Sales

Do You Remeber Minnella's Pocket Guide to Copiers?

Atlantic Office Systems circaAh, the eighties and the nineties was an awesome time to be selling copiers.  The eighties gave us many opportunities with the adoption of plain paper copiers and the late nineties proved to be just as fruitful with the change from analog copiers to digital copiers. (My demo room in the 90's Atlantic Office Systems)

If you sold copiers in the eighties and nineties, you carried a copy of Minnella's Pocket Guide to Copiers.  Minnella's Pocket Guide to Copiers was our go to source to find out more about the competition.  Many of us even referred to the guide as our Copier Bible.

Our pocket guide was a soft covered book that usually numbered about two hundred pages.  The size? Well, it was small enough that you could tuck it in your back pocket and or your inside suit jacket pocket.  All of the pages were printed in black, in addition to specs for each copier listed there was also a black & white photo of each copier.

Minnella's Pocket Guide to Copiers was published twice a year for spring and fall.  It's kinda tough to remember if our dealership paid for those guides or if we (salespeople) bought them on our own.  What I can tell you is how excited we were to receive the new guide.  Nothing was worse when a client would make a remark about a competitors copier and your pocket guide did not list that copier.  In most cases it was because that competitors device was launched before the next publication.

Funny story and we use to so this.  For those competitive copiers that were not listed in the pocket guide we had to be creative to get the information that we needed.  There was no internet in the eighties, the odds of getting your hands on another manufacturers copier brochure was slim to none.  I mean you just couldn't walk into a competitors office and ask for one. 

Believe it or not, we (sales people) would call another dealership and pose as a potential buyer.  Those phone calls were CRAZY!  Thus, we would get a hold of a sales person and try to glean as much information as possible about the copier model in question.  Sometimes we were caught and sometimes we were not.  Thank goodness there was no caller ID then. On the flip side, I would also receive these types of calls and yes I was duped a few times also.

It Was All About The Specs

Selling copiers in the eighties and the early nineties was much different from the way we sell copiers today. That's because not all of the manufacturers were equal when it came to quality of the copy and reliability the device.  Instead of focusing on the total cost of ownership, it was important to educate the client about the benefits of your device over a competitors device.  There was no better to way to do than to show the client a side by side comparison of your copier vs the competitors. 

In most cases after six hard months of selling, your pocket guide had scribbled notes on each page, highlighter marks, and many dog ears.  If your pocket guide was in deplorable condition it usually meant that you were killing it with orders!

Each model copier included a photo, the MSRP, the date of introduction, what other manufacturer also sold the same product. In addition you could get the all of the consumable yields for that copier.

Indeed the information in these guides helped us to close more sales.  One of the unique ways that we convinced a client that our copier was superior was to point about the PM (Preventative Maintenance) schedule from our copier vs a competitors.  It kinda went like this.  The device I was selling had a PM schedule for the photo-drum at 60K pages. My competitors device had to have the drum changed every 20K pages.  Over the course of five years the client would make 600,000 pages.  Thus, his copier would be down ten times for the replacement of the drum with my copier. The competitors copier would be down thirty times for the drum for 600,000 pages.  We would then ask the client "can you afford to have your copier down for an additional 40 hours (usually took a few hours for a complete PM) for PM's?

In the eighties there weren't many laser printers and making copies of documents was critical for a business to operate efficiently on a daily basis. When the copier was down it was disaster if there was no back up copier.

It's All About The Book

I need to give thanks to Jim Parker from CBS in Texas.  Many weeks ago we had a call to discuss a certain product. How we finished up the call was speaking about those pocket guides that we used to rely on.  Jim stated that he had a few of them laying around and offer to send me one.  Just a few days I go I received a copy of 1990 Spring Guide.  I was so elated when the book arrive and immediately tore into it.

I've even tried to track down the editor who is Thomas Minnella.  Seems the business was located here in New Jersey. I did some internet searching which brought up a facebook page. I did send a message to that page many weeks ago but haven't had a reply back.  I'm thinking they are out of business or shut down.  If anyone reading this does know the Author, please send me an email so that I can contact him.

I'm also looking for addition years if anyone has them!

-=Good Selling=-

Memoirs of a Copier Sales Person "Slump of Slumps"

I'm proud and excited about starting my thirty-eight year in down the street aka SMB copier sales.  Needless to say, the start of 2018 has not been terrific in fact I'm probably off to one of my worst starts ever.

I guess I could call it the perfect storm.  Right after Christmas I took two weeks to recharge the batteries and get ready for 2018.  It's a great time of the year just to stay at home, kick back and enjoy relaxing.  Nothing to do and no where to go can be a great salvation.  But that was not the case, I contracted some type of Jersey cold/bug that knocked my ass out for the two weeks of vacation and another entire week.  It was about four weeks before I felt better.   

I don't care how good of a sales person you are, four weeks out of action is going to hurt.  

One thing that I've learned in sales is that you always need to be prospecting.  Now one is going to prospect for you and you can't count on leads suddenly appearing out of thin air.  Always remembering that winners make things happen and losers wait for things to happen.

During the last two weeks I've been able to re-build a pretty decent pipeline. If you've been in copier sales for a period of time you'll have experienced "the deep freeze".  That's when your pipeline continues to fill, you have plenty of meetings, and more opportunities that you can shake a stick at.  But you can't close a deal or get those deals to move forward. It's not that the clients are buying from some else it's more like every deal is stuck in a time warp.  However, you still continue to add additional opportunities each week.  

I've been in these cycles before, they suck! But there's not much work you can do but keep stepping up to the plate and take your swings.  Sooner or later the cup of opportunities will runneth over and you'll be writing plenty of orders. Geesh, I'm hoping that going to be next week, because I've only got two weeks left in my month .

We all go through slumps, some minor some major, and some you have no control over. It's our job to continue to work hard, work smart and never stop prospecting.  Thus, if you're ever in a slump, what I can tell you is that slump will end, can't tell you when, but what I can tell you is "the harder you work the luckier you will get".  

Have you experienced a sales slump, if so would love to hear about it and how you came out of it. Hit up the reply and tell us!

-=Good Selling=-

Jersey Shore Surveyor Selects Pre-Owned Ricoh W3601SP

Recently a Surveyor in Monmouth County selected a Pre-Owned Ricoh W3601 as their choice for a wide format MFP.  On occasions I will ask the client why did you select the Ricoh W3601 to move forward with?

The client responded with, “it wasn’t just the Ricoh MP 3601, it was more about what I could do with the Ricoh W3601.  You took the time to tell me how I could improve my process from cutting and pasting surveys to scanning and editing those surveys in a digital format”.  Other sales people were just focused on price and how to close the deal. You took your time and gave me a reason to buy from you”.  I was flattered, this is why I do what I do. read the rest here on jerseyplotters.com

If you need to know more about how I'm ranking at the top of google with my jerseyplotters give me or jesse a shout!

Should I Lease or Buy a Ricoh MP6700SP in New Jersey?

Should I lease or should I buy the Ricoh MP6700SP wide format? It’s a question that I’ll field at least a few times a month. MP6700SP In order to answer that question, I’ll need to give a little history about the Ricoh MP6700. The one great feature of the Ricoh MP6700SP, is that it’s a…

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Note from Art: Content is King, I've wrote about 17 blogs in the last year and it's paying off.  My goal is to attract those that are in the market to me. This is something I believe every dealership should be doing.  It's an investment, but isn't everything?

If you're interested in having me write the content and manage a site for you, then please send me an email apost@p4photel.com 

-=Good Selling=-

Twelve Awesome Tips for a Great MFP/Copier Demo

This Blog is the top blog on the old site has more than 15,000 page views!!  ENJOY!!

 

Demo, what the heck is that?  In other posts I've mentioned that demo's were the way we used to sell copy machines many years ago. 

I'm here to tell you that offering a demonstration still works.  Whether it's at your office or there's, who can't resist getting seeing or trying it before they buy it!

The OLD Days

One of the requirements of a copier sales person is that you needed to have some type of station wagon, hatch back or enclosed pick up truck.  Why?  Because the salesperson, that would be me and all of us that have been around since the 80's or before, had to use our vehicles to bring copiers to a customers office!  We also have to navigate steps, one of more flights of stairs, basements, muddy drive ways, sleet, snow and rain. 
 
Almost kinda made me feel like the mailman, because da Post man delivers!  (anyone get that).

Pump It Up!


You got pumped for demo's because you knew that if you had a great demo you could garner the order.  What could go wrong?  Copy machines never jammed in the eighties nor would you ever be presented with a question you did not know the answer too.  Right!
If you planned the demo right, you knew what the clients needs were and you would develop a plan to demonstrate to those needs. As long as your device performed well, you knew you were on your way to either closing the sale or getting to the objections.

The other day I set a demo for customer to come to our showroom, since it's been awhile since I did a demo, I had to write a list of what needed to be done prior to the account coming in.  Plan the demo
 

One


Check the system for print, and copy quality a day in advance, this way if there is an issue you can get someone to rectify the issue.

Two


Go to your system at least 90 minutes prior to the customer getting there to set up the applications that you would like to demo. In addition have your service department check ALL operations of the copier. 

Three


Check the print and copy quality again, also if you're with a color system make sure you calibrate the system for the copy mode, and all of the print modes. In the Ricoh systems there are at least four different print calibrations, while you're at it is there is an "auto registration" perform that function also.

Four

 
Place a couple of Silica Gel Packs in the paper tray to remove any moisture that maybe in the paper.

Five


Always remove the top sheet of paper that is in the print tray. Depending on when the last time the system was used, the top may have dirt, dust or even be crinkled. Get rid of it! 

Six


Check paper sizes & print files to make sure you have the right combination of paper in the trays.

Seven

Open all application print files and print each file before your customer arrives, and then keep the application minimized so you can get to it quickly, this eliminates the need to open the applications  and then select the print driver while the customer is waiting.

Eight


Make sure you clean or remove any marks that may be on the panels or on the platen glass.

Nine


If you're going to print envelopes, have the application ready, the envelopes loaded and the right paper size selected, nothing is more impressive that printing color envelopes without wrinkles.

Ten


If you are interrupted  place you hand on the last feature or accessory that you were speaking about, this way you'll be able to remember where you left off.

Eleven

Write down a list of your clients needs/wants/pain points for a new device. You should have developed this with your notes with your discovery appointment.  Demo to those needs. Neat trick is to develop a short power point addressing all of the clients needs.  Each slide will represent each need/want/pain points.  Also Why not put a few trial closes in with the slide.  Demo from each slide.

Twelve

Paper, make sure you have all of the paper trays filled. If the client has special requirements for printing on different types of paper (substrates), make sure you tell the client to bring the substrate they want to see the image printed on.

Bonus Tip #1:  Plenty of mints for you, not the customer and don't forget to do your trial closes, and remember you don't have to complete the demo in order to ask for the order!
 
Bonus Tip #2:  At some point in the demonstration ask the prospect where they will be putting their new system (trial close). Tune in next week for Tip#4
 
Bonus Tip #3:  If your prospects asks you about the warranty, this will tell you that they are serious about you and your system. When they ask about the warranty turn this around and ask them "What type or term of warranty or maintenance agreement are you interested in!
Bonus Tip#4:  Practice your demonstration a few times before you present to the client. What could go wrong will go wrong if you don't practice!

=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch"

Having a 10AM appointment allowed me to work from this morning.  Typical home work day includes coffee and a trip upstairs to the office.  First things first is to check out any overnight threads on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.  My next move is to check on my gmail for google alerts that I've set and then my work email.  Once all of that is completed, I'll go to Linkedin and view my wall for threads, always on the lookout to strike up a conversation, like a thread, comment, share or post a thread of my own.

I had one last document that I needed to create before I was off for my 10AM appointment with the seven MFP placements.  Our meeting went almost two hours, we nailed down the specifics and logistics of the order.  Doc's were left for signatures and I'm hoping to have them in a few days.  That really takes some of the pressure off, well somewhat because no deal is done unless you have the signed docs and the equipment is delivered. I learned a long time ago and got very embarrassed in front of other sales people when you count your chickens before they are hatched.  This order is close, it's not done and I'm not jinxing my self by counting it.  

Years ago on a mid-summer Friday I had booked an appointment with one of my existing accounts. The existing wide format device was at the end of the lease, we went over the specs and my client placed an order.  It's Friday, I had all of the signed docs and that was the end of the day for me.  On Monday I had a call from my lease administrator that the leasing company wanted some additional information from the DM.  I called my DM and the receptionist told me that our DM had died over the weekend!  I was like, WHAT?  I felt so bad for his family since he was in his late forties.  It was horrible. 

Nothing counts until the device is delivered, paid for or the delivery and acceptance is complete! 

My next item of business was to get back to my office so I could plan tomorrow and make additional calls.  I also needed to follow up with the client I was at yesterday,  in all of the confusion with the grand opening I did not schedule a follow up appointment. I needed to get that done asap before Holiday mode sets in. I was able to schedule that appointment for next week.

Tomorrow (30 minutes from now), is scheduled for 2 appointments and 3 stop ins. My appointment late in the day is for a $41K opportunity.  I'm hoping to drive a few smaller MFP's tomorrow with the stop in's and hungry to get to my last appointment of the day.

Right now, I pulling up a little short with the opportunities. Two of them are going to roll to January and I'm thinking a few others might go that way also.

So, when the going gets tough, the tough get going right?  I've still got more than 50% of the month left, but every day close to Christmas means those opportunities shrink. 

For next week I've got some appointments set, however on the drive home I was thinking maybe it's time to drive some cold calls.  Twenty to twenty-five ,at be the order of the day. Not sure how these old legs will hold up, but you have to try and can't give you.  You never give up!

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Still Time to Network"

In one of the previous Quest for $200K blogs I stated that my appointment for this AM had cancelled and was moved to Friday of this week.  That was a good thing, because tomorrow morning (Thursday) I need to present our proposal to upgrade seven devices with another client.  

I had no idea that it would take me hours to complete all of the data and the docs this morning.  In fact I was not able to finish the order doc and the lease in time. Not a problem I thought, I can create those tonight from the home office. 

After countless hours of updating this site tonight, I was able to create order doc and the lease for my client.  That's when I realized I was out of paper!  Argghh To boot there's not enough time to get paper in the AM.

My only is option is to load the files on my DropBox account and access them when I get to the clients office.  I'll then print them off on one of the Ricoh devices with Ricoh Mobile Print.  It'll be a little awkward, however I'm sure I'll manage.

Nothing really to speak about this AM. I did develop an opportunity for a 25ppm A3 black device (printing and scanning not needed). Not sure if I'll get that or not, the prospect is also looking at a re-furbished copier for $1,800.  Which got me to thinking about the word"re-furbished"  and how that word is thrown around.  

For me, re-furbished means that you strip the copier down to the mainframe and then clean and rebuild with new and used parts.  Stripping a copier down the frame can take hours and hours, then the cleaning, the replacement or worn and used parts.  This is quite a task for any technician, my best estimation ( I used to be a tech ) is that it would take at least twenty hours from start to finish for smaller A3 copier.   That's quite a bit if in house shop time right?

That sales person called that $1,800 copier "re-furbished".  I doubt that very much and conveyed that to the client.  Our prospect agreed that the system is could not be re-furbished, it's just a used copier with new PM parts (maybe).  If it sounds to good to be true it usually is.

I have nothing I could offer the prospect for under $2,000 used.  I told the prospect that maybe they are better off buying a Brother inkjet copier that can print/copy 11x17.  You can buy then for about $300 bucks or so.  Trying to dig a little deeper I asked if there as anything else that was required for the new system.   That's when the prospect told me that they also needed zoom reduction and enlargement.  I thought what?  I haven't heard that need in years. Well, I was back in the game with my A3 black device.  Just thought that was interesting today.

By 2PM I was off to my 3PM appointment with an existing account. That account was having a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4PM for their new location.  I was invited to stay for food and beverages and to hob knob with the Mayor of one town, a County Superintendent, along with the Executive Director of the local Chamber of Commerce.  Of course I brought business cards and made sure everyone got one, in addition I made mental notes of those I meet.  I'll be reaching out to them tomorrow via LinkedIn.

I did have time to meet with the DM, things were hectic because of the 4PM start, but I as able to move this opportunity to a point where I maybe able to close this late next week.

Tomorrow's a big day.  Luck is for rabbits and looking forward to making things happen.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "So High So Low"

Let me tell you, the highs, the lows, the ups and the downs can downright kill you in this business. 

Today was a planned day for the office to prospect and move stuff forward.  Today, was also the day that I was to get my old twenty pound notebook replaced with one of those lightweight varieties.  Needless to say I was looking forward to getting to office.  

On the way to the office I made three stops at net new businesses that were on the way.  All three stops did not have any thing to offer for immediate relief of my revenue quote for the month.  Two may be 2018 prospects and the third company was so rude that they can keep on doing business with whatever vendor.  Would never want them as a client.

Eventually,  I made it to the office, but sue to technical difficulties I was not able to access my twenty pounder notebook nor the new notebook.  I was presented with my new notebook just around lunch time. I immediately got to work to make sure I had access to DropBox, loaded up my Snag-It software and I was ready to roll.

I managed about 15 calls, 7 emails, 2 in-mails and probably answered another 15 incoming emails. Not a productive day.

My goal of seven appointments for the day didn't pan out. All I was able to get was ONE. Arrggh, but I also had to prep for my 10AM appointment tomorrow that has a revenue gauge of about $44k.  Prepping means that I not only go with all of the data that I need, but I've also prepared the closing docs.  One set of docs already filled out with highlighted areas for signatures and one blank set of documents in case there's a change.  I'm going in assuming the order and will keep moving forward unless the client stops me.

While driving home, I received a call from my 10AM, he can' meet tomorrow, but can meet on Friday AM.  Which is fine by me since Friday was kinda open anyway. In addition, I have a $48K revenue opp on Thursday AM of this week.  The extra time in the AM will get me to prep for Thursday AM.

Funny, sometimes you can just tell how things are going to go, it's that sales intuition that you acquire after many years of doing this.  Never would I have guessed that I would be doing these to appointments on back to back days.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Let The Ball Travel"

As of right now I don't have a title for this blog, at least not yet. I didn't post a blog for Friday night of last week because I needed the time to wind down when I arrived home.   Friday night was spent uploading and redacting a crap load of copier proposals that were sent to me over the last few days.  Thanks to everyone that sent those in!

It seems that each week gives me an opportunity to work from home one day.  Friday was one of those days. My time Friday was spent prepping for Monday and placing a few calls, emails and inmails (linked).  Friday was my day to "let the ball come to me".  Another phase is to "let the ball travel", each one of these are baseball terms.  What each ones means is for the batter to be patient and wait that extra second. I use "let ball travel", when I need to back off a bit from the constant follow up calls.  Thus, here and there I'll take a day and see what comes to me.

My goal for Monday (with two appointments) was to schedule a minimum of 5 appointments.  With most of them being closing appointments. 

At 4PM, I had acquired six appointments and three of those were closing appointments.  I took a line from Hacksaw Ridge movie and thought, let me get one more.  That's it, just one more appointment. Within a few dials I had my seventh appointment scheduled and now had four closing appointments in the book. Those four appointments clock in with $100K revenue.  I'm guessing by the end of the week, I'll have a good idea if I'll be able to make the $200K.  It's still a long shot, but good things come to those that work hard, or the harder you work the luckier you get.

Tomorrow?  No appointments scheduled, another day of making calls, and scouting the CRM for creating additional opportunities. My goal is to schedule seven appointments for tomorrow.

One of my scheduling practices is to use Monday, Tuesday and the half of the day on Wednesday to prospect and schedule appointments for Thursday and Friday only.  I use Wednesday afternoon for those can't see me on Thursday or Friday.  It's worked well over the years.  In general clients seem less stressed during the last part of the week and more inclined to make a decision.  There's no science here, just an observation over all these years of selling.

For me, tomorrow and Wednesday are critical days to book additional appointments for this week and schedule for next Thursday and Friday. By the time the 18th rolls around, all I want to be working on is closing up any outstanding opportunities.

There it is, I just inserted the title, "let the ball travel". 

Section 179, I mentioned it at least three times today in phone calls. Section 179 is real, no business wants to pay more taxes than they have too. If you're not bringing it up, then you're competition is.  Upward and onward to Tuesday!

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Insisting that the world keeps turning our way"

"Insisting that the world keep turning our way" was taking from a song made famous by Willie Nelson, "On The Road Again".  While traveling the road all day today, I was thinking what would be the theme for the blog tonight. I settled with On the Road Again.  Something told me to read the lyrics and that's when I settled on, "insisting that the world keep turning our way". 

The lyric "Insisting that the world keep turning our way" resonated with me because when salespeople are on the road we're making things happen, and when we make things happen, we are insisting that the world (sales) keeps turning our way. 

I had a 9AM scheduled for some production gear, however that got pushed back to 10AM.  I had scheduled my Fiery guru to meet me at the account so that we could review the clients current workflow and make recommendations with additional fiery options that would save our client some time. 

I'm no Fiery expert but was so glad that I brought along my guru.  What I thought would be a one hour meeting turned into almost three hours.  A lot was learned, much time was saved and I moved this opportunity to the final stage where we can present our proposal.

Since I was more than two hours late for my next stop I was not sure if my DM was going to be there or not.  Even thought this was just a short visit for a pick up of a wrongly shipped item, I wanted to make sure this opp also moved to the final stage.  I was in luck, my DM was there, we chatted for maybe five minutes and I secure the appointment for next week to present.

Moving right along,  my next stop was to help a quasi net new account.  This client had "found" a wide format mfp with our name tag on the device. We did perform some service during the summer, however when I called the client a few days ago they were having some issues with printing.  I offered to lend my expertise and give them some time with going over the print drivers.  It's what we do, we help, we educate, we give up our time, and that's what relationship building is all about.  We're not looking for anything in return.

K, I still had two more stops I had to do for the day.  I grabbed a quick lunch, checked my email and was surprised to listen to a voice mail from one of favorite IT guys.  A couple of years ago the company he worked for closed shop here in NJ. I had tried to reach him a few times, but was never able to connect with him.

I called, we had a short chat and it turns out he is with another company and they are in the need for a color MFP.  He asked if I had some time today, I told him I had another stop but could see him about 3PM. 

Ninety minutes, that's how long our meeting took. I may be able to help him and I may not.  I'm going to find that out in a few minutes after I finish this blog. What I can say, is that if I can't help now, I will be able to help with something pretty large in 2018.

While I did not take an order today, I did move two of the opps for December to the final stage. In addition, I may have developed another opp for this month and definitely developed an large opp for December. 

You never know what the tomorrows will bring as long as you keep on hustling.

Tomorrow, it's an 8AM stop in with doughnuts and coffee!

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Murphy's Law"

See, it's not only you, all of us can have a bad day, a week or dare I say a month!

It all started last yesterday afternoon when I had a pretty decent failure with my brakes on the way home yesterday.  I was able to nurse my car to my mechanics with out any incidents. Whew!

When I woke, I felt like I was Murphy from "Z Nation", and wondering if our cat had parked it's fat ass on my head during the overnight.  After an hour or so I climbed the stairs to my home office and made sure I alerted my 9AM appointment that I wouldn't be there. Twenty minutes later I had an email from the office asking where I was.  Oh no, there was an 8:30AM meeting that I forgot about.  What a day today is going to be!

Then the flood of emails that never stopped.  I was able to take care of every email, only made maybe sales ten calls, five emails, and three inmails (Linkedin). 

I did receive a lead from my jerseyplotters web site for a high end wide format.  Although I  was able to make contact, I felt like I was chasing my tail trying to nail down that appointment. After thinking about it I spent way too much time on this opportunity and was not able to move it forward.  We'll see what tomorrow brings with this. 

But, I was excited that my site had generated another wide format lead in as many days.  Yesterday, I gave a lead for a wide format MFP to a Premium Print4Pay Hotel member in York, PA.  I guess the effort of writing content is finally paying off.  Thus, I wrote two additional blogs today for that site.

I'm a firm believer that content is King and pull marketing can work much better that push marketing. 

"Pull marketing is the science of attracting leads and sales rather than applying more work-heavy traditional ‘push’ marketing approaches. In an increasingly tough marketplace, pull marketing is overtaking push marketing as the most effective way to drive business."

The rest of the day was spent following up with outstanding opportunities. I was able to secure the paperwork for about $8.5K today, and will process that probably late tonight, because I need every minute of tomorrow to make up for today. 

One of the other action items was to crunch some numbers for a color production device, get that to my Veep and have a strategy session at some point this week.

Ok, yeah, bad day, however I did get my car back and you know what's so great about this business?  You just never know what tomorrow will bring you as long as you keep hustling.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "No Sandbagging for Me"

Wide-eyed and bushy tailed I was not this AM.  I was just thankful that I didn't have to wake up to temps in the twenties, forties I can handle. 

Some wonders cease to amaze me, my drive to office only took me the better part of an hour! Thus, one of the reasons that I love living in New Jersey.

At 7:30 AM I was ready for work, the world would be ready for me, today I would hit all of my goals by noon and I would have more than enough time to do a few in-person cold calls! 

Did you ever have one of those days where it seemed like it took forever to do some simple tasks?  That's kind of how my day when.

My first fifteen minutes of the day was spent on Linkedin.  There I cruised through my wall, like a few posts, shared a few threads and made sure that I wished nine or ten of my contacts a happy birthday.  Note to self, the more contacts you acquire on Linkedin means your wall of threads just keeps getting longer and longer.

I had a few items that had to be done today, one was to process a hold over order from last week. I had thought about sandbagging that order but thought it would be best to get it in today so I could focus on other action items on my list.  In addition, I needed to reach out to my Fiery Guru too schedule an appointment later this week with an existing client.  Done, scheduled appointment with my Guru and the client for later in the week.

Write the order for the MP 6700SP that I had a verbal on the other day and send that off to the client.  Usually, I will not email docs, pricing or proposals, but in this case, the client has some severe pain and needs to act quickly.

Sometime in the late morning, our CRM either crashed or stalled. I then opted to take a trip to our local WAWA and grab a bite to eat.

After lunch, I was in full prospecting mode and needed to clean up some calls from last week.  I was able to develop a small op for a color A3 device.  This client had asked me to send her the info, I stated I'm not allowed and mentioned that I could drop off and we could do a quick review?  I then slotted that client in for Thursday AM.  After slotting that client in I scheduled a drop in for 8 AM on Friday morning,  that prospect needs a new device, but is only there in the early AM.  I'll bring the doughnuts and the coffee and we'll have a closing party!

One of my other prospects also wanted to see a demonstration for a color production system. That was a little bit of a cluster ****, since I had to schedule the CEC, schedule my Fiery Guru and then schedule the prospect. All of the back and forth with different parties took quite a bit of time.  Finally had everyone on the same page and now just waiting to hear from the prospect.

At 4 PM, I had scheduled a drop/off stop-in for a net new client for a color product. While on my way to the account, which was also on my way home, my beautiful 2005 Pontiac thought it would be a fantastic time to develop braking issues!  My mechanic is in the same town as the prospect thus, I finished up the last ten miles of the trip pumping the brakes, leaving a lot of distance and not going over 25 miles an hour.  Yes, many, many Jersey drivers told me I was number 1!

Had the wife pick me up at the mechanics, then did my drop/off in-person. My contact was not available, thus I left the media and finished up my day.

-=Good Selling=-

Why I Contacted a Premium/VIP P4P Hotel Member Today!

Just and interesting nugget for everyone that I received today via email.  I had a new registration for the Print4Pay Hotel. I check every registration to make sure that person is somewhat connected to the imaging industry. We don't want the scammers and lurkers to ruin a good thing.

After reading though the fillable fields, I noticed that the person applying for membership was the production print buyer for a large corporation.  Over the years, I've gotten to know many of our Premium/VIP members very well. 

Our Premium/VIP members are the most knowledgeable reps in the industry, they are without a doubt the best of the best. They have the desire to continue the learning process, willing to share their knowledge and the desire to add to their knowledge with the use of our forums!

That buyer has listed his city and that triggered me to think of KITZ (premium/vip member),  I immediately placed a call to him because if this print production buyer is applying for membership to our site, I'm thinking he is in buying process.

As we all know, buyers are reaching to the internet to find out as much as they can before they meet with a rep. In some cases they are seventy-five percent of the way into that buying process. 

My first call to Kitz resulting in leaving him an email, he then left me a message and we finally connected during lunch time.  I then asked him if that city was in his territory, and it was.  I then mentioned the name of the account and Kitz told me that he had an appointment with that person tomorrow. 

After fourteen years of running this site, I'm always thrilled when the site can develop interest with end users and we're able to connect them with the best reps in the imaging industry.

Even though this wasn't technically a lead, it was confirmation that a buyer was in the process of learning more.

I can't promise every Premium/VIP member receives leads, because our site isn't really built for that. The Print4Pay Hotel site is built to share our knowledge and collaborate with others in our industry in a private forum and not like Linkedin in an open forum.

What I can tell you is that I will continue to develop this site as the "go to" site for all imaging reps, and dealer principals. 

-= Good Selling=-

A Short Sales Ancedote

While cruising through my Linkedin wall this morning I caught a comment from Tom Hopkins.  I was like, what!  Tom Hopkins is still doing his thing!  I thought that was awesome that's he's still out there spreading the real gospel of selling.  If you want to be a closer and not an order taker, I highly recommend any of the books from Tom Hopkins. 

I guess I'm going back about fifteen or so years ago at a time when there was a print shop in almost every town.  Of course every print shop had a press, and a copier, but every print shop did not have a digital duplicator.  In my world, every print shop should have a digital duplicator.

I learned early on that I could not mention the word digital duplicator because most print shops then related that to the Riso duplicators. I was not selling Riso, I was selling Ricoh digital duplicators! 

I changed up the talk track to offer demonstrations for a CTP (computer to plate) system that printed 7,200 pages per hour in spot color.  That talk track garnered me quite a few demonstrations.  Can you imagine that, doing a demonstration at the clients office and then closing for the order.

On a day when I was armed with my duplicator print sample folio (artist size)'  I was walking the streets in Trenton (bright idea by me).  After a few blocks, I stopped in a print shop with my awesome folio of print samples.  Sure enough, both print shop partners were there and I piqued their interest with the CTP process, the make ready sheets and the time that it took to change colors on their press.  Thus, I was off to the races with showing the sample prints.

By the time I was done showing the print samples, both partners were in agreement that they would like to see the duplicator. Over the course of the next week or so, we had ironed out the details of pricing. A commitment that if the duplicator did everything we said it could that they would move forward with the order.  We were able to secure all of those items and scheduled the duplicator for an on-site demo/trial for the Ricoh Duplicator. 

The demonstration went flawless and the real test was ahead of us.  Now it was up to the client to put the duplicator through it's paces. Now, one thing you never ever do is leave a demo machine and not pay a visit or two during the trial.  I was on point and had stopped in twice during the week to help the client  feel more comfortable with the operations and features of the duplicator. 

Prior to the delivery of the duplicator, we set the closing appointment for the Friday of that week.  Friday morning came and for some reason or another I was visiting the account with my Dealer Principal.  Who was I to say, no, you're not welcome.

Once we arrived, the two partners decided that they would launch every objection in the book about not moving forward with the order.  After an or maybe longer, we arrived at the point where the partners agreed that they were delighted with the duplicator and would move forward with signing the lease. I had to make a few changes to the lease, and spoke not a word while preparing the lease document. I handed the lease document to one of the partners, he looked a little, read a little, I then handed him my pen. He brought the lease down to the table, took the pen and was just putting ink on paper.  Just as he was about to sign, my dealer principal thought it was a great time to ask a him a question (wished I was close enough to kick him). I can't even remember what the question was about, but what I do remember is that we never got back to signing the lease document. For some reason, everything just fell apart.  Never did get that order.

On the way out I turned to my dealer principal and stated what did you do? You never, ever interrupt or ask a question when someone is signing the document!  We went back and forth for a few minutes, I thought he was out of line and should have shut up.  You see, that's what we were taught to do, that's the Tom Hopkins way.  When you ask for the order, don't say anything until the client speaks first.  Same is true with giving the client the pen and the lease, keep your mouth shut, until the order is signed.

Which get's me back to Tom Hopkins, he had posted a thread or replied to a thread on Linkedin and it was all about shutting up and not speaking until the client speaks to you first.  The saying was and I guess still is, "the first person that speaks loses.

-=Good Selling=-

New Jersey HVAC Company Selects Ricoh MP W6700SP over OCE PlotWave 450

Just about a week ago I was able to visit a client with an existing KIP 3000 multifunctional wide format device with hopes of providing a new Ricoh MP W6700SP.  Seems the KIP 3000 had received quite a workout over the years and was closing in the end of it's useful life.  After spending about fifteen minutes with the device and the operator,  I found that the KIP 3000 was purchased pre-owned,  and the volume was about 3,000 square feet a month, in addition the KIP 3000 has a dual roll paper feeder.

Our next step was to meet with the users of the KIP 3000 and to uncover any workflows for scanning, printing or copying.  Our discovery process enabled us to pinpoint the clients needs the following.

Clients Needs

  • Paper sizes included 30x42 and 36x24
  • PDF workflow for printing & scanning
  • Average monthly volume of about 3,000 square feet a month
  • Need for color scanning
  • Need for new device to have a dual roll feeder
  • Ability to scan to multiply destinations (server, folder and email) with the touch of one button
  • Ability of the new device to exit prints to the front of the device

You can read the rest here

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