The vacuum effect: How to save up to 30% off your print costs without changing print prices

I have heard it said that the very first vacuum cleaners were actually designed to blow dust rather than suck it.  Can you imagine the mess that would make?!  To get a successful invention, it needed someone to challenge what was being done.

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Three negotiation strategies that stop print buyers landing in trouble

Print buyers have an easy job at the moment.  All they need to do is to push on price and the printer will give way.  And if a print company doesn’t do this it’s no problem.  All the buyer has to do is to find another printing company.

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Three ways to achieve better results when buying print


It’s all about price.  That’s how many people see print buyers.

And the truth is, there are a number of print buyers out there who do focus on price.   But these print buyers don’t get the best from their suppliers.  And they certainly don’t get the best deals.

Print buyers who negotiate well will achieve more with their print budgets

Money in print negotiation

Good print negotiation is about more than just price

But they will also be in control of their jobs.  This is because they create good agreements with the printers they wish to work with.  And these agreements will work for both parties.  And that means that they forge stronger partnerships with their print suppliers.

Print buyers who are not skilled negotiators do not manage to create these partnerships.  This is because they rely on price haggles rather than win-win agreements.  And that means their suppliers are less dedicated to them.  And the print buyers have less control over their job.  And they often end up paying more.

Paying more and receiving less is not a great negotiation strategy

So here are three negotiation strategies that I believe all print buyers should practice.

However, the first strategy may seem to be handing everything to the seller.

Think about what you can give in a negotiation

Negotiation is about giving as much as getting.  If you don’t have something to give you won’t get the same results.  Some buyers simply demand a lower and lower price.  But they end up with suppliers who are not engaged with them.  And they also have nowhere to go if the print company refuses to lower their price.

So it’s important to make sure you think of what you can give in a negotiation.  What can you do to help the supplier?  What can you give that is more likely to make them help you achieve your goals?

But isn’t giving way a sign of weakness in negotiation?  Not if you apply the next strategy.

Always get something in return when negotiating

If often see print buyers giving way when they are negotiating.  Giving is a good way to create a win-win outcome to a negotiation.  But it only works if you get something in return.  And that’s what many negotiators fail to do.

So make sure that you have a list of things that you would like to gain from a negotiation.  And if you give way on a point, make sure you get something in return.

But, for this to work successfully, you need to let the other party know what you want.

Be open when negotiating

Many negotiators think that knowledge is power when negotiating.  But this is rarely the case.  The best negotiation outcomes that I have seen happen when both parties are open.

It is much better for the other party to know what you want.  Then it is much easier for them come up with a solution that works for you.

And you also need to understand the other party.  You must ask them to be open with you.  Then you can work to help each other.  And that creates a successful negotiation.

But some print buyers don’t agree with a strategy of working together.

Shouldn’t successful negotiators concentrate just on their needs?

A good negotiator will always understand what they need from a negotiation.  They will understand what they think they can realistically expect from a negotiation.  And they will also understand at what point they need to walk away.

But they will also understand what they need to do to get what they want from a negotiation.   They understand that they will have to help the other party.  Otherwise a negotiation will become too one-sided.

And that’s when the other party is likely to walk away.  And the negotiation will fall apart.  Buyers need to focus on their negotiation skills to make sure that their negotiations are successful.

Make sure you focus on your negotiation skills

Here are three action points to start work on making your negotiation even better:

  1. Discuss how you go about negotiation as a team or a company
  2. Set yourselves some company targets for negotiation
  3. Start reading up more about negotiation skills

So don’t just focus on price

Think about all the other advantages that you can gain from a successful negotiation.  You’ll discover that you and your company will end up achieving lots more.

P.S.  I have just published The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook.  It’s a great place to find out more about negotiation skills that are really relevant to the print industry.  And, right now, there’s a special launch price.  But this is only for a limited time.  So head over and purchase your copy now.

Why print buyers get better prices when they pick up the phone

Using the phone will improve your response from companies

Using the phone will improve your response from printers

Don’t you hate those automatic phone menus.  The ones where you listen to a long list of options and still can’t work out which button to press?  The ones where is seems to take forever to get past.

Don’t you just wish you could speak to a real person instead?

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Print buyers: the three skills that you need for 2012

Are you making preparations for the Olympics?  Many people I know are planning time off work to make sure they see some of the action.  Whilst others are trying to book holiday at this time to avoid sport completely!

But the people doing the most preparation are the athletes.  They are now in continual training.  They are working on improving their skills.

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