Impressions - April 2012 - (Page 67)

Digital Decorating talking SHOP How To Sell Digital Printing Set realistic expectations and educate customers about digital printing for greater satisfaction and profits. By Kevin Kelly, Contributing Writer Event promoters love digital printing because it’s so easy to whip out a few extra shirts in a moment’s notice if needed. Be sure to sell on this advantage when promoting digital. This shirt was printed for a power-lifting exposition to benefit HopeKids, an organization that grants special wishes to children facing life-threatening illness. All photos courtesy of Blue Heron Industries, Little Falls, N.J. hether you are an existing decorator who has added digital printing to your shop’s services or you are getting started in the business with a digital printer, learning how to sell the process is just as important as learning how to achieve a top-quality print. You should only sell what you can deliver. Unfortunately, some of the challenges decorators have experienced with the introduction of this new technology involve learning its strengths and weaknesses, and w consequently overselling what it can reasonably produce. So my first piece of advice to anyone who is talking to a potential customer is not to set unrealistic expectations or bite off more than digital printing is designed to chew. Another scenario you want to avoid is creating competition between screen printing and digital printing. As a screen printer, a major reason I added digital printing was because I saw the trend toward lower-volume orders. Adding the digital process meant I could offer my customers greater decorating possibilities and capture jobs I was turning away. These included not meeting the required minimums, poor-quality artwork or too many colors to be cost effective for a low quantity. The best approach to avoid misconceptions and ensure client satisfaction is to ask lots of questions, evaluate the job and be an advisor regarding which decorating medium best suits his or her needs. The advantages of screen printing are well known. The advantages of digital printing include low or no setup charges, low or no minimums, unlimited color does not cost more or take longer, and there are low reorder minimums. Having the flexibility to work with customers on reorders has been a lucrative advantage for my shop. We have a strict policy on reorder quantities for screen printing; with digital; however, we are willing to print another six or eight shirts at the same price quoted for the original order. This flexibility always is attractive to people who need shirts for events, among other things. Inevitably, there’s always a request for a few more shirts because someone miscounted or the sizing was incorrect. With digital printing, once files are ripped, prepped and the job has printed, doing a few more shirts is as easy as loading the shirt on the platen and pressing the print button. It’s a great sales tool to use for getting the order. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS At my shop, the first question I ask a April/May 2012 | Impressions 67

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - April 2012

Impressions - April 2012
Making Economic Sense of Sustainability
From the Show Director
ISS Conferences
Product Gallery
Spotlight on Caps
Outfitting the Active Customer
Future Leaders
Primed for Print/Cut Media
Financing Your Start-Up Decorated Apparel Business
Making Economic Sense of Sustainability
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Technique
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Screen Printing Technique
Online Directory
Digital Decorating
Business to Business
Ad Index

Impressions - April 2012