Thursday, May 14, 2009

Top 5 secrets on How to Make $100,000 a Year Selling Printers

Want sell more printers, take a look at what Jesse Harwell does, and the tools that he uses.

Top 5 secrets on How to Make $100,000 a Year Selling Printers:

Tip 1: Color is King.

When you walk into a customer location it is absolutely essential that you ask where the color printers are at and discern what sort of volume they run. The typical copier rep makes the mistake of immediately trying for the home run with a color printer when it is often unnecessary or hard to justify. Let's take an example. A customer prints 2,500 pages a month with 40% coverage (real estate offices, for instance). Most copier reps will work to try and sell a $6,000 to $8,000 copier. These agents don't want to spend that much. If you have them at $.07 per print to $.09 per print... maybe you will make $.02 per click as profit given the coverage numbers. You can make the same amount if you sell the Xerox 8860 and put it on a cost per print plan. For the standard rep, you could charge $.10 per print and make $.05 per click. The added advantage is the box can be sold for $2,400 instead of $8,000. So, let's do the math... 2,500 X $.04 (per color click) X 48 (standard lease term for color lasers) = $4,800GP for supplies plus about $400 for the printer plus a little more for the maintenance contact. You would likely have 1 printer here which resulted in $5,500 in GP. It would be even higher if coverage % was low.

Copier Profit (estimate) -- $1,000
Supplies Profit (estimate) -- $2,500
Total Profit -- $3,500
Total Cost to Customer -- $6,000 (let's be conservative) + ($.085 *2,500 * 48) = $16,200

Printer Profit -- $400
Supplies Profit (estimate) -- $4,800
Total Profit -- $5,200 (or $5,500 with maintenance included)
Total Cost to Customer -- $2,400 + ($.09 * 2,500 * 48) = $13,200

So, as a printer rep, I can come in and tell the customer they will spend $4,000 less and I make about $2,000 more in GP. If people have a color printer, they think that's what they need, so there is much less resistance to get them into another printer. It's good for the customer, and it's good for me.

TIP #2 -- What Else do you Have?

When a customer calls in looking for a printer, they often have a fleet of printers. It is important to see what they have because there is pretty much always the printer they are looking at AND the one they SHOULD BE looking at. If they are doing 4,000 prints a month on a HP 2300, do you know how much the 2300 costs per print? If you sell Kyocera, Ricoh, or Konica... you have solutions where you can "give them" a printer and have it be cheaper for them per month when you factor out equipment + supplies + maintenance costs. We can typically give a customer a Kyocera printer with all the toner and maintenance included for the same cost per print as just the toner for an HP 4250. Once you can get a customer to see they are already paying $.02 per click, it is easy to get them into a contract at $.018 per click which INCLUDES a NEW printer and maintenance for the device.

TIP #3 -- IT Professionals are Experts

Most IT people want to feel like an expert, they do not want to feel special like the typical office manager. What does this mean? They want options, they want it to be succinct and they want raw numbers. IT Professionals will not "trust you..." they want to see your numbers on paper where they can go to a favorite shopping or blog site and make sure you are telling them the truth. They want people to respect their choices and derive great satisfaction from being informed and up to date with current technology. They generally care very little about cookies on Fridays or if you remember their birthday or their kids names. Remember that you are speaking to someone who thinks they know more than you do, so you need to help shortcut their research and make them feel comfortable you are giving them good data.

Tip # 4 -- Scratch What Itches --

Too many copier reps are trying so hard to replace a whole fleet of printers with copiers. Many IT people and clients don't want to walk 30 - 100 feet for a print. You need to know what printers are the ones they find the most frustrating. The only thing an IT professional hates more than having a printer every 20 feet is having one that breaks all the time. They know their user won't let the printer go, but they get tired of being bothered with printer problems. Gartner estimates up to 30% of helpdesk calls are printer related. I go through my company service records every few weeks see if there are repeat offenders. When a printer comes up several times, I call up the contact and let them know I noticed they are having a lot of problems with XYZ brand printer. I let them know how much it cost when it was new, what a comparable printer is worth now and then give them a choice. For instance, I will let them know that the HP 4000 they keep repairing was sold for about $1,400. The last 3 service calls cost a combined $600 and a refurbished unit would go for about $600. Since they are having so many problems and since the machine is 8 years old or more, have they considered just putting a sticker on it for the next problem which says "do not repair, call Jesse @ Chess" so that we can help them stip the bleeding. This will get a replacement in mind when they are frustrated and they appreciate I was paying enough attention to call them and let them know I saw a problem.

Tip # 5

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