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

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