How using a personal strategy will help you choose the best print company

How do you choose your print suppliers?

Many people do a quick internet search.  But how can you be really sure that you have found the best print company this way?  There is a far better way to narrow down your initial search.

To find the best print suppliers you need to get personal

How do you make sure that you find a print supplier that gets the thumbs up?

How do you make sure that you find a print supplier that gets the thumbs up?

Print buyers who use personal recommendations when they choose print companies often create more powerful personal partnerships.  This means that they can control their print jobs better.  And that they achieve what they need to achieve.

Print buyers who ignore the power of personal recommendations rarely achieve the same results.  Their printers are more likely to have been chosen at random.  So the print buyers struggle to keep control of their jobs.

To keep that control, you need a recommended print company.  So here are three ways to get these recommendations.  And the first relies on asking your colleagues.

Ask another print buyer to recommend a print company

Print buyers are usually very happy to recommend their favourite suppliers.  It means that their print companies gain more work.  And the buyers strengthen their relationship with their top print suppliers.  But they’ll also happily point out any shortcomings that these suppliers do have.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know any other print buyers.  You just need to know of a company that is printing the same product as you.  Ring the company up and ask to speak to the person responsible for buying print.  They will be generally very happy to help.

Of course, you may not know other companies that produce the sort of printed material that you require.  And that’s where the second strategy for getting recommended print companies comes in.

Ask a print trade association to recommend a print company

Print trade associations exist to promote their members.  So they are well placed to recommend the type of printer that you need.  I am deliberately not naming any in this article as I do not wish to promote any association over another.  And a comprehensive list of print associations would be very long.  But Google “Print trade association” along with your country or area and you will get a good list.

If you go down this route it is also worth enquiring on what basis members are accepted.  Some associations are more demanding than others in how they accept members.  You want to make sure that they have evaluated a print company that they recommend.

Some people would sooner have a recommendation from a buyer.  So my third strategy for getting recommended print companies get you in front of lots of them.  Even if you don’t know any.

Use LinkedIn to get print company recommendations

LinkedIn has a great selection of print groups.  You’ll find a lot of knowledgeable print buyers in these groups.  Do as precise group search as possible:  you’ll be surprised at how in-depth some of these groups are.

But, of course, you probably won’t know the buyer who makes a recommendation to you.  And that means there probably a big doubt at the back of your mind.

Does a personal recommendation really mean the print supplier is any good?

A personal recommendation of a printing company is a great way to start your supplier selection.  But you still need to fully evaluate a print company.  So you’ll want to send them an evaluation questionnaire.  And you’ll probably want to visit them as well.

But, if the printing company has been recommended to you know you’re probably looking at a worthwhile supplier.

So remember the three ways in which you can get recommendations

  • Ask another print buyer
  • Ask a print trade association
  • Use LinkedIn groups

Start using these strategies today.  Make a phone call to another buyer or a trade association.  Or ask a question on a LinkedIn board.

Remember – getting personal is a really effective way to start the search for a good print company.

P.S.  If you would like to receive more articles like this, make sure you subscribe to the Print & Procurement newsletter.  You’ll also receive our free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”.

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