LMI BLOG

How Managed Print Can Protect Your Toner Business from Amazon

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Mon, May 27, 2019 @ 03:46 PM

amazon_lmi solutions

The Internet has changed the way we all do business. Today, your customers can compare prices for supplies like toner from a variety of vendors in just seconds. As office products face commoditization, there’s never been a better time to shift your customers to Managed Print Services to avoid competing on price.

It’s the on-site service component that online retailers can’t touch. This is how the top imaging dealers are protecting their toner business while growing their recurring revenues with Managed Print. When you wrap a service element around your toner sales, you can immediately make the shift from contractual toner sales to a contractual sales model.

This will protect your accounts and your margins by shifting to an MPS model. 

Amazon Has Changed the World and We Need to Change Too.

Amazon has changed the way we buy and sell. Their success largely stems from their innovative technology platform and the appeal of a “better deal” if you purchase online.

“Amazon has almost 50% of the e-commerce market and is expanding from B2C into B2B” - eMarketer 

By making it easy to buy, offering low prices, having an unbelievably wide selection of products and offering quick delivery, Amazon has solidified its place in the market. Office supplies like toner have become commodified making it difficult to compete against a behemoth like Amazon. 

Amazon has captured much of the B2C market and has recently shifted its focus to B2B sales with the launch of Amazon Business. This change is especially relevant to you if you sell A4 devices and lower-end MFPs. But again, Amazon won’t service what they sell and this is the Achilles heel we need to exploit with people who buy toner by the cartridge.

How to Protect Your Toner Business

Adding Managed Print Services to your stack of services makes you “stickier” with your customers and allows you to mask your toner prices in your cost per page, cost per seat or any other billing model. Plus, MPS is a more comprehensive approach adding more value to the business relationship that now includes:

  • Printer monitoring
  • Automated Toner Replenishment
  • On Site Service
  • Expense Visibility
  • Usage / Cost Control
  • Toner Cartridge Recycling

Simply put, Managed Print provides your customers with additional value that Amazon doesn’t. Consumables become just one aspect of the services and you’re able to add value by keeping your customers' fleets up and running, reducing downtime and removing the burden of print to keep employees focused on higher priorities. Plus, the data you collect can often lead to helping your customers cut costs, reduce avoidable waste, improve workflows and the security of their confidential data with newer print technology, and reveal a better way to manage their hardcopy and digital documents.

When you examine the opportunities of Managed Print, there are lots of competitive advantages you'll be able to provide to your customers that Amazon can't!

The Takeaway...

The Amazon effect will continue to grow in the coming years. Today, many SMBs have unmanaged print environments and are receptive to the benefits Managed Print Services provides. By including a service element to your business, you'll be offering your customers more value that they'll never get from Amazon.

Want to learn how you can add Managed Print Services to your offerings? LMI Solutions offers a turnkey MPS infrastructure that can help you shift your business from transactional to contractual toner sales and give you the competitive edge that you need to stay ahead of Amazon and the other online e-tailers.

MPS Opportunity Calculator

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: LMI Solutions, printer toner, Print toner, managed print services, amazon, toner sales

3 Simple Analogies to Explain Managed Print Services to Any Customer

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 @ 11:39 AM

lmi sales analogies

Sometimes customers simply don’t understand what Managed Print Services is and how it can help their business.

Here are some well received “analogies” you may want to consider when explaining the what, why and how of Managed Print Services to a prospect:

1.   The Automobile Fleet Analogy

Ask your customer to imagine that they are responsible for maintaining a fleet of cars and trucks used by their business each day. Over the years they’ve bought or leased a mix of makes and models, some larger and some smaller, each requiring its own specific type of fuel and parts.  All of them requiring higher value employees to order gasoline when required, perform their own maintenance and deal with questions when they arise.

Wouldn’t it make sense to outsource the maintenance of their fleet to a company that specializes in maintaining vehicles if it was affordable and reliable? Why not do it with their printers?

2.   The Gas Pump Analogy

Ask your customer if they had a company gas pump for all employees to access, would they use an honor system or would they put some formal usage restrictions in place?

Over 90% of small and mid-size organizations with less than 100 employees have absolutely no print rules in place for their employees. Every time an employee selects the print button, they are making a buying decision that costs the company money. If they decide to print something in color it is eight to fifteen times the cost of a black and white impression. With no print management monitoring software to track or restrict usage, companies are leaving themselves open to avoidable expense.

3.   The Mailing Machine Analogy

Ask your customer if they have a mailing machine in their office. If they do, ask them if employees are allowed to mail whatever, whenever, they want. In most cases, mailing systems require a user password before dispensing stamps at the company’s expense. Why should printing be any different?

If the stamp required to mail a letter in the United States now costs 49 cents, that’s less expensive than printing a five-page color document on most office printers that cost 8 cents to 50 cents per page. 

Each prospect is different and you may need to select which analogy best suits your situation. These analogies have proven to be extremely beneficial for top performing sales representatives because they are commonly understood concepts.

Managed Print Services is an affordable and practical way to keep higher value employees focused on higher value tasks while controlling expenses with user visibility and restrictions that make sense.

Do you have a selling analogy that works? Your teammates at LMI Solutions would love to hear it. Good selling!

Jumpstart MPS sales

Tags: Sales strategies, how to grow MPS business, sales tips for MPS, managed print services, elite salespeople

How to Prospect Effectively for Managed Print Opportunities Over the Phone

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 05:36 PM

LMI sales call2 3

Whether you’re selling Managed Print Services in the field, or virtually from a tele-sales position, your ability to start Managed Print sales cycles over the phone is key to your success.

Yes, we fully support the benefits of face-to-face meetings and believe wholeheartedly in the power of social connections, but the age-old concept of “dialing for dollars” remains a core prospecting activity for top performers.

To date, we’ve had over 3,000 MPS sales professionals through our Peak Performance MPS Sales Training program and the prospecting module is consistently a favorite topic. To help you be more successful with your initial approach over the phone, here are some tried and true best practices to consider:

  • Rehearse your talk track before you call - Simply practicing what you plan to say will ensure that your delivery is smooth and professional.
  • Be brief and to the point - The ideal opening value proposition statement after your greeting should be no longer than 30 seconds. Often referred to as the “hook”, the quicker and more compelling you can make your opening statement the more successful you are likely to be.
  • Write down key points you want to mention - Having your key points written down to reference as you speak will ensure that you deliver important messages within the initial conversation.
  • Call before and after business hours - Reaching business leaders during the day can be a daunting task amidst screens and voicemail. Calling during off hours will increase your chances of connecting live.
  • Beware of voicemail - Many top performers will avoid leaving voicemail if they can and instead will hit zero and ask the receptionist to speak with someone else such as the person’s executive assistant or another key influencer.
  • Speak in a confident business tone - Communication research suggests that the tone we use over the phone is up to seven times more important than the words we use. In many cases you may be saying the right things but in a tone that doesn’t sound convincing enough to the receiver.
  • Avoid slang and industry jargon - Remember that the people you’re calling are not in the Managed Print business! Most customers won’t stop to clarify what terms mean, so you may be the only one that understands what you’re saying.
  • Utilize credible and relevant statistics - Elite performers have a readily available list of impactful statistics that will relate specifically to the prospect’s type of business from third party sources. Citing credible statistics will also seem less “salesy” and be more believable or consultative in nature.
  • Customize your talk track - Make sure you adjust your approach to be relevant to the specific person, position and company you are calling. A one size fits all – for example “we can save you 30%” – may not be as effective for all audiences.
  • Activities, activities, activities - In addition to skill and preparation, there is no replacement for a high activity level of outbound calls increasing your chances of making more connections and creating more sales prospects.

Do you have phone prospecting ideas that work for you? Tell us about it, we’re always looking for ways to help LMI dealers grow their businesses and their profits!

Jumpstart MPS sales

Tags: Sales strategies, managed print sales, how to grow MPS business, sales tips for MPS, Sales superstars, managed print services

5 Common Print Assessment Mistakes Salespeople Make

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

5-Common-Print-Assessment-Mistakes-Salespeople-Make

Maximize your probability of success by avoiding these common print assessment mistakes too many Managed Print salespeople make in their hopes of securing an MPS contract!

MISTAKE #1 – FAILING TO ENGAGE AN EXECUTIVE LEVEL SPONSOR

As you can appreciate, there will be plenty of people in middle management looking to take you up on your assessment offer. However, without an executive level sponsor engaged before you perform the assessment, you may find yourself doing a lot of work for a so called “decision maker” that can only say no. Make sure someone at the top knows what you are doing and agrees to meet with you to review the findings.

MISTAKE #2 – THINKING THAT A PHYSICAL WALK-AROUND ISN’T NECESSARY

As great as your data collection software may be, a picture still says a thousand words. Only by physically walking around your prospect’s print environment will you truly get a feel for device positioning, workflows and supply cabinets and also have the chance to engage directly with end users. This type of direct access to the entire printer fleet and some of the power users will prove to be very beneficial when you look to optimize the fleet or suggest employee productivity improvements.

MISTAKE #3 - PRINT ASSESSMENTS ARE FREE

Although your client may not receive an invoice for your assessment service, assessments aren’t really free. Both you and your customer are looking at an investment of time and effort. In some cases, if a top performer establishes a value for the assessment but the prospect selects another vendor, the salesperson reserves the right to invoice the client for the agreed upon amount.

Too many salespeople fail to place a value on their time, or create a perceived value or trade-off for the service they are providing, because it’s “free”.

MISTAKE #4 - THE COMPETITION IS DOING AN ASSESSMENT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

As you should know, it’s likely that many of your competitors will offer print assessments as a way to engage new MPS prospects. In the event that a competitor has completed a print assessment for the prospect, try to do one yourself as well if you believe a true sales opportunity exists.  Stats indicate that the vendor who performs the assessment has at least a 30% better chance of winning the business because of their familiarity with the print data and the environment. So when possible, offer your prospect a second opinion so you can showcase both the professionalism of your assessment capabilities and collect the information yourself.

MISTAKE #5 - AVOIDING DEVICES THAT ARE NOT NETWORKED PRINTERS

When you perform a print assessment, you need to take an inventory of every device that puts marks on paper. Every page counts if you are trying to build a solid business case for Managed Print. Too often MPS salespeople tend to focus only on printers that have an IP address (network connected) and fail to identify offline devices or even fax machines that should be considered in an overall print strategy. If you really want to grow your TCO and truly optimize your client’s print environment, include all devices that have a paper tray.

Establishing the customer’s current print-related spend is a critical component of any Managed Print sales cycle. That’s why awareness, and the ability to avoid these common print assessment mistakes, can often be the determining factor in achieving success with a solid MPS prospect!

proposal cover

Tags: Sales strategies, LMI Solutions, managed print sales, sales tips for MPS, managed print services, Managed service providers

7 Quick Ways to Grow MPS Sales Results

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 @ 02:09 PM

lmi 7 quick ways

At LMI Solutions, we enjoy the opportunity to see what hundreds of Managed Print providers are doing to grow their recurring revenues with more pages under contract.

Here are 7 ways you can make an immediate impact on your MPS business results!

  1. Focus on Color Pages – The typical page printed in color is worth roughly 8 – 10 times the amount of a black and white impression. Color profits are much bigger too; especially with new extended yield aftermarket color toner. If you’re looking to grow your top and bottom line fast, color is the place to be.
  2. Showcase MPS on Your Website – Most dealers get 2,000 – 6,000 visits to their website per month. That’s between 100 and 300 hits per working day! When people come to your website to place a service call or read your blog, is it obvious that you’re in the Managed Print business? Is there a compelling reason to engage you? Do you have online lead generation offers?
  3. Refocus Your Salespeople – Sometimes we all get scrambled trying to keep up with customer demands and the latest “top priority” in the office. Whether you provide extra Managed Print sales training, or you review your competitor’s websites, focus really does drive results.
  4. Target Specific Accounts – Rather than trying to sell Managed Print Services to any account, determine where your most obvious opportunities are and target those accounts with a specific MPS marketing campaign.
  5. Financial Incentives – Most salespeople are motivated by money. If you put additional money on the line for them to go after the specific market or customer profile you want, you may be surprised at how money can buy happiness.
  6. Get an Outside Opinion – If they change the coach every few years in professional sports, maybe it’s time to bring in an outside opinion to sense check if the plays you’re running are working; from sales, to service, to infrastructure.
  7. Certified Pre-Owned Printers – The beautiful part about installing a CPO printer is that you can save money on the hardware and immediately quote and sell the customer aftermarket color toner. When you sell a brand new printer your customer is forced to use OEM parts and toner for at least 6 – 12 months which can eat into your profits.

See something you like in this list? Ask your teammates at LMI Solutions for help if you need it – we’re ready when you are!

proposal cover


Tags: how to grow MPS business, sales tips for MPS, color printing, website optimization, managed print marketing, Managed Print sales training, managed print services, aftermarket printer

Managed Print Marketing: Part B

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

Managed Print Marketing: 6 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask - Part B

 lmi marketing questions ptB

We are sharing the remaining three questions that were asked during our webinar with ENX Magazine on November 19, 2015. Haven’t read part A yet? Don’t fret, at the end of this blog post, you’ll find a link to part A so you too can learn about social media management, marketing and general missed opportunities Managed Print Service dealers face.

4)  “There is a lot of buzz in the industry around vertical markets and industry-specific marketing. Do you see an opportunity in vertical markets?’’

We absolutely see the opportunity here. In fact, a little while ago, here at LMI we produced videos speaking to the eight top verticals that buy Managed Print Services. They’re very popular amongst our partnering dealers because they provide industry-specific content that help them promote a more relevant message to the vertical they’re prospecting.

5)  “What about email? Are dealers having success with it?’’

Yes, email is still an integral component of the MPS marketing mix. Sometimes dealers have a difficult time leveraging email because it takes time to set up a distribution list, create content, follow up, etc. This is something we have helped our dealers with in the past and they have seen real results with email after working with us on it.

6)  “Where can we go to see an example of LMI’s website services?’’

We don’t normally disclose the dealers we’re working with, but the Ray Morgan Company was shown in the webinar as an example of how LMI Solutions has helped a dealer elevate their brand awareness and sales leads, so feel free to use them as an example. You can visit raymorgan.com for an example of our website design and content services.

And with that, we open the floor once again for more questions about MPS marketing. If you have a question that isn’t addressed above, please leave a comment for us and we will give you our perspective on it!  Want to read part A? Click Here.

Tags: LMI Solutions, managed print sales, ENX webinar, how to grow MPS business, managed print marketing, managed print services, social media strategy

Managed Print Marketing: 6 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask - Part A

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 @ 08:43 PM

lmi marketing questions ptA 2

Many Managed Print Service dealers have the same concerns about their marketing efforts:

  • How can I use social media more effectively?”
  • “Am I connecting with my prospects through their preferred channels?”
  • “How can I focus on marketing when I’m so busy focusing on selling?”
     

These concerns, among others, were addressed during our webinar with ENX Magazine on Nov 19, 2015.  Christian Pepper, LMI’s Director of Marketing & Business Intelligence, spent close to an hour educating our audience about how to make the most of their MPS marketing efforts. His tactics brought about some great conversation amongst our audience and, before we knew it, we had questions coming in one right after the other! 

We wanted to share some of those questions and answers with those who missed the webinar. In this two-part series, we discuss the questions about MPS marketing that you’ve always wanted the answers to:

1)  “What’s the biggest mistake you see dealers making in their marketing efforts?”

Although many dealers are doing a great job with their current marketing efforts, there is always room for improvement. The opportunity that has yet to be recognized is the full power of the dealers’ websites; the link between site visitors and sales leads is being overlooked. 

This is a key area that we are currently working on with our dealers – ensuring that they see their website as the center of all of their marketing initiatives, and that they understand it’s worth spending the time optimizing it for online conversions.

2)  “We don’t have the time or expertise to market effectively because we’re focused on selling; do you suggest we hire a full-time marketing person?’’

This is really a matter of opinion. Marketing personnel can be expensive and results can be slow in coming while you’re initially educating them on the document imaging industry. Luckily, our ever-evolving world has produced a solution for those who want the benefits of marketing personnel without the heavy investment. In 2015 LMI introduced the vCMO – a virtual Chief Marketing Officer – for select dealers, that works alongside them to market their businesses. vCMOs are already industry educated and competent in different media platforms which makes their marketing efforts more effective. Their expertise can generate quicker, better quality leads for the dealer than traditional marketing personnel could.

3)  “Our social media accounts are hard to keep up to date, and it’s even harder to write blogs – what are your suggestions for maintaining our social presence?’’

For the time-crunched dealer who struggles to keep their social media up to date, LMI offers social media management services to alleviate this stress. Dealers are better off working with a social media manager than haphazardly publishing blogs and social content. It requires some finesse to create valuable, unique content that won’t be considered a duplicate of someone else’s work. Duplicating content online is one of the most damaging things you can do to your online presence in terms of SEO. If you can’t dedicate the time to it, that’s okay, but let someone else do it for you instead.

Stay tuned for the second part in this blog series. In the meantime, feel free to leave us any comments you might have about the first three questions we encountered during our ENX webinar last week!

Tags: LMI Solutions, managed print sales, ENX webinar, how to grow MPS business, managed print marketing, managed print services, social media strategy

6 Reasons Why MSPs Should Consider Managed Print Services

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

LMI top six

The profile of tomorrow’s Managed Service Provider is likely to continue to morph itself as the appetite to outsource non-core competencies continues to gain momentum. Today’s business leaders know they need to be leaner and meaner than ever; especially SMBs, a segment that most MSPs are focusing on right now.

Over 70% of Managed Print agreements are either initiated, or approved, by the IT leader in SMB accounts.
Managed Print Consulting, 2015

As their customer’s needs change, so will the stack of services MSPs will offer to meet the demand for new technologies, products and services to grow their recurring revenues. Some call it “winning more wallet share” through traditional and nontraditional offerings that solve business problems.

If you own the network, why not include printers and consumables in your stack of services as well? Advancements in remote monitoring and supplies fulfilment now make it easier than ever to deliver Managed Print Services under your company brand.

Here are 6 reasons why MSPs added Managed Print Services to their stack in 2015:

  1. Lucrative Margins - Most Managed Print Providers are making 30% to 50% gross margins each and every month. You receive a wholesale cost-per-page that includes everything you and your customer need to print in black and white and color.
  2. Recurring Revenue - Most Managed Print agreements are for a three year term with auto renewal options to extend the customer’s commitment.
  3. Same Buyer - Over 70% of Managed Print agreements are either initiated, or approved, by the IT leader in SMB accounts. Printing is perceived by most IT leaders as the bane of computing.
  4. Account Protection - The more end points you manage, the stickier you are with the customer.
  5. Account Acquisition - Some MSPs do not offer Managed Print Services, making it a vulnerability you can capitalize on as a point of entry.
  6. Turn Key Infrastructure - You simply sell the Managed Print Service and your customers will receive the products, service and support with little to no effort on your part.  

Whether you’re an IT VAR, an MSP or a CSP, you are probably looking for creative ways to scale your business and grow your recurring revenues. For many of the larger MSPs in North America, Managed Print Services has been proven to strengthen their value proposition and their bottom line with nominal effort.

 MPS Opportunity Calculator

 

 

Tags: managed print sales, how to grow MPS business, managed print services, Managed service providers, MPS value proposition, Value added reseller

What Makes An Elite Managed Print Sales Rep?

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 12:43 PM

 lmi elite businessman

Elite salespeople are very special and hard to come by. Sometimes they are hard to spot because the great ones are often very humble about their unique ability to generate above average revenue and profit on a consistent basis.

Having an elite Managed Print sales professional on your team will grow your bottom line faster and set the pace for others to keep up. Think about the impact you’ve seen a top salesperson make in your business. Yes, they often do require more “attention”, but you have to give them some slack if they are writing the sales volume of three to four other reps every month. That’s each and every month of the year, with little to no hand holding.

So what makes an elite Managed Print sales representative? Here’s your answer in our list of sales qualities that separate the elite sellers from the pack.

  1. Desire – Look at all top athletes, the best business leaders and the best salespeople you know. They all have a burning desire to succeed at what they do. It’s that desire to overachieve that makes everything else happen that’s necessary to be successful.
  2. Sales Ability – Businesses are starting to place more focus on talent management. From recruiting, to ongoing personal development of the employee, progressive sales organizations understand that sales training needs to be an ongoing activity to keep their people sharp. Gaps in sales ability will undoubtedly be reflected in an individual’s sales performance.
  3. Activity Mix – There’s a new “sales activity mix” that’s fast becoming the formula for elite sales performance. The mix includes a hybrid model of selling activities that feature traditional sales activities (like cold calls, phone prospecting etc.) and newer inbound lead generation methodologies (leveraging social media, online forums and other contemporary ways of connecting with decision makers). For example, elite reps are now prospecting through professional LinkedIn profiles instead of spending time knocking on doors on Monday mornings from 8am until noon. Of course, the argument could be made, if your customers are online why not connect with them there?
  4. A Great Story – Elite salespeople use storytelling as a means to start and close deals. They have stories that engage the prospect and help them understand the benefits of their product or service. Quite often the same stories are used to articulate a point at certain times across the sales cycle and can be leveraged by your entire sales team. Listen in on the elite salesperson in your office and chances are you’ll hear a great story being told just before an agreement is signed!

Do you have an elite salesperson on your Managed Print sales team? If not, now you know the qualities to look for to find an elite Managed Print salesperson to grow your MPS business!

Tags: managed print sales, how to grow MPS business, sales tips for MPS, Sales superstars, managed print services, elite salespeople

How to Create an Effective Elevator Pitch to Boost Sales

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @ 06:44 AM

lmi elevator2

There was once a salesperson who wasn’t great at selling. To get better at it, he made himself try to sell to anyone he saw. If you were within ten feet, you instantly became a prospect. One day, while on an elevator, he introduced himself to the person riding with him. He created the opportunity that led to a sale, and that new client referred him to other clients. He made the sale because he was able to deliver a quick and compelling value proposition before the prospect had to leave the elevator.

Thus, the elevator pitch was born!

What Is An Elevator Pitch?

Basically, an elevator pitch is a quick sales pitch you could deliver during the course of an elevator ride. Most great elevator pitches include an introduction, and a compelling reason to interest your prospect enough to want to learn more. Of course, the same strategy could also be transferred to the phone or email, not just on an elevator!

Why Is It Important?

In today’s world of short attention spans and intense marketing, the people you want to sell to tend to be easily distracted unless it’s “something good” – and you have even less time to interest a prospect in you and your product. That’s why a good “elevator pitch” is very important. It’s the key to starting a relationship with your prospect, and gives you a chance to create more selling conversations to help you achieve you sales objectives (and make more money!).

What Makes The Best Elevator Pitches?

There are four key elements to an effective elevator pitch after you introduce yourself.

1. State that you work with companies like your prospect’s employer (be relevant).

2. Talk about problems these companies faced or the opportunities they were pursuing.

3. Share how your product or service helped them. Don’t go into too much detail, you just want to spark interest.

4. Offer to continue the conversation if they would like (see if they bite!) and set a next step to for the two of you to continue the conversation. 

Avoid This Key Error!

Most salespeople make their elevator pitch too general. In other words, keep it focused and relevant to the person you are talking to, if possible. In fact, it’s best to prepare several different elevator pitches to address specific situations and prospect personas.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to create your own elevator pitch, introduce yourself and your offering well enough to spark interest in conversations well beyond the elevator.

Who knows, maybe that next elevator ride could turn into your next sale!

Are you interested in taking your Managed Print sales performance to the next level? Check out our 2015 MPS Peak Performance System.

Tags: Sales strategies, managed print sales, sales tips for MPS, elevator pitch, managed print services