Lasers have long been regarded as the ‘best’ option for business, but Greg Skinner, Epson New Zealand general manager, argues the case for business inkjet.
The retail environment is tough, businesses are deferring purchases until they see more blue sky, and technology innovations appear more frequently.
Resellers now need to be very strategic, focussed and, most importantly, dedicated to giving their customers the best possible outcome when the customer says they are considering a new printer.
That means breaking through the 30 year old mindset that ‘lasers are best for business’. Recent changes in technology mean that old shibboleth no longer holds true and in fact would probably be harmful for many small businesses if the reseller believes it too.
Not all customers are created equal so the first consideration is to listen very carefully and get as full an understanding as possible of what the customer thinks they want. Then you may need to dig even deeper and start to build a picture of what the customer really needs.
Most customers will start with: it has to be fast and I don’t want to spend a fortune on ink or toner. In their mind they think they are describing a laser printer.
But the facts now unequivocally show that the right inkjet printer that is engineered for business will be faster and have lower ink costs than a comparable laser printer.
The differences are not just marginal. Tests done earlier this year for United Kingdom consumer organisation Which? show that the costs per page (ink and plain paper) for single-colour pages on a business inkjet printer can be up to 50% less than the cost per page on a laser printer, and for full colour documents the cost per page is around 30% less on the inkjet printer.
On top of that inkjets use about 70% less electricity than lasers because of the differences in their basic technology.
Those savings mount up over a year, so every reseller now has to be careful to point out to customers that there are business inkjets that will deliver significant cost savings over a comparable colour laser printer for most small businesses.
And because of those technology differences the business inkjet will be much faster when printing the average four or five page document that is a common size for small businesses. In fact the inkjet will have finished printing before the laser gets the first page out.
Saving those few minutes every time you print also adds up to a significant benefit for small businesses.
Breaking through the barriers
We know there are resellers who are uncomfortable suggesting a business inkjet to small business customers because for 30 years the safe and usually correct answer has been a laser.
But technology is constantly changing and many test houses and market researchers now acknowledge that the right inkjet can be a better option for a small business than a laser.
One way to break through this barrier is to ask the customer if
they have seen the latest comparisons between business inkjets and lasers and then invite them to read the research and consider how those cost and time savings might benefit their business before they make a decision.
Giving your customers the best possible advice is a sure way to build customer loyalty and ensure long-term business. The time and technology are right to suggest a business multifunction inkjet printer as the best solution for small business customers.