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Communicating the MPS Value Proposition Effectively

16 Dec, 2011 By: Darrell Amy, Dealer Marketing Systems


The Managed Print Services (MPS) value proposition can sometimes seem quite elusive.  In one moment it seems like we can clearly articulate it.  Then, in front of a potential customer sometimes it seems like the true value of the program gets lost in the details of the conversation.  Then, we inevitably slip into the “my-cost-per-page-is-lower-than-your-cost-per-page” trap.

The value proposition for MPS has strength.  However, it needs to be communicated clearly and often throughout the buying process.

What Value Does MPS Deliver?
MPS delivers compelling value to both financial and IT decision makers.  Following are a few of the core benefits.  Notice that they go beyond the traditional “I can save you (X amount) on your cost per page...”

Financial:
- Outsourcing Smart financial directors know that their resources should be focused on core competencies.  The rest should be outsourced.  A great example of this is janitorial services.  Very few companies have a full time janitor on staff because they know that an outside company that specializes in office cleaning can do a much better job at a lower cost.  In the same way, MPS provides a practical way to outsource a non-core area.

- Vendor Consolidation Managing vendor relationships is expensive.  Any time a company can consolidate vendors, they lower their management costs while also potentially getting more buying power with the remaining vendors.  MPS lets companies consolidate printer, copier, toner and printer support vendors.  All of this can be sent on one invoice, reducing processing costs.

IT
- User Satisfaction IT people like stability.  They want as few unhappy users as possible.  Outsourcing the management of printers helps ensure that printers are consistently maintained.  This reduces downtime and keeps end users happy.

- Reduced Hassle Managing printers and printer supplies is a huge hassle for IT people.  Not having to worry about restocking printers allows IT personnel to focus on mission-critical issues like server upgrades and network security. 

How Do You Communicate It? 
So, the question now is how do you communicate this value proposition to potential clients?  You need to make sure that the value proposition is presented in every encounter with a potential client.  All of your marketing material and sales collateral needs to be delivering the same message.

Website
Your website forms the foundation of your marketing message.  Potential clients that visit your website must get a message the reinforces your sales message.  One great way to do this is to feature a brief webinar recording that explains the value proposition of MPS.

Brochures
The sales collateral that you leave behind after an appointment should clearly explain the benefits of MPS to the potential buyer.  When they look at the brochure later, they should get a clear idea of the value your MPS program delivers.

Proposal Templates
Your proposal templates need to explain the value proposition of MPS.  Someone not engaged in the sales process should be able to pick up the proposal and get a firm understanding of the benefits of your MPS program.

Direct Mail Pieces
Your direct mail pieces should focus on the core benefits of MPS.  Be careful here.  A direct mail piece should only focus on one benefit--don’t try to sell your entire program on a postcard.

On Hold Messaging
Your potential customers should get brief snapshots of the benefits of MPS while they sit on hold.  Take a look at your on hold messaging and see if it reinforces your MPS value proposition.

Take a look at your sales and marketing material.  Does it deliver a consistent message about the benefits of MPS?  If not, what pieces need to change?  Making this investment in a unified sales and marketing message could be the difference between a MPS program that catches a potential client’s attention and one that fails to launch.

By Darrell Amy, President of Dealer Marketing Systems (www.dealermarketingsystems.com), providing managed marketing services to help dealerships succeed in developing and executing a managed print services marketing strategy. Contact him at damy@dealermarketingsystems.com or 214-224-0050.




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