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Make sure you’re giving value, not meaningless perks

Whether you’re a print buyer, broker or supplier, you’re probably using the pandemic downturn to rethink how you operate. If so, value should be part of the equation—that is, the value you deliver and the value you receive in your business relationships.

Salespeople talk a lot about value and value propositions. But best-selling author and sales consultant Jeffrey Gitomer writes that most businesses and salespeople have the wrong idea about value. 

They think of value as a small “extra” that’s added to a product or service—for example, a discount, rebate, something free, or “reward points” toward a next purchase. But freebies and discounts aren’t value—they’re cheap promotions. Any business can offer them, so they don’t make you stand out or do anything to increase sales or satisfaction.

Instead, value is something significant or meaningful to the customer.  Specifically, it’s what the customer or client really wants from a product or service—for example, greater productivity, quality, and sales; more and happier customers, and enhanced image and reputation etc. All of these contribute to the greatest value: your profit.

As you rethink your business, ask yourself how much value you’re receiving from your business relationships. A lot of business relationships, especially in the printing world, persist as a result of inertia, not value: Things are going “OK” and no one wants to go to the trouble to shake up the relationship by demanding better value (timeliness, quality, service, collaboration etc.), or by switching to another supplier or service provider. However, all your business relationships should be contributing positively to your bottom line, especially in difficult times.

Similarly, the products and services you invest in—for example, printed materials, packaging or print management software and service—should quantifiably increase your productivity and profitability.

In fact, take a close look at your print management software—whether you’re a buyer, manager, or supplier, it can and should be increasing your productivity and profit by:

  • Improving coordination, collaboration, and efficiency (saving time) by streamlining your printing jobs
  • Reducing errors and lost time, and improving quality through monitoring, notifications, handling changes automatically, and creating an audit trail
  • Ensuring the best price and quality by assisting with spec writing and maintaining a pool of qualified vendors

In today’s economy, “reward points” won’t cut it in terms of adding to your bottom line. But if you demand and give value, your relationships and business are more likely to thrive.

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