Like most people in sales, I frequently view bid opportunities with a combination of joy and dread. While it’s great to get a shot at new business, losing a big job over a few dollars is an awful feeling. Especially since I feel like my company and I bring something special to the equation.
In today’s “Walmart World,” it can be hard to get folks to believe that low price doesn’t necessarily mean best value. I realize that it’s self-serving to make such a statement. But it’s truly how we’ve done business with our vendors for nearly 45 years. For example, it’s important to keep paper costs down, but if the paper shows up late or the quality doesn’t allow us to produce a job we can be proud of, the low-cost option is a bad deal. So, we have nurtured relationships with our vendors in a way I would hope you’d do with us.
I may save buyers a few dollars by bidding lower than my competition. But I have saved them hundreds, even thousands of dollars by asking the right question or providing options based on my relationship with them and knowledge of how printed and promotional products help them achieve their objectives. I don’t know how many times I’ve saved money for my customers with one simple question: “Are you sure that’s the right quantity? You usually order half (or twice) that amount.”
Another consideration is the high error rate with first-time vendors who may simply misunderstand your instructions and have no basis for question you. Besides, how many first dates do you really want to go on?
There are several other advantages to working with a primary vendor. For example:
- You won’t have the frustration of learning to communicate with new people every time you print a job.
- You can save lots of time and money working with one of our designers, who knows your organization and your personal working style.
- You’ll get a consistently high quality printing with a company that has samples of your work and produces it on the same equipment every time.
- Delivery of your job becomes less troublesome when your regular printer knows how you like things packaged and where they need to be shipped.
Of course it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re getting a reasonable price for printed materials. But once you establish that, I’d strongly recommend looking at value. Think about ease of communication with the sales rep, design staff and even the accounting department. When you do, you might find yourself paying a few dollars more for peace of mind.
If you’d like to discuss this or any other print or promotional products issue, please give me a call my cell, 517-712-1770 or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.