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

Five Hacks That Will Help You Sell More Copiers (Uno)

With many athletes practice makes perfect.  It's that repetition of completing certain tasks over and over again the create muscle memory.  That muscle memory then becomes an instinctive reaction when that athlete puts those skills in motion. 

Since I'm pretty familiar with baseball, it's the day to day tasks of taking batting practice, long tossing and fielding that builds the muscle memory of the athlete.

Over the years, there are many tasks that I perform daily, weekly and monthly that have helped me to be successful in the copier industry.  In many cases, I'm not thinking about the tasks that I perform. It's just that I've been doing them for so long that they become my muscle memory for my sales processes.

Thus, I'd like to share some of these tasks and I guess you can call them tips that can help you sell more copiers.

1) Many times, it's hard to connect with a net new prospect via phone, social media and or in person.  Most of us understand that before we call that prospect that we should also pay a visit to their website.  Visting their website enables us to get a better understand of what that company does and who some of the decision makers may be. 

On many occasions, I will scout the "contact us" page to see if there is an email contact form. If there is I will send my intro email through their website. It's definitely going to get read and makes a cold call on the phone a bit easier when you can tell the receptionist that it's in reference to an email I sent through your website.

Now, there's another little trick that works from time to time when you're on that companies "contact us" page.  While on that page you may be able to capture the email address that is being used for that contact form.  In most cases that email address is usually used by a person that has some authority within the company.

You can capture that email address by "right clicking" on your mouse.  You'll then see a pop-up appear on your screen.  You want to find "view source", once you've found it you want to click view source. You will then the source code or the HTML that was used to create that page.  Now, somewhere on that page, there may be that email address that we're looking for. The quickest and easiest way to find that address is to type the @ sign in the search field and then press enter.  All of the @ signs on the page will then be highlighted.  See the picture below for exact instructions.

email address hack

I'll be posting the rest of these in the next couple of days, getting late now and I need to get ready for tomorrow. Only two days left in the selling month and quarter. 

-=Good Selling=-

Copier Sales Reps, Presidents Club & The Grind

I originally posted this blog back in 2011. As 2017 draws closer to closing, I thought it would be an appropriate blog for those of us that care about meeting or exceeding our quotas.  I could only hope that what I share can help inspire those that are new to our industry.

I really can't understand why there are sales people that just go through the motions and couldn't care less if they attained quota or was achieved Presidents Club.  I mean, where is the desire, determination and dedication to be the best?

Recently at the BTA East event, one of the main pain points for dealer principals is that they could not develop sales people that would stick around for a decent amount of time.

My take is that we are not identifying those that have DESIRE.  Desire can't be bought, can't be taught. You've either got it or don't have it.

I have a simple test during the interview for applicants.  Send me and email and I'll tell you what that is

Copier Sales Reps,  Presidents Club & The Grind

Another year has passed for me in the Office Equipment Industry.  I'll be starting my 32nd year in the Copier Business, with 30 of those years in "down the street" sales.

The start of a new year has always been a struggle for me, not work wise, but mentally. The end of every year includes closing as much business as you can, along with putting in an additional 20-30 hours in by the end of the month. I always remember that you're only as good as your last  month, quarter or year. 
The start of the new year means that I'm starting from scratch again, and I can see why so many reps can't or don't cut it in this business, it's a grind, every day, every month, every quarter and every year.  To tell you the truth it seems like the quarters and years are starting to fly by.  
Can't remember where I heard this, however it gets a good laugh every time I repeat it.   "Life is similar to a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end of the roll, the faster it goes!"

I've been fortunate in the last six months, sales have turned around somewhat even though margins are down. I was able to make the Presidents Club trip and the wife and I will be making a trip to Aruba in a few months for a few days of rest, sun, and warmth.  (This was my first real President's Club Trip, I had made President Club for may years, however the prize was a Sales Plague and a pat on the back)


Every month we have that sales quota.  But, what happens when you're on vacation?  Is it really a vacation?  What I mean is that,  if you've got a week or two weeks vacation do you still have to meet your monthly quota even thought you're not working for 25% or 50% of the month?

If I'm only working three weeks then why do I till have to cram a months worth of business in three weeks? My point, it's really not a vacation (yes, it's time off, but we're always working)  to me unless my quota is reduced.  I've been preaching this for years and finally got my point across and then the dealership I worked for was sold and I'm back to square one again.  I call that conditions, everything changes and you need to change with the times.

Getting ready for a new year needs me to focus on some new goals:

  • I don't want to be second, as Ricky Bobbie stated, if you're not first you're last!
  • I need to create a deeper pipeline of opportunities
  • I need to focus on higher dollar amounts
  • Get inspired every day!
  • I want to increase by earnings by 20% in 2011
  • Remember that if I'm not working hard, then one of my competitors is out working me

Set your goals for the new year, keep them on desk at work, and your desk at home.  Remember that you're only as good as your last sale, and you still need to prospect day in and day out, don't count on any one to give you a lead!  Do it on your own, keep your clients educated, and meet or exceed their expectations. 
-=Good Selling=-

A Short Sales Tip That Can Help You Close More Business

You've demo'd that shiny new copier for your print shop Decision Maker, pricing is no longer the issue, maintenance pricing is fine, the copier operation was flawless, and you don't feel comfortable with using a drop close to secure the order.  Yet, you can move the deal forward.

You have a suspicion that if you could just add a little more value to the deal, that you might be able to close the order now.  Makes you think, what in the world can I add that would increase the value of my copier or services and it won't cost me anything?

With at least a half dozen print shop DM's, I was able to close the order with this value add. 

I offered to cold call once a week for one month at no cost.  I stated that the print shop would supply the their business cards, their flyers and or handouts.  I had asked for about one hundred hand outs and then dedicated one day a week for the next four weeks to cold call on behalf of the print shop. 

I asked  the owner to print a few hundred statement size note pads with the name of his print shop, address, and the phone number. In addition, I asked that owner go out and buy a large bag of hard candies.  The process was to put to two pads together with a 1/2 dozen candies and shrink wrap them together for the handout.  This made one neat handout and I didn't have one cold call that refused the handouts.

At the end of the day, I reported back to the DM, made copies of the business cards and reported on any hot prospects that I found. I left the original business cards with the owner and kept the copies for my self.  Can you guess what I di with those copies? 

I can remember finding one prospect who needed 5,000 color prints/copies.  The printer I was cold calling for was elated when he was able to secure the order and of course those 5,000 color pages were printed on one of my color devices.

What's the method to the madness here?  Well, in addition to cold calling for the Print Shop, I was also scouting and prospecting for net new clients for copiers. 

I didn't mind doing the cold calls  because I knew one of my weaknesses was cold calling. I have no probably doing it, but it always seemed that I would put it off for another day.  I was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Thus, there were no wasted selling days on my part, since I was working to jobs at the same time.  BTW, this is something you could use for almost any type of account, probably not enterprise, however this will work with most SMB accounts.

-=Good Selling=-

I'll be posting up more of these in the upcoming weeks

Why Social Selling Stinks for Most Copier Sales Reps

Over the last two months I thought I would perform a test using LinkedIn.  My goal was to connect with 1,000 people in the copier industry. Right now, I'm sitting at about 800 new connections.  I'm hoping to hit that 1,000 mark by the end of this week.

Everyday,  I spend at the minimum 30 to 45 minutes review my wall of threads. Since I have more than three thousand connections,  that wall seems like it can go on forever (thank goodness for weekends YaY!)

If I had to estimate, I would say that I'm connected to more than 2,500 copier sales people. 

Today, I scrolled through 368 threads on my LinkedIn wall.  I wanted to see how many other copier/office technology reps had posted something on LinkedIn. 

Any thread would be worthy of getting a notch for a post.  I did omit posts from dealer principals since I know of few of them use a  marketing department or firm to post for them (that's not a bad thing) and those who help high level positions with the manufacturers or dealers.  Let me tell you, going through all of the threads and you see some crazy threads on LinkedIn now.

Here's what I found. 

Out of the 368 threads that were posted there were, are you ready for this?  NINE threads from copier sales people.  Two of those threads were from one copier sales person (that's a good job Dayna).  We're talking a little over 2% took the time to post anything on LinkedIn. 

There were zero pulse articles and three of those nine threads had a picture of a copier, the headline and a "contact me".  That's being creative!

Sorry to say, but that's a piss poor effort from our industry sales people.  How do you expect people to know that "you" exist in todays social world of business. I was just listening to a webinar from Darrell Amy and he threw out a stat that 93% of people use a search engine for buying anything. Darrell went on to say that in the sales world, that's just about everyone.

Posting on Social Media Does Not Get Me Orders

Absolutely correct!  There is no Selling in Social Media

Throw out the "Selling" part of Social, there is no selling.  It's more about creating awareness that "you" exist within your geo space of B2B business.  Maybe you need to call it Social Business Awareness or just Social Awareness. 

Let's put it this way, not posting on Social Media pretty much means you're out of site, and when you're out of sight you're out of mind.

Does knocking on doors get you orders on the first knock, or when was the last time you cold called a DM on the phone and the first response was, "hey, thanx for calling, I want to order five copiers from you"?  Right, it really doesn't happen that often.  But your efforts of knocking on doors and cold calls will produce orders at some point in time.  The same is true of social media, at some point in time you are going to get "that" call or that inmail"  from someone wants to engage with you.

There is No Secret Sauce with Social Selling

I think I started with LinkedIn in 2004.  Over the years, I've written more than 2,500 blogs related to the copier industry and have garnered almost 3,000 world wide members (remember I do this part time).  In addition I've made a tidy sum of extra dough, because I had a plan and stuck to my plan over all of these years.

You need to have a plan, and you need to stick to that plan, day in day out, month in and month out, and yes years in and years out.  That is the only way you'll create your Social Awareness.

Maybe start with:

Create three alerts with Google. One for Technology, one for Business and one for Dogs and Cats (most everyone loves dogs and cats).  Read those alerts everyday and when you find something that either piques your interest or you think it would be a good read for others.  Then you post that link with your social media accounts (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter).  Also always keep that attitude that you're not concerned with getting likes, or views.  Your only concern is to share information with others. 

Over time you will start to see people gravitate to you for a connection.  Once the connection is made you may then thank them and send a note, please let me know if I can every help with anything.  Maybe, even a call sometime down the road.

Why Social Selling Stinks for Most Copier Sales Reps

I hate to say this, but I think most are lazy, and for those that are not lazy, I don't think they are aware of what you can accomplish if have a plan for Social Media.  I can attest that for those who want to work and those who have a plan, you can be assured that you'll have a very lucrative sales career.

Thoughts, comments, would love to hear them.

-=Good Selling=-

Five Things I Hate & Love About My Copier Career

After 37 years, every once an awhile you look back and reminisce about what you've gotten really good at, but don't care to admit to anyone. 

Five Things I Hate & Love About My Copier Career

1) Over the years, I've become an expert at adding, subtracting and multiplying tenths, hundredths, thousandths and ten thousandths in my head.  At times, I find my self spewing the correct math calculation and then wondering how I did that so quick.  Guess, that's why memorize our multiplication times tables in grammar school.

2) Why.....such a little word, right?  From time to time my wife will tell me, if you ask why one more time I'm going to ......... .  That three letter word has grown on me over the years and I'll bring it out on every appointment.  After years and years of using  the Why word with appointments, I find myself using the Why word too many times in normal conversations.  Yes, people have told me that I'm annoying at times.

3) I'm a fracking walking, talking road map for the State of New Jersey.  Who needs mapquest (so nineties) or google maps?  Not me.  There's no possible way I could ever get lost in New Jersey. Wow, now that's really something to crow about!

4) I've become a contrarian salesperson.  Everything is questioned, nothing is absolute, and doing the opposite of what most salespeople do is fine by me.  If you're just like every other salesperson, then you'll be treated like all of the other salespeople (The Contrarian Salesperson). 

5) Junior High School, age 14 or 15, uneasy, and zero self confidence made me take Zero's for oral reports, and I was ok with that!  Today, I find my self yearning for more chances to share my knowledge in front of others.  Years and years of telephone and in person rejections has turned me into a fearless speaker in person or via the telephone. 

You've probably guessed that I've kept this somewhat light hearted.  Actually, there's probably not much that I would change about my career in the copier industry.  What I can tell you, is that my career is not even close to ending and I'm hoping for another twenty awesome years in the crazy ass business.

-=Good Selling=-

The Only Book I Recommend for Selling Copiers

If you're just starting out in sales, I recommend buying a book from Zigler, Roberge, or  Cardone to get you up to speed about selling. 

Once you've read the books, you then need to apply those selling techniques, and tips to your industry. 

Early in my sales career, there was a time when I thought I would have no sales career. Taking matters into my own hands,  I went an purchased a book about selling.  That one book taught me the right questions to ask in order to move the sales process to a close.  However, most all of the sales techniques in that book were not related to selling copiers.  But, that wasn't a big deal because it was pretty easy to take those sales techniques and use them for selling copiers.  By the time I was finished with the book, I could have sold any products or services, by applying the selling techniques that I read about. Or so, I thought.

Being successful didn't happen right away, matter of fact becoming successful at selling copiers took a few years. 

Let me define successful for everyone.  Anyone or newbie can have a great month or a couple of great months in a row.  Being successful in our industry is to have an continued flow of revenue and eliminating those bad months.  Typically a  new sales person will crush it one or two months in a row and then go flat for one or two months. You can't survive in this industry with peaks and valleys.  You will drive yourself and your sales managers daft.

I was there, I had those peaks and valleys.  Something was missing.  Looking back, I now understand what was missing.  The missing link was that I didn't know enough about my industry, smart prospecting, networking, and how to keep a great attitude day in and day out.

I wish there could have been a book that taught me about selling copiers back in the eighties.  If there was a book, I never found it, and after years winning and failing, I finally made it over the hump and became a consistent producer.

business-engagement-process-300x150Funny, it took almost forty years for two dudes from  North of the Border to bring us a book titled "The Business Engagement Process". 

After reading the eighty two pages, I was rather delighted that these two dudes from the north put together an excellent read for those that are just starting out in our industry. 

All of those missing links that it took me years to learn on my own are now addressed in "The Business Engagement Process".  Forget the title, it's a book that enlightens you with the art of selling copiers and gives you a fantastic view of what it's takes to be successful (no peaks and valleys) in our industry.

I don't want to steal any of Kirk or Adrian's thunder, but I can tell you, is that I wish this book was available back in the eighties.  If you're a newbie, a novice or even a guru like me, you owe it to yourself to give this book a read.

Click here to read more, or download and FYI, if you get the book, we'll give you a 20% discount on a Premium Print4Pay Hotel membership.

BTW, if you want to know the name of that first book, send me an email

-=Good Selling=-

How Can You Be the Best at MPS, MFP, & Managed IT?

What does it take to be among the elite sales people at your branch or your dealership?

For starters you've got to have a passion for being ICHIBAN.  Nothing floats my boat more than being at the top of the totem poll each and every month. I like to win, don't like to lose and will do the extra work to make sure my numbers are the best they can be month in and month out. More times than not you will eat the bear rather than the bear eating you.

Too often I see reps that will slack off once they've hit their number. The phone calls, the appointments and the opportunities drop. On the other hand I also understand why this can happen, our business unlike any other is filled with rejection, riddled with price driven customers and reps, along with countless hours of research that can lead to failure.

Desire, Dedication and Determination are all hallmarks of making a great salesperson.

To be the best you've got to WANT IT!  Why would you be in sales if you didn't want to be at the top of the ladder each month, each quarter and year end?

For me, I pick out a goal each year.  This years goal is to maintain and try to add a few production units along with some managed IT.  Some may ask, why maintain.  The answer is simple, I had a good year last year and replicating what I did will put me where I want to be in 2017.
Although I find myself moving into June short of my goals.  Geesh, does it never end, for some reason, I'm always feeling that I'm chasing the rabbit around the track. 

 Thus, what goals can I schedule for the remaining seven months of the year?
1)  Add one net new account each month or average revenue of $20K
2) Ten on-site cold calls per week
3) Ten to twelve appointments per week
4) Getting back to basics.  Which means Monday, Tuesday are dedicated to phone work with CRM and scheduling appointments for 1/2 of Wednesday, all day Thursday & Friday.  If I work it right I can schedule 4-5 five appointments on Thursday and Friday and a couple for Wednesday.  In addition, while traveling I can pre-plan my ten on-site cold calls per week.
5) Continue to write blog articles for my wide format blog site.
We all need a plan, and in some cases we often get distracting from that plan. Putting the plan in place will get me to where I want to be.
Funny thing today, I had a text from one of the sales people that I worked with for three years. He was a rookie coming on board, and we sat next to each other for that period of time. We developed a great relationship and I mentored him as much as I could.  Pretty much taught him everything I knew.  His text today read, "closed net new deal for $263K".  I replied that was awesome! Congrats.  His reply was. "I learned from the best".  I thought that was awesome. 
Thus his order made me re-think how we as salespeople can run off the tracks from time to time.  Getting back to the basics is the right track to be on. Will I close a net new for $263K, most likely the answer is no, however the great thing about our business is that you never know what opportunities tomorrow will bring.

If you're interested in raising the level of your sales team(s) excitement with a motivational seminar. I'm available to speak at your dealership or direct branch. I have an awesome story to tell that can inspire reps to stay in the industry, sell more, and have more passion.  Send an email to

-=Good Selling=-

A Few Reasons Why Horse Racing and Selling Go Hand in Hand

Begrudgingly, I was off to Monmouth Park (thoroughbred horse race track) about mid day last Saturday.  My wife was adamant about my attendance since it was an in-law family event. Arrggh!

2017-05-31_22-12-19Now, I don't mind going to Monmouth Park.  While in my very early teens, my Father invited me to go with him to the track.  The first item my Father purchased was a race program, and in that race program was so much information that I had never seen before.  So many abbreviations, no columns and a language that I didn't know.  Furlong, blinkers, place, show, exacta, trifecta, the list went on and on.  However, I was a fan of making money at an early age and picking horses seemed to be an easy task, right?

After many trips to the track and listening very closely to my Father,  I was able to disseminate the data from the race program.  Looking at the length of the last races, what time the horses ran, where they finished in the last x amount of races, the jockeys wins/losses and their race times almost made me a handicapper (lol).  Alas, I was never able to place a bet, only circle the horse that I thought would win, place and show.

At or around the age of nineteen I found myself back at Monmouth Park one evening.  I was leaning against one of the building poles, my head buried in the race program and trying to remember what my Father had taught me many years ago.  I can't remember if I won or lost that night, however I do remember that one thing that happened.  With my head buried in the program, I heard a female voice, I glanced away from my program to see a woman in front of me and she stated, "this is a very good place for you". I glanced back at my program, then looked back up and that woman was gone. Whoa!  I thought that was strange.

So, what does any of this have to do with selling? 

Well, a lot of it does.

1) The desire to make money, it's my opinion if you don't have the desire to make the extra bucks, then sales is not the place for you.

2) Learn their language is what I had to do in order to understand the data in the race programs.  Understanding that language educated me with horse racing.  Learning their language holds true when working with clients from different vertical markets.  Architects, Engineers, Law, Health all have their own unique glossary of words and terms.

3) Listening, probably the most important thing I did with my Father at the track. I was an excellent listener.  Same goes for selling, if you're not listening to the client, then you're not going to hear those pain points nor their needs. Plain and simple, let the client do most of the talking.

4) Repeating the process, by going to the track many times I was able to become more knowledgeable about horse racing. 

Years ago, I picked a vertical market that I wanted to know more about.  That vertical market was the AEC (Architect, Engineer, Construction), Market.  I consistently made only cold calls for that market. After a period of time, and with some listening, researching and learning their language, I was and still am the guru of wide format devices for the AEC market.

Back to the races, just about twelve years ago I visited Monmouth Park for the first time since I was nineteen or so. You bet big you win big, no $2.00 bets for me, however there are no $100 bets either. 

My fellow sales buddy and I arrived about 20 minutes or so before the first race. I had my race program, however not enough time to try and remember the language I once knew.  I focused on the second race,  picked three horses and made a $20 straight trifecta bet and $10 each on win, place and show.  I hit and I hit pretty big to the tune of $3,700.  I then left the race track, no more betting from me.

One or two years later, I was back at the track with the same person.  We arrived somewhat late, and only had a short time to look at the second race. By the time I picked my straight trifecta, I didn't have enough time to get additional cash. I had Ten dollars in my pocket and placed a ten dollar straight trifecta bet.  Well, I won again.  Not as large as the last one, however it was a cool $1,800 or so.  I then left the track again.

Making a long story short, I missed two straight trifecta bets by one place each. I blame my losses on my distractions from the family event. I believe if I was not distracted I would have won on both accounts.

But, isn't that what sales is all about, you need to have confidence that you can win every time out. Of course if you don't you don't get down, you just go out and make your self better!

-= Good Selling=

Why We Still Need Legacy Sales Skills

I'm probably going to go a little off topic here and there, however please bear with me.

A few minutes ago I finished up reading "Why a Lifelong Salesperson Thinks Salespeople Are Unnecessary". That the 80%of the purchasing process will take place without human to human contact by 2020, threw me for a loop!  Dang, that's only three years from now!

The blogger wrote about a software company that has NO salespeople, and that they grew to 450 million in revenue in 15 years.  The gist of the blog stated that deals flow in at a steady rate instead of concentrating around the end of the month or the end of the quarter.  The client drives the process to purchase when they are ready, compared to the sales person that feels the urgency to meet quota at the end of the month or quarter.

Well...., it seems the Author is dumping all sales people into the same pot. My take away is that all salespeople are slackers and we only start to work near the end of the month of the quarter. I don't know about you, however I'm always looking to close orders at any time in the month.  Competition is too fierce to let potential business hang on the tree, right?

Which gets me today. When I arrived at the office, I was told that a demonstration that I did for one of the rookies did not pan out for them today.  Competition came in at the last moment and swept that deal away.

During the demonstration, I was able to listen to the client that they liked the equipment and that they were ready to move forward.  However, they wanted to change a few accessories and I think change one of the models to another. 

Our rookie, stated that some time was needed to revise the numbers and that they would receive the revised proposal via email.  Arrggghhh!  I was not going to step on the rookies toes, I was there to give the demonstration and really wasn't that familiar with the proposal. 

After the client left the office.  Our rookie revised the proposal, got the client on the phone later that day and the client committed to signing the documents and sending them back.  Well, that never happened and a competitor followed up and closed the order.

I explained to the rookie today, that back in the good old days whenever we had a verbal for an order on the phone, we immediately dropped everything we were doing and scheduled an appointment to bring the order documents in person.  Funny, I can remember sitting in clients offices for hours after I delivered the paperwork to close the order.  We had a saying back then which still holds true today, once the demonstration is over and either the client or your leave without having an order, the chances of closing that order decreases by at least 80%.

After the demonstration was over I did explain to the rookie that he should have stated, "this will only take a few minutes to change the order, let's go back to the conference room to go over the order."  Assume the order is yours, right?

I also explained that you could have gathered your docs, your pricing and written up the order while they were waiting.  They were ready to order.  You don't leave fish to find fish.

One of those Legacy skills is listening to the client.  You pick up a certain sentence like "we'll have both machines delivered the same day, and then can you schedule training for one device one day and the second device on another day?"  That my friends is a buying signal and you need to move right to closing the order.  My answer would have been what day would you like the equipment delivered?  That question would have moved the order to the potential close.

Mind you, I'm not bashing the rookie. I was like that once, and it took me losing many orders to finally figure out that I was not listening to the clients for those buying signals.

K, back to the 80% of purchasing process will take place without human to human contact.  It could happen, probably will happen, but in three years? 

Would love to hear from others on this 80% thing.

-=Good Selling=-

Many Reasons Why You Don't Buy A Copier from from the Web

With a recent appointment, my sales process took a few steps back when my prospect (net new client) challenged my pricing for a new A3 black Ricoh device.  They stated that the price of the same device on the web was $2,500 less than my price and wanted to know WHY we were so much more expensive.

Just as my prospect has the power of the web, so do I. After asking a few questions I was able to find the same web store and model that they were referencing.  After a few minutes I was able to produce many bullet points to the prospect as to WHY they do not want to take that RISK.

  • There was not stapler/finisher and cabinet with the device
  • The seller could not provide the manufacturers warranty.  Meaning, don't expect us to provide the 90 day warranty
  • Installation was not included. Client would have to pay for unboxing of system and install
  • Network installation for scan and print was not included
  • Delivery was lift-gate only. Which meant that the client would need to move the device on their own up two flights of stairs
  • No phone support from the web store/company that they would make the purchase from
  • Web store/company aka dealer was not an Authorized Ricoh provider
  • If you had to return the device, you would have to pay to have the system shipped back to California and probably fight to get your dough back

Thus, as I was writing these notes, I wanted to double check that I was correct with all of my bullet points.  When I returned to the site, I noticed in a smaller font that the device was "refurbished".  Which added many additional bullet points from those above.

  • The statement of "certified tech"  is pretty much BS.  How does a non authorized dealer provide a "certified tech"?
  • No service history for the device is available
  • No serial is provided
  • Device could be a lemon since it is listed as "refurbished" and it's a current model
  • Shipping a refurbished copier from California means you're pretty much asking for problems and issues once it arrives via common freight carrier

In the end, I was able to secure the order from the net new client. However there have been times when I haven't been able to convince the client that we are the "right" choice.  There are always going to be "x" amount of price buyers, and I'm hoping that this short blog can prove that there is enough RISK to make those think twice about that purchase. In addition, I hope these bullet points can help other copier sales reps to point out those potential pitfalls to their prospects and clients.

-=Good Selling=-

Four Common Mistakes Rookie Copier Sales Rep Make

2017-02-11_23-51-40Thirty seven years of copier sales has been a blessing.  In those years, I've seen it all, and just when I think I can't learn anything new about copiers or sales is when I'm proven wrong.  You can never stop increasing your knowledge of the industry nor your selling skills.

1) Resting on Your Laurels:  Fantastic, you've made your annual quota, you're also in route to your first Presidents Club Trip.  Golly, you did all of this in your first year!  You're thinking this is pretty easy right?  Now you're thinking that you can kick back a bit and you be more the like the veteran sales people in the office.

Just a minute their rookie.  I hate to tell you this but your first year may have been a fluke.  Seems you were fed many leads, had a low quota and you had the help from many of the veteran sales people in the office. 

Let me tell you, the time will come when the leads will dry up, your quota will increase and those veteran reps are busy closing their own book of business.  The thought of taking it easy for a few week or a month will be your downfall! 

It's my best guess that more than eighty percent of rookie reps will be out of the copier industry in less than two years.  I'm sure you want to be part of that twenty percent, right?

2) Listening:  After having some success many reps will figure they've mastered the art of selling.  Those reps will then make assumptions that they know what the client needs and will do most of the talking on appointments. 

I too, thought this way once. It was not until I started losing business that I realized something was wrong. I was telling clients how great I was, how great our company was and assuming my recommendation  of "xyz" copier was perfect for them.  Later, I come to find out that another rep received  their order because they uncovered a specific pain, or feature that the client needed.  Crazy, because in most instances, my copiers did the same thing as the competitor but I was too caught up in what I thought was best.

After losing many deals, I finally started asking clients why they did not buy from me.  I can remember hearing, "they other rep stated we could scan our documents back to word or excel files".  I then stated, well ours can do that also, and the client responded with, sorry we already ordered from the other rep.  My point, is that I was not asking questions, nor was I asking what the client needed. Thus, I was not letting the client speak, and how can you listen when you're doing all of the talking!

If the client wants a 35 page per minute A3 device, then help then with what they want and not what you think they need. If for some reason you believe that the 35 page per minute A3 device is not the right fit, then ask the client "why do they want that device?" 

Tip: When you get an order, ask the DM why they ordered from you.  This can help you understand what you are doing right.

3) Prospecting:  I can remember many times over the years that I fell into the trap where I made a boat load of cash and stopped prospecting for a few weeks.  That was the worst mistake I've ever made.  Once you stop, it can take weeks and months to get you back to where you were.  Yes, prospecting sucks, but having no cash sucks even worse. Never, ever stop prospecting!

4) Counting the Deal:  A deal is not done until the equipment is delivered and paid for!  If you're in sales you've got to have some superstitions.

Over the years, I counted many deals where I had a verbal, signed docs and delivered equipment.  Those verbal commitments never panned out, the signed docs became worthless when an order was cancelled and the equipment that was delivered did not work properly.

Heck, I can remember signing an order for a wide format on a Friday. It was a great order with an awesome margin.  It was money in the bank, right?  Monday I had to call the client to ask and an additional question for the order and I was told that the client had passed away over the weekend.

Don't count anything in the win column until it's been delivered and paid for!

I've made all of those mistakes at some time in my career. I still make mistakes, but that's the great thing about making mistakes is that you learn from them. 

If you have some other common mistakes that rookie copier sales people make, please post them in the reply section. I'm sure I've missed a few!

-=Good Selling=-

Why I'm So Past Reading Sales Blogs on Linkedin

K, so I'm a fan of selling, whenever I come across a blog or an article about sales, I'm all in for learning something new. 

On  Friday, I ran across this The Danger of Using Legacy Sales Techniques in 2017 .  Personally, I'm sick and tired of reading sales/selling articles from people that don't have end user sales experience.  Go ahead check out this persons LinkedIn bio here.  I'll admit the bio is impressive and he seems to be a successful and great person,  however where is the damn sales experience?

Is hard closing a bad thing? 

What exactly is hard closing?  If it's asking for the order more than twice, then I guess most of us that are successful are hard closers.  You don't have to be pushy or rude to ask for the order on your timeline.


Delving deeper in to the blog, I also disagree with "Why always be closing doesn't work anymore".  Closing comes in many shapes and forms in sales, you could be closing for the next appointment, or performing a trial close to see if the client is truly interested in your product or service.  Heck, when was the last time you walked in an office and the CEO or buyer stated, "OK, I want to buy from you, write it up and I'll sign it"!  Uh, never happened in my thirty six years of sales.

I understand that the process of sales has changed, we as sales people need to educate the buyer, find their pain, and provide data that will help the buyer make their decision. 

What pisses me off the most is that the writer has not clue about selling on a daily basis.  The ups and downs, those clients that call you in, along with six other vendors and then leads you down a path that never ends.  Countless follow ups, emails and phone calls go unanswered.  Eventually we get the hint and we go away. This is what you get from being wishy washy about closing. 

Rude Closers

Now, I do know some "rude" closers, and I'm sure most of us do. I have no stomach for those sales people that lie, cheat and steal to get an order.   I ran across an existing client the other day, that stated she hated the sales person from "XYZ", because they pressured her that she has to order NOW.  Instead of the writer using "hard closers", maybe he should have used "rude" closers.

Why We Need to ABC

What I can tell you is that we always need to be closing. Whether it's for the next phone call, the next webinar, or the next meeting.   We have to take the client to that next step, why not close for a demonstration of your products or services.  Why not schedule that next webinar, why not ask if they are thinking about leasing or buying.  These are legit trial closes.  If you don't ask, you don't get. 

I wonder if the writer of this blog ever had to make a sale in order to keep the lights on, make payroll or feed the family.  From the looks of the bio, I'm guessing no. I'm tired of people who have not sold a thing in their lives stating that if you're a good closer (hard closers are good closers) that you are ruining your personal reputation and ruining your brand.

Personally, I would rather read blogs and articles from sales people that are "living the dream" and helping me with information that will help me close more orders. 

I'm not an order taker, I'm a sales person. If that's the definition of Legacy Sales then I guess I'm it.

-=Good Selling=-