Published June 5, 2015 | Updated March 28, 2022
To say the copier industry is competitive is like saying Steve Jobs had a knack for marketing. Couple that with customer demand for single source, integrated solutions and it makes perfect sense that equipment and technology dealers everywhere are diversifying revenue streams and driving profits by expanding their lineups to include business technology, software, water purification, and other office essentials.
What doesn’t make sense is that some dealers still use a fragmented approach to financing those integrated solutions.
Integrated Solutions Sell
Customers love one-stop shopping and integration, whether they’re picking up blenders and bananas destined to quickly become acquainted or high-volume copy/print/scan units and HIPAA-compliant health record systems that must work together seamlessly and securely.
Why? In the case of integrated technology, a couple of reasons:
- Customers often don’t have time or technical competence to be sure all of the bits and pieces that make up their office technology will work and play nicely together. For that, they rely on a knowledgeable dealer
- When something breaks and they’re not sure which something is causing the problem, customers can’t deal with multiple service calls from multiple technicians from multiple dealers. Whatever it is, they need it fixed fast, with one call to the dealer that sold them the entire solution
But Fragmented Financing Doesn’t
There are other reasons customers love the single-source approach, but regardless of why they go that route, what they don’t love is multi-source funding. Here’s how that might look:
- Customer X comes to you for a solution that includes routers, servers, VoIP telephony, water coolers, and copiers
- Salesperson Y smiles
- Customer X sees that you’ve got a great deal on a dozen refurb desktop computer systems and decides to add those on too
- Salesperson Y smiles even bigger
- Salesperson Y writes it all up and presents the paperwork to Customer X
- Customer X is slightly irritated to learn that new and used equipment will go on separate agreements, necessitating separate monthly payments
- Customer X is now annoyed to find that some of the new equipment is eligible for 90 days with no payments and some of it isn’t
- Customer X is dismayed to discover that installation, training, software, and maintenance aren’t included, meaning those expenses will have to be paid from cash on hand
- Customer X steps back from the deal, claiming a sudden need to “think about it”
- Salesperson Y’s smile disappears and so does her commission
Integrated Solution+Integrated Financing=Done Deals
Even if Customer X in the above example goes through with the deal, there’s a lingering sense of dissatisfaction that could be avoided with an integrated approach to financing the solution.
What that means is choosing financing that covers new and used equipment on the same agreement, with the same terms. It also means financing that doesn’t leave the customer on the hook for software, maintenance, and other integral pieces of the solution.
Here’s the takeaway. If you’re offering integrated office solutions, take the extra step and offer integrated, convenient financing, such as LEAF, which covers 100% of end-to-end solutions, including installation, software, training, and maintenance. With one affordable monthly payment and zero hassle, customers get complete solution packages with everything they need to be productive — and you get the sale.