Skip to main content

Post-Virus We Must Defeat The Zombie Companies!


We have all watched our share of post-apocalypse movies. However, not too many saw themselves being chased by Zombies.

The battle for the customer will be fought viciously by what I describe as "Zombie Companies." "A Zombie Company" is one in which its leaders continue attempting to deliver goods and services through DEAD concepts. In other words, organizations who fight against today's new market realities in hopes of lengthening the tenure of yesterday's relevance.  

This pandemic was an Evolutionary Event for many industries and their customers. So, how affected industries navigate through the changing landscape will determine if their per-virus customers will join them on the post-virus journey.

As we saw in the Walking Dead, there will be those who herd around a dead complacency, and those who will fight for a relevant future. 

Those industries which are presented a new normal must avoid at all cost bringing back to life what was defeated through the pandemic. The SMB customers have moved ahead in their digitalization processes by years.

This digital transformation will cause things to fade and bring birth to innovative solutions. Technology end-users will evaluate all technology spend and re-appropriate budgets to align with the new realities.

During the period of those things fading, it will take bold leaders to pivot their organizations in-order to intersect with their customers as to journey together on the new road towards the future. Keep in mind that innovation is about process improvements. Organizations that truly understand the outcome their customers are buying are better positioned in adjusting to a relevant process, or means to that outcome.

Remember, customers don't buy relationships; they purchase desired outcomes. This misunderstanding will cause many organizations to lose their great relationship to those innovators who deliver the customer's desired outcome through a better experience.

All organizations from all industries must re-evaluate their past relevance, relationships, and customer experiences. How past great relationship feed customer experiences pre-virus may very well be challenged post-virus. The best time for weeding out complacency is now. Those industries and their customers who are affected by new normals must defeat the Zombie Companies and Zombie Leaders. 

So, as you look at your industry and your customers, be open-minded to the needed modifications. Don't cause your end-users to invest unwisely with you. Those who do will not be forgiven as end-users continue gaining awareness.

"Products and services will, in fact, become obsolete or less desirable. However, people themselves have to choose to become obsolete."  

Regardless of your industry, as you emerge, the great lockdown focus on the desired outcome your industry or organizations end-users receive. Then with imagination based on new realities, re-align your processes and deliver your customers the most incredible experience ever.    

For my friends in the Imaging Channel who sell and service print equipment and its services, you must decide whether to become a zombie or a fighter for a future relevance. 

When I started the A4Revolution, it was a battle for the end-users a campaign based on data and my vision of what could be based on what should be. The industry must now admit that not only are customers becoming aware of their over-sold situation. So, are the new competitors who intend to challenge many of your great relationships with a better experience. 

Post-Pandemic, there are no more acceptable excuses for any Printer Manufacturer or the Dealers who represent them to maintain any past stubbornness to continue doing what goes against the channel's end-user's market realities. 

For myself, I intend to whip Zombies off the map. Who wants to join the Zombie hut, I call, The A4Revolution.  

"Status Quo is the Killer of all that will be invented."   

Ray Stasieczko  

Add Comment

Comments (5)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

I have to dial back the 1/2 price payments for one year. Most SMB business will only get lease approved for a six month Step lease.

So for those customers wanting to preserve cash flow, a six month 1/2 price lease cost followed by a 60 month regular cost lease would be the best offer.

On a $5k lease this would add approx $139.00 to the total finance costs spread over 66 months ($2.00 month).

We generally do not build in prepaid copy/ print blocks into our leases.

We do give away free copy prints up front but only intended as a short term bonus.

We do normally charge a $25.00 minimum monthly maintenance fee but have waived that until the economy rebuilds momentum.

I am in Canada, lease vendors are currently offering 90 day payment deferrals added back on at the end of term for those customers who request them.

Leases expire every month and customers are happy with the equipment they have and want approx the same thing again but are hesitant to pull the trigger until their cash flows begin to stabilize in the new COVID-19 economy.  Therefore, the interest in deferred payment plans.

We try to reduce their A3/A4 hardware cost and bundle in an IT solution for roughly the same spend to seed future billable IT services.

Not every copier sales rep is good at selling IT services.  I recognize the skill set required to succeed is changing quickly.

I would have never imagined last Dec 2019 that I would be spending so much time trying to train my dealer salespeople on how to sell via  Zoom Video Conference, dealer website blogging and Linkedin skills.  All of my salespeople wrongly perceive of Linkedin as a low effort, static digital business card about themselves and not about what they can do for the customer.

Last edited by SalesServiceGuy

SalesServiceGuy, I would suggest that a payment strategy is not something I see  valuable at all. Customers need help deferring payments on what they already own. In all  do respect. A payment strategy is not helpful to end user strictly based on selling a new MFP.  The Imaging Channel's resellers who only sell print equipment are going to find themselves in serious trouble. Customers don't need to upgrade their all already oversold A3 to another one. Dealers should credit back the unused prepaid service or service minimums included in the lease payment. Then wait till the lease ends and sell them based the realities of their needed applications. This is a much more complicated issue than i can answer in a comment. 

Although I am 60% on board with your move to A4 strategy, most of the rest of the stuff you are posting is "knocking it out of the park"!

I would like to see a poll.

As a business owner, during COVID-19 would you prefer?

1). No lease payments for 90 days

2). 1/2 price lease payments for one year

The auto industry is pushing no payments for 90 days but I think business owners are more concerned about cash flow for the next year.

I think the correct strategy is to offer as part of your everyday quote style all three:

A. A regular lease.

B. A skip lease

C. A Step lease.

Yes, it is more work but any sale these days requires more work.

Last edited by SalesServiceGuy
Link copied to your clipboard.