Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Position Yourself as an Expert

Do you feel that you are the one of the best at selling MFP's? Do you consult more to the end user and then let the customer buy from you? Are you consistently producing print assessment reports for customers that have and instant ROI?

If so, you need to add this weapon to your arsenal. In your territory look up the 10 largest CPA firms. Once you have them, be prepared to make the calls to success!

CPA firms are in the business of making money as are all of us, they have many business clients that have trusted their services for years and years. What we want to do is to add value to the CPA's service's that they provide to their business clients, by added a new service for their customers. A customized Print Assessment Report for their clients.

Positioning yourself as an expert in the field of print assessments, meaning you are offering your services to the CPA firm for their clients, the CPA firm can either bill out this service or include it as an additional service that they offer for their clients. Your goal is to sell your knowledge and nothing else. Have copies of Print Assessments that you have completed to show the accounting firm what the typical report entails, here you are breaking the mold from the common copier salesperson and establishing yourself as the expert. You can even offer a FREE print assessment to the accounting firm to show them your expertise and your creative ideas for print assessment and print migration.

You can start by telling them about the high cost of printing to multiple devices and that you specialize in provided a detailed print assessment cost of what they are spending and a solution to save their clients money and or productivity. Your fees can be as much as $150 per hour plus expenses for your work.

All of the information needed is at your finger tips, companies like Ricoh offer a COG (customer opportunity generator), this software program gives you real life per page cost for about 95% of all the print devices that are on the market. For the other 5% you can do your research on the internet.

In reference to all of the print device software that is on the market..... they are ok, however nothing is better than visiting every single print device, generating a report and then interviewing the end user for thier needs. Interview can uncover tremendous saving and opportunities for all.

If you would like a copy of my print assessment report and a copy of my print assessment excel spreadsheet please send me and email. These are not free however, I am selling them for a small fee ($10.00). Both of these reports were customized over the years and have a proven track record for a professional presentation and the opportunity to close the deal.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ricoh, Way to Support Your Printer Dealers!

I get a copy of CRN Magazine delivered to my home every month. Congrats to Ricoh they won another AWARD for an Annual Partner Report Card for VARs (Value Added Resellers). As I was reading the ad/award, I noticed a link for Ricoh that I had not seen before www.ricoh-usa.com/resellers.

Hey you know me; I went in to take a peak, just the usual marketing stuff for resellers. I then saw a link to buy a Ricoh printer, now my curiosity was up. I clicked the link, then the search bar asked for state, products (you could click, printers, multifunctional printers and scanners). So, I put the info in for New Jersey, selected the “find now” button and did not find my dealership, just a bunch of VAR's. That’s OK I though, let me check out some of my friends areas, so I did a search for Tennessee and Texas, still no dealers just VAR's. I was ok with this too and then went back to the home page for Ricoh. Off to the left you can click "IT solutions for business". I did and it brought me to www.ricoh-usa.com/itchannel/. And there it was again, a link for "where to buy" I clicked and it brought me to same info that I had saw before on the reseller’s page!

Now to me, someone who supports Ricoh, eats sleeps and breathes their products and sells Ricoh printers I found this offensive to dealers and dealer salespeople alike! Our printer DSM comes in from time to time and gives the old yahoo to sell more printers, more Ricoh, they are the best and we will support you! Some dealer support you got there!

I thought about someone who will visit an office and see a Ricoh printer or printers and will ask how is the printer, do you like it? The user then gives a glowing report, and then that prospective client is off to the web to see more and then find out where he can get one! Not from us dealers!!! Just VAR's, what the heck did VAR's ever do for Ricoh, we were the ones who suffered with the POS that they first came out with, not the VAR's, we continued to sell and support printers and over time they got better and better.

Way to go Ann Moser and the rest of the Ricoh Printer Group. Can't wait to hear or see my printer rep either at Dallas or in Boston!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Leasing Tips

Recently it came to my attention that CIT Financial has different rates for fax machines and laser printers. The rates for these types of units are higher than the MFP rates for multi-functional devices. I would guess that the reasoning is that CIT was not able to get a good return for these units once they came off v clease.

However this new lease structure has raised a few questions:

1. What happens when you have a combination of equipment, MFP's Faxes and Laser Printers? Are they going to blend the rate or do all of it at the MFP FMV rate?

2. When using the higher rate, will we (the dealer) get a better offer to buy the equipment?

What I find most unsettling is the leasing companies unwillingness to budge from their buy-out or upgrade rates, I would tend to think that most dealers would buy the equipment if they were using a "TRUE" fair market value.

Zero Interest Financing

A few months ago I called one of the leasing companies that we do business with and asked him to device an end of the year special for us. What I wanted was a 60 Month Zero Percent Finance with a $1.00 Purchase Option. The leasing companies will then get out their "bean counters" and give you a rate or a deduction off the invoice to meet your requirements. To my surprise the leasing company (USXL) reneged and said that they would not offer this type of program!

Ok, so I have to do it my self. Here's what I did, I presented a proposal for list price and then divided it by 60 payments. So, for a 60 month lease on $15,000 the customer would have to pay $250 per month. Then I backed out the rate for the dollar out payment, the equation is payment divided by rate factor equals money to dealer. In this case the dealer would receive $11,520.73 and $3,479.63 went to the leasing company (not a bad cut for them). Then I had to figure the cost of the machine and if I thought the GP was sufficient for the deal. It was, so I presented the offer and the deal sold.

There are many buyers out there who will only buy and never lease, the problem I was found with these customers is they tend to hold onto old technology too long and it's like pulling teeth to get them to upgrade, this scenario pulls at their purse strings and gets them the best of two worlds, they own the equipment at the and they are not paying the interest (actually the dealer is). Plus at the end of the term they may be more likely to do the same deal again.

Good Selling To All!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

What's Hot! LAN FAXING!!!

Fax Servers, LAN Faxing and ECOPY Desktop! Lets face it the old way of faxing is slowing dying. A recent poll on the P4P showed that 85% of documents that were faxed are generated from the PC.

Usually customers will create a cover page in MS Word or WordPerfect, and will then print other documents from different applications. They will then gather the documents, assemble them in order and then walk them to the fax machine. Once they are there, they will place the documents in the feeder and then select or dial the number needed. Users will then wait for the documents and then return to their desk with the faxed documents and a report if needed.

Many fax ROI spreadsheets state that the average time is to send a fax is fifteen minutes! Sending only four faxes a day could take one hour of productivity and cost the company as much as $25.00 per day. Can you imagine if you had twenty people each sending four faxes a day! Then add up the pages that were printed on the printer and the cost of paper.

Software programs like ECopy Desktop and ZetafaxDUO enable the clients to print pages to the desktop and then rearrange them in any order that they like. Once they have arranged the pages they can then select the LAN fax printer. Here they can add a cover page or with ZetafaxDUO they could add their logo and create a cover page on the application. With one touch of the mouse, the documents can be faxed with out printing any pages thereby reducing the time that it took to prepare the fax the old way. Your clients could save hundreds or thousands of hours a year in productivity. Also, do not forget to ask the customer about lost faxes, many customers lose incredible amounts of time because they have misplaced a fax.

Fax Servers will take care of this because they capable of archiving the documents on the server and will allow the customer to retrieve the document if it is every lost or misplaced. Another great feature of some fax servers is that you can direct output to any network print device. Directing prints to less expensive print device can also save hundreds or thousands of dollars for your client. Some fax servers even allow to you direct the incoming faxes to email accounts, where they can then be viewed or printed!

I've been selling these types of solutions with success, when you put a solution in front of a client they are less likely to shop and usually can not recreate "your" solution. I have attached a fax questioner to use when interviewing your client.

Look for the questioner for fax work flow here