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You can Make More Money - 3 Methods of Choice

6 Dec, 2007 By: Bob Meyer imageSource

You can Make More Money - 3 Methods of Choice

Let’s talk about something near and dear to all of us. How can we make more
money?  I’m sure you think of this often. It’s a common thought all business
owners live with. Let me help you in exploring a few areas that are becoming
profitable to look at. There are no simple answers and your plan of action will
probably be different than your competitors’ but there are certain emerging
areas of the market that are worth looking at.

I’d like to focus on the positive moves you can make that will have long term
and lasting profitable results to your business. Instead of looking at the
negative and trying to fix it, let’s look at what you are doing right and try to
multiply it. Time is a limited resource; it might be more profitable to spend
your time on expanding what you are doing right  instead of fixing a small
problem. If you can spend an hour and make $100 dollars or spend the same hour
to save $10, which would you do?  It’s a no brainer. I’d make the $100, and
hopefully you would too.

Chances are 20% of your customer base is creating 80% of your sales. Seems to
hold true with almost every dealer I talk to. Take care of that 20%! Analyze the
20%. Who are they, what do they want, and what are you doing for them that keeps
them your loyal customer?  I bet if you look at all your customers and try to
remember how many times you have talked to them or met with them, you will find
that 80% of your time is spent with the few big customers.  You make an effort
to get to know them. You know what they want and you take care of them. Why
don’t you do this with all your customers?  Why don’t you have just as strong a
relationship with everyone?  The answer is obvious, you don’t have the time.

Let’s imagine that just 20% of all the companies in your territory account
for 80% of all the sales. Who do you want for customers? The 20% of course. 

Now we are getting to the part about making more money.

There are really 3 ways to make more money:

1. Sell more products and services.

2. Sell for larger margins.

3. Cut expenses.

I will address the first two:

1. Sell more products and services.

Analyze your geographic market. Identify those companies that fall into the
upper 20%. Get to know whom they are buying from, what they are buying, why they
are buying, and what are their needs. What can you offer or provide that will
win their business? Also pay particular attention to any companies that are in
the top 20% that you may already have a relationship with. You may find that you
are selling consumables or servicing a few printers for one of these companies.
If so, this would certainly play into your plan of which companies you will be

After you have your list of all the companies that are in the top 20%, make
notes on each one. Are you already selling something to some of them?  Spend
some time gathering information on them. Know who all the C level players are,
do you or any one on your staff have a relationship with any of these people? 
Know which of your competitors are selling to these target companies. Know what
they are buying.  Know why the company has stayed with your competitor over the
years, etc.

Make a list of your target accounts. Don’t make the list too long. Give each
of your salesmen 2-5 target accounts. Create a template that lays out the
information each of your salesmen must gather on each of their target accounts.
The goal is to find a window of opportunity at each account, and to develop a
plan for you to win all the business at this account. The key ingredient in this
plan is going to be to establish a relationship with this new customer that is
equal to the kind of relationship you already have with your best customers.

“Hardware, Software, Service, and the Total Solution” will all play a part in
winning over your new customers.  But there has to be more. Every competitor has
this or they would not be in business for long.  How do you distinguish
yourself? How do you stand apart from the rest and get that special
relationship?  First you must understand your prospects’ needs, wants, and
desires. Then you must convince them that you can deliver what they want, better
than their current supplier.

Software tools are now available to help you analyze your prospect’s MFP
usage. This is important because you need to know how your customer does
business and what you can do to help them.  Find out if the customer has any
changes coming up in their business? Do they want to cut costs, increase
employee productivity, do they have to meet some new regulations, add
capabilities, etc?  There are software tools that can address all of these
opportunities. You need to acquaint yourself with these tools, and learn how to
use them. RoutXpress is a good example of one of these tools. Once installed, it
will give you all the information you need to get to know how your prospect is
currently using their entire print network.

2. Sell what you can for larger margins.

The more competition, the lower the margin. There is always someone else out
there willing to do it for potentially less. You need to know what your customer
needs, and how to give it to them in a way that only you can. By using the tools
that are available today, you will be able to learn how and where your customer
is already spending their money and create a solution that will answer your
customer’s needs and put more money in your pocket.

I’ll give you a simple general example; every customer wants to save money.
In this example, the prospect has 10 medium MFPs, 25 tabletop lasers and 75
local inkjet printers. You use some of the tools available today to track what
they are printing, establish how much it is costing them to print X number of
pages and offer to take over managing their fleet for what they have been paying
less 10%. They are happy and you just made a fortune because you are going to
install software, like RoutXpress that will route 50% of all the color inkjet
printing ($.50/page) to a color MFP at $.10 per page, putting $.40 per page in
your pocket.  How many pages do they print?  Once installed, the software tool
will be able to tell you exactly how much they are printing, but for the sake of
this example let’s say the number is 10+ pages per day, per person, times 22
days a month = 16,500 pages, times $.40 per page, puts $6,600 more per month in
your pocket.  And, your customer loves you for saving them 10%!  Don’t forget
the increase in revenue from the hardware you will be replacing and servicing.

The key is to use the tools that are now available to get to know your
prospects needs and business methodology better than they do. Use this
information to build a long lasting relationship with the customer.  The
customer is currently spending $X amount of money. You want to cut his expenses,
earn his respect, become a trusted consultant, but in the process of cutting his
expenses you capture more of what he is spending.  The end result is that he
spends less, but gives you more: You make more money!

Bob Meyer is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for American
PrintWare since mid-2006. He has 30+ years of experience in the digital printer
and document management industry  with unique strengths in his understanding of
the Dealer Channel & putting together complex "Total Solutions." Contact him at

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