The dreaded price increase. I recently talked about three opportunities to be found in dealing with vendor price increases in our industry.
So what's the best way to advise your clients of an increase, without them scurrying in search of another vendor?
It IS possible to communicate price increases so that clients are appreciative (maybe even thankful) for your effort.
- Announce the increase well in advance, 30 days or more.
- Let them know why it’s happening.
- Give them the opportunity to lock in the current price.
Here's a condensed version of how your message might read:
"Starting June 1, our prices are increasing about 5% due to considerable price increases from all our paper and ink vendors. The good news is that because you’re a loyal customer, I’m offering you the opportunity to buy at today’s price. Simply book an order with a $X deposit by [deadline] to hold your current price. Then complete your order within X days."
You can also make your message even more credible with this tactic.
Sid Chadwick, writing on American Printer, suggests asking suppliers to explain the reason for the increase and have them print it on their letterhead. You reprint the supplier’s letters and send copies with your letter.
When your client has the right information, they can come to the same conclusion as you—that you had to raise prices.
And they’ll be grateful for the opportunity to lock in the old price, even if they don’t order.