Selling large format printing services

Large format posters and banners are all around us, everywhere we go! And so, this large format printing business is unquestionably a great business opportunity for commercial printers, quick printers and graphic art providers. IT Strategies projects that the worldwide retail value of wide-format inkjet output will increase at a CAGR of 8% until 2015, reaching $51 billion. Large format products still enjoy one of the best profit margins. The beauty of large format inkjet printers is that it can produce a variety of products that can be sold into a variety of vertical markets.LargeFormat

More than just making prints
When it comes to large format printing, you have a chance to offer customers a full range of services that may begin with creative design (including file preparation for output) and finally offering a finishing solution for their graphics. Your ability to satisfy these needs is the foundation of 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, increase the profitability of your operation and ensure that jobs are produced efficiently and correctly.

Asking the right questions
Delivering the high quality that customers expect begins by learning to ask the right questions, which will allow you to better understand a customer’s needs and make the best recommendations to help get the job done right… and maybe even help you increase the size of the sale with additional revenue-generating services!

Take the time to understand what your customer is trying to accomplish. Knowing the goal will guide you through the rest of the sales process. Ask to see how often they use these types of display; this will help you quickly gauge the potential size of the sale, the scope of the customer’s requirements and future repeat business. Find out whether the graphic will be viewed up-close or from far away. If the intent is for people to view the graphic from up close, then you will want to recommend printing the image at as high a resolution as possible. Does the customer plan to frame it, hang it from the ceiling, stand it on an easel, or simply tape it up in a window? Knowing the answer to this question will help determine the type of media to use and if finishing will be required. What types of images or photos does the customer want to use? Make sure you have the right size of file. No photos look good when enlarged too much. It is critical to understand the characteristics of your customer’s photos and images before you output the file. Ask if the print is going to be used indoors or outdoors – some inkjet printers, like aqueous printers, are better suited for indoor applications.

Keep Them Coming Back For More
The hardest thing for just about any business is to find new customers. Large format printing will allow you to explore new markets, thus developing new clients who may want to buy a variety of printing services from you. And with your established customers, why send them away for their large format printing needs? Offer them a full range of printing services and keep them coming back for more. The best way to do this is to provide a quality service at a fair price. Offer them sound advice, make good recommendations and be proactive in finding new ways to address their needs. Business customers can be a great source of repeat work simply because most businesses are cyclical in nature. If they need materials produced today, they are most likely going to need something similar again in the future. Consumers might not seem like a great source for large format printing, but they also need family portraits, collages, canvas prints and banners for parties, sports teams, clubs, charities, schools and garage sales.

Strategies for Success
InfoTrends interviewed a geographically dispersed group of wide format printing organizations to find out what methods of expanding their sales have been the most successful for them. The answer, in a word, is resourcefulness. They found out that like many establishments in the wide format printing market, the companies that they interviewed were driven by entrepreneurs who constantly scan their local market and their customer base in pursuit of opportunities that will grow their businesses. They discovered that creativity and opportunism have been the key success factors for entrepreneurs. In addition, these leaders utilize a wide variety of marketing avenues to sell their companies’ abilities.

Successful marketing is a constant challenge for any company, regardless of the market. Like other industries, the wide format inkjet printing world is continually faced with new technologies, products, competitors, and customers. Wide format print service providers must implement a successful marketing program to make their services known. Sales can be a lot of fun when you get to help customers solve problems. If you are ready to do more than just quote prices and take orders, large format printing is a great opportunity for you to put your sales skills and expertise to work. The key to successfully creating value and selling solutions is learning to understand a customer’s needs — then filling those needs as precisely and completely as possible.