Three Copier Salespeople Walk into a …

Three salespeople garner an appointment with the same client. One of the salespeople is with the incumbent dealer of the account. The other two are on the outside looking in to gain net new business.

The client is at the end of a five-year lease for a color A3 MFP (30 ppm). Other than the copier cabinet there are no additional accessories on the existing A3 color MFP.

All three salespeople had the same opportunity with the client. All three salespeople paid a visit to the client’s office to beat their chest as to why they are the best. Seems that only one salesperson listened to the client and did a little extra digging. That client wanted to reduce their costs due to a change in their business model.

The incumbent sales person offered up a new A3 30ppm color MFP for a couple of dollars less than what the client is paying on the current lease.

The second salesperson offered up a new A3 30ppm color MFP as well, but also offered up a price for a slower A3 color MFP.

The third sales person took a different approach. That sales person went to the existing device and inspected all of the paper trays. Only two of the paper trays had paper in them and both were filled with letter size paper.

The fact that only two trays were being used and only letter size paper was in the trays sparked the next action. That sales person then accessed the meter counter in MPF, but it wasn’t the total counter he was after. With a couple of extra button selections, the sale person accessed the true meter for the MFP.

The true meter goes into depth about how many pages are printed for each paper size. Can you guess how many 11×17″ pages were printed in five years?

Who guessed zero?

If you did, you win. Our sales person also calculated the average volume and it fell right into the perfect volume for an A4 color device.

Our sales person asked for a little bit of time to work up a price for the client. While working up the price, he noticed another glimmer of hope on the meter print out sheet. The color volume averaged 100 pages a year. This smarter than the average bear sales person then developed a second price for the client. That second price was for a black A4 50 ppm MFP.

Presenting the numbers to the DM for the A4 color device was not working. The client needed a lower price. Rather than backing down the price of the A4 color MFP, our sales person presented the A4 black MFP with the print speed of 50 ppm.

During the presentation of the price, the salesperson made reference that they were only printing 100 color pages a year or eight pages a month. He stated if you really need to print only eight color pages a month, then just add a small inkjet color printer for a couple of hundred dollars.

In the end the client agreed that they did not need color, did not need 11×17 and wanted the low-cost option of the black A4 MFP. Documents were signed that day on the first appointment. Done deal.

Afterward our sales person asked for copies of the quotes that were presented. Believe it or not both quotes were emailed to the client. Both did not offer the cost savings that the client wanted. Seems like both salespeople did not dig and do their homework. In the end, that’s why they both lost the sale.

Can you guess who was smarter than the average bear?

P.S. — If you’re not promoting A4, you’re going to get your butt kicked.

Art Post
About the Author
Art Post is the founder of the Print4Pay Hotel and the Print4Pay Hotel MFP Solutions Blog.