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The Biggest Inflation Increase In Three Decades and The Print Equipment and Services Industry Is Still Having Sales? (WTF)
I discussed this topic in a recent The End Of The Day With Ray Episode but thought it necessary to share the message in a written post as well.
How are the industry's analysts not addressing this topic? Maybe they are waiting for someone else to discuss first, then copy and paste an article in their blog. Finally, the wait is over, and all are welcome to share today's article with your audience.
Or maybe the industry's analysts are too busy figuring out what a particular club actually does or just busy preparing their next press release?
Either way, the insanity of selling no different than pre covid during the worst inflation period in three decades is something our industry must analyze immediately. So, I will share my thoughts.
We are aware of many unfunded leases based on dealers or direct operations unable to execute equipment delivery. Why is this? Some will say supply chain issues, and I will say, "Some are wrong."
Yes, our industry has boatloads of shit stuck on boats like the rest of all business sectors. However, Is the print equipment industry begging its customers to upgrade equipment? Or are the industry's customers begging the industry? If we are all honest, we know the answer.
So now that we know the answer, what can we do to fix the biggest crisis in the industry's history? First, stop begging customers through unnecessary discounts to buy things you can't deliver and start selling services you can deliver.
Our industry had an excellent opportunity to bring so much more value to their services, and many missed the boat (pardon the pun.)
Think about the account that had twelve payments left on their five-year lease. The sales rep loads up with discounts and heads out to upgrade. (BTW, A stupid term the industry uses to replace equipment, after all, most of the time, the customer downgrades what they pay for the new deal, and we all know they stopped printing more at least a decade ago.No one is actually UPGRADING.) Maybe our industry should call all new sales "Price Downgrades" instead of Equipment Upgrades?
What if, instead, the sales representative met with the customer and explained the supply chain issues and made the customer aware that their current equipment is just fine and that continuing its service is not a problem. This conversation would have easily led to a discussion where the sales rep could have presented the service price increase based on the supply chain issues and then discuss a fee based IT Assessment.
OK, My friends, before you start screaming RAY, IF WE DON'T UPGRADE THE CUSTOMER, OUR COMPETITORS WILL! Realize if you believe this, you just verified that our industry's actors are, in fact, creating a false demand.
The activity of selling at discounts during the highest inflation in three decades defies logic, especially during a supply-demand crisis.
I still see advertisements for Free IT assessments and call us to save on printer service. The reason is, unfortunately, over the last decade-plus, there have been too many consultants misguiding print dealers in what is needed to transition their business to broader IT services.
Based on actual experience, had our industry's dealers taken seriously the need to transition, many more than just a few would be positioned to continue in relevance. They would be selling value at value prices instead of having little value selling things on sale.
The industry's reaction to the supply chain crisis. Is a SCREAMING LOUD ALARM! Warning all the industry's actors to the reality that the business print equipment its sales, supply, and services deliverable is on life support with very little hope. It will ever recover from yesterday's already outdated business model.
It is time dealers question those consultants who keep enforcing how your great relationships, great sales people, all based on print services will allow you to sell more profound IT services.
Whenever I hear this, I immediately realize those who say this have ZERO knowledge of the print services business. Which makes it really ironic when we hear consultants from the print channel throwing up this nonsense themselves.
However, I am somewhat hopeful that by now dealers are no longer going to YouTube college to learn how to bill print without collecting a meter.
The good news, I predict many of these halfway retried print executives will fully retire soon. Oh, Did I write that - as I thought it out loud?
Your success in transitioning to IT broader services will result from extremely hard work guided by detailed directions. So please don't forget the details, my friends.
Get your IT restarted NOW! Otherwise your next sale might just be a Going out of Business Sale! and no one wants that, except the competitor looking to deliver your great relationship a better experience.
Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented.
See you on The End Of The Day With Ray! I welcome you to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCULKZDBCR1ozWXmu4Tob66A
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