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Premium Customers

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Grizzly, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    I am curious how others would define what a "Premium" customer was, and if they gain that so called status, what you do for them. I had a customer today that wanted to know when he would get premium pricing because he was bringing all of his work to us. We wrapped one trailer in June of 2017 and one last month. I gave him some pricing today on 20 2-sided yard signs and I could tell by his tone that he thought it was too high. We also have one 8x8 banner we're printing for him. He compared a premium customer to contractor pricing at home depot. I told him we based are pricing on quantity and I was giving him the quantity pricing. Seemed he wanted more. I would like to be a little more prepared if someone asks something similar again. We try to treat our "premium" customers better when it comes to turn times and emergencies but we don't necessarily give them better pricing, just better service. Just throwing it out there, what do you all think?
  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Beware of any customer who tells you they are your best client, or that they will send you all their future work if you give them a break this one time.

    I would stick to my guns on pricing, I'm not sure what size shop you are, but 20 yard signs and an 8'x8' banner seems like pretty small potatoes, neither are high profit items.

    At the end of the day it all boils down to how much you need the work.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    We do bend over backwards when one of our "top ten" customers needs something ridiciously fast or so (same as you, providing "better" service and faster delivery) but they usually also pay premium for that. We often discount freight or "share" the freight 50/50 if it's a bigger order. For us the bigger customers re-orders the same products so we discuss pricing based on an approximate yearly purchasing amount, but we don't have a particular "premium" category that would give discounts. Have never had anybody ask for it either, but maybe it's different in the US?
  4. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Totally agree. We've had so many people tell us that they're going to do soooo much work. We don't budge. We will prorate the last job though if they say they're going to do x amount of work over a period of time, but make them pay full price until they actually do what they say they are. We don't "need" the work, but I do try to offer a good experience with competitive pricing for everyone. 20 yard signs and a banner is not big at all for us. I do like your comment that neither are high profit items, and to take that into consideration.

    I had this thought too. I'll have to look at what the "top ten" do and consider that.
  5. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    I bet you he goes to other shops to get quotes, then just turns around and tells you he's your "premium" customer.

    I discount by volume. If you order 1 10 FT banner, I have to spend 5-10 mins loading the printer, 5 mins setting up the file to rip... 5 mins waiting until I can attach it to the take up reel etc. If you order 10 banners... it still only takes me 10-15 minutes to setup all them banners and walk away while the machine does its work. So if you order 10 banners... the price is cheaper per banner.

    I may give a client a cheaper price if they spend A LOT with me... but a job here or there isn't a lot. My mechanic doesn't give me a discounted rate for only going to him once a month when I need an oil change or tune up. Discounts are generally based on Volume of work for us.
  6. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

    Sep 8, 2016
    I'll gladly give you discounts on bulk orders or contracted jobs. Unfortunately, there's no room for discounts on one off, rush, or low quantity jobs.

    That's great! We appreciate the referrals. We're primarily word of mouth. We offer the same fair pricing that we do to all of our customers.

    Whatever you spend, we provide the best service we can at the best prices we can so that we can stay in business and serve you for many more years to come.

    I have no doubt you can find someone to do a job cheaper. They either provide an inferior product, don't know the extent of the job and didn't quote it properly, or just trying to rope you in to give you higher pricing on future jobs. Sometimes, somebody will just do it cheaper, but cheap shops don't last very long and neither does their work.

    Besides having to pay for all the materials, tools, building, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc. We've still got to pay ourselves and employees for their time and effort. We pay reasonable wages. We're for profit, but you don't see us driving around in a Lambo. We charge what we need to charge to do the job with the right materials, the right way, and stay in business.

    That said, since we've gone over all of this, that'll be an additional $150. Oh, you just want it cheap. No thanks. Have a nice day.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Bubba06

    Bubba06 Just Somebody

    Feb 13, 2005
    Manning SC
    I have a customer that has net me anywhere from 3 to 5 grand a month, for the last year. When he walks in the door with an order..... I ask him if he wants to wait on it.
    I will drop what I'm doing, and get his out, if need be. I Have worked till 3am to get their order done by the next morning.
    They are business people, and understand we are here to make money.
    They have never balked about any price, but I have never balked at any deadline they have given me either.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. ams

    ams Very Active Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    The only "Premium" customer to me is when I am the preferred sign company for something such as a shopping center or apartment complex. Where they only use me for all the signs on the property. Then they get premium status.
  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    A premium customer is one that doesn't ask about price!
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    When they hit 100k a year they become premium. Their work is then ultra scrutinized to ensure that the price doesnt have to be raised and their a/r terms are called into question. Premium customers dont get better pricing per se, they become an integral part of your business, ones that help or hurt you.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018
    Can you elaborate on this? Thanks
  12. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    You can lose on onsie twosie jobs with no ill effect and usually make them up on other onsie twosie projects. When someone becomes a larger chunk of your gross revenue, you have to be careful that they dont cause cash flow problems with their payment terms and if they do, their pricing will cover any short term locs needed to float you waiting on payment.
    You also need to be sure that you are profitable because there is less opportunity to make it up. They also take up much more of your resources.
  13. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    Premium customer is another way to say "PITA" customer. Unless he's making up 10% or more of your business, don't bend over backwards for him. That old saying, "money talks, BS walks" is pretty applicable here.

    We have a couple of customers that get preferential treatment, but they're spending $100k+ a year and generating tons of business, so we'll put out fires for them (of which there are MANY). You can't have too many "premium" customers or you're going to end up spending all your time on them. It's a double edged sword.
  14. billsines

    billsines Member

    May 24, 2016
    Trying to manipulate the pricing through their demeanor...seems like that attitude is becoming more prevalent. "I'm here and breathing, you should give me a better price." Sounds a lot like my former high school students: "I'm here and breathing, why didn't you give me an A?"

    Kinda like a collective societal narcissism.
    • Like Like x 1

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