Friday, September 7, 2012

Color Printer Deal Equals Buyer is a Liar

It's a late Friday night at home in Highlands, NJ, and I just got finished watching the TV show "Pickers".  These two guys kinda remind me of Laurel & Hardy, and they always seem to offer a fair price to the seller, which got me to thinking about of the potential deals that I was working on today.

One of my accounts is the in the health care business and about 5 years ago the CEO (he had an IT background) had purchased a Ricoh Color CL7200 from me.  Through the years I've tried several times to get him to upgrade the CL7200 into a color MFP system, at ever turn he balked and kept the printer and kept a small SOHO MFP.  The company is not one of my larger accounts, however it is one of my smaller accounts either since they has 70 employees and most of them are on the road on any given day.

The other day the CL7200 threw a service code, we dispatched the tech and our tech got the printer functional again (after more than two hours), but also put in an estimate for parts that needed to be replaced.  All I can tell you is that the parts price was up there, as soon as I saw the estimate I called and suggested a few pre-owned C811's that we had.  We were emailing each other back and forth and finally the CEO stated that he wanted new and to get him some pricing. I know there is no money to be made on these printers since you can find them on the Internet, I gave my best price too move the deal quickly. 

He had a service bill for a good chunk of change, had an estimate for even a larger amount. As a show of good faith I wrangled a $300 rebate from Ricoh for the old system and was able to reduce the service bill by 50% with the condition that he would buy the new printer from us.  He stated that he needed to move on this quickly since he the printer was down.  Two days went by and I had not heard from him, I called, left a message and then this AM I sent him an email that kinda went like this "I remember you stated you needed the printer ASAP, have you bought from someone else or are we moving forward"?  Later in the day I got an email from him stating that he was going to stay put for now, but wanted me to send him a revised service invoice, along with that he stated that he did not think that the printer need the work we stated it did need. 

OK, at this point I'm thinking since when did this guy become a technician and you want a revised service invoice?  He's trying to pull a fast one, he knew that the service invoice was only going to be reduced by getting a new system. I emailed him back and stated "we are only reducing the service invoice for the purchase of a new system, plus I cut and pasted the paragraph of one of our emails that stated this".  This was later in the day and I have not heard back from him. Anyway you slice this deal, even if he got a new printer from the Internet he would still have to pay the service invoice.  Thus with the rebate, the reduction of the service invoice and the best price scenario, this was the best deal for him!

It's obvious that the customer thinks the printer does not need the repair, he had even stated that he "would do some research" (btw, the printer went down again the other day), plus there is no trust factor, along with the fact that he tried to have the service invoice lowered without buying a new printer from us.  I know this is kinda long, but the old adage of "buyers are liars" holds true for this guy and I really don't give a dam if he reads this blog, it's that smug attitude that came across in the email about him "doing the research".  Hey don't bull shit me, if you don't want to buy from us don't waste my time.  Is it mine or my companies fault that you did not have a maintenance agreement on the system, or is it our fault the system needed service after five years?

Most of my accounts are excellent, they know we provide excellent support, have parts on hand, experienced technicians, always return a call or email and our product knowledge is second to none. It is a pleasure to do business with them, but every now and then you get one a deal like this and it just makes you shake your head and wonder is all the time and effort worth the $100 or $200 bucks you MIGHT save, shouldn't this person be concentrating on the "core" business instead of spending hours researching something. I'll probably get an email from him on Monday AM, however at this point I'm done with him, let him pay the service invoice and go buy a printer from someone else.

-=Good Selling=-


Greg Walters said...

Art -

"The List"

it needs some updating, but...

SSG said...

The only radio station buyers listen to is WIIIFM.

Zebra Printers said...

Color printers can be very inexpensive but there is a catch.

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