Futrell, ABC’s of Relationship Selling through Service , 7 th…

Futrell, ABC’s of Relationship Selling through Service, 7th Canadian Edition

ROLE PLAY – The Life, Times and Career of the Professional Salesperson + The Pre-Approach – Planning Your Sales Call and Presentation
Chapters 1 and 7

Futrell Photocopiers

Overview

Friday before last was your first day on the job. Last week you completed your initial one-week training course. Your boss now wants you to make several sales calls this week before you attend a four-week sales training program beginning next week. She feels this will help you relate better to the class materials.
You talked with Chris Hammond, owner of Travel Xpress, for about five minutes last week when he was called into the district sales office. You mentioned to your boss that you would like to call on Chris. She said: “Go for it!” The following are some of the main things you learned from talking to Chris.

Travel Xpress—A Small Business________________________

Travel Xpress (TX) is a personalized travel agency located in your town. TX has been in business 15 years. Chris bought the agency from the original owner about six years ago. He worked at the agency as a part-time (college student) employee since its beginning. He makes all business decisions for the company.

TX has one full-time and one part-time employee. The full-time employee is going to have a child and will shortly become a part-time worker. Chris has had trouble getting good part-time help. Right now the part-timer is a 17-year-old student. Most part-timers stay about three months because the job demands customer service skills and a detailed orientation.

Business has been growing for Chris’ company. Sales doubled in the last two years and they are expected to increase another 20 percent this year.
Four years ago, Chris purchased a Futrell 300 photocopier. It cost $675. At that time sales were quite modest at the time. Although the Futrell copier works well for incidental copying, it is a bit slow (six copies per minute). In addition, the Futrell can only print single copies—so Chris or the employee has to stand by the machine to make multiples. Since TX has begun group sales, it is often necessary to issue multiple itineraries. In addition, Chris now provides multiple-page information sheets to customers and to attendees at travel seminars. He has begun to send out multiple-page work to Kinko’s. However there is a $50 processing fee on each Kinko’s job (pick-up/delivery and order handling). Chris estimates he makes about 5,000 copies a month.

Chris has called DataMax, the Futrell dealer, several times about upgrading his machine. DataMax encouraged Chris to deal with a telemarketer who specializes in small businesses. The telemarketing representative talked with Chris for about 10 minutes. The representative sent Chris a bid on another Futrell machine. However, the bid did not mention the toner cost or copy speed. The representative stressed that the machine was lightweight and easy to use. The bid price is $595. Chris likes this price! Chris asked the representative how long he could expect the copier to last and was told about five years.
Chris is concerned with the copy quality and durability. Last year, Chris had to send the copier out for repairs three times. One time the copier shut off and would not restart. The auto shut-off mode had short-circuited. That repair took three days and cost TX about $400. On another occasion, a customer got upset with Chris’s full-time employee because the copy the customer was given was too light to read. The customer threw a fit, screaming at the full-time employee and telling the other customers on site that TX was a “rinky-dink, small-time operation.” Shortly thereafter, the full-time employee indicated that she would go part-time after the birth of her child.
Three weeks before, the copier jammed late one evening. Chris decided to fix it. After opening the copier case with a screwdriver, Chris failed to dislodge the jammed paper. Chris was unable to reassemble the copier. Paul, owner of Office Machine Repair, told Chris that it would cost more to fix the Futrell 300 than the machine was worth.
So Chris is stuck with a dead, four-year-old copy machine. Chris wants to buy another machine but is skeptical about all copiers.

Preparation for the Sales Call________________________
Excited, yet nervous, about making your first sales call, you wonder how to prepare for meeting Chris. Your boss suggested you find the answer to these four questions:
1. How many copies does Chris make a year?
2. How many years does Chris think he will keep the copier?
3. What are the costs associated with the copier you will recommend and the Futrell copier?

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