New England’s New Samsung Dealer

June 15, 2013

Yesterday my company, NECS became the new Samsung Dealer in New England. It’s no secret that since Todd Pike and a number of Canon expatriates went to work for Samsung they have been pursuing Canon Dealers. Let me say up front that we love having and selling the Canon line, and we have been very successful doing so. Samsung does not (yet) have a full line of MFDs. So they have focused on their sweet spot of 20 – 50 ppm.

If you sell Canon, you know that they tend to be more expensive than some of the other MFD lines. But Canon has clearly established a great position in the market place (Just like Mercedes Benz, Lexus, or Cadillac has in the Automobile market). But not everyone buys  these high end type of cars. Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai have also carved out solid markets for themselves in the US marketplace. You may have noticed that many named Car Dealers carry multiple lines of cars. Because there is no one car that meets the needs of all car buyers. And a Mercedes Benz buyer doesn’t also shop at the Ford or Hyundai dealerships to get a competitive price so s/he can negotiate with the Benz salesperson. Does that mean that we should all only sell Mercedes? or only sell Fords? No, not if you want to broaden your buying base.

Samsung can have a great symbiotic relationship with Canon at the Dealer level. I have spoken to many sales people that have either lost a deal to a less expensive alternative or had to sell the Canon product for little to no profit. But they felt forced to “take the deal” because they have made a commitment to their Dealership to meet a specific monthly quota. But they didn’t become a sales person to starve. In an honest business transaction they should be able to make a reasonable profit. Unless you work for a non profit organization there is nothing wrong or evil about making a reasonable profit on what you sell. Now, with Samsung, our sales person has a great alternative for those customers who are extremely price sensitive. So instead of walking away from the deal or giving away the deal an Independent dealer has a third choice, Samsung!

Samsung seems to understand this relationship, they are not asking us to sell Samsung instead of Canon or Konica Minolta. They are looking to help us as an independent dealer expand our business by helping us win profitable business that we couldn’t with our Canon or Konica Minolta lines. There is one thing that Samsung doesn’t have that Independent dealers care deeply about, they DON’T have a Sumsung Business Solutions, or Systems, or a Samsung Solutions America. In other words Samsung has no direct sales organization. Samsung has committed to work exclusively with top independent dealers. WOW! What’s old is new again. This is the way all manufacturers use to do it before the days when Ikon, Danka, and Global got bought by Ricoh, Konica Minolta, and Xerox respectively. I do sympathize with the manufacturers dilemma. They need to secure their distribution channels. Business hates uncertainty!!! But the manufacturers have struggled to make their direct sales branches profitable. And the Independent Dealers certainly are not feeling the love from their Manufacturers.

The large Regional Independent dealers have and continue to flourish! Because we offer our customers choices, considering what’s best for them. We don’t have to try and force a square peg into a round hole because that’s all we have to sell (one product line), any more than a Cadillac Dealer tries to convince a Hyundai buyer to buy his product. The Independent Dealer offers choices of products, paired with great service & support for the life of the lease. Now that NECS has added Samsung to our Canon & Konica Minolta offerings we will be competing for that business that has traditional gone to the second tier products. You know who you are, and you have been put on notice that you will be seeing us in more of your deals, because Samsung has arrived in New England!

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh


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