In our conversations with dealers from different parts of the country, they all express they are sadly missing the opportunity of attending independent dealer group and manufacturer meetings.
Frankly, we feel very much the same way. We are all doing our best to stay in touch with manufacturers, leasing companies, and vendors of all kinds. We are grateful to everyone who has been open to sharing their experiences during this pandemic.
To increase our ability to provide as much information as possible we have added the capability of doing in-depth research work in the most professional manner possible. We hired Donovan Dixon who enjoys a well-earned reputation for honesty and integrity to head up The Cannata Research Group.
As president of this new company, Don is busy conducting an end user study. In conjunction with the Seton Hall Research Center at the Stillman School of Business. We asked dealers from all parts of the country what questions would they like to ask end users and asked them to provide us names of their client/customers.
We received 373 end user names and conducted a qualitative examination. In addition, we acquired a list of 8,000 names that mirrored the individuals, titles, and companies provided by the dealers. This study will be completed before the Thanksgiving Holiday.
From those findings, Don will write a report that will become available by the end of December or early January at the latest. You will hear more about this later this month.
That is what The Cannata Group LLC and The Cannata Research Group LLC are doing to combat the malaise caused by Covid-19. As part of our outreach to all segments of the industry, we reached out to Joe Contreras, commercial marketing executive, office solutions, Epson America, to see how they were dealing with this current environment.
“We put together a virtual conference for salespeople and labeled it ‘Ink Boldly,’” said Joe. “While we welcome dealer principles, we want to encourage their sales teams to sit in on what we believe will be a very informative session.”
The program is intended to help dealers and sales reps understand the trends in the industry and how you can be successful in selling Epson’s inkjet product line. Included in the program is an examination of the key vertical markets for inkjet.
You might ask what is so special about a sales program designed to sell Epson’s inkjet MFPs and printers? What piques our interest is that it is an all inkjet product line. There is not an analyst out there that does not anticipate some degree of success for inkjet in a toner-based business.
My question is to what degree of success Epson’s inkjet MFPs will enjoy? The honest answer for us is we are not sure. There are so many variables when comparing product offerings. We always have followed one basic principle when something new is proffered: Learn all you can before you offer an opinion.
Our only regret is that we can not attend because it is on the same day as our 35th Annual Awards Gala on November 5. While the Epson show starts at 12 p.m. EST it should not be a problem for anyone to attend both events. In our case, we have a great deal going on during the day and it would be difficult for CJ or me to attend. However, Scott will cover it because we think it is important.
One way or another we will get the information and cover it in The Cannata Report. While dealers may say if we can read about it from the industry press why should I go? The answer is because the people that will benefit most are the dealer’s sales team. Few dealers provide industry publications to their respective organizations and allow them the opportunity to learn about something different than what most of them are selling.
One thing I know for sure, Epson puts on a good show. The last dealer meeting I attended was for Epson this past February in Los Angeles. We have not been on a plane or to another dealer meeting since. Joe and his boss Mark Matthews, vice president, know the dealer business, and attending that dealer meeting proved it.
Here is the Ink Boldly link: https://inkboldly.vfairs.com/. If you attend, we would love to hear your opinion. Whatever you share will be published, however, your identity will remain confidential. We think it is an opportunity to learn—enough said.