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Trick or treasure?

12 Sep, 2008 By: Bob Meyer imageSource

Trick or treasure?

and Printer Dealers and Office Machine Dealers know how to sell hardware.  Those
that have survived the market changes that made hardware a commodity for years,
have done so by learning new and valuable “tricks of the trade”– like selling
hardware at low margins so they can capture the on-going service and consumables

As time marches on they will have to learn even more ways to stay in
business.  My market research shows that the number of pages printed is flat, at
best.  The digital printing market is made up of 3 segments: High Print Volume,
Network Printing, and PC Printing.  The High Print Volume segment seems to be
holding its own; the number of pages printed seems to be flat.  The number of
pages printed on network printers seems to be going down, and if my Algebra is
correct that means that PC printing is on the rise. 

We can acknowledge these facts, but don’t have to give in to it.  And, though
the number of printed pages may be flat, the number of digital documents created
continues to increase. 

So, what do you do if you make your living selling High Print Volume &
Network MFP Printing? I think a little change should be considered. But don’t
panic.  There is actually good news hidden in these facts. First off, keep doing
what you are good at.  Let the profits that you are currently getting fund your
growth efforts.  Focus on your strengths & offer new products and services that
complement them. 

Good Suggestions 

PC printing is expensive.  Printing to inkjet printers and other small print
devices may be convenient, but we all know it is expensive.  There are two
current Hot Buttons out there right now – saving money and  “go green.”  This is
a simple sell.  Use a software product like RoutXpress to allow small print jobs
to print on your customer’s inkjet printers & divert the larger print jobs to
the networked MFPs.  This saves money & paper (if duplexed) and is a way to “go

An area of opportunity is Document Management.  If your customers are
creating documents, whether they are printed or digital, they have to be
managed, stored & retrieved;  modified & distributed.  As your customer’s
trusted provider of print devices you should become their provider of document
management also.  If you don’t fill this need they will find someone who will. 
There are many software products out there to choose from.   Your customers have
a wide variety of needs and it will take a variety of software products to meet
those needs.  Be their “true” provider.

Bob Meyer is VP of Sales & Marketing for American Printware:

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