When it Comes to Selling Print, Are You Prepared to Negotiate?
So much print selling is all about matching the customer’s price
Many print salespeople tell me that if they want to win work then they have to reduce their prices to match the customer’s demands. But if we adopt this attitude then selling print becomes a race to the bottom. The lowest price wins. And there is always, always a lower price.
However, when I buy print, few print salespeople that I have met during my career even attempt to negotiate. The typical reaction when I ask for a lower price is either to match it straight away or to drop to as close to the price as they can manage.
It is possible to negotiate with buyers
It is important to remember two things when you sell to a customer. First: if they are talking with you about price, then they are interested in using you. You have some leverage with them.
Second: if you have to give way on price a little then that’s OK. However, you must get something in return when you concede on price.
Here’s what happens when a seller gives way on price
As a buyer, I often receive a lower price when I ask for it. The sales person doesn’t ask for anything in return. It’s an easy win for me. So how do I react?
I regard the seller as easy prey. I may try and ask for more. I’m certainly going to be more demanding the next time I’m thinking of giving this person an order.
Giving way on price gets you nowhere!
I am more likely to respect a salesperson that stands up for their company, their products and their pricing. I am more likely to think that they have something that I really worth buying. That means I will take them more seriously. And I am more likely to pay a higher price.
P.S. Find out more ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers: download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively. Also, check out “How to Make Print More Profitable: The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook” where I share a seven stage negotiation process that stops you giving way on price.
Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.
Download his free e-book, "Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them" and check out his recently launched book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met."