BUSINESS ASSETS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007
A n E xe c u t i ve U p d a te f o r C u s to m e r s o f A z e r t y, A D i v i s i o n o f U n i te d S t a t i o n e r s S u p p l y C o.
It’s Your Call
Using telemarketing to connect
with the marketplace
To find money for your business,
you need to look in the right places
The Perfect Match
Selling compatibles fits perfectly
into one dealer’s business model
Utilize the Best-in-Class Training Tools
To Develop a Best-in-Class Sales Team
Do you find it difficult to train your employees
due to cost and downtime associated with on-site
trainings? Do you find it challenging to keep up
with the changing technology marketplace?
Would you like product, marketplace, and
selling skills training for yourself and others in
your company without having to leave the
comfort of your own office?
If you answered yes to any of these questions,
then UDT On Demand, a new e-learning solution,
is for you. Coming soon, through Technology
University and United Dealer Training, you will
be able to log-on to this new e-learning portal
for all of your training needs.
Look for details as we unveil the new best in
class training program from United Stationers
Coming Soon from
United Stationers and Azerty
Learn more about UDT On Demand at Vision 2007.
See inside back page for details!
offICE plACE SoluTIoNS — foR fREE!
Office Place Solutions is a powerful customer retention initiative
introduced by United Stationers late last year — and it could
be free to dealers who act quickly.
At publication time, there were still
opportunities available to take advantage of
United’s introductory offer — the first three
months of participation is free for the first 50
dealers to enroll. At maximum participation
levels . . . that's a $20,000 value for free!
Using a series of monthly themed, seasonal
product offers, this integrated campaign
includes printed flyers, e-mails, and a new
Web site. All of these tools are branded with
a dealer’s logo and contact information, and
the Web site is customizable for each participating dealer.
For more information about this exciting new program,
visit www.officeplacesolutions.com/enroll to download a
Dealers can also visit www.officeplacesolutions.com/demo
to see a sample of the customizable Web site built for each
ARE You fAmIlIAR wITH pApERRAp?
PaperRap is an umbrella term for
United’s collection of cut sheet paper
marketing initiatives and dealer
Created in 2004, PaperRap provides
dealers with help and information about
the ever-changing office paper industry.
One component of the program is the
Web site www.paperrap.com — an
invaluable resource filled with useful
tools for independent dealers. The site is
your source for consumer price tracking and
industry news, as well as a free sample library, monthly features,
an educational Paper University, sales aids and a handy Paper
Guide search engine.
For 2007, we’ve made the site even better by posting a revised
order form with prices on everything from pallets to full
truckloads. This form is updated monthly . . . and includes
some special promotional prices.
For live help with paper sourcing, procurement and training,
dealers can contact United’s dedicated Paper Specialists by
calling 888-PAPER60 (888-727-3760) or by e-mail at
IT TAkES A vIllAgE
To INCREASE mARgINS
ANd REduCE CoSTS
Rob Mallin and Jim Entwistle, owners of Village Office Supply,
know an opportunity when they see one. So it’s no wonder the
New Jersey-based company is one of the fastest growing dealers
in the country. Or that they seized the opportunity to promote
Innovera® OEM-compatible ink and toner cartridges to their
The benefits of promoting compatibles were immediately apparent
to both Mallin and Entwistle. “We make more money and can lower
costs to our customer,” said Mallin recently. “It’s a no-brainer.”
Village called on the expertise of United to help create a program
to convert their customers to Innovera-brand imaging products.
United sales representatives Bob Ceta and Al Magid assisted Village,
enabling a sub-menu prompt on their ordering system, developing an
internal promotion, and presenting information and strategies to the
company’s sales and customer service personnel. “It simply couldn’t
be easier,” said Susie LeVan, customer service manager for Village.
When customers call to order imaging supplies, the auto-sub
option provides a prompt to the customer service reps. “We just
have to ask for the order,” said LeVan. “We tell customers that we’ll
sell them an OEM toner, but then we explain we offer an equiva-
lent-quality, guaranteed toner called Innovera that is a lower priced
“In just two months, we estimate we’ve converted more than 1,000
customers to Innovera products,” continued LeVan. “We make
higher profits, customers save money and we’ve had no higher rate
of returns than with the OEM sales. It’s a win for everyone.”
According to Ceta, the success Village has had with Innovera is being
replicated by dealers around the country. “Once dealers understand
the Innovera option and they see the benefits it provides for their
business and their customers, it doesn’t take long for the lightbulb to
switch on. They want to start selling it right away.”
DEALErS wIShINg fOr ASSISTANCE prOmOTINg
ThE INNOVErA LINE ShOULD CONTACT ThEIr
AzErTy SALES rEprESENTATIVE.
Should You Put
On The Line?
A few things to consider when
you’re considering telemarketing
It’s difficult to think of any Telemarketing has been around in some form for nearly as long
as the telephone itself, and every business engages in it to some
marketing activity that’s as degree. A salesperson who uses the phone to contact a customer or
prospect is engaged in telemarketing. So is the customer service rep
efficient, effective and profitable as who takes an order or provides product information over the phone.
telemarketing. . .and almost impossible The extent of outbound telemarketing efforts that go beyond these day-
to-day operations will vary widely based on the goals of the individual
to identify a business practice that can businesses and the resources they’re willing to commit. For instance:
alienate customers and prospects so easily. 4 One company may simply want to make productive use
That’s why it’s important to consider the of employee downtime to qualify prospects for the sales staff.
potential and limitations of telemarket- 4 Another may put on a full court press, and use telemarketing
ing — along with the techniques and to contact thousands of prospects and set up hundreds of new
practices that will ensure customers and Both are valid, intelligent uses of telemarketing that require very
prospects regard your efforts as attentive different approaches.
service instead of an ongoing annoyance. According to the Small Business Administration, one of the first points
to consider about telemarketing is whether to keep this function in-house
or outsource it to professionals. There are numerous advantages and draw-
Six Tips for Connecting
backs to whichever decision you make. with Consumers
Whether you’re creating your own script and training your
kEEpINg IT IN HouSE employees or evaluating the services of a telemarketing vendor,
Using your own employees for outbound telemarketing efforts offers huge here are just a few of the basic techniques you should know:
benefits. First and foremost, the incremental costs are negligible and barely 4 Each call should have a primary objective, such as
any upfront investment is required. Another advantage is that no out- scheduling a sales meeting — but there should also
side vendor can possibly know your business and industry as well as your be secondary objectives, such as having the prospect
own employees. So if a prospect asks if you carry a particular brand, your agree to look over sales literature you’ ll send or express-
employee can do what an ing interest in receiving a future call.
outsider can’t — give them
4 Find out immediately if you’re speaking to the decision
Bear in mind that the a quick, accurate answer.
maker and how vendor selection decisions are made.
quality of the results According to Steve DeMarco
of Midwest Office Supply,
you’ll get will be directly 4 Asking questions of the prospect and adapting the
another advantage of keep- presentation based on the prospect’s answers is far
proportional to the ing telemarketing in-house more effective than a straightforward sales pitch.
abilities of the caller. is the flexibility to change
your presentation to ad- 4 Structure your questions in a way that results in a
dress the specific needs positive response — the more often someone says
“yes” to your preliminary questions, the more likely
of individual customers. It also lets you adapt your approach based on
they’ ll say “yes” when it comes time to close the sale.
information obtained from interacting with customers and prospects.
Bear in mind that the quality of the results you’ll get will be directly 4 Never criticize the prospect’s current supplier, it’s
proportional to the abilities of the caller. That makes it essential to choose negative. . .and a criticism of a choice they’ve made.
employees for the task who are intelligent, articulate and both comfortable
on the phone and selling to prospects. 4 Ask for a commitment — whether it’s selling a product
to a customer or setting an appointment with a prospect
The major downside to in-house telemarketing is employee availabil- for a sales call, the success of a call depends on the
ity — will employees have enough time to devote to telemarketing and recipient taking action.
attend to their other responsibilities? If not, this approach could have an
adverse and far-reaching effect throughout your business.
THE INS ANd ouTS of ouTSouRCINg
Telemarketers may not know your business as well as your employees, but
they do know how to sell over the telephone. These professionals bring a set
of skills with them that only comes with advanced training and extensive
experience, among which are the abilities to: reach the decision maker;
judge the interest of the prospect; address resistance effectively; set the
pace of the call; make more calls; and close more sales.
The biggest downside to outsourcing is cost: you’re not only paying for
the time Telephone Sales Representatives (TSRs) are on the phone, they’re also
on the clock when receiving training — and when it comes to your business,
they’re most likely starting from ground zero. That can mean a considerable
up-front investment when you’re engaging a number of TSRs; but for larger
projects with tight deadlines, it can be worth the cost. Some of that cost can
be amortized over a number of projects if you maintain a relationship with the
TSRs and they’re available for your next telemarketing project.
One important consideration to remember: when you outsource
telemarketing, you turn over the stewardship of your brand. Telemarket-
ers by nature tend to be more focused on the task at hand and want to
Consider using the Internet to research prospects — or making a
preliminary phone call to find out more about the business and the
decision maker before you make your call.
Creating your script: Based on your business objectives and the
information you have
about prospects, develop
Telemarketers by nature a telemarketing script
that includes all the
tend to be more focused points your representa-
on the task at hand and tives should make to
want to secure immediate the prospect. Have your
results rather than build
with your telemarket-
the long-term image of ing vendor or a con-
your business. sultant to create this
script to take advan-
tage of their sales and
Some industry professionals believe callers should present the information
in the script word-for-word. Others view it as more of an outline of the
secure immediate results rather than build the long-term image of your
sales presentation that can be adapted to fit the style of the TSR. This
provides the flexibility to address unforeseen responses from the prospect
Should you decide to go outside your business for outbound telemarket- and leverage information obtained during the call.
ing, businesstown.com stresses the importance of evaluating both the
A word-for-word reading of the script may work well for a short, simple,
vendor and the individual TSRs who will be representing your business.
straightforward contact, for instance, one that merely presents an offer. If
Be sure to meet with the people who will be assigned to your account,
you want to introduce your brand, engage the prospect, learn about their
ask to listen in on their calls and be sure you’re comfortable with their
business, identify challenges and offer solutions, however, it’s best to give
personalities, approaches and tactics.
your representatives some leeway to engage in a dialogue with prospects.
There are more than 5,000 telemarketing call centers in the U.S. Most It’s also a good idea to show some faith in their judgment and abilities.
of these, however, are equipped and staffed for business-to-consumer
Monitoring calls: The first calls made by each representative should be
marketing. Most B2C call centers will gladly take your assignment, but
monitored to ensure all the bases are covered in the script, as well as to
you’ll probably pay a premium for the service. As a result, it’s wise to
evaluate the performance of your representatives and make any necessary
look for vendors that specialize in B2B sales. Steer clear of those that
adjustments in the presentation.
promote services and expertise your business won’t benefit from, such as
high-volume technology or the lower costs they achieve through offshore
A good alternative may be to find experienced professional
freelancers who will work from your offices or even their own homes.
You’ll need to spend a little more time interviewing them and scrupu-
lously checking references and evaluating their capabilities, but you
could save a lot of money.
ESSENTIAlS of TElEmARkETINg
Virtually all telemarketing professionals agree that whether you out-
source the telemarketing function or keep it in-house, there are certain
areas that you must address. These include, but are not limited to:
Developing a call list: The more your representatives know about the
prospect prior to the call, the better they’ll be able to tailor their sales
pitch — and the better results you’ll achieve. At the minimum, find out
the SIC code, number of employees, sales and location of the business.
Tracking and measuring: Develop a checklist for representatives
to record the details of each call. ese may include: the interest
level of the prospect, challenges their business faces, their current
suppliers, the time of day the call was made, the duration of the
call, dropped calls, Technology University provides
call-backs, the results you and your employees product
The telephone can be achieved and any fol-
knowledge that is key to accomplishing
technology sales goals.
a powerful sales tool low-up activity that’s
— and the better you Technology University is a comprehensive
training program that oﬀers a series of courses
Analyzing the data
understand the medium, can help you uncover
to teach you and your sales reps all about the technology market.
Armed with what you learn, you will be able to respond to competition,
the more success you’ll patterns that inﬂu- uncover new opportunities, anticipate consumer needs, and more
have with it. ence results. You may easily sell technology products to customers and prospects. And
ﬁnd the success of that means greater proﬁts for your dealership.
your eﬀorts varies by New “Event” Format
factors such as the day of the week or time of day the call is placed, the e new “event” format provides you with a Technology University
lists you use, or the individual making the call. You’ll also want to test class in the morning followed by a vendor table top in the afternoon.
a number of diﬀerent oﬀers to ascertain which is the most eﬀective in
is new format allows you to:
terms of cost and response. Finally, it’s a good idea to meet regularly • Learn about product and market information
with the staﬀ so that they can share their insights with each other • Be hands on with the new products
about what works and what doesn’t. • Talk to the experts
e telephone can be a powerful sales tool — and the better you un - Dates
derstand the medium, the more success you’ll have with it. e issues April 10, 2007 Chicago Event - Multifunctions
addressed here barely scratch the surface of the knowledge available on April 17, 2007 Baltimore TBD
August 7, 2007 Dallas TBD
the subject. If you already have a telemarketing program, hopefully,
August 9, 2007 Tulsa TBD
you’ve found some ideas to help you reﬁne your operation. September 18, 2007 Los Angeles Event - Multifunctions
If you have been — or are now — considering telemarketing, hopefully September 20, 2007 Phoenix Event - Multifunctions
you’re inspired to investigate further online or at the library. Maybe We’re oﬀering and adding classes all the time. For more information on
you’ll want to pick up the phone and call a telemarketing consultant Technology University contact your Azerty sales rep.
. . . or a prospect you’d like to do business with.
PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS
A LOOK AT THE
OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
Brands, in and of themselves, to pay a premium price for it. ose who purchase national brands
exclusively tend to be risk averse, are pre-sold on brands they order, and
convey a ton of information — are not good prospects for compatible products, no matter how much
they might be able to save.
about the product, the people who United Brands: Customers who purchase Universal or Innovera brands
select them and the dealer who sells them. tend to be more open to new ideas than national brand buyers — and
more value conscious. ey believe they can get the same high quality as
To make the most of the brands you carry name brand and OEM products for signiﬁcant savings. And with United
requires that you use this information to Brands, they can.
its full advantage. It’s more likely that a customer who purchases Innovera cartridges will
be more open to trying other brands. And you’ll have a better opportu-
As an Azerty dealer, you have three diﬀerent branding options available: nity to sell them a lower-priced, higher-margin United Brands item. It’s a
National Brands: Whether it’s HP, Avery, 3M or any other well-known good bet that they’ll appreciate your eﬀorts to save them money — and
brand, customers who choose these options demand quality and expect view your dealership as a valued partner.
It’s important to realize that consumers will be far
more likely to purchase commodity items such as
pens and paper that are not nationally branded
than they are to purchase replacement items such
as ink and toner. To overcome that hurdle, United
and Azerty understand that it’s essential that our
brands carry performance guarantees — and that
dealers promote those guarantees to their customers.
Private Label Brands: Having your own brand
says a lot about your dealership. It elevates your
business in the minds of customers and prospects
. . . positions it as a viable independent supplier
that can compete against national chains . . . and
conveys that you have the purchasing power and
leverage of a major player in the market. And when
it comes time for customers to reorder, your private
label tells them exactly what they need to restock
and exactly where they can get it.
Whether it’s developing oﬀers, targeting advertising
messages or maximizing margins, knowing how your
customers respond to their brand choices can help you
create a more proﬁtable brand strategy.
HP ANNOUNCES THE DISCONTINUATION
OF LEGACY TONER CARTRIDGE
Please alert your customers that HP has recently announced the discontinuation
of the LaserJet C3900A black toner cartridge, eﬀective Nov. 1, 2007. at makes
it the ideal time to upgrade your customers to the newest, most advanced technology
available. Your customers will beneﬁt from improvements in capabilities performance and
costs — and you can proﬁt through this special HP upgrade incentive . . .
How to get up to $250 cash back!*
rough the HP Follow the Supplies program, your dealership can earn up to
$250 cash back* when you upgrade your customer to a new HP LaserJet printer.
And to help you take advantage of this opportunity, HP has a variety of marketing
materials available to help you close the sale.
If you’re not enrolled in Follow the Supplies, sign up today and start taking
advantage of the numerous beneﬁts this program has to oﬀer.
Visit www.followthesupplies.com or call 1-877-224-0439 for more
information about these oﬀers.
*Subject to program terms and conditions. Your company must be enrolled in
Follow the Supplies to be eligible for spiﬀs.
ImpRovE THE STATE of
YouR BuSINESS wITH
ay-to-day tasks are often piled so high that long term plan- ship, as it will offer you the most favorable terms. However, should the
ning can become an afterthought. However, with some fore- bank not be able to assist you, or should you need a bit more than what
sight, capital planning can help to provide financial comfort the bank is willing to provide, an SBA (Small Business Administration)
and alleviate day-to-day stress. loan will improve your chances of obtaining what you need because 80%
of this loan is guaranteed by the government, which reduces the risk to
As defined by the US government, the goal of capital planning is
to “make the best use of available funds to achieve strategic goals and
objectives.” While saving for a rainy day is important, current issues — such When you need to look beyond your bank, other options do exist. Talk
as hiring temporary help or outsourcing services — are of equal impor- to your creditors; they may help alleviate a cash flow problem by agreeing
tance in a capital plan as they can help you to maximize all-around progress to extend your payment schedule. Also, you can try selling off property
and make your business more productive and efficient. Capital planning and equipment that you can lease back, providing you with immediate
can also help pay for ongoing operations, plan for the future investments cash in exchange for physical assets.
required to stay competitive and maintain the flexibility needed to take ad-
vantage of opportunities as they arise.
TACklE THE TougH CHoICES
For those who need them, more drastic options are available. You can
BE SuRE To SEEk ouTSIdE AdvICE
always take on a partner, be it an angel investor, local investor or even a
To see that you make the most of your financial situation, you should competitor. SBIC (Small Business Investment Company) loans that are
actively manage your capital on an ongoing basis. This will help you to co-sponsored by the SBA and venture capital are also available to you,
anticipate the financial requirements of your business as well as earmark yet you will oftentimes be required to pay high interest rates, or provide
funds for specific projects such as technology upgrades, facility improve- stock as additional compensation or both. These resources may be far
ments and expansion projects. You will also be better equipped to handle more costly and require that you give up some degree of control over your
unforeseen emergencies. business. However, these sources may also take care of some necessary
duties that you have not, such as laying off personnel, selling assets and
To make the most of your funds, you should invest capital based on
eliminating business segments. Also, be sure to get the advice of both
liquidity, risk and return, and do not hesitate to use a financial advisor to
your lawyer and banker.
help you navigate these tasks. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to
establish a credit line with your bank and be sure to actively manage and Regardless of where you seek funds, you will need the documentation
protect it. It is critical to evaluate your business expenditures as they are — a detailed business plan, cash flow projections and a balance sheet —
being made. Will you get a high rate of return on them? Will it limit required to give lenders confidence that an investment in you is worthwhile.
your flexibility to make better investments down the road? These are all
Your banker and your lawyer are invaluable resources in securing funds;
points to consider.
they know the people, institutions, and resources available and will help
While managing the assets you already have is crucial, at some time, you find those that are right for your situation. In addition, the Internet
most businesses find themselves in a situation where they need to turn abounds with resources to help you with capital planning. Be sure to
to an outside source for funding. Usually the first place to look is your take advantage of everything available to you so you can be on your way
bank. It is the natural choice to take advantage of this existing relation- to a more fiscally sound operation.
HP PURCHASEDGE: DELIVERING BIG BENEFITS $100 SAYS YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL LOVE THIS DEAL
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DIRECTORY OF ADVERTISERS
United Stationers UDT On Demand .......................... page 2 TEN is published bi-monthly by Azerty for the beneﬁt of independent
dealers and manufacturers in the technology products industry, and the
Hewlett Packard ...................................................... page 13
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