Are you getting the most from your printer/cutter?
Roland DG has sold well over 129,000 integrated print and cut systems worldwide. They are our most popular type of wide-format printer, primarily because of their excellent versatility.
A printer/cutter is very much the Swiss Army knife of the print world, able to produce a wide array of different products. However, much like that handy pocket toolkit, many people use one tool more than the others.
The ability to print something and then contour cut it with a single machine makes printer/cutters ideal for making stickers, window graphics, heat transfers for custom clothing, vehicle graphics and much more.
Pictured: Print and cut window sticker featuring white ink
If your customers only seem to order posters, banners, pop-ups and roll-ups, and you're seeing little demand for stickers and heat transfers, you might assume that’s all they need.
However, it may be possible that your customers don't know what you can offer, and they simply don't think to ask.
Promoting your offer
We know you're already doing some great things and creating products your customers want, but are you doing all you can to show them what you’re capable of? The great news is that it's really easy to advertise your services while you delight your clients. Let’s plot the process for powerful promotion in three simple steps:
STEP 1: Deliver
Let's say one of your customers wants some sticky vinyl signage to promote a new product or service they sell. You win the job, create the artwork with the customer's logo on it and produce the vinyl sign. The excess vinyl used during production goes in the bin, you invoice, the customer pays and goes away happy.
Your customer got what they wanted and you got paid – everybody is satisfied. But if you want to go further, satisfaction isn’t enough. You might not realise it, but you have missed a valuable opportunity. Let’s take it up to the next level…
STEP 2: Exceed
You already have the customer's logo, so with a few mouse clicks you can create a smaller version of it, add a cut outline, and instead of wasting the excess vinyl, you can fill the blank space with small, branded stickers.
The same customer receives the sign, but they now have a couple of dozen sticky decals that they can send out to their own customers. You've just given your customer something that might help them to win more business, for free, and their perception of you is now even more positive than before.
Pictured: Print and cut sheet of full-colour stickers
You have only spent a few extra minutes of work and some scrap material that would otherwise have gone in the bin. Therefore, the cost to you to create this increased customer awareness and satisfaction is zero.
However, in a busy working day, it’s not always possible to spend a few minutes adding stickers on a case-by-case basis. The key is to build this extra feature into your typical workflow.
STEP 3: Prepare
How about a standard off-the-peg decal kit featuring a selection of stickers that most customers would appreciate? An office sign pack, perhaps containing some 'No Parking' stickers, a few safety signs, some directional signage, maybe some quirky cartoon-style toilet stickers. Or perhaps some novelty stickers for your customers' kids.
You can create these 'decal kit' files once during downtime, and when your customer places an order you can just add them to the scrap areas of your printed vinyl, using the Nest feature of your VersaWorks software.
Not only does your customer receive a free, surprise gift, but this is the perfect opportunity to show them the variety of other items they don't know you can offer.
Pictured: Custom T-shirt featuring heat-transfer graphics
So what next? It’s over to you
Your customers need to know these products exist if they are going to buy them. By demonstrating your services with real, tangible products, you can raise awareness and create profitable cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
It's a matter of sowing the seeds and reaping the harvest. Have a think about some of your primary return customers, and about the additional products you could sell to them – if they only knew about them.
If you own something as flexible as a printer/cutter, you should use this versatility to your advantage. You'll be glad you did, because making money out of scrap product you would otherwise have put in the bin is as close to sensible business as you ever need to be.
Finally, you will exceed the customers’ expectations, making your company their go-to supplier in the future.