Everybody loves screen printed products. They sell themselves. Printing with plastisol inks on a great screen printing press produces high quality. A product created on a screen printer will last for years. I have one shirt that I have washed over 200 times. 200 TIMES!!! It still looks fantastic. I’ve had that shirt at least 15 years.
How to Sell Screen Printed T-Shirts
So a sale usually happens like this. A customer decides to get a batch of shirts for their Sloth Appreciation Society. (Yes, it’s a thing.) So how do you get that screen printing job? How do you make them a repeat customer for life?
The job is already decided upon. The concept is already sold. Now they just need to get them printed. You didn’t really have to “sell” them on creating the shirts. They did that themselves. The real question is how do I keep them from going to my competitors down the street? Personality is the answer.
There are three main factors in selling a product. They are price, quality, and delivery. In the good old days you only had to have two of the three to be in business. In this day and age, everybody competes on all three levels. You will as well. You need to set yourself apart from your competition. The difference is where you are on the like-ability spectrum.
Personality is the Key to a Great Screen Printing Business
You have to like who you are working with. A great personality draws people in. If they think that you will treat their Sloth Appreciation shirt just the same as they would treat the San Diego Zoo they will choose you. Customers contact a lot of different places to get prices on screen printing. Some people will call twenty different screen printers. What they find is that they are all similar in quality and price. Delivery is the same as well. If a customer is panicking because their event is in the next few days and they need those shirts pronto, then delivery time can be an issue. But otherwise, it’s all the same. No major differences from one company to another.
People buy things from people they like. Sometimes they may be forced to deal with a print shop that they don’t like out of convenience, but that can easily be changed. If the customer is not treated well they won’t be back. If a shop owner asked if they have recipes for fried sloth do you think the customer would come back? Heck no. Customers don’t find this funny. Customers will go out of their way not to deal with jerks. They will pay more to not have to deal with rude people.
Personality is the great divider. You have to treat every customer the same way that you want to be treated. You have to do this from the very first contact. This concept is not new. If you act like you are doing a favor on their miniscule order then they will not come back. You have to win them over with personality. You must learn why the Sloth Appreciation Society is so vital. Don’t just slap a sloth on a shirt and call it a day. Find out why they love sloths. Show them how the process works and create the best possible experience that you can give. Show them how much you value them.
Treat the Customer Right and Watch Your Screen Printing Business Grow
From your first contact, treat every customer the way you would want to be treated. It seems like a simple idea, but it's often forgotten in the competition over price and delivery. Greeting a customer with irritation over their delivery date or acting as if you're doing them a favor on their little twenty-four piece shirt order won't bring them back to you. Take a few moments to learn why they like iguanas, instead of slapping a lizard onto a shirt and shoving them out the door. Guide them through their job, put your expertise to work for them, and let them know that you value them as a customer.
You must show more interest than just your bottom line. Make sure that you are top of mind when it is time for them to get another print job done. People will pay a higher price just so they don’t have to deal with the jerk down the street. They will come back year after year. It’s the personal touch on every job that makes the difference. This also creates great referrals. If customers rave about you then their friends will be more apt to use your service.
Do you know how long sloths live? Do you know how many toes a sloth has? The shop owner down the street doesn’t know. They don’t care. The shop owner down the street will have all the time in the world to think about it while you are printing shirts for the thousands of members of the Sloth Appreciation Society. Last I checked there were 7000 members. That’s a lot of shirts that need to be printed for the national convention.