Why being nice to your print supplier can get great results for buyers

Do you have the image of a “bad guy”?

This is how I hear many printers think of buyers these days. Buyers are there solely to beat print companies down on price. The needs of a supplier are always the least of a buyer’s worries.

Don’t get me wrong, price is always going to be important. But that doesn’t mean that a good supplier relationship cannot be created.

It’s time for buyers to be nice to their suppliers!

Giving is a powerful print negotiation strategy

Get great results from your print suppliers why being nice

Print buyers who are nice to their suppliers will create relationships that achieve more. Their suppliers will go the extra mile for them. They will also be more likely to come up with good ideas. So buyers will achieve better results from their projects.

Print buyers who take their suppliers for granted are less likely to achieve these results. Their suppliers will not be motivated to come up with helpful suggestions. They will feel as though they are commodity suppliers. That’s no way to achieve a good relationship.

Here are three ways in which you can be nice to your supplier.

Send a thank you note

I am always surprised at how pleased print companies are if I thank them. Thanks from a customer can be a rare event. It is even rarer to receive thanks in writing.

One key thing to remember is not just to thank the salesperson. A thank you to all those involved in the project can be very worthwhile. I know a number of people who make jobs happen. When they are recognised by customers they really go out of their way to help them in the future.

Let’s face it, it doesn’t take long to write a quick email (or even better, a letter) of thanks. Here’s another way to be nice to your supplier which doesn’t take long.

Recommend your supplier

If you get great results from your supplier, why not tell other people about it? It can be hard work for print sales people these days and it’s nice to do our bit to help them. A recommendation of a good supplier helps everyone.

Naturally, if you do recommend them, you should always let them know that you have done this. This is not so that you can get their thanks. Rather, it is so that they recognise the name of your contact if they get in touch with the printer. It also gives the printer a chance to get in touch with your contacts directly.

The next way to be nice to your printer is a little more time consuming. However, you may also benefit from it.

Take them to lunch

Normally, it’s supposed to be the supplier who takes the buyer to lunch. But sometimes it’s nice to turn the tables. You will also get some quality time with your supplier.

If you use this time to do a bit of brainstorming over the pudding you may be surprised at the results. Sometimes the best ideas come from a conversation where there is no agenda.

So there are three quick and easy ways to make your supplier really appreciate you as a client. But not all buyers will agree with me.

Isn’t the supplier there to do what I want?

At the end of the day, this is true. However, life is much more fun if you can do these things in a friendly and positive way. Also it is surprising how much a supplier can choose or choose not to contribute to a project.

Being nice costs very little but it does get the best from your suppliers.

Here are three action points to get your campaign of niceness underway

  • Pick a supplier that performs well
  • Decide who at the supplier does the most to make your project a success
  • Send them a card to thank them for their work

No more “bad guy”!

You may be surprised at the results this brings.
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