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Up-sell Your Customers and Prospects Office Supplies

3 Nov, 2008 By: Editorial Staff

Up-sell Your Customers and Prospects Office Supplies

Suppose a prospect calls to buy toner cartridges for a printer or MFP that is
several years old. You can start by asking the age of the device and if it is
working to the customer’s satisfaction. You might get the response, “Well, it’s
working okay.” If that’s the case, advise the customer of some of the pitfalls
of using out-of-date equipment. Perhaps it is a power and toner hog. Perhaps the
cartridges won’t be available much longer. You have the perfect solution of
course; a better and more efficient MFP to show the prospect. Perhaps you have
the equipment in stock for less than what the customer paid for the antique he
purchased years ago. And the new equipment uses less power and toner than the
old one. You get the picture.

This is basic prospecting 101, but you are also hoping for a sale and the
renewable consumables that come with it, the service contract that will supply
regular on-site maintenance, the installation costs to deliver it, etc. You
might also offer a trade-in credit when it comes time to replace it. From there,
it’s easy to ask about other older equipment in the customer’s office and
recommend replacements, all covered under the service contract .

Remember that the sale of one new machine is only the first step providing
customer service that super stores cannot provide. With information your
customer has already provided, you have the tools to up-sell deep margin service
contracts, peripherals, and supplies. All you need is a conversation with your
customer about the current office’s equipment, its condition, and the drawbacks
of staying with equipment that probably costs more to operate now than a new

Example: The office manager of a small firm I sell recalled that many years
earlier, when the budget was tight, she’d purchased two moderately priced fax
machines. Within months, and after two visits from a repair tech to readjust a
touchy mechanism, she began to wonder if it had been a wise purchase. On the
third repair visit, when the tech offered her a service contract, she couldn’t
wait to sign up. A few months later, she got a call from a sales rep from the
office dealer’s rep that she’d bought it from. Would she be interested in a new
and more efficient MFP model with a service contract, a trade-in credit, and
some toner cartridges thrown in? You bet! Not only did the dealer up-sell her a
better machine, she is also covered for eventual service and supplies. She
couldn’t have been happier with her dealer rep, while the rep made a profit and
now has a small “consumables stream.”

All it takes is attention to what you hear from your customers. You can
easily turn their problems into profits for you – a situation where you both

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