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Paper media can be a complicated world to understand, but for those who can dive in and learn the details of the products available, it can also provide high margins and easy sales.
If you’re a reseller, and you don’t have a model for selling paper media to accompany your printers, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business. Skipping out on media sales is like not suggesting a drink with a meal – it’s an easy form of additional revenue, and most customers recognize they need to make this purchase. The media is necessary for the printer to function properly, and if you know the difference between the different kinds of media available, you can recommend the best kinds for your customers’ needs.
Learn the Basics of Media
The main difference between media types is determining whether your customer needs direct thermal, or thermal transfer. Every business is unique, and understanding your customers’ specific needs can help you make more informed suggestions on which type they should order from you.
Thermal printers use heat to create precise images for barcodes, labels, forms, and other business documents. There are two kinds of thermal printers: direct thermal and thermal transfer.
Direct thermal printers create an image by applying heat to a chemically reactive media.
Thermal transfer printers use heat and an inked ribbon to melt the image onto media. Here, there is an added revenue opportunity in ink ribbons in addition to paper media, but make sure it’s the best choice for your customer.
Specialized media becomes more complicated from there. It’s important to make yourself an authority on this, so you can better consult with your client on alternative options for their needs. You should be able to consult with your clients on many different options, such as:
1D & 2D Barcode Labels
Warehouse & Inventory Labels
Temporary & Permanent IDs
Tickets & Citations
Hazardous Material & Biological Waste Containers
Thermal, bond & carbonless rolls
Sticky receipt paper
Thermo-chromatic and UV sensitive ink
The media type, of course, depends on the hardware you’ve sold the customer. If they’ve purchased a receipt printer, you likely have no need to offer them media supporting ID cards. However, being informed of their options for buying labels, different receipt paper stock, or ink types can help them make a decision on what media to continue purchasing from you.
Become a Reliable One-Stop-Shop
The best time to establish yourself as a source of supplies for your customers is at the start of your relationship. Learn their needs early, and set up agreements with them on the options that best fit their needs. This will ensure they continue to come to you for their media needs, long after they’ve purchased their hardware. If you’re selling supplies to an established customer, however, you have the luxury of already knowing what devices they’ve installed, and you’ll be fully equipped to anticipate their future needs. If they’re not buying their media from you, figure out why, and what you can do to change this.
Each proposal or estimate for printer-related hardware should include a quote for media. The margin on these supplies is often larger than the margin on the original hardware order. You can also suggest your customer takes advantage of the option for a repeat order for the life of the unit they purchased.
Follow up every four to six weeks until you get a sense of each client’s usage patterns. This way, you’ll know when to check in, and your call will be a welcome reminder to reorder for a client running low on critical items.