Copier Dealers Evolving to Survive – and Thrive

Copier dealers know that their traditional business model can’t survive in the coming years and decades. They need to diversify in order to survive, and building out an MSP business is an obvious choice. It’s no longer an extra branch to bring in more revenue from existing clients. It’s a conversion they must make. It’s their model of the future if they want to compete.

Copier dealers have always had solid sales forces that struck fear into the hearts of MSPs. But some comfort could be found in the fact that the customer’s MSP experience with copier dealers would generally be a weaker version of our own. It’s time to rethink that.

The traditional notion that the copier dealer is simply a transaction-based, turn-a-wrench, in-and-out behemoth is simply no longer the case. Their MSP services are improving at a rapid pace, and MSPs should now be worried not only about the copier dealer sales force, but how copier dealers are delivering services. They’re building out effective and efficient MSP models that could even be good enough to steal your business.

Understanding Copier Dealers’ Edge 

Copier dealers aren’t new to the MSP space. They’ve been slowly and steadily moving in for the last 10 to 12 years, and during this time they’ve learned what works—and what doesn’t. They’ve been exposed to the same MSP training as traditional service providers, working with experts to help them make the necessary adjustments.

They also have the advantage to think in terms of half decades and decades, unlike MSPs’ quarter-to-quarter outlook. This, combined with their proven longevity means that while they may look like rookies with a small MSP today, they have a much larger infrastructure behind them. They can afford to lose money as they build out their MSP business.

Alongside this, they’re benefiting from copier manufacturers’ failed forays into the MSP world. While manufacturers learned to focus on being vendors and leave service delivery to others, copier dealers are now confidently coming back into the space with lessons learned from experience, plus the experience of their manufacturers. They’re secure in knowing that their vendor isn’t going to swoop in to take their services business.

3 Ways MSPs Should Respond to Compete

It’s critical for MSPs to not only understand that copier dealers are serious competitors, but take the necessary steps to prevent them from taking business. There are three critical steps to focus on to preserve your business and stay ahead of these new competitors.

Sales Force

It’s necessary to have a sales force that can compete with the well-established and highly efficient sales teams of your copier dealer competitors. 

MSPs need to build this from the ground up, starting with appointment setters who can be trained to fully understand your business and develop the unique skills and knowledge they need to sell effectively for your MSP.

Time Entry

Figure out the foundations of how you’re doing time entries to understand your aggregate gross profit. 

Accurate reporting is essential. The only way to do this is by creating a process within your MSP where techs follow an established system, enabling them to consistently log all their time without worrying about taking time away from client demands. 

Account Management

Don’t just think of account management as “offense” (cross selling, upselling, refreshing, and so on). You also need to be thinking about running some “defense” with your account management. 

If you’re only talking to your clients when they’re having service needs, you should assume that copier dealers and their well-oiled sales forces are calling the rest of the time in an effort to acquire that business. For example, if you’re not giving QBRs or you’re getting low participation in QBRs, you need to fix that. In today’s landscape, that’s the bare minimum defensive posture to know when another sales team talking to your client.

Next Steps for Your MSP

As the competitive landscape continues to evolve, the time has come for MSPs to not only acknowledge these competitors but to proactively respond. Establishing robust sales forces, refining time entry processes, and adopting comprehensive account management strategies are the cornerstones of remaining at the forefront of this dynamic market. In an environment where transformation is the norm, staying ahead demands a blend of innovation, execution, and adaptability.

Here’s the good news—your MSP doesn’t have to traverse this new territory alone. We’ve worked with countless MSPs to evolve their business, tighten up systems, fend off competitors, and scale effectively through our community of MSPs ready to thrive together. Instead of navigating industry challenges solo, our community comes together to openly share ideas, ask for guidance, and learn from the experiences of peers. No gatekeeping, no competition. We’re a team that wants to see each other win. 

Interested in learning more? Inquire about joining our community today.