For those of us who are Ricoh dealers and especially those of us that have a heavy direct pressure in our territories, you may want to go to Ricoh's web site which is www.ricoh-usa.com and check out the "request a quote" feature.
Personally I haven't had a Ricoh lead from that was generated from the Ricoh web site in 12 months or so, and this co insides with the time that Ricoh changed from the old web site to the new website. Everybody likes leads and we or least I expect leads for my territory especially one in which we are Authorized!
Just today I spoke with a net new prospect (I've developed a great relationship with him, however the time has not been right or I haven't had the right product for him yet), he emailed me about getting specs for envelopes with the new 5100 color system probably about a two weeks ago and I've been waiting for that information to come to me so I could forward to him. Anyway, when he sent me the email he also clicked on the "request a quote" feature on the Ricoh web site. His business is in my territory assignment from my dealership and we are Authorized from Ricoh for that county. When click the "request a quote" you're brought to web based form that you need to fill out and then send. One of the line items that needs to be checked is what type of product are you interested in; In this case there was one check line that included "production printers, digital duplicators and wide format", which we are authorized for.
My new net prospect told me he got a call from Ricoh Direct and he agreed to meet with them. Personally I really couldn't care that they met with him because they'll never have the relationship I have with the guy. What I'm more alarmed with is that the lead clearly came from the web site and was given to Direct, not give to Direct and the Dealer, just Direct. Hence lies the problem that in the last 12 months I've had zero Ricoh leads, which I can only assume all of the leads are going to direct. If that's case then why have any dealers at all!
To add fuel to the fire, I've had a notion that something was amiss with the ricoh site when it came to lead generation at least for dealers. On two occasions I had my wife request a quote from the Ricoh web site using her maiden name, and the address for the company she works for (since she is the business manager, and the receptionist) she would get all of the calls or emails. When she filled out the form, she check off the line that she was interested in "Office Equipment (Copier/Multi-function Printer)". She did one of these about 8 months ago and received NO calls or emails, either from Direct or a Dealer (it would have gone to my dealership), we did another test about a month ago and we had the same outcome, zero calls from a dealer or Direct.
How can that be that she did not even get a call? Could it be that Direct is just not interested in a smaller account? Seems like they were pretty interested once my net new customer clicked off "Production Printing, Digital Duplicators, Wide Format".
I would urge everyone to do a test and see what happens with the "request a quote", I'm hoping it fairs far better for you than it has for me. That's my rant for tonight!