While many businesses operate digitally, there are still many industries in which printing services are in high demand. Businesses that require printed reports, POS advertising and business cards may be looking for a professional printer to meet their requirements. Do your research and develop an effective proposal to sell your services.
Understand Your Customers’ Needs
The key to writing and selling a successful proposal for printing services is to research and understand the needs of your customers. Refrain from sending a templated and generic proposal to businesses. Instead, customize your proposal, showing your knowledge of your customers’ needs.
For example, consider a local advertising agency. They may be looking for a printing service that can meet the campaign requirements for their clients. They may need items such as flyers, POS materials, vinyl vehicle wraps and posters. Meet with them to understand what qualities are important for them. Do they need fast turnaround times? Do they value high-resolution printing? Do they have strict budgets they need to adhere to?
Knowing your customers’ needs and explaining how you can meet them in your proposal will help convince executives and decision-makers of the value of your business. For example, in the sample letter offering printing services to the advertising agency, you can mention how you have 10 years of experience meeting tight timelines. Show you understand that their schedules are set in stone and that you’re able to print their materials and have them delivered when they need them.
Speak to Your Audience
When you’re trying to make a sale, it’s important to speak to the issues your audience is facing. Learn what you can about your contact. What department are they in? What daily frustrations do they deal with, which you can help them with? If you can convince the decision-maker that your solution will improve their situation, then you will have a chance of making the sale.
For example, if you’re speaking with a local tech start-up COO about printing all of their business cards, understand any problems your contact may face. For example, does she continuously have new staff to print business cards for? Do they have limited funding for printing services?
Because they have may have a small budget, consider offering them a bulk discount on printing business cards if they commit to having all of their cards printed with you over the next 12 months. If it’s a growing startup, this could mean dozens of new employees. Note a few pricing tiers in your printing business proposal letter. You may consider throwing in a free set of envelope labels for each business card set they have printed.
Stand Out from Your Competitors
Why should the business choose your company for their printing service requirements? What can you offer them that no other printer can? In your business proposal, be sure to outline what is unique about your printing service that no other company can match. This could be your commitment to building relationships with your customers, your ability to print rush jobs within eight hours or your high-resolution printer that no other shop in town has.
Create an Eye-Catching Printing Proposal Template
Develop a printing proposal template that you can customize for each business you approach. In your proposal, be sure to include:
- The goal of the proposal: This should be to help the business meet its printing requirements. Specify what those requirements are.
- Your service: Outline what you offer that meets the needs of your customers.
- Your pricing: Offer a few different packages or pricing tiers that the business can choose from.
- Your company: Give a brief overview of who you are, what experience you have and why you’re the right company for the job.
- Your terms and conditions: State how long this proposal is valid until, and any other specific terms you have.
- The next steps: Clearly state what you’d like the customer to do. Would you like them to call you once they have reviewed the proposal? Will you call them in three days to discuss the job?
- Attachments: Attach samples of items you’ve printed that match the requirements the business is seeking. This helps the company see the quality you offer.
- Dress professionally. Looking like a slob diminishes your chances.
- Be friendly without being cloying or condescending. You want their business not a date.
- Be honest and deliver what you promise if you want to create a lasting business relationship.
- Do not make claims you cannot fulfill.
- Research the company before your presentation.
- Everything you show must exude professionalism or you will not get the sale.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.