Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Copier Proposals "What's Not to Like?"

Look at this, I'm on vaca and still writing this blog, guess the toner runs deeper in the veins that I ever thought it did!

Anyway, back to the topic, "What's Not to Like About Copier Proposals?" Just yesterday I ran across a proposal from a Dealer in Chicago. I actually picked up the proposal from the clients web site. The site had included a number of pages from the proposal, could have been all or them or just a few, but since there were so many pages, I'm inclined to think that all of them were included. If you need a copy of the quote you can get this on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.

The bid was for one color system, bidders included Xerox, KonicaMinolta and Kyocera. Total monthly volume was 6K for monochrome and 7K for color. The site where the quote was posted only had the "recommended" bid for the Xerox system which was a Xerox 7346. One sheet has a synopsis of all three quotes from the three vendors. Xerox came in at $1,085, KonicaMinolta at $1,183 and Kyocera at $1,265. All bids included maintenance, toner, parts, drums, labor and a pay off for a current machine.

Now, as I was flipping through the pages of the "recommended" Xerox 7346 there was a page for the lease. The lease was for $1,085 per month for a term of 60 months and included 6,000 monochrome (.007 overage) and 7,000 color (.06 overage) for a term of 60 months. OK, nothing unusually here, standard cpc lease. As I migrated through the other pages of the proposal there was a page noted as "Executive Summary". On this page the "Current Monthly Cost was outlined at $1,478.64, then the "Proposed Solution" at $1,085, then the "Monthly Savings" for $393.64 and then the "Yearly Savings" and then the "60 Month Savings". I'm ok with most of this, here's what I'm not ok with and it's the "60 Month Savings", these numbers were obtained by taking the monthly savings and multiplying by 60 months, BUT in the lease document there is an clause that states;

You agree that we may Increase the Minimum Monthly Payment and/or Excess Per Image Charge for each Image Type each year during the term of this Agreement by an amount not to exceed ten percent(lO%)of the Minimum Monthly Payment and/or Excess Per Image Charge In effect at the end of the prior annual period, or the maximum percentage permitted by law, whichever is lower.

Pretty much this means that the Minimum Monthly Payment or the Excess Per Image Charge could increase by 10% for each year. I understand the word "may" is used, however you've pretty much got to be a fool if you don't think that this will be in effect after the first year, especially since there were no supporting documents or cross outs that stated otherwise. Thus in the second year of this contract the Minimum Monthly will increase from $1,085 to 1,193.50 per month with an annual increase of $1,302. The next year (start of 3rd year) the Minimum Monthly Payment would increase to $1,312.85, this brings the increase to $227.85 per month from the original Minimum Monthly Payment, thus the annual increase for the third year is now $2,734.20. You all get where I'm going right? The start of the fourth year, will see the Minimum Monthly Payment increase to $1,445.13, thus the fourth year would see the increase of $360.13 per month from the original Minimum Monthly Payment and the annual increase for the fourth year is $4,321.56. The last year (start of the fifth) will now see the Minimum Monthly Payment increase to $1,589.64, this brings the 5th year increase to $504.64 per month and the annual increase for the last year at $6,055.68!

Add it all up and the increased cost for the term of this is a whopping $14,424.29 just because of that little paragraph that may have gone unread, not noticed or not pointed out. My beef is that the "60 Month Savings" that was shown as $23,618 is misleading.

Does the new equipment save money, well it seems it does, however nothing near what was quoted on the Executive Summary. By the start of the fourth year the customer is spending just a hair under what they were paying on a monthly basis for the old equipment and in year 5, they would actually be paying more. Plus, this is just looking at the Monthly Minimum Payment increase of 10% per year and not looking at the Excess Image Charge. There's also another disclosure on the sales order that states we can raise your payments or charge you an additional fee if your toner consumption averages 10% more than what the manufacturer calls for.

So, ask yourself when was the last time you actually read the T & C's of a lease or sales order. If you're in the business and selling against these types of contracts, are you aware of these tactics?

Truth of the matter is that most reps will supply a proposal first with out the T's & C's and once it's approved. The contracts are then submitted, and most times these contracts do not mirror the proposal.

If you're in the market for a new MFP, do yourself a favor and ask for all of the documents that are needed to move forward and then carefully review each one.

-=Good Selling=-

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Former Ikon Exec Matt Espe Resigns Top Spot at Ricoh

I had a text this morning from a Print4Pay Hotel member (RAC)that Matt Espe had resigned his position. A few months ago in one of my blogs I stated that I thought Espe would be a good fit for Ricoh, and he would be able to re-establish some much needed energy. Maybe the view from 30,000 feet was not looking to good for either Ricoh or Espe? Could the Ikon transition be to much to handle?

Here's a quick look at past Ricoh US CEO's and their reign:

Kevin Togashi     Present
Matt Espe           April 15, 2010 - June 25th 2010
Martin Brodigan                                October 13, 2008 - April 14, 2010
Katsumi “Kirk” Yoshida                    January 1, 2008
Thomas Salierno
Susumu “Sam” Ichioka                      July 1, 2004
Norihisa “Nori” Goto
Jim Ivy

I tried to piece this together with dates from Press releases however it got to be a bear with Ricoh US changing to Ricoh Americas Corp, and then some of the time lines were not matching. With that, I beleive in the last eight years the top spot at Ricoh US, or whatever we want to call it has changed eight times, not at all a history of continuity. But in those eight years Ricoh has still managed it's way to the top of the copier industry and is widely regarded as one of the best.

-=Good Selling=

Rekated:  Today Was a Day Unlike Any Other Day for Ricoh Dealers

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ricoh Being Ricoh "part III"

So, I'm on the phone with a potential account today, already had met with the CEO and Manager about a week ago, gave them what I thought was a fair price for a Ricoh MPC2800.  Tried several times to close on the spot, however they had been renting a machine 60ppm monochrome Canon for $200 per month, but now wanted to get a new color device to lease when they arrived in the new building. 

When I presented pricing for the MPC4000, they cringed, cried and carried on about the price. So, I moved downward with machines since their volume would not warrant the MPC4000 anyway (btw, they were told by a friend to get the MPC4000). Finally we settled on the MPC2800 and I guess they also figured this was too much for them to spend so they decided to shop.

Hey, I got no problem with shopping. However, they decided to call other Ricoh suppliers for a price on the MPC2800.  Yeah, I figure Ricoh Americas Corp aka Ricoh Direct and at least another dealer of Ricoh or Savin would get involved.

Too my surprise when I was trying to find out who else was in the mix, indeed it was Ricoh Americas Corp aka Ricoh Direct (as the rep states), but it took me a few minutes to get the other supplier. Well, it was.......IKON!  I then told the potential customer that Ricoh owns Ikon, they are merging and if you did not like one of them, and then picked one of them over us, you would eventually being doing business with the one you didn't like or care for.

So, the take on this can be Ricoh Direct vs Ricoh Direct, who will win? I'm hoping I can get the deal, however I'm rating it very slim since either one of these "Direct" branches are just buying business and giving clicks away as represented by a quote that was emailed to me from a customer in Sacremento, Ca.  This quote feature two Ricoh C550EX with a mixed color volume of 10,000 per month and a cost per page plan at .04 cents!!!

Anyway, I'm hoping one day someone with some smarts at Ricoh may read this and the light will come on with what's happening in the field and they'll realize they can't keep this up, well they probably can,  however they'll lost most of their dealers and since dealers are subsidizing  the Direct Branches, it would only be a matter of time before Ricoh gets bought by the likes of Canon, KonicaMinolta or how sweet would it be to have Kyocera buy them.

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, June 21, 2010

5 Excellent Copier Sales Tips

Faithful apologies again for not blogging that much. The excellent weather in NJ has me out an about along with coaching baseball!

A couple of these tips are new and the others you may have read before, however it's always good to review, and remember the basics.

1. I hope you've keep a list of all the accounts you did not sell in past years. Truth be told you may have a leg up the second time around especially if the existing vendor faltered or is no longer in business. Recycle those contacts and accounts and get them in a database so you can manage to start calling on them at lease 15 months prior to end of the lease.

2. Little trick I learned the other day and it happened by mistake! I had been calling on a CFO for months on end and was always dumped into voice mail, the other day I called and by mistake hit the wrong extension. When that person picked up I asked to be transferred to the CFO..guess what? He picked up and we had a great conversation and to say the least he now knows who I am and what I do. At the end of the call I sat back and thought could this happen again, so I dialed another, put in someone elses extension, they picked up and again asked to be transferred, it was a miracle, the CFO picked up again. So, there's the tip when all else has failed and you can't get past VM, try someone else and asked to be transferred!

3. Do you subscribe to CFO magazine? If so....try this.........

4. How productive are you? How many appointments can you go to in one day? Here's something I've switched to, instead of scheduling.........

5. What's in a print driver? When was the last time you downloaded someones..........

Need the rest? I've posted them in the Print4Pay Hotel forums, click the link and become a member today!

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, June 14, 2010

Print4Pay Hotel Weekend Updates 6/13/10

We're almost at the halfway point for the year, I hope everyone else is doing well with business.  From my last updates quotes and business is much better than this time last year, just hoping we can continue to ride the wave for many more months!

Most Viewed Threads:

Print4Pay Value Membership
Rumor has it.....
Canon to Acquire Lexmark? (400 page views already)
Panasonics A3 Exit
At the end of the MFP lease, who pays....?
Who is InfoPrint Solutions and what is it’s relation to Ricoh?
MFP Refurbishing & Recycling

Interesting Threads:

Need Help AgainArmy backs off $243M enterprise.....
Ricoh MPC 6000 "Color Print Control"

smb scanning and 2008 SBS
Canon USA Awarded 40.3 million dollar deal!
Print Audit® to Showcase Benefits of Print Audit for Law

Posted Price Quotes:

Ricoh PRO 906EX
Xerox 6204 with Color Scanner
Xerox 8245 Color Wide Format

Leads, RFP's & RFQ's:

Huge Mid-West Copier Bid
RFP for two 55ppm mfp systems in New York!
MFP Lead in Fairfax, Virgina
Lead for 18 MFP's in Mid-West US 240K per month
ROANOKE RAPIDS — Tomorrow, Roanoke Rapids City Council
Lead in Salina, KS
Ricoh W3600 Wide Format Lead in New England!

The Print4Pay Hotel is the world's only business/social site dedicated to people who work in the office equipment industry. Go ahead log on.....become a member of the Print4Pay Hotel!

-=Good Selling=-

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding Opportunity in Adversity "Guest Blogger"

While trying to get one of my Real Estate deals approved today, I reached out to an old friend in the leasing business. Kevin Clune of Clune Leasing helped me better understand the leasing industry as a whole and even updated me on some new legistation that's being introduced. Kevin provided the piece below for our "guest blogger" of the month!

"It proved to be the greatest opportunity of my Life," said Colonel Tom Schaefer, one of the U.S. hostages held in captivity by Iranian insurgents for 444 days in 1979-1981. Col. Schaefer was the senior military attaché at the American embassy at that time. He served as the keynote speaker at a recent National Equipment Finance Association Conference (

At the risk of trivializing the ordeal which Colonel Schaefer endured, I want to attempt to apply the lessons he conveyed to the current business climate.

I felt that Col. Schaefer's message couldn't have been more timely for myself and other business owners who are attempting to adapt to a new marketplace and business environment. The conclusions I found applicable to my business and my reactions to the current state of the economy can be summarized as:

1.Control your attitude.
2.Stay focused on your goals.
3.Learn to be more creative.
Colonel Schaefer spent many months in solitary confinement, cold confinement and in cramped quarters. He stated that the one, and probably only thing, you can control in this kind of situation is your mindset. Thoughts of once again being reunited with his family and hearing the sounds of a baby crying were things that gave him the resolve to endure the pain and discomfort.

If adversity is met with despair, your business will suffer. Once you are determined to adopt a positive and an entrepreneurial mindset rather than one of negativity and restraint, decisions on how to make the necessary adjustments to stay competitive and productive should follow.

•How might you take advantage of the fact that there are now fewer competitors in almost every industry?
•Would upgraded technology and/or a change to your process reduce your overhead costs?
•Can an equipment lease be the answer to the reduction or loss of your bank lines of credit?
•Will you be poised for increased demand when the economy rebounds?
The ability to make a profit by offering a needed product or service at a competitive price is the basic goal of any business. If demand for your product or service has declined, one may wonder if there still opportunity for growth. Colonel Schaefer's goal was to survive the adversity of his situation, regardless of the challenge. He exercised as much as possible to maintain his strength and health. Can you identify the obstacles to your success and ultimate survival?

•Are you staying healthy, nimble, and competitive?
•Has your product or service been weakened in the downturn?
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention" is an often quoted cliché, but it is a good response to the current situation. Colonel Schaefer had charmed his captors into providing him with reading materials. When they brought him some magazines written in German, a language in which he had become fluent while in captivity by reading German language books, he was able to stay informed on the current state of affairs. He learned that an attempt had been made to rescue him and the other hostages, none of whom were confined with him. This gave him the hope he needed to endure the imprisonment.

•Are you tuned into the marketplace?
•Can you identify the needs of your customers?
•Are you willing to create a new product or service to meet demand?
This could prove to be the greatest opportunity of your life.

Kevin F. Clune, CLP

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ricoh being Ricoh "Part Deux"

I tell ya, sometime when you think you've seen all, along comes another jolt that tells me it's time to think about retiring from this business!

I picked this up today off the web from Albany, Georgia.

The second place bid won the day, Oce had the lowest bid, however was disqualified for having 10 YEAR OLD software??? Automated Business was second and won the day with Toshiba brand units. However, take a look at third and fourth place bidders....

"Automated Business had the second-lowest bid, ahead of Ikon’s four-year bid of $1,415,333 and Ricoh’s bid of $1,719,000."

Yeah, Ricoh and Ikon bidding on the same deal, and Ricoh lost! WTF? How can Ricoh lose to it's self. Really, out of everything I've seen over the years, this really makes you wonder whose running the show? Since Ikon had a lower price you'd tend to think that Ikon is now getting preferential treatment from the new IKON leadership at Ricoh. Has the ship sailed leaving all common sense at the dock with these people? Better yet, it never crossed anyone's mind at the school board that Ikon and Ricoh are the same?

Some will say, it doesn't matter neither Ikon or Ricoh got the business, some will say how it's Ricoh being Ricoh, others like me will sit back and have a good laugh at how inept they really are. What really comes to mind here is something my father-in law always says "what do expect from a pig, but a grunt"

-=Good Selling=-

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Closing a Perfect MFP Sale!

I'm watching the Met game tonight and I'm hearing that a pitcher for the Tigers is about to throw another perfect game, that would be #3 this year!

You just don't hear of that many being thrown let alone being at a game where one is thrown. I was able to see David Wells perfect game at Yankee Stadium many years ago and it was the thrill of a life time for a baseball fan like myslef.

Any how, I flip to ESPN to see if they've got the game covered, I watching.... and the last batter grounds out to the first baseman he flips to the pitcher covering the bag and he's out, no wait he's safe!!1 The unpire clearly blew the call! My first thought is that this kid will probably never ever come that close again in his career. A shame, a blown call takes away a perfect game.

It just goes to show you that nothing is given, even if it's earned. Many years ago I had demo'd a duplicator at a print shop in Trenton, NJ. The duplicator performed verything that it needed to do. I had the lease ready for the buyer, handed him the pen, he had started to sign when my boss (who was with me), asked the buyer a question, the buyer obliged answer the question. What happended next you might ask, we my boss blew the call! We were never able to get back to that closing point and the print shop never did buy the duplicator. From that day forward, I never ever let him go with me on any future closing calls of demos.

Like I said, sometimes even if you EARN, you still might have it stripped away from you becuase of soemthing that's out of your control.

Armando, I feel for you!

-=Good Selling=-

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Need MFP Salespeople?

For the last seven years, I've had the privledge of being able to be the General Manager and Coach of a Summer Collegiate Baseball Team. That's one of the reasons why I don't blog as much in the summer compared to the fall, winter and spring.

Over the years I've seen some outstanding ball players, with that it seems to be a rare breed that's an outstanding player and person. The game of baseball similar to other sports require dedication, determination and desire (where have you heard that before). I believe that an athlete who has played four years of college sports is exceptionally well rounded in character. It takes a heck of alot of work to get your education and compete day in and day out to keep your position, or your competitive advantage. Plus there are many pitfalls, obstacles and bumps in the road. All of these athletes will pick themselves up, dust themsleves off and they're ready to compete again.

Personally, I can tell that most of these players will succeed in life because of the team values they've learned along with success of winning and and taste of failure in losing. Most have learned that if you work hard good things will come down the road. They have learned how to win and how to lose.

When you're looking for your next sales person, take the time to check and see if they partipated in Collegiate sports. If listed call thier coach for a reference of character, ask about the work ethic and the sportsmanship. Odds are you'll find some excellent talent with the Desire, Dedication and Determination to compete on another level.

-=Good Selling=-