in conjunction with other media to amplify a project. Build a comprehensive skillset for your firm, and offer time-tested, proven advice that will lead your customers to a fantastic end result.
For example, your client might have a great design and want it printed on heavy stock, but in reality that won’t print as well as something else. Share your knowledge about past challenges and successes, share paper dummies that demonstrate the outcome, and give them other options to accomplish the end goals.
These days, fewer print buyers have robust knowledge about paper and printing techniques, so they’re looking to their commercial printers to fill the gaps. Printers who can make their customers look smarter and help them achieve their goals will earn repeat business.
3. Set up a meeting to discuss new technology and services. Becoming a go-to commercial printer means providing services that enhance a product from beginning to end. Many printers are expanding their staff to add new expertise to their business; an alternative is to partner with other printers, technology companies and service providers who can help you connect print and digital in a successful multimedia campaign.
It’s important to remember that an impactful meeting doesn’t always end with a sale. Don’t try to sell them things they don’t need, but instead, find ways to amplify what they’re already doing. Offer advice on what appeals to different customer verticals or demographics and use resources like our Paper Matters Magazine to arm yourself with information to help your clients get results.