Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Art of Selling an Inkjet Coder

Even that I have left the industrial marking & coding industry (more often known as inkjet industry), the customer segments of my current career is still very similar to the inkjet industry, which are food & beverage manufacturers.

I have visited one of the well known dairy ready to drink (RTD) manufacturer. After the appointment objectives achieved, we were having a tea break in the canteen.

The engineer was excited to know that I was from inkjet industry; many queries from him in regards with the inkjet printers had been raised up and discussed along break.

To my curiosity, a question has been thrown out from my throat, “What were the arguments points of these inkjet players since you have met many of the sales representatives from Domino, Imaje, Hitachi and others?”

Without surprise, the reply was “Their arguments points were quite similar; it is focusing on make-up consumption, machine price, spare parts price, and product features.”

“What was your latest purchase and why?” I continued.

The customer replied, “We choose Hitachi printer on our last purchase because we would like to give them a try since they claimed Hitachi need minimal maintenance as compared to the others. And it is true; we face fewer problems with Hitachi.”

“Hitachi is a good brand; I have no doubt about it. Imaje, Domino, Videojet and Linx are also among the top brand in the world.” I agreed with him and elaborate a bit more from there.

To brief him a bit on inkjet industry history, I commented, “Imaje is doing very well in Malaysia because it is the earliest brand which came in to Malaysia market and runs very professionally since day one they operate. Domino is also a good brand but the distributor did not manage the product well ended up the principal has to appoint new distributor.”

“If I were to propose you an inkjet, I will lead you to the real consideration points by putting up statements as follow.” I continued.

“A reliable printer with descent features will suite your printing requirement, hence features like 2D barcode printing, 32 or 34 dots high print band, USB connectivity, object oriented user interface and other sophisticated features will only confused your operators.”

“The quality and respond time of the field service that you require will be very much depending on your production schedule. If the production is scheduled for 16 hours or sometimes 24 hours per day, then you should consider vendor which can provides you round the clock field technical support with descent respond time, say arriving to the site in 2-3 hours time.”

“Besides, maintenance friendliness of the printer will be another determination point if in your mind you have already planned to handle some minor troubleshooting at your own before contacting the vendor.”

The engineer nodded his head, “I agree with you as we are facing some problems in the night shift where some of my inkjet suppliers are not providing field service after normal working hours, this is very critical to the production schedule.”

“Hey! Thank you for your advice and now I have become smarter in selecting vendor for my production equipments.” He smiled.

We ended the tea break session will lot of laugh.


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