There’s a major shift taking place in the world of Print, as many small print shops expand out their business into value-based selling, and evolving into marketing specialists.

This is a good thing, short run print jobs are in fact a speciality custom manufactured good. Selling on price, and constant undercutting  has led to many printers either going under, or even worse , staying afloat long enough to seriously hamper the market for those who would do well otherwise.

It takes a massive mind shift to move away from a “Cost plus Markup” mentality. If you’re the kind of person ( like me) where 1+1 =2 , it’s hard wrap your brain around the concept that when selling on value 1+1 =3, or even 4 or 5 if you’re in the right part of town.

The truth is, it’s not hoodoo vooodo, or thumb sucking. The pricing is based on factors that multiply, rather than add to the price.

Here are the broad strokes, and we’ll dig down into them in future posts.

Value based selling starts with the concept that a product or service is really worth what a client is willing to pay for it. The price you can charge for something is largely (but not exclusively) defined by , who your customers are, where they live, where they work, what they do, and how much they like you and value your services.

Thinking broadly, “value” is about as easy to define as “high”.  It’s all relative. A bride will value her custom wedding invitations with the special die cut stand-out and foil stamped speciality paper in a completely different way to the business man who needs 250 business cards on good thick stock by tomorrow for his sudden and unexpected business trip. And yet both will be willing to pay for what they value, the bride for the luxury feel and finish, and completely unique one of a kind design, the business man for the quality feel and the rush print job. And both will have a different threshold of what they will consider acceptable.

Discussing your clients challenges is a great way to discover what they value
Discussing your clients challenges is a great way to discover what they value

The real trick to this pricing model, and method of selling is that you need to be exceptionally knowledgeable, comfortable, and well-versed in 2 areas of your business. The first is your cost of production, and the second is your target market.

Once you know exactly how much things cost you to make, and you know exactly who you are targeting, what they want, what they need, it becomes a lot easier to price on value.

Read the next post about this topic : The 2 things you need to know before you start pricing on value.