My second appointment of the day proved to one of the most enjoyable appointments I've had in recent memory. It was with an existing account that was in the last 3 months of a 36 month lease for an A3 color MFP. The account only has one, but so do most of my accounts. I'd like to say I flourish with onesies and twosies.
Just a tip for some of you that may be new in the copier business. When quoting leasing always lead with a 36 month lease. There are two well maybe three reasons for that. One, is the upgrade time comes around a whole heck of a lot sooner than 60 months. Two, if you have to drop price then drop by the lease term for the lower price. The third reason is if your dealership has auto escalators in the maintenance and supply agreements.
Right, back to our meeting.
Everything was going quite well with presenting the reasons for upgrading to a new A3 color MFP. We reviewed the ROI, their existing annual costs for thier lease, the existing annual cost for the maintenance agreement. Heck I even developed a spreadsheet as to what thier annual costs would be if they did nothing (always have a back up plan).
Like I stated all was well until one of the two clients shot me a question about the color print quality of existing Ricoh A3 MFP. He stated we've had a couple of issues with color quality and is the Ricoh quality suppose to have a "muddled" appearance? I though okay where is this going, perhaps they weren't happy with the quality of the Ricoh?
Within a few moments the one client came back to table with a color 11x17 document that was printed from an Excel spreadsheet. Sure enough the colors not consistent, not vibrant, and had a lot of whiteness in the color. The client then stated that this document was printed back in October and then showed me another print that was perfect that was printed in December.
Okay, at this time I thought it was best to tell them about my back ground as tech back in the eighties. This story got a few chuckles and lightened the seriousness of the print quality for now. This existing client has many wide format ink based printers (can't tell you anymore), I explained that wide format printers only have two consumables which is ink and printheads, correct? Both agreed and I then went to explain how the print process works with laser based MFPs. I went into depth about how the process works for printing and then explained the major consumable components of the MFP. The last component I spoke about was the color transfer belt and how that works. I stated that most likely the transfer belt had failed and the replacement belt solved the issue (yes, I was patting my self on the back).
The client then stated that a tech never replaced anything and the MFP had fixed it self. Okay, I went back to muddled print and the client confirmed it was printed back in October, and the other print was from December and no service had been rendered. Now, I'm thinking about whiteness in the image, I picked up document and I asked the client if they ever had any humidity issues in the building? I explained that humid paper can sometimes cause poor print quality. The other client (he was doing a great job at listening) then asked the guy when was that document printed? He stated October, and said do you remember what happened in October? I saw the other client nodding in agreement.
Let me back track a bit. When I pulled into the lot, one of the items that I noticed was that some trees where recently cut down by the building. I was then told about a tree that had crashed through the roof during a storm in October. I was like well there's the reason why you had the poor print quality and the MFP fixed it self. Not damp or humid paper means great color quality. Boy was I relieved, I nailed it with on the second attempt!
There's some additional quoting that has to be done in the next few days. I feel that my knowledge of the print process, the ability to explain the process and to have an idea of what might be wrong made then feel comfortable that another Ricoh MFP is in thier future.
After leaving the account and heading back to the office my thoughts were centered about what if. What if a new rep had to go to this account? What if they did not know the print process, what if they couldn't find the reason for the poor prints? I'm not trying to toot my own horn. What I do know is that 80-90% of the reps that I go up against could not explain the print process, nor would they have any idea of what is wrong.
Thus, you could have the super sales skills, and the best coaching in the world and it would not have mattered because you're trying to sell something that you have no clue how it works.
I would urge all of the newbies to learn more about the print process and each component so that you could explain the process of color print if you have too.