LMI BLOG

5 BIG Mistakes Dealers Make Selling Aftermarket Color

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

LMI Top5Mistakes

Let’s start with the BIG question. If aftermarket monochrome toner cartridges now represent 40-80% of a typical dealer’s purchases, why does aftermarket color toner still only represent 10% of all color toner purchases?

The most common answer we hear is lack of confidence at the dealer and end user level; the same reluctance that happened with monochrome cartridges until dealers found a quality source they could trust.

Another BIG question. When is the last time you looked at an aftermarket color toner product for your business?

In the summer of 2015, we ran the LMI Color Challenge, a blind test that saw over 500 dealer participants select what they thought was a print sample produced using OEM color toner. The goal was to show (not tell) the quality. As a result 46% of participants thought the print sample produced with LMI’s new color toner was the OEM version – that’s almost half of participants (who have an eye for image quality) who couldn’t tell the difference.

Since the Color Challenge ended, we’ve seen a spike in demand for aftermarket color toner, and we’ve uncovered some reasons why some dealers are successful and some are not at selling aftermarket color toner to OEM customers.

Here are the top five mistakes we see dealers making:

1. No Print Samples - Customers are visual. You can talk about the aftermarket quality until you are blue in the face, but dealers that show a print sample using OEM vs an aftermarket color toner see a dramatic difference in their customer’s willingness to try an aftermarket product. Engage us to get your team equipped with our complimentary print samples so you can show and sell like a pro!

2. Misaligned Compensation - If there’s nothing in it for the sales reps to push a little harder for customers to try your aftermarket color toner (that adds 30 – 50% to your recurring margins), it’s highly likely that your reps are giving in too easily. Some of the top dealers have been very successful offering a small spiff or incentive to get customers using aftermarket color because of the dramatic earnings potential for the dealership.  

3. Miss the Sustainability Advantage - Did you know that the typical laser printer produces 100 lbs of waste every year? That's a full ton (2,000 lbs) of waste from an office with twenty printers. By showing your Zero Landfill cartridge recycling program, many dealers have introduced aftermarket color as a way to align themselves with their customer’s sustainability initiatives - a compelling reason to shift from OEM. 

4. Salespeople Are UnpreparedIf you asked your salespeople the following questions, would they be informed enough to sell more aftermarket color toner to grow your bottom line?

  • How do I know it’s as good as OEM color?
  • What is the aftermarket product guarantee?
  • Can you provide me with references?
  • Can you show me print samples?

Need help answering these questions? Your LMI Solutions representative would be pleased to assist.

5. Not Including Extended Yield Color in MPS Deals - If you’re selling cost-per-page agreements with toner included, you know how important cartridge yields are in addition to quality and performance to keep your customers happy. That’s why LMI invested over $1,000,000 in R&D and product testing technology to create the new LMI MAX-LIFE Extended Yield Color Cartridge Series.

Interested in seeing how much money you could be leaving on the table if you’re not selling aftermarket color? Try our Color Profitability Challenge including the industry’s first “Aftermarket Color Profitability Calculator” to calculate your earnings potential in seconds!

Summary

Quality aftermarket color toner has arrived and is now used by most of the top performing dealers and MPS providers throughout North America.

If salespeople are properly informed, equipped and incented to sell aftermarket color, the typical dealer will see 30 – 50% higher margins or more if they use extended yield color products. 

Tags: Sales strategies, zero landfill program, LMI Color Challenge, remanufactured cartridge, color printing, aftermarket color toner, color toner technology

Managed Print Sales Compensation – How Does Your Pay Plan Compare?

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

 MANAGED PRINT SALES COMPENSATION How does your pay plan compare

Sales Compensation is always a hot topic. Regardless of how long your company has been selling managed print services, structuring the right compensation plan will do wonders for your business and your people. This is exactly why we just released our 2013 Mps Sales Compensation Guide. An executive tour of the top managed print pay strategies now in place with many of the industry’s most successful MPS providers. In preparing to craft this guide we asked MPS providers coming at the business from different angles. Some were traditional copier dealers now growing page volume. Others were office product retailers looking to protect their toner revenue streams, and some were IT service providers / MSPs looking to benefit from the current boom in demand for managed print services.

Here are some of the most common MPS compensation questions we were asked. Maybe you can relate?

  • How can I get my hardware reps to sell more MPS?
  • How are the top managed print companies paying their reps?
  • How should I compensate on the annuity stream?
  • What’s the best way to pay an MPS specialist that supports a sales team?

When it comes to sales compensation there are many more questions we could have added here. These ones just seem to come up over and over in our conversations with sales leaders.

Your pay plan is probably a good one if you can say yes to the following questions:

Is it easy for my sales reps to understand?

  • This was the number one complaint from sales reps according to a recent survey completed by copier careers.com. According to our sources, simplicity seems to be a must.

Is my current sales compensation model fully aligned with my business goals?

  • If you want to adopt the new “services led” sales model, your compensation plan needs to support encourage those business results you want. Proper alignment will ensure that your salespeople are leading with MPS and nurturing those long term profitable service revenue streams.

Does your MPS compensation plan encourage the right sales behaviors?

  • Who can argue that the continual execution of the right sales behaviors will deliver repeatable success? Making sure you have the right mix of “hunter” and “farmer” sales behaviors (like account reviews) built into your compensation strategy is often the most overlooked component.

Do you have a strong MPS Sales Compensation plan or ideas on how sales leaders should reward and recognize their people? If you do, we would like to hear about it!

In the meantime, be sure to get our free MPS Sales Compensation Guide and see how your MPS pay plan compares to some of the top remuneration strategies in the MPS profession.

LMI MPS Sales Compensation Guide

Tags: managed print sales, managed print compensation plan, managed print services, aftermarket color toner

Remanufactured Printers – Why Use Them In Your MPS Program?

Posted by Gary Willert on Thu, Sep 06, 2012 @ 11:08 AM

Refurbished Printers- are they a fit for your MPS Program?

If you haven’t quoted an MPS deal that included remanufactured printers yet – you’re not alone. Talking to as many MPS providers as we do, it’s nice to be able to help you and your business get in on the latest shortcut to fleet profitability next to the explosive growth we’re seeing with our new Delta E aftermarket color toner series.

Before we get started with the information you need to know, here’s a common definition of what a remanufactured printer is:

“A remanufactured printer is a print device (normally laser) that has been restored to its original condition and performance capabilities. All necessary parts and components are repaired or replaced to “like new” standards before undergoing stringent testing and quality assurance checks. All customer facing panels are thoroughly cleaned or painted to offer the appearance of a “new” printer. Most remanufactured products are fully supported with a replacement guarantee to ensure satisfaction at the dealer and end user levels.”

Although the definition and quality of the remanufactured printers may vary, the benefits of including them within your MPS strategy remain consistent.

Here’s why many of North America’s top MPS providers have already jumped on the on the remanufactured printer band wagon!

  • The Environment – over 85% of printer components can be recycled and this can lead to a very compelling value proposition for sustainability driven prospects and tenders positioned as part of a “Greener Print Strategy”.
  • MPS Profitability – most of the top MPS providers in the country would agree a remanufactured printer (ex HP 4000 series) running an aftermarket cartridge like  Max-Life Cartridges could be the most profitable combination on the planet. Next time your prospect tells you that your cost per page is too high, remember what you just read here and give us the chance to help you win.
  • Full Warranty – your customers may ask for product warranties but normally that falls on your shoulders when you bill an all included cost per page in mono or color. The good news is that each of our remanufactured printers comes with a full warrantee so you and your customer are covered.
  • Parts & Service Availability – you know the aftermarket industry tries hard to keep up with the latest OEM product and consumable releases, but have you ever thought about your poor technicians? Perhaps the biggest benefit is the comfort level in knowing there are plenty of parts available on previously enjoyed models. Plus, you’re service personnel or 3rd party service providers tend to be very proficient working on many of the popular models now remanufactured. If you look into the remanufactured models we provide LMI dealers, you’ll quickly see that those problematic models that didn’t perform in the field didn’t make the cut for obvious reasons.
  • Consumable Selection – just like the vast availability of parts for remanufactured models, you should expect the same readiness when it comes to fulfilling consumable orders. No stock outs, no waiting for another boat to cross the ocean, no more apologizing to customers. From a toner manufacturer’s perspective, the HP 4000 Series continues to be the most demanded line of toner cartridges even though those models have long left the showroom floor.
  • Fleet Consistency – imagine a world where every printer your customer walks up to has the same user interface. The same paper access areas and the identical cartridge for them to store and you to ship. You get the picture? Less end user confusion, simplified inventory for them, and a whole lot less work for you. For those MPS clients who place a value on end user productivity, the opportunity to offer staff the same device at all locations can be extremely compelling.
  • Ink Jet Replacement – if you’ve sold managed print services for more than a month, you’ve already figured out that you need a replacement strategy to unhook those nasty ink jet printers form the arms of end users claiming they need their own device. One dealer told us if you filled the gas tank on your car with ink jet liquid toner it would cost over $30,000. Yes, that’s right there were four zeros in that number. So the question becomes, what will be your strategy to replace the next profit eating ink jet that shows up on your print assessment? With the new low cost of remanufactured, field proven laser printers, now you can afford to bundle in an upgrade and start enjoying the benefits listed above.

Did you know LMI now offers Remanufactured Printers? Yes, we admit this is a shameless plug at the end of such an informative blog, but why keep something so good for your MPS business a secret? Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our full line of performance guaranteed remanufactured printers.

Preview this video to learn about our line of top quality refurbished printers!

Do you have a blog topic you’d like us to comment on? Share it with us and we will reward you with 20% off your first order or our new DELTA-E Color Toner Series!


Tags: remanufactured printer, MPS, remanufactured cartridge, aftermarket printer, aftermarket color toner, aftermarket toner, refurbished printer

The Managed Print Summit & World Expo 2012 - 4 Key Takeaways

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 @ 10:11 AM

MissedOutWorldExpo (2)

 

If you blew off the World Expo 2012 weekend to go golfing with the boys or spa it with the girls, never fear—as always, we've got your back and we've put together the 4 critical takeaways from the weekend to report back to base with.

First thing you need to know about the Managed Print Summit event—woo-eee was it hot in Vegas. And so were the speakers and educational takeaways. 



Here are the 4 critical takeaways from your 'got-your-back' team at LMI Solutions:
 

1.  Disruption is GOOD

               You'd figure Samsung would put forth a good speaker—and they did, Senior Vice President, Tod Pike. Tod made an astute point that today's consumers are already reconfiguring their devices with money-saving modifications.  With just 2% of office print output being produced on “11x17” paper and today’s A4 print devices at 1/4 the price of A4 MFP devices, it becomes clear that there is an excellent opportunity for basic print assessments and Managed Print Services.

 2.  Leverage your Core Business

While windows of opportunity feel like constantly-moving targets, multiple experts have clearly stated it is critical to success to expand your business in ways that leverage and magnify your company's core competencies. Experts who noted this cited numerous examples, all with the same theme: that if you reach too far too fast, you may harm your business and damage successful relationships that you've spent years cultivating. 



Many successful Managed Print providers have been contemplating the expansion of their offering to include things like Managed IT Services.  Some have even gone so far as to offer alternate services, like wide-format printing, drinking-water and coffee services. Experts advised us at World Expo that when expanding from your core competencies look for new lines of recurring revenue sources, new ways to increase your share of your customer's wallet, and strengthen your value proposition.

3.  Aftermarket Color Toner is on the Rise

Color toner hasn't seen the aftermarket burst that we saw with black toner yet.  We emphasize the word “yet”.  In fact 93% of the color market is still owned by OEMs. It became apparent at the Managed Print Summit that color toner is ripe for the picking.  Ripe because customers have already been introduced to aftermarket products thanks to the black toner revolution.  For most it seems obvious now is the time for MPS providers to pounce on color—because according to one speaker, the lions share of the 900,000 printers sold monthly are color-enabled. 



The consensus amongst the 'in-the-know' veterans is that the aftermarket color toner market will offer an unfair advantage for early adopters looking to lock down high-margin color pages in their market and lockout competitors focusing solely on black and white.

4.  Partner WELL

If there is one demonstrated shortcut to Managed Print success, the hundreds of MPS provider attendees seemed to agree that it is through strategic, carefully-chosen and aligned partnerships. It not only makes a world of difference for you, it matters to your customers as well. 



LMI Solutions CEO, Gary Willert, was chosen to appear on an executive panel and his suggestion that “dealers need to talk to their peers about their experiences to make educated decisions about their business” was well-received within 'strong partnerships' talks.

If you're unsure about which companies are leading the industry (wink wink, nudge nudge: partner with them), the expo recognized MPS industry leaders within the newly formed Technology United group, its members include: MWai Intelligence, Print Greener, E Document Sciences, LMI Solutions, Greenhills Software, Newfield IT, ESPEI, Intellinetics, Barrister, and Genius Bytes.

If you're one of the few who missed the expo this year and are reading this thinking--“dang, I missed one heck of an event”--be sure to ink Expo 2013 into your calendar now (July 9-11, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas).

For our many friends who did attend, thanks a million for visiting our booth and for your support in helping LMI win this year's prestigious Readers Choice Award for “BEST MANAGED PRINT PROGRAM”. 


Thanks and see you at World Expo 2013!

Click me


 

Tags: LMI Solutions, managed print services, Gary Willert, Imaging Channel, Managed Print Summit, aftermarket color toner, aftermarket toner, World Expo 2012

How you can win more color print deals with aftermarket color toner?

Posted by Gary Willert on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 03:11 PM

How you can win more color print deals with aftermarket color toner

We recently met with the owner of a mid-sized copier/MFP dealership who inquired about our new line of aftermarket color toner. He was complaining about losing out on a color MFP deal because his competition offered color impressions at 4-cents per page. Yes, you read that correctly - people are now selling color impressions for 4-cents per page in the commercial arena. Can you believe it? It’s the lowest price point we had heard of for a commercial deal with less than 100 units for some time – if not ever. This dealer gave us more information about this particular deal and indicated he has noticed that more of the Xerox solid ink printers are offering customers color output for the cost of black and white prints.

Of course you could argue that the cost of color is usually dependant upon the amount of color on a page, but you have to probably agree that the idea of getting color prints for the cost of black and white can sound pretty appealing to cost conscious buyers in today’s economy.

After listening to the additional and all too common details about why this particular deal went south, the dealer asked us how he could improve his chances on the next color deal and protect the long term value of his current color volume from the competitor to whom he just lost, who he referred to as “the 4-cent color guy.”

We talked about two ways his dealership could win more color deals. The first way was to teach his entire sales team how to expand a lower margin hardware deal into a Managed Print opportunity, where the dealer could spread the lower margin device over multiple higher margin units across the fleet. In essence, break even on the color device and make it up on the monochrome printer fleet – sort of like losing the battle to win the war.

Of course, this dealer understood the MPS value proposition and had an MPS page on his website, but the actual competency within his organization to sell and manage a customer’s fleet didn’t really exist. As a result, maybe this sales team shied away from completing a proper print assessment to fully understand the true scope of the deal. Like so many deals that are won today, the company that did the assessment ended up winning the business here as well.

To prevent this from happening again, we recommended this dealer consider the Peak Performance MPS Sales Training System.  We showed him how over 2,000 sales reps have elevated their managed print selling skills and their confidence to compete and win on similar deals.


To compete and win more profitable color pages under contract, another suggestion was for this dealership to leverage the growing popularity of aftermarket color toner. If you’ve been in the industry since the 1990’s, you know aftermarket toners of any color have gone through their growing pains. And as a result, there are still big question marks looming whenever OEM alternatives are discussed in low margin transactions.

As this dealer will soon realize, a lot has changed over the last few years, and if he is serious about defending his base and beating “the 4-cent color guy,” it would make sense for him to rethink his perceptions and learn why more and more of the top copier/MPS dealerships are now reaping the rewards of the latest generation in color toner technology.  Who knows, maybe “the 4-cent color guy” is already using aftermarket color toner, and that is how he achieves his lower cost margins!

Are you winning low margin color deals? Let us know, we would love to hear about it!
Come visit us at booth #613 at ITEX in Las Vegas.

 

Additional Resources

2012 MPS Guide
How to Jumpstart your MPS sales in 30 days

Tags: print assessment, color printing, managed print services, color toner, aftermarket color toner, aftermarket toner, color print volume, color impressions, color toner technology