Our best customers are educated customers. We try to do our best to keep our customers educated by performing business reviews and regularly publishing blog posts and articles. We understand not everyone is internet savvy and therefore, we have also asked our Business Relationship Managers to print these articles and regularly distribute to our customers. This article is prompted from a recent discussion with one of our leasing partners and our leasing coordinator.
If a sales person does not ask you about something they specifically know could be an issue after the sale, is this a lie?
"Lying by omission, otherwise known as exclusionary detailing, is lying by either omitting certain facts or by failing to correct a misconception."
We do not know if this is just happening in our region or if it is becoming increasingly frequent nationwide, but we are seeing more and more customers upgrade to a new copier or MFP before their current lease agreement term has been satisfied. The problem is not the early upgrade. The problem is the "sales person" not asking if there is a current lease.
Whoa! How Can You Blame The Sales Person?
Ultimately, the buyer does have the final responsibility in the purchasing decisions they make and, unfortunately, this is why they end up paying, in some cases, a very large price.
It is our contention that a true sales professional should be more focused on helping their customer make buying decisions based on improving both operations and the bottom line. This cannot be accomplished without discovery.
In our industry, leasing the equipment is extremely common and beneficial for the customer. Two of the first questions any sales person should be asking you are, Is your current equipment on a lease contract? and if so, When does your lease terminate?
Wait, Why would Someone Even Be In The Market If They Are STill Under A Current Lease Agreement?
There are many times when the customer does not even realize they have a lease agreement nor do they understand all the obligations regarding the lease.
How Is This Possible?
Let's take the example of a Church or a Private School. In both of these organizations, there is heavy turnover from the Board of Directors to the Executive Director or Pastor to the volunteer staff. If proper discovery (and education) is not conducted by the sales professional, it is very easy for someone new to their position to not realize they have a lease and a remaining financial obligation.
Too often we are seeing these organizations have to pay off the remaining term of their contract in one lump sum and also pay to ship the equipment back to the leasing company. This is an incredible hardship on these organizations who many times rely on donations from their constituents. The big financial savings promised ends up vanishing along with the sales person.
But If We Aren't Using The Device AnyMore Can't The Old Vendor Just Come Pick It Up?
The answer to this question is no. The equipment belongs to the leasing company, a financial institution who, in essence, loaned you the money to use the equipment for a specified timeframe. Leasing contracts are all very clear that you are responsible to make all the payments for the entire term of the lease contract.
On a side note, there is also always a clause in the lease contract which states you cannot move the equipment to another location without the leasing company's permission. Be very careful not to allow your device to be taken from your premises in exchange for your new device.
What Else Do I Need To Know About My Lease?
There is generally a window of no more than 120 days prior and no less than 30 days prior to the termination date of the lease where you are required to notify the leasing company (in writing) of your intent to not renew the lease. If this does not happen, the lease may renew for another full year and then you are obligated to make all those remaining payments.
How Is Leasing Beneficial?
Today's copiers and printers are like little information servers residing on your network. They have a definitive life, especially as new versions of operating systems continue to be released. Many devices over 5 years old will no longer work safely and securely with the new versions of Windows. Leasing allows you to determine a monthly budget which will insure you always have fresh and secure technology.
So I can Upgrade My Copier, MFP, Printer EARLY?
Yes, you can definitely upgrade a current lease prior to the termination date. Your current vendor will almost always have more favorable pricing and terms from the leasing company and they can handle the entire transaction for you.
If you will be using a new vendor, you will need to get the final payoff information directly from the leasing company and you may then want the new vendor to provide the payment amount directly to you so you can ensure you are paying off the lease and then receiving the ship back information. You will want to make sure the new vendor is going to ship the equipment back to the leasing company at no additional cost to you. It is very important the equipment is returned in good working condition as specified in the directions from the leasing company. Keep in mind that you and not the new vendor will be held responsible financially by the leasing company.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?
If your current device is less than five years old, be wary of claims that a new device can save you significant amounts of money. It is true that hardware costs have remained flat for the last ten years (albeit a slight increase from the China Tariffs recently), however, the need for service is ever present and will never be a flat expense. If someone is offering you significantly lower prices, be prepared for longer downtimes, potentially waiting for parts, and possibly, unskilled technicians who cannot resolve problems on the first call. If an offer seems too good to be true...it probably is not true.
It is critical you continue to educate yourself before making your next purchase or leasing decision by reading more of our blog articles. You can also Contact us and we can have one of our Business Relationship Managers provide assistance and education.