There are a handful of office equipment companies out there selling large format printers— Canon, Océ, Ricoh, KIP and Seiko, just to name a few. Whether you are printing technical documents, maps or general larger documents, these companies (and their resellers) claim they can offer you the top wide format printer at the best price. Therefore, one of your first steps may be to look online for reviews and price comparisons.

There’s a lot of information online about wide format printers, and you might have a little trouble sorting through all of it. What’s the best wide format printer? Where can I purchase a wide format printer? What’s the best price for a wide format printer? How fast can I get my prints? These are some general questions you might ask, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Not all solutions can be solved by reading a blurb on the internet. For a proper solution, a printer sales professional should be engaged. There is much discovery and planning involved for obtaining not just the lowest priced printer but the one with the best overall solution to your printing requirements.

A fundamental principle of sales involves understanding the needs of the potential client and proposing a solution for the problem. Wide format printer sales are no exception. Therefore, there are a number of questions that a printer salesperson should be asking each prospect in order to gain an understanding of the requirement and purpose for printing documents, especially wide format documents. Are you being asked the right questions?

The information a sales professional requires in order to assess the needs of your organization includes basics such as print volume, document size, color requirements and budget. How, who and where documents are created and printed is additional information necessary for evaluating how the work is carried out and organized. Furthermore, how the prints are used and finished is vital to understanding your business practices.

When talking with wide format printer providers, it is important to be aware of what information they should obtain from you in an effort to understand your wide format print requirements. By understanding your processes, a printer salesperson will be more able to sell you a total solution—not just a piece of machinery to spit out a large piece of paper at their lowest cost. You may be surprised at the time and money that can be saved by using the appropriate finishing accessories available for your wide format xerographic or ink jet printer. Oh, and if you are not asked the right questions, then nothing’s stopping you from being the inquisitor.