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A Few Tips to Sell More A3 MPS's Over A4 MFPs


I was pushing A4 over A3 more than 10 years ago because I saw the value to my clients if there was no need for 11x17 printing/copying or scanning.

It was at least twelve years ago that I wrote my first blog about A4 devices The War for A4.

For me the war pretty much started with the release of the Samsung 45ppm A4 which was at least ten years ago

Tips to Sell More A3

A tip for everyone who still wants to sell more A3 products,  Yes there is still a need for many A3 devices in the market place.  You need to focus in the industry that still uses A3 size paper.  For many years my focus has been in the AEC industry.  That focus is there for a couple of reasons.

1) They still need to print A3 or 12x18 for check plots, renderings and 1/2 size drawings

2) They value IT which means that they understand that time is money.  They want the best for products and support

3) Most will also need a wide format device.

Just because a client only has a print volume of 5,000 pages per month does not mean that A4 is right for the client.  You still need to do the discovery with the client. You may turn up additional needs from the client that will lead you down the path of offering A4.

The War for A4

There are still many issues that need to be rectified from most manufacturers for their A4 devices.  The major issue is the cost per page.

  • A4 platen glass (some A4 devices only have a letter size platen glass, their are clients out there may need to legal size platen glass)
  • A4 auto feeders at max will hold 100 sheets of paper (many only 50 sheets)
  • Batch Mode for auto feeders. You need to know if your device has that feature available. If so you can present document feeders that max out at 50 sheets
  • Most if not all A4 document feeders are not built for heavy scanning usage. In time they will fail more often and the client will not be satisfied with the MFP. You need to do the homework with the scanning and might have to have that come to Jesus moment with them with A4 vs A3Mi
  • Mixed Sized Originals for scanning which means they scan both letter and legal in the same pass.  Does your MFP offer that feature for scanning but more importantly is it offered for making copies.  Again do the home work
  • Stapling, hole punching, folding features are starting to appear with some of the new A4 devices.  Just a note on folding even though your prospect or client may not have a machine that folds does not mean that they are not interested in a folder.  Many A3 MFP's now offer optional folding and it's so easy to cost justify when leasing
  • Controllers, Memory and Hard Drives in most cases entry level A4 will skimp on the speed of the controller, the amount of memory and the size of the hard drive.  In many cases this can lead to a call down the road where the clients states my MFP is printing or scanning slow.  Know your specs for every device

I urge to ask every client if they need 11x17 printing and do not forget scanning. I can't tell you how many times I use to miss the mark on 11x17 scanning especially with offices that have multiple MFP's.

Now Your Print Volumes

Secondly you need to be exact with the print volumes for color and black for the device you are looking to replace.  Do the math for service and supplies two devices for the client over 5 year. One for A4 and one for A3.  Doing the math will tell you what the TCCM (Total Cost of Consumables and Maintenance) for each device.  In most cases A3 devices still have a lower consumable cost. In addition then add the lease device of each unit to end of with the TCO for each device. In higher volumes applications most likely the A3 will have the lower TCO.

Here's another tip which many reps never ever consider.  Let's say the existing client has an A3 device, however they already stated they do not need 11x17 print or scan. As we know not all of our sales are leased. In many cases we're still selling devices as an outright purchase.  In most cases when a client wants to purchase that means they do not have a leased device. In addition that purchased copier will probably be more than seven years old.  Thus when you do the math for the TCCM you need to run the volume and the cost for seven years or the amount of time that they've had their existing MFP. In most cases with seven years of volume the A3 will still come out on top.

When to sell A4?

In most cases the sweet spot is under 6K per month for black and under 500 per month for color.

Not all of our A4 devices have robust documents feeders nor fast scanning speeds.  Here you need to do your home work with discovery with the client for scanning and the applications.

I Sell A4

I sell A4 devices, however when it's right for the client based on their scan/print habits and their overall cost of ownership. Every client has different needs there is no one A4 device for all.  The homework needs to be done with every client.

Since I'm still selling copiers every day there's a whole heck of a lot more to know as when to offer and not offer A4 devices to your prospects and clients.

Would love to hear from others on this.

BTW I'm available as a coach to your sales teams on these points, all you have to do is call me and we can set something up.

-=Good Selling=-

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