I love sport and often hear this quote repeated back to me during a season or over the course of a competition – “It’s not how you start but how you finish”. But it’s not just in the sporting arena this idea applies; it’s also true in the print business. In our case, we start with a sheet of paper, but that’s rarely what we finish with. And it’s that finished product and the quality it delivers (or doesn’t), that really counts.
Many print companies sell and market themselves on the quality of the ‘print’ they provide. Yes, this is extremely important and something that any print business should be aspiring to deliver on every job. But to really deliver value to clients, the quality of the finished product needs to be more than just the print.
Your client may be using the final product as a platform to pitch for and win new business, or a key presentation for their management, or a token of appreciation to a valued customer. Whatever the case, your clients simply can’t hand over a sheet of printed-paper and expect the recipient to be wowed by its print quality.
Do you want to differentiate yourself from other businesses and win new business?
Then give your client a quality product which has been finished to a very high standard, and one where you instantly feel the quality without even turning a page.
Imagine the scenario of going to an important meeting with your boss, you’ve been up late for many nights polishing a proposal to take with you. You’ve had it printed, wire bound, clear front and black card on the back – the only options presented to you by your print company. When you arrive at your meeting, you cringe as you see another presentation that’s been submitted, leather bound, foiled logo on the cover and with a matching presentation box. You don’t even need to look inside to know that all your hard work may well be without reward, and what started so well doesn’t look like finishing in the same way.
Adding value to a client’s hard work is fundamental to what we as printers should be focusing on and delivering every time. It is our responsibility to not only give a standard printed product to a client, but to give them a product that truly reflects who they are as a business.
One simple aspect of finishing often overlooked is the ability to listen to clients and to understand their business and how they want it represented. It’s about telling a story to engage not only them but also who they’re presenting to and to offer them solutions and concepts that will excite them. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a client receive something you have helped them create and to hear them describe it as truly unique and in excess of their expectations.
Over the years, our company has invested heavily in our capability to produce high-end finished products. This could be a simple perfect bound or saddle stitched book or custom-made ring binders or boxes. Either way we have spent hours developing our skills and techniques to be able to execute finishing to an exceptionally high level. This enables our clients to achieve their aims.
We still highly value print quality and work hard to maintain exceptional quality printing on a daily basis, but we also recognise that this is the bare minimum expected from clients, and it’s not what we should be selling as printers. Today’s print business is no longer about taking orders, it’s about being a solution provider and thinking outside the box to provide clients with creative and exciting finished print products.
It’s about ensuring clients finish first, and make a lasting and positive impression.