Don’t be rushed by pushy sales people
When you’re buying a new printer/copier for your charity, social enterprise or business, no doubt you will have girded your loins before tackling the pushy salespeople notorious in the printer/copier industry.
You may even have signed a deal because you felt sorry for your sales rep who is under pressure to make their monthly targets.
After all, it’s not surprising that a sector driven by volume, commission-driven bonuses, double-edged incentives and complicated contracts with hidden costs can lead to pushy sales tactics at the expense of the customer.
The question is, how do you choose between the numerous printer/copier sales reps that turn up at your office?
How do you make sure you’re not rushed into that amazing, unique, needs-a-decision-in-the-next-30-seconds deal?
It may seem like stating the obvious but it’s important to remember that private companies have commercial goals, dictating both prices and terms. The salesperson may tell you that they’re genuinely trying to get the best deal for you. But, it’s worth asking, if they need tell you they’re a ‘good egg’ are they protesting too loudly?
Which brings us on to the next point. Actions often speak louder than words. Ask yourself, are they taking time to understand not just my current requirements, but how these may change in future?
A classic sales tactic in the printer/copier sector is the mid-term upgrade. These can lock you in to expensive financial agreements without the ability to exit.
Two-thirds of the way through the contract the salesperson will suddenly appear at your door to offer you an upgrade to tie you in for longer.
A 36-month agreement may be far better than a 60 or 72-month contract, giving you more flexibility to exit or change your requirements, as your organisational needs and technology evolves.
The length of the agreement is key to working out the lifetime cost of the printer. The salespeople may be upfront about the first year of costs but these can increase significantly after year one.
Can they tell you the total lifetime cost?
Understandably, they may need information on usage first but they should be able to calculate the cost and they should certainly be willing to tell you the figure.
Never underestimate the importance of referrals in the salesperson’s toolkit. Ask if the salesperson has been referred to you by anyone ask if there was commission or bonus paid.
Conversely, if you refer them to others, make sure you are confident with your contractual obligations before you refer them to anyone else.
Good luck, hope these top tips help you hold out for the best deal!
Top 5 Tips for dealing with Printer/Copier Salespeople
- Remember salespeople are there to make money, not necessarily get the best deal for you
- Are they taking time to understand current and future requirements?
- Watch out for mid-term upgrades that tie you in for longer.
- Can the sales person tell you the (full) lifetime costs?
- Make sure you know the details of referral arrangements.
Private companies have commercial goals, dictating both prices and terms; their salepeople are often under pressure to make their monthly targets.