Can MPS Survive More Economic Chaos?

With the Dow on its wild ride and double-dip recession fears on everyone’s mind, what’s the selling environment like for managed print services? Actually, the news isn’t all bad. I’m hearing that more and more potential customers now have a basic understanding of managed-print concepts and the potential benefits. But even before the latest economic gyrations, VARs and MSPs were also saying that economic uncertainty remained one of the biggest stumbling blocks they faced to signing up new managed-print business.

No surprise there. Chaos across the entire economy fosters wait-and-see attitudes, so even if you deliver a killer sales presentation your client may be reluctant to act on a new managed-print contract.

One piece of advice I’ve heard to break down this barrier is to hammer home the idea that the right managed-print contract means the customer will spend the same or less for consumables with the added bonus of having an expert take over all the print management chores. It’s a classic do-more-with-less play that also helps clients maintain their focus on core business issues.

Tough times also may be making it harder than ever to get face time with senior managers who need to sign off on the deal but may not be lying awake at night thinking about their print operations. If those doors just aren’t opening try piggybacking on a sympathetic office manager or your contact in IT. Create a message and visuals that not only make the business case to these individuals but give them the tools they need to sell it to superiors and look like a money-saving heroes in the process. An internal source like that can soften up CEOs, CFOs, owners, etc., and significantly shorten sales cycles.

What’s your antidote for economic uncertainty—sell harder and work longer hours or just buy gold and wait it out?