Sunday, March 30, 2008

Samsung Readies 1-2 Punch Against Ricoh, Canon & Xerox

I picked up this information from a member of the P4P. Samsung is ready or will launch a new A3 Color MFP @ 40ppm for under $5,000!

I've done a few searches and have found nothing to date on this unit, so I can't comment on cost per page, features, and specs. The information states that this unit is designed to compete with HP's Color LaserJet 4730MFP.

All of this brings me to another point that I've been pounding for a few years now. Ricoh, Canon, KonicaMinolta, Sharp, etc.. need to step it up a notch in R & D. They need to bring to market A3 devices that will have the same cost as their A4 devices ASAP! Samsung, and HP will get better and better at the interfaces, these systems will become more popular because of price. These systems will take away business from Dealership and Direct Branches! If you want to blow them away you need to develop the A3 device with 11x17 scanning, and a cpp like A4 machines. A few months ago, it was rumored that Samsung was coming to market with a 50ppm mono device.

More info on Samsung’s first floor-standing color laser MFP, the CLX-8380DN offering: Base MSRP of $4999.00. Actually made by Samsung of Korea. Letter/legal size paper onlyo Competes against the Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet 4730MFP.

This product may be relabeled by Xerox and Muratec (as they currently relabel other Samsung made models). 40ppm top speed color or b/w. 600x600dpi or 1200x1200dpi (not 8 bits per pixel). Interpolated up to 4800dpi. 4 tandem OPC drum design. Polymerized toner. Comes standard with 520 sheet paper tray and 100 sheet stack bypass. Optional two more 520 sheet drawers ($349 apiece) or a 2100 sheet letter size paper deck ($799).

Optional 100 sheet document feeder. Auto duplex standard.
Optional stapling finisher for $649 (50 sheet stapled sets, no booklet making)
Built-in print controller.

 Actual maker unknown
 HP PCL and PostScript print drivers included
USB & 10/100BaseT ports
 256MB RAM standard (can upgrade to 512MB)
 80GB hard drive
 Scan to e-mail/FTP/SMB Optional fax board 11 second first b/w copy out time 13 second first color copy out time.

Black toner yield of 18,000 pages based on 5% coverage for $65.00 each. Color toners yield 12,000 pages each based on 5% for $149 each. Each drum has yield of 50,000 pages, with black for $165.00 and C, M or Y for $245.00o Waste toner cartridge yield of 100,000 pages. PM kit #1 has yield of 100,000 pages for $149.00o PM kit #2 has yield of 200,000 pages for $229.00

Selling Copiers, How Does Your Dealership Rate?

It's time for another Guest Blogger. I have know Mike Kaprinski for 6 years and I consider him as one of the elite sales guys in our industry. Mike has put together an awesome blog for you. (Art Post)

Are you working for a dealership prepared for the future of Office Technology?

This might sound like I am making a big deal out of nothing, but I am not. You are making good money and the deals are closing, but you are losing some of the bigger deals, people in immediate need and you cannot compete in bids or large deals. Your dealership could be a sinking ship and you better be one of the first out and not the last because your reputation will be tarnished.

I had asked myself these exact questions a year ago. My answer was mostly no for each one. Below are questions that you should answer yes for at least 80% of them. Questions with the # next to them are “a must.”

#Does your dealership have inventory?
-What good is a sale if you have no product!!!

Does your dealership have demo/loaner inventory?
-You need to show and make sure it is the correct solution.

#Does your dealership have Certified Network Engineers?
-What if something happens while doing network install?

Does your dealership have a software solution expert?
-You need someone with completely understands all possible software.

#Does your dealership have delivery staff?
-You need to be selling and not delivering!

#Does your dealership have a real retirement plan that they contribute?
-The dealership should invest in the well being of their employees.

Does your dealership have a gated commission plan for each deal?
-This way you or they will not lose money later on.

#Can your dealership pay you all you commissions on time?
(Ex: March commissions paid by April 30th)

Does your dealership have an internal bonus program?
-They need to invest in the strongest reps and keep them happy.
80/20 rule applies here!

Does your dealership have President Club Trips?
-They need to invest in the strongest reps and keep them happy.
Not to Dealer Sales Meetings!
80/20 rule applies here also!

#Does your dealership have a company handbook for rules and procedures?
-This one should be common sense.

#Does your dealership have enough service people for the MIF and size of territory?
- The machine will breakdown and service needs to be done in a timely manner.

#Does your dealership have service technicians that actually receive manufacturer training? (Not mostly on the job training or from a book)
-I always say I can send a monkey in less than 4 hours but he won’t fix it!

Is your boss out of touch with reality and only working part time while you bust your butt?
-If you are their cash cow and bosses are taking it easy you are probably dealing with all the issues they should be handling.

#Does your dealership have a written down marketing campaign?
-They should help you spread the word and it should look professional.

#Does your dealership have real sales database? (NOT OMD!)
-Any online sales database, ACT, Goldmine something to monitor activity.

#Does your dealership invest in itself?
-Nice office for customers/prospects to see, new reps, trainings and seminars.

Does your dealership use up to date technology like new phone systems, computers and cell phones?
-If you are trying to sell technology you better be buying it.

I hope this helps some of you out. I believe the next step in our industry is that independent dealers are going to be few and far between so try to find a good manufacturer owned dealership that will value its employees and the work they do.

I will be happy to talk to any of you if you have any questions. Please feel free to email me at

Good Selling,
-=Boston Mike=-

About Me: I have been in the Office technology for over 10 years. I have worked with all kinds of customers. I was with a small Ricoh dealership for almost 10 years where I had to learn most things on my own. For the last year I have been with CBS-A Xerox Company, which is part of Global Imaging Systems. I wish I had made my move 5 years ago and that is why I am sharing my experience.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Copier Sales People "How to Sell Wide Format"

The buzzword in the AEC industry is scanning and archiving. All digital wide format systems will scan in some way shape or form. If you work for a dealership or manufacturer that is selling wide format systems, you want to attack these types of clients.

· Construction Companies
· General Contractors
· Architects (Design & Build)
· Engineers
· Builders
· Print 4 Pay
· Telecommunications
· Utilities
· Manufacturing

Most of these clients will have an inket plotter, a Diazo Blueprint Machine, a wide format copier (digital or analog). Also, most of these clients are usually out sourcing additional copies, prints or scans to a P4P shop in their area.


Focus on helping the customer with an existing problem. Whether it is copies, prints, scans or the volume of paper that is handled on a day-to-day basis in their office. You must be able to “drill down” with the client and even interview some of the staff to find out where problem or pain is. Most will be happy to tell you as long as you ask the questions. You want to look for inefficient wok flows, time delays for getting the project completed on time. You should also be asking if they out source documents for printing, copying or scanning.

Finding Potential Clients:

Nothing beats old-fashioned cold calling. Yep, knocking on doors! At one time I would walk up to a closed door and then turn around because I was afraid of the rejection. I got over this pretty quickly. If you are concentrating in the SMB (small to mid size business) for architects, engineers, surveyors, and contractors, you have a great chance of meeting the owner or the decision maker when you walk in the office. Compared to making a telephone call and having to leave or message because they have already assumed that you are trying to sell something.

Securing the Appointment:

As long as you are prospecting on a daily basis the appointments will come. “Build it and they will come”. When talking to a prospective client you must ask for the appointment (somethings never change). Ask them for 15 minutes of their time, with this you can discuss what system may be right for them or if they need your system at all. Sometimes, telling them that they may not be right for your system will peak their interest.

These are just a few of the paragraphs that came from my book titled "How to Sell Wide Format". Which includes marketing, the appointment, ROI selling, glossary, selling tips and much more!

If you would like the full copy, please send me and email There is a cost of $19.95 for the booklet.

Friday, March 21, 2008

MFP's & Total Document Volume

Manufacturers continually talk about TDV (Total Document Volume), capturing TDV is easier today considering that most MFP manufacturers now have a complete line of network printers and MFP's that encompasses low end and high end systems.

The problem facing most reps in the field is we do not receive revenue based on the ongoing revenue streams for these systems. Typically, we can sell supplies with the initial order and receive a very small commission. With CPP (cost per page) programs more popular than ever, we are quoting and selling CPP's and receiving nothing. Usually these CPP's will last the term of the lease and create a very profitable revenue stream for the dealer or manufacturing, considering that the customer is locked in for the duration of the lease.

Now, more than ever it seems that there are many small MFPs or printers that complements the larger system, and allows workers to be more productive with printing, fax, scanning and copying from their desk. The problem with most of these small MFP's and printers is that they are more expensive to print, short life cycle, and if a service call is needed most users must bring the systems to a repair facility or the customer will just go out and buy another inexpensive printer or MFP and through the old one out (what a terrible waste)!

Since we are not paid on the on going revenue stream, along with the fact that we receive very little commission's on the low end printers or MFP's, we tend to focus on the larger systems, place the units and then move on to the next customer that has a need for our services. There is no incentive to place our lower cost per page systems, and capture TDV! Many times I have gone back to see a customer a few months after the sale, only to see additional systems that we not purchased from our company.

MY opinion is that we can capture TDV in most offices! I have done this with a few accounts, however it was very time consuming process for so little. WE have the knowledge and the resources to capture TDV, but most of us are lacking the support from management to implement CPP programs on all of our devices.

So, what can be done to implement TDV, well the first step is to offer an ongoing commission for the revenue stream that each printer of MFP in the field. The second step is to implement a device that will capture all of the meter reads and report back to your billing department (Ricoh uses @ Remote). The third step is pay a fair commission on the revenue based on the clicks, click commission should vary with different devices that is fair to the rep and the dealer. The fourth step is a software program that will calculate clicks and commission on a monthly or quarterly basis.

When was the last time you actually tried to sell a maintenance agreement or sell additional supplies? How many of us actually shy away from selling maintenance agreements or CPP's, and tell the customer take the initial warranty and supplies and then call us? When was the last time you actually focused on TDV in a customers office?

Receiving an ongoing revenue stream will allow us to focus more on every device in the office, and allow us more time to truly consult on the CPP's of printing devices. Everyone will benefit! The customer will benefit by having one supplier amd service provider for all devices, along with the benefit of truly knowing what their CPP is for thier TDV. The dealer will benefit from more devices being placed and capturing service and supplies for all devices! The sales person will benefit from the on going revenue stream plus the incentive to capture all of the output.

It's all about the clicks!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ten Tips to Return Leased Copiers

Over the years, I would say that ninety percent of my clients leased their copiers with an option to buy the copier at the end of the term. Most of these leases had a buy out option for FMV (Fair Market Value). The general idea of an FMV lease is that the customer has no intention of ever owning the equipment and they will return it at the end of the lease.

Most leasing companies have been and still are very aggressive with FMV rates (interest), however most will have clauses in the leases that you must notify them in writing before the end of the term. All of the leasing companies have a "Window" clause, meaning you only have "x" amount of time when you can notify them, some are not more than 90 days prior to the end of the term and others are not more than 180 days and not less than 90 days. Make sure you read the lease!!!

Here's a few helpful tips for you:
  1. Read the lease and be familiar with the return clause, Make sure you notify with in the parameters of the lease contract.

  2. Set a reminder in MS Outlook or another contact management program to remind you to submit your LOI (Letter of Intent), state whether you will return or you wish to purchase.

  3. Send all correspondence via certified mail of Fedex, where you will get a signature that they received your letter.

  4. Make sure that the system is in good condition, good quality copiers and that the machine passes a piece of paper (some leases now have clauses that they will charge you for parts and labor if the system was not returned in good working order).

  5. Most leasing companies have preferred shipping companies that will pick up, pack, return and insure the product, make sure you call the leasing company for a list of preferred shippers.

  6. When calling the leasing company for a pay off figure, never ask for a buy-out, ask what the remaining stream of payments are. When asking for a buyout you are telling them that you want to buy the system.

  7. Make sure all shipments are insured.

  8. Take a video of the copier making copies, also the model number and serial number, hence you proof that it left your facility in good working order.

  9. Whenever calling them always get the name of the person you are speaking with, log date and time of call and if you have a verbal agreement make them send you a fax, email or letter stating their position.

  10. Be wary when upgrading and the new copier company states they will return it for you, while most companies will do this as a service and most are very good at it, there are some who will drop the ball and not return the system on time. If they don't return on time it's your headache not theirs. Have a separate contract with the new vendor that covers everything above.

  11. Never have the system moved from your location until you have notified the leasing company or they have sent you a RAL (Return Authorization Letter).

I've written this for the end user, however dealers and sales people can benefit from some of this especially videoing the product before it is shipped and having a separate contract for return.

The Hardier I work the Luckier I Get

I've had this article around for awhile and it was picked up by a few major magazines in the industry, thought I would re-post it for all.

Is a saying I hear over and over from my boss (Jack Carrol), after I tell him about an amazing sale.

Good ole fashioned hard work, meaning working at least eight hours every day, working on proposals before or after prime time cold calling time (whether on the phone or in person), coupled with the expression... THAT THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, has made my sales career in copiers highly successful.

I sell down the street, no major accounts, and no key account list, just a territory that borders the Atlantic Ocean up to the Raritan River and down to the trout laden Manasquan River in New Jersey (USA). I sell Ricoh products (the finest products in the world), the MFP's, fax, duplicators, wide format, software and whatever else I can learn that will help a customer reduce costs. Many times I have been able to place a new piece of equipment that will help client increase productivity while not increasing their existing payments. All you have to do is ask, most potential clients will allow you to do a cost analysis for them.

Here’s how I do it!

When speaking about replacing multiple pieces of equipment, let’s say a fax, an HP laser printer, and an ink jet printer. At some point in time the customer bought these units for cash or check. Find out or estimate how much they paid for these items, and then amortize the amount paid for those items over the life cycle. When speaking to the customer in the initial consulting appointment, have the customer agree to your method of amortizing those systems. My talk track has been this, when doing a cost analysis I look at all of your printing equipment, the fax, the copier, color ink jet printing and laser printing. I see that you have an Epson color printer, an HP laser and an Oki fax, are these units all paid for? How often do you require service on these pieces? How often do you replace these systems? Once I have these numbers, I explain to the customer that the monies paid for these systems should be accounted for in their imaging or printing budget. I also state that this equipment will not last forever and will have to be replaced. I then state that I will do a straight line amortization of these units. When uncovering a companies costs these “hidden costs” will help justify that new Aficio 2238 will of the accessories. These “hidden costs” for these systems based on 3 years for the laser and fax and two years for the inkjet can account for almost $80 per month (based on $1,000 for the fax, $1,000 for the laser and $300 for the ink jet). Then add in 2 service calls for the fax and the laser over the term and you have almost $90 a month. That $90 can represent a $5,000 savings to the customer and or may be the difference when trying to cost justify a $20,000 system. Does all of this make sense, you bet it does.

24 Years In The Industry

In my 24 years in this industry I've learned that you have to be able to learn and learn quickly, you must be able to think on your feet and most crucial.... listen to what the customer wants. Too often we (salespeople) are enamored with how much money we can make on a single sale and there are some who will refuse to sell if they don't make the money they think they are entitled too.

There are some who think if they can't make $1,500 in their pocket on a sale, they will not follow up and move on. Thus hoping to find greener pastures or a customer that is not well educated on what they are spending or buying.

Another True Story

I once sold a copier to a company at a loss. I had to pay my company $150 to make the deal. Crazy you may say, however this company has now purchased over 15 systems in the last two years and has never balked at price. I give them what they are entitled too, a fair price under MSRP and great service. I manage the lease, and the cpc's, and guess what? The corporate headquarters is located 2,000 miles away.


When a lease comes back declined for the fourth time, I do not give up. I keep on pushing and digging for new info, and will offer alternative ideas to the customer and the leasing company. In my twenty fours years I have lost two deals to non-approvals, and one of the two was approved by Advanta Leasing from another dealer. After hearing that, I vowed to not let it happen again.

Sales are what you make of it

Sales to me is about how you dress, how you groom, how you listen, how your work (prospect) and how YOU WANT TO BE TREATED AS A CUSTOMER and finally getting the order! Treat the potential clients and existing clients like you would want to be treated. If you don't have an answer, then say so, and tell the customer you will get an answer for them, and then commit to getting back to them in a timely manner.

Listen to what they want; even if it means you only make a few dollars, those customers will turn out to be loyal for years and years to come. Do not try to over sell them, as a matter of fact if they need to be downgraded, and then just do it. Odds are you'll be recommended to their friends and business partners. Work as hard for a dollar as you would for $1,000 dollars. Who knows, that little 1515MF sale could land you a $40,000 order from a friend in a month or two. You are judged by your first appearance! Know when to dress up and when to dress down. When cold calling print shops, engineers, architects or hot days, I will dress down. Slacks, pressed shirt, polished shoes and a few pieces of breath mints can go a long way, especially after a cup of GIANT coffee.

When meeting with CEO's, CFO's or higher administration, its time for the suit and tie. You need to make the call on when you need to dress up or dress down. Practice your grammar; you are always judged your vocabulary and your actions! Be creative, create solutions, and ask questions, in some cases present a whole new idea to the customer.

A few years ago, when Ricoh had just entered the printer market and we had a second generation of digital copiers. I had a customer who was in need of a digital copier. They wanted a system that would print and copy @ 85 ppm! We (Ricoh) did not have a digital 85ppm at the time. I could sense the customer being uneasy with my 60 ppm system. I took a chance and asked the customer how many documents they copied off the glass. My customer was not sure and called in his secretary; she said that they copied about 30 documents a day. These documents represented a large part of their volume and they needed to replace an analog copier that was 85 ppm. I then asked where the originals came from. The secretary stated that we print the document and then make the appropriate copies; they then need to be sorted, and stapled.After hearing this, I decided to shift gears and offered the customer a solution that included a 22 ppm copier (for doc off the glass) and two Aficio 4500 laser printers with staplers and LCC's. I pointed out the benefit of three systems compared to one. The combined print speed of the two printers for a total of 90 ppm and the lower toner cost. Well, what was the end result? The customer loved the idea, and did not follow up on the other sales proposals for the higher end digital copier. By the time the customer decided to make a purchase they went with our more cost effective solution.

BE CREATIVE and TAKE A CHANCE, make yourself stand out among the crowd.So while others have had down sales cycles, down quarters and losing sales, mine have increased. My profit, my sales dollars and number of units.It's all about......THE HARDER I WORK, THE LUCKIER I GET! And I believe luck is for rabbits!

Good Selling!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Selling Copiers "Selling in a Slow Economy"

Twenty Six years in the business, I started my copier selling career in 1982. I have seen the tough times, the good times and these times come and gone more than a few times. Here' s a few things that I try to do so I can take advantage of an economic slowdown, not saying we're in one however the decision making process that used to take a few weeks now seems to be almost 4-6 weeks. Please comment is you're experiencing this, I would like to hear from different areas. Here we go.

1. Now more than ever, businesses will want to SAVE cash! Get into your base, and set appointments based on lower their costs. Your presentation should focus on cost per page for each device in the office and then present an ROI spreadsheet that outlines what they are spending NOW and what they would save with moving the volume to a new MFP solution! Go after standalone faxes, small MFP's and side by side faxes, make sure explain the savings of Fax4ward2email!

2. Government ,Municipalities, Schools, Board of Educations will continue to buy, seems like they have an unlimited source of tax dollars (lol), plus you can get a lot of placements.

3. Food Industry, every body has to eat and usually they are not affected like other markets.

4. Medical, seems always to be recession proof and the dollars are always out their to upgrade equipment.

5. Attorneys, especially trial and bankruptcy, the criminals never stop and the foreclosures and bankruptcies will increase created a higher demand for documents.

If anyone has anymore to add, please post a comment!

Good Selling!