When dealing with contracts and different business initiatives, it’s likely that you will encounter a proposal. Here at STPT, our proposals that we send to customers have several key factors that we find important to highlight and understand.
What is a Proposal?
A proposal is an offer from a company that provides you details of the product or service you are looking to acquire. Proposals should be provided to potential buyers after a consultative meeting with a sales representative that has an in-depth knowledge of the product or service they represent. Proposals can be accepted by the potential buyer, or negotiation processes can begin in order to better match the buyer’s needs.
Different Factors That Go into a Proposal
While proposals have several different components, there are three main factors that should always be present.
The Financial Obligation Being Entered
Proposals should always include the exact cost of the product or service being requested. Here at STPT, because the cost of copier/printers depends on the amount of prints per month, and the size of the machine itself, costs can vary widely from printer to printer.
Costs also depend heavily on the number of users that will be utilizing the machine. For a small workgroup (5 or less), a color copier will cost approximately $99 a month. For a large workgroup (20 or less) however, color copiers start at around $535 per month.
Those who choose to purchase their machine upfront will have a base service agreement, that can also include an estimated number of pages for both black/white and color prints. It’s customary for all supplies (except staples) to be included as well.
The service agreement should include all parts and labor and will ensure that your machine will be repaired by one of our experienced technicians.
If you decided to lease your machine, you will have a monthly payment for the machine itself, along with a service agreement, which includes an estimated number of pages and all supplies except staples. Leasing your machine additionally comes with a one-time Lease Documentation fee, charged by your leasing company.
Insurance is a monthly cost that applies when leasing, to ensure your equipment is protected in the case of damage, fire, or natural disasters. It does not protect from any damages that result from user negligence or error.
Related reading: The 9 Hidden Costs of Owning or Leasing a Copier/Printer
The Term/Length of the Obligation
Contractual leasing agreements should always have a specified length, whether it be 36 months or five years. This way the buyer knows the exact length of time they will be making monthly payments for, and when to prepare for a renewal or to seek other options.
The Support or Service Being Provided
It should go without saying, but there needs to be a detailed description of the support or service being provided. For example, if you are leasing a VersaLink C405 with a service agreement, that will be outlined in the proposal next to the corresponding monthly costs and estimated usage.
You may also see included impressions on your service and support proposal. It is important to understand how many impressions you have used each month, as well as how many are included. This may also be presented on your proposal as impressions included per month or per quarter, as this is usually the industry standard.
Can Proposals Be Negotiated?
Here at STPT, the proposal negotiation process isn’t what you think of when you hear the term “negotiating”. There isn’t any haggling or back-and-forth arguing. Instead, we look at the features and the scope of the offer as a whole, rather than just focusing on price. A big variable in price would be the number of prints per month printed on a machine and included in the service agreement. Because we charge a base monthly price, in addition to an agreed price per page depending on this information, this is where most of the negotiations will take place.
Now That You Know...
At Strategic Technology Partners of Texas, the proposal and buying process is designed to be as easy and user-friendly as possible. Our knowledgeable business consultants are here to help you every step of the way, and our service team is always available to answer any maintenance questions that might arise. If you’re interested in our company, or in potentially inquiring about a Xerox device, we encourage you to read the following articles:
- 5 Signs You Are an Ideal Customer for STPT
- Buying a Copier/Printer? Top 6 Things to Consider
- Should You Invest in a Copier/Printer for Your Business? (Pros/Cons)