Over the years I've also concentrated on moving boxes no matter what the cost. I will address this in a blog later this month.
- Stay away from Clients who are just looking to replace a box. If you are aware there are multiple players quoting, be prepared to get a low GP and not get the deal. These Clients are buying on price, it will take an extra special effort to get the deal and also get a decent GP. Do you have the time or the fortitude to hang in there? Why not set your sites on sales that will pay the bills.
- Search for Clients who are NOT in the market! While cold calling in person, take a good look at how they do things. Ask the receptionist if they are scanning, LAN Faxing, printing to inkjets etc... Try to get an appointment to introduce yourself and when you're there don't ask about replacing a piece of hardware, however do ask if they are experiencing document problems, such as lost documents, making too many copies, high maintenance bills, excess breakdown of hardware, how their document workflow is conducted. Selling like this enables you to find their pain and may help you introduce a solution that can be bundled with a new piece of hardware.
- Sell the Extras! As you are writing the order or as you are drawing up the lease ask again about any accessories that may benefit the customer. Finsihing, Papertrays, 3-Hole Punching etc... the Client will be more apt to spend the extra money at this time to conclude the order.
- Lead With Solution Software! Look at what your manufacturer has to offer for embedded solutions along with third party solutions that your dealership has to offer. Lead with offerings for embedded print management, document management and LAN Fax solutions. Here you are setting yourself apart from the BOX seller (trust me, there are too many reps that still just sell boxes).
- Upgrade Your Account Base Early! Do not wait for them to call you or for the last 90 days of the lease. You've got to be in there at lease one year or more prior to the end of the lease.
- Become an Expert in Secondary Systems! Specialize in Wide Format, Digital Duplicators if your company offers these hardware solutions. There is is less competition and less reps who are competent with the solutions that come with these system. Take the time to learn your Vertical Markets for AEC, Print4Pay, Schools and Religion Accounts. Once you become an expert, you will stand out among the crowd.
In order to be successful you have to be the best at what you are doing. Put your self in opportunities to succeed and make a move to break away from the pack. Our job can be very rewarding, however being an order taker and just relying on Clients who are in the market will be the kiss of death.