Written by Kent Long

Printing

The true job of a printer is to provide a total solution to their customer. The solution should meet their needs, last for the period of time desired, and of course in the end make for a satisfied and loyal customer. The printer has many potential solutions in ways that were not previously available. In the past the printer would migrate to a particular type print device that best fits the need of the customer. Today, that process is still done but the advances in the number and types of substrates that printers can print to have made learning about and choosing the proper substrate a very important part of the solution. Educating the customer throughout the sales process about substrates will aid in their decision-making process.

At one time, an inkjet print device or photo print device only had the ability to print to a very limited number of substrates. A solution may have been chosen based on the ability of the actual print device. Technological advances have changed how one must look at the final solution and it should now be part of the process to educate the customer on the proper substrate to fit their needs. Unlike in the past, the many new types of printers available today can print onto hundreds of different substrates, thus opening a whole new world of possibilities and solutions.

It is important for a sales rep and customer service personnel to be as knowledgeable about these many different substrates as it is to know what a print device can do. When hundreds of substrates are now available the solution is often “in the substrate.” Knowing the ins and outs of as many substrates as possible is going to be very valuable for a sales rep when it comes to offering the best solution to the customer.

All vendors offer samples and product demonstrations. It is important to learn from the vendors what their substrates do, how long they last, and what they look like. In the end, it is the customer that must be satisfied with the service they received and offering the proper solution is going to go a long way to accomplishing the goal of satisfied customers. Education is a must so the customers can be educated and understand as well.

Don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes to educate customers. They will see the time spent educating them as a valuable resource offered by your company and will strengthen your long-term printer-customer relationship. Everyone should make learning about the many different substrates available a major priority and in the end your customers will view your company as their go to resource for all things needed in the world of print. So, remember – The Substrate may equal the solution your customer is looking for.

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