Today’s business customers are looking for more than just a place to make photocopies – they’re looking for a dedicated partner that will help them take care of their business and handle all their printing needs. Whether it’s copies of blueprints, posters, displays, signs or banners, these busy customers need someone to provide the full solution.
As the use of office colour printing has increased, customer expectations have as well, and simple hand-lettered materials or cut-and-paste presentations are not acceptable anymore. Businesses are now expecting presentations, signs, banners and displays to be produced with full-colour graphics and photo-quality images. This trend is driving incredible growth in the large-format printing industry.
Also driven by the popularity of digital cameras, the large-format industry is increasing demand for large-format graphics for personal use, such as portraits, fine art, party banners, garage sale signs and much more.
And because large-format printing requires more skill and experience than desktop colour printing, customers are looking for professional help with these projects.
So, here’s the bottom line: large-format printing is a tremendous opportunity for you to grow your business because it’s a chance to offer your customers value and services that exceed what they can do at home or at the office. And, when you can do for your customers what they can’t do for themselves, you have the critical ingredient for a great business.
More than just making prints
When it comes to large-format printing, customers will look to you for a full range of services that begin with the creative concept, but also include prepping their files for output, and end with printing and finishing the graphics they want. Your ability to satisfy these needs is the foundation for a successful printing service. By offering your customers the full range of printing and related services, you will be able to generate additional sales revenue, keep your customers coming back and increase the profitability of your operation.
Creating value and selling solutions
The key to successfully creating value and selling solutions is learning to understand a customer’s needs and wants — then fulfilling them. If you can help your customers design and produce the large-format graphics they want, help them resolve issues with print files and make useful recommendations for media and finishing options, you’ll generate more sales revenue while increasing customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers are those who will keep coming back for more!
Asking the right questions
Delivering high-quality products means understanding exactly what customers require, and to understand this, we must learn to ask the right questions. By learning to listen to your customers, you’ll be able to make good recommendations that will help get the job done right –and might even help you increase the size of the sale with additional revenue-generating services!
Areas of opportunity for large-format printing
- Consumers – weddings, birthdays, graduations, retirement parties, garage sales, etc.
- Education – classroom materials, student government, special projects, alumni events, etc.
- Sports – event posters, pep rally banners, summer camps and clinics, competitions, etc.
- Photography – family portraits, commemorative, restorations and reproductions, etc.
- Technical documents – building plans, landscape designs, elevations, GIS and CAD drawings, etc.
- Business – grand opening, sales events, menu boards, advertising specials, promotions, etc.
- And the list goes on and on‚Ä¶
Keep them coming back for more
The hardest thing for just about any business is to find new customers. So, once you have established a relationship with a customer, you will want to keep him or her coming back to you. The best way to do this is to provide a quality service at a fair price, offer him or her sound advice, make good recommendations and be proactive in finding new ways to address his or her needs. As you learn about new products (for example, banner and display stands) bring it to your customer’s attention. Customers are always looking for new ways to improve their businesses and attract attention.
Why not offer business customers a bundle of services that includes the design, printing and finishing of their reoccurring projects? Consider including pick-up, delivery or on-site installation services. If possible, you may even want to set up an on-line ordering system so that they can send you their jobs without ever leaving their place of work. Anytime you can make their lives easier and get the job done quicker, you will be increasing your value to your customers, and at the same time, you will be increasing the likelihood that they will keep coming back to you for more.