Do buyers force price down? Or are print companies the real culprits?

Hi Michael

I hope you are well.

How are you finding the trade at the moment?

For us it has been very up and down, at the moment we are very busy. But, as always, we want more work, so if you have anything that is suitable to my presses, both B1 and B2, then please contact us for a quotation. If we have already quoted and you know that something is in the pipeline then please let me know so I can arrange the schedule.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of similar e-mails in the trade.  Maybe you’ve even received one like this yourself.

There appears to be nothing wrong with a message like this.  It is simply a reminder to the buyer about the printer.  And a reminder that they should ask the printer for a quote.

But this message encourages the buyer to choose on price

Messages like this will reduce a printer’s chance of receiving worthwhile work.  There are three reasons why this message makes a print buyer choose on price.  And here’s the first one:

This message focusses solely on quotes

So the only reason that I would send this printer a quote is to see if I could get a cheaper price.  E-mails like this actually encourage buyers to practice price-based buying.

This message makes the printer look desperate

As a keen buyer, I always look at messages and try and find the real reason behind them.  And in this e-mail the message is clear.  The printer needs more work.

This message doesn’t value me as a customer

For a start, I am called Matthew, not Michael.  So if you want me to engage with you as a printer, it helps if you get my name right.  Otherwise I am made to feel like a faceless prospect.

But beyond this error, the whole tone of the message is transactional.  This e-mail works on a purely one-deal basis.  The buyer sends a quote.  The printer sends a price.  It will be chosen if it is the cheapest.

I featured this this e-mail in my book “How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price”.  I felt there was a lot that print companies could learn from it.

And it shows that it’s not just buyers who are forcing down print prices.
  Find out more about how about how to engage with buyers so they focus less on price:  download the free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” today.

  • james bond

    Getting your name wrong is indeed a poor start. A simple phone call to your office to get the correct details is very important. But does the printer come across as desperate? I don’t think so. They have stated that at the moment they are busy. This is a good time for prospecting as the sales dept are busy,upbeat and feeling good. Asking you for a quote ( don’t ask don’t get ) nothing wrong with that.

  • Matthew Parker

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your comments.  Asking for quotes will reduce the conversation to price only unless a printer gives the buyer a reason to use them before making the request.

    All the best


    • james bond

      To be honest the print company that contacted you , could have mentioned for arguement sake , that they have just invested in the latest Speedmaster with all bells and whistles, that will guarantee you a a fantastic job and printed to the highest possible quality, matched with brilliant customer service. This may interest you as a professional print buyer. You ask the company to provide you with a quote and guess what , they are dearer than your current supplier, So assume you stick with who you know, or do you ask them to match the price, to justify changing your printer.

      • Matthew Parker

        A new speedmaster probably wouldn’t excite me that much.  But if they had some unusual web2print capability, or a better way of managing my deliveries more economically, or a range of finishes with case studies on how they increased customer response then I would be interested in talking further and it wouldn’t all be about price.