How Selling Metallics Is as Easy as Selling Ice Cream: One Printer’s Story

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By Dennis Beck, Commercial Printer, North Palm Beach, Florida

I’ve been in printing for almost 30 years, and I’ve taken many risks. Some didn’t work out, but most did. It’s sort of like buying stocks; not everyone is a winner, but most are if you’re careful and have a plan. Here’s how a plan for metallic inks success came to me through ice cream.

I’d like to share this concept I’ve been using with our Iridesse. Before we took on the press, I wondered why I didn’t see greater use of metallics from owners of other presses that had that capability. Why didn’t I see that usage?

I thought about that for a long time, and I got the answer from ice cream. Ok, stop laughing. Yup, ice cream. You see, my wife and I go to a Carvel store once in a while for ice cream. Behind the counter are tubs of various flavors, from Rocky Road to Bubble Gum. My wife said she’d like to taste one of the flavors, and the woman behind the counter took a small spoon and gave her a sample. My wife said, “That tastes great. I’ll take two scoops.” Right then and there, it was like a shock wave through my brain, and I said to myself, “People aren’t buying metallic and specialty jobs from digital printers BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T TASTED IT.”

Give Customers a Taste of Specialty Inks

So we’ve been giving our customers “tastes” like little spoons of ice cream. We take their design and add gold, or silver or clear and print the job. Of course, we ask if it’s ok first, and they all say, “Yes – it’s free.” But now they’re coming back and asking for “two scoops,” not just a spoon, and they expect to pay for it.

We’ve gotten a number of jobs that way and will continue to. We just sent samples of a postcard we printed using the customer’s design, to which we added gold at no charge. We just got an email back that they are excited about it and will use it in the future — and pay. And we’re talking about a 6000-plus run every month or so.

So, just give your customer a taste, and they’ll take two scoops or more. Boy, do I like ice cream even more now.

If You’re Not Moving Forward, You’re Standing Still

As I said once before, if you are not moving forward NOW, then you’re standing still. I can see so many shops that see the market is changing, but refuse to jump in and make an effort to move forward. I believe they fear the expense and that they won’t succeed. True, they might not, but if they don’t, then they will lose their business. It would only be a matter of time.

If you look at our history with Xerox- we have in the last 12 years moved from a 700 and many other digital presses until the Iridesse 120 press. Every time I moved forward, I made more money and grew my business. Was I worried? Of course. Was there a risk? Of course, but the risk of doing nothing or standing still was much greater.

The Iridesse presents a great challenge and one that I welcome. Finally, I can do things for my customers at a reasonable cost that they could never have gotten before. We’ve gotten great reviews from as far away as London to across the USA in California. The Iridesse 120 presents in crystal clear reality the ability to finally develop a monopolistic business model.

Frankly, any printer who doesn’t take the plunge is leaving a lot of customers looking elsewhere and leaving a lot of money on the table. That’s my 2 cents worth. So just give your customer a taste, and they’ll take two scoops or more. Boy, do I like ice cream even more now.

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