Last month I wrote a blog on this topic for Printing Impressions. I’ve expanded and revised it for today’s Print Tip. That’s the thing about us writers. We’re never satisfied, always tweaking this and adding that.
Remember that old game show, “$100,000 Pyramid”*? It was a contest between two teams, each one comprised of a TV celebrity and an average Joe who hoped to win the game and, therefore, a lot of money.
There was a big electronic board displaying a pyramid of different categories, which were hidden from the average Joes. The celebrity on each team tried to get his or her partner to correctly guess a category (worth a certain amount of cash) by suggesting things that would be included in it. Categories closer to the top of the pyramid got increasingly more difficult – and worth more money.
If I hosted such a game show, there’d be a category called “Things that Print Buyers Won’t Tolerate – for Long.”
Here are some examples of clues a partner might give to describe this category:
- Dishonest printers and sales reps – God help you if they catch you in a lie
- Waiting too long for a price estimate, like, longer than 24 hours for a typical job
- Having your spec’d paper switched by a printer – without your permission or even knowledge
- Invoices that don’t come anywhere near the estimate, even when specs didn’t change or if they did change, without any discussion about the affect on the cost.
- Unresponsive sales or service reps
- Sales or service reps impossible to reach by phone
- Misrepresentation (what printers can and can’t do, equipment at the plant, etc.)
- A habit of missing delivery dates
- Overpromising by a lot (as in, saying anything to get the job, even though your facility can’t deliver)
- A rep who habitually make a lot of excuses
- Failure to accept responsibility
- Being surprised by an unexpected ANYTHING during the production process
- Being kept in the dark when problems arise that will jeopardize the deadline, cost, and/or quality of your project
- Being given The Runaround.
This is a short but accurate and powerful list. I can also share another category I’d like to use in this game: “Things That Endear Printers to Their Customers.” It would be much longer. Another time, perhaps?
*According to Wikipedia, this show started in 1973 as the $10,000 Pyramid, with the late Dick Clark as the host.
© 2012 Margie Dana. All rights reserved. You’re free to forward this email. However, no part of this column may be reprinted without permission from the author.