Listen to Debbie's audio version:
By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!
Just in case you’ve forgotten, profit is a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something – in our case – PRINTING!
Have you experienced that customers are discount-diving deeper into your profit margins? Customers always want a discount, price decrease, lower price, and if they’re bold enough…how about free?
I always say, ”Free Work only buys you more Free Work!”
Gasping for air:
A noticeable downside to retail coupons and discounts is that it has trained even print buyers to expect the same business model when buying print. That expectation sets us up for failure, especially if we take the bait!
Hey, I’m not saying don’t give LOYAL CUSTOMERS a discount; I’m saying to steer clear from one-time buyers who demand discounts (this should be a red flag as to what the sales journey could look like with that buyer’s mindset).
I was always taken aback when a customer would say – Debbie -- your price is way too high! And when I asked what they were comparing my price to, they would say, well, I just had a cost in my head. (Inside voice: Are You Kidding Me!)
So, even in a battle with my inside voice, I would patiently explain the end-to-end process of providing them with the best quality product(s) for their marketing efforts. And yes, some would say – okay, now I understand. While others were more than determined to receive a discount still.
Battling the Discount:
- Don’t give discounts for rush or overtime projects
- Only provide a discount if you have received a discount for your Cost of Goods
- Don’t over-discount; minimal discounts are just as effective – the customer won.
- Ensure that all discounted line items are highlighted on estimates and quotes
- Don’t allow sales/customer service to offer discounts without management approval
- Don’t devalue your company by offering discounts without a specific plan
- Remember, discounts affect your P&L
- Offer to value engineer the project in-lieu of discounting
- Set a minimal customer discounted rate when their pre-determined sales number has been achieved. This thought-out plan assists with customer retention
- Lastly, if you don’t know your TRUE NUMBERS -- never discount
What Lens Should We Look Through For 2024?
A wide lens will not only capture a wider range of what’s in front of you but also capture more of the background details.
A long lens will capture and focus on a smaller section of what’s in front of you while creating a blur in the background (which results in fewer details).
The wide lens is a much better option; you want to make sure you are capturing what is right in front of you – including the details (such as strategies, employees, customers, growth opportunities, and even profits) so you can develop and frame your company for success in 2024 and beyond.
Remember, we are a Print-For-Profit business