The three New Year resolutions that will improve print buyers’ relations

Champagne corks popping
Auld Lang Syne
New Year resolutions

New Year means many different things to people.  For me, New Year is a great time to focus on the many great people I know.

New Year is a time to think about relationships

2012 should be the year when print buyers work on their relationships

2012 should be the year when print buyers work on their relationships

Sometimes in the print industry we tend to focus too much on machines and technologies.  So this year I have set three New Year resolutions for print buyers that stick firmly with people.

Print buyers who apply these New Year resolutions will discover that they can create new partnerships.  They will improve their relationships with suppliers and clients.  And they will achieve more in their job role.

Print buyers who decide not to make these resolutions won’t find the same job satisfaction.  They will be frustrated at not achieving new things in their job roles.  And they will miss the opportunity to create new and more worthwhile relationships.

And creating new relationships is the focus of the first resolution:

1)  Go to a print event

In my opinion, not enough print buyers get out to print events.  Good print events can provide excellent inspiration for print buyers.

I have seen buyers walk away from these events with:

  • valuable new industry contacts
  • introductions to new suppliers
  • ideas for new print products
  • ideas and software for making processes more efficient

So that is four good reasons for attending an event.  And the most valuable of these is meeting new people.

But 2012 shouldn’t just be about new relationships.  It should also be about improving your existing relationships.  And that’s where the second resolution comes in:

2)  Challenge your supplier

You may not think that challenging your supplier is the best way to improve relationships.  But good print companies love a challenge.  It gives them an opportunity to do something new and interesting.  And it gives them an opportunity to prove their worth to a customer.

So challenge your printers to do something new.  You may want them to improve the quality of a product.  You may ask them to find ways to make your relationship more efficient.  Or you may decide to ask them to come up with some completely new print ideas to help your business to achieve its aims.

And, of course, if your suppliers can help you come up with new solutions you help your clients.  And that’s what my third resolution is about:

3)  Come up with a new idea for your client

Clients often stick with what they know.  And that can be dangerous for a business.  And boring for a print buyer.  Sometimes it is the print buyer’s job to come up with new inspiration for their clients.

This doesn’t have to be restricted to new print solutions.  It can also be focussed on better data management.  Or improved ways of working together.  But if you can create a great new idea for your client, they will be delighted.  And your relationship will improve.

And relationships are what all of these 2012 resolutions focusses on.

But these resolutions don’t even mention technology

Technology can seem an important area to keep in touch with.  After all, it is changing rapidly.  But relationships are still the most important thing in today’s print market.  So that’s why I have decided to focus on these for 2012.

And often your relationships will help you learn about new technologies.  And they will help you focus on the right ones.

So make 2012 your year of print relationships with these three action points

  1. Diarise an event to attend.  If you are based in the UK you should consider Publishing Expo on 28-9th February.  Or Cross Media on 3-4th September.  (Both are based in London).  I will be presenting at both these shows and it would be great to meet you
  2. Set a meeting with a printer now.  Make sure you have a date in your diary when you are going to set one of your printers a supplier challenge
  3. Ask your client what else they would like to achieve from their print.  Then you can set to work to create some new solutions that they will be delighted with

Make 2012 the year of building relationships.  It’s not all about technology.  And it’s not all about parties, champagne and songs.  It’s about people.

  One other resolution that you might like to make is to become better at print negotiations.  I’m launching the Print Industry Negotiation Handbook.  To receive a free extract “How to avoid using straight line negotiation and giving way on price” sign up here.  You’ll also receive updates on the launch and news of a special launch offer.

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