I was hoping that day thirteen would be a lucky number for me. It wasn't and I'm still hanging in their with zero orders since I started working remotely.
I had a tough time going to sleep last night, the mind was still running, thoughts of what to if this that or the other thing happens. Even with two sleeping pills it was not a good night. Think I finally dozed off somewhere in the 1AM area.
Thursday has started just like every other day. By 8am I was at the PC and going through my CRM to start the task of calls. It wasn't until 9AM that I got around to calling peeps. I'm thinking I did about 50 calls and spoke to 10 people in total, of those 10 it was maybe 4 DM's. But the plan was if I couldn't get the DM on the phone I would send an email. Thus it was phone call, leave a message, send an email, frakking boring!
Later in the day in the Arli webinar I was asked, "how to you get energized when things aren't going that well"? My answer is that I'll play one song that always puts me in a good mood. That song is "Mister Blue Sky" by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), funny until a few years ago it was not was of my fav's.
I was a calling machine all the way up till about 2PM. At 2PM I took my working lunch break to be a guest on Arlingtons Weekly Webinar Series. They started running that a few weeks ago when all of this **** hit the fan. BTW Arlington is a sponsor of this site and please click on their banners or give them a call. The support of our sponsors allows me to dedicate the time to share all I know with our members.
We spoke about many of the same things that Greg and I covered this week. What's going on, where we are heading, what's working, whats not working. I tell you Arlington it also doing a nice job of updating everyone of COVID19 stuff on each of these webinars. I catch them ever week. Brent and Kelly are doing a great job.
My one deal for the bakers dozen lease did not move forward yet and the reason for that is because I did not push the issue. Tomorrow I will make the push to get them to **** or get off the pot. Tomorrow for me will be more of the same with contacting existing clients.
One of the items that I'd like to finish this week is the creation of at least one more video with PPDM that I can send out as a virtual demo.
I believe we also need to be making our own content that we can send out to clients at this time. I know that some of the copier manufacturers have simulators for their operation panels.
Thus if you want to make a few all you would need to do is open the simulator on your PC or Mac. I then use SNAG IT to make a video. It's capture software that will record your voice and capture everything you do on your screen. One idea is that you could do a demonstration on how to scan and save to a msword doc and msxcel doc. When you're finished you hit stop record, the file is then converted to an MP4 file. You can then take that file and upload to Youtube. From YouTube you can do anything, push to social media, send an email with the video.
The point of all of this is to stay relevant with our clients. Show them that you are the guru in your space! If any of you need help please send me an email.
I'm going to start this a little different tonight. I'll start at the end of my day because that part of the day had a profound effect on the rest of the evening.
Earlier in the day I text'd one of my clients that I have an opportunity with. The text was simple with "how you holding up". Since the churches are closed in NJ, I opted for the text rather than the call. I was also mildly concerned since there were many cases of the virus in his town and he's a bit older than me.
Thirty of forty minutes later I a call from my contact and he sounded horrible. He told me that today was the first day in a few weeks that he had stopped coughing. In addition he went on to tell me that his entire family has/had Covid19. Everyone is recovering however he spent two days in the hospital over the weekend.
He was administered hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin (Z-Pak) at the hospital. My friend went on to tell me that this was the worst thing he has every gone through in his life. Coughing so bad that he thought he would not recover. I asked him if he knew how he had caught the virus and he claimed he had no idea and was exercising social distancing for weeks. He also clued me into some additional warnings.
- If you're out in public wear a mask and bring gloves, especially when food shopping
- Keep hand sanitizer in your car
- When you get back to your car, wipe down the door handles, the steering wheel, the gear shifter, the key fob and anything else you may have touched with your gloves
- Dispose of the mask and gloves when finished
- When you get out of the car wipe down the seat you sat on
- When you get home, immediately take you clothes off (another set of gloves used here) and promptly put them in the washing machine and then wash your hands
Thus Covid19 came a little close to home today especially when it involves someone you know. From here on in I'll be going with my wife to the food store (we go once a week) to make sure she is following these protocols.
I can only hope that those reading this will take these steps seriously, I know I will be from here on in.
Today was a pretty good day since I took the attitude that every day without garnering an order will get me close to the first one. In total I made about 40 phone calls and set about 30 emails. Not bad with 70 touches for the day. I'd say I spoke to 7 clients in total and received about 12 responses in emails. I was able to move a couple of deals closer to the finish line. One client was on the fence about a purchase at this time and also had concerns with a long term lease. However he knew that his existing device was outdated and had a high cost for maintenance. It was an objection aka concern, I went back to the memory banks and offered a bakers dozen lease. At this point in time I'm thinking that may do it for us. I'll find out tomorrow.
There was additional training for about an how for a print solution and later had a NJ TEAMS meeting.
Tomorrow it's all about more phone calls, and more emails. As I stated yesterday the SHOCK & AWE is over with the virus. This is our new normal for the next 4-8 weeks.
I'll be also doing a working lunch at 2PM and I'll be doing a guest appearance for Arlington with their weekly webinar series. If you've got the time please join us the details are listed on this site in our calendar section.
-=Good Selling & Stay Safe Out There=-
WTF eleven days! Another late night issue for me again. It's sometime after 10PM, thus this will be another short blog again.
Today our dealership had a TEAMS meeting set for 11AM. The plan was to lay out the strategy for the next 30 days or so. Yes, it seems like another 30 days of remote working is in order. I am also very thankful for that, because at least I have the ability to produce. I can't go over the details because it just doesn't make good business sense with competitors reading this blog.
What I can tell you is that I'm excited and pumped to get going. Tomorrow starts a new path and a new future! I'm ready and raring to GO.
Since I wasn't sure what our marching orders were before 11AM I sent a few additional emails and arranged some contacts for later in the day.
By 12PM I had my working lunch chat with Greg Walters. We had almost 80 peeps sign on for our 55 minute chat. I tell you the format is awesome, just Greg and I chatting about what we've heard, what we've seen and what we've done. Towards the end of the call we've open the mics to two peeps. One was Martin Hofman from VZ Industries in the Netherlands and the operator of The Copier Solution Shop (sponsor). The Copier Solution Shop offers dealers the ability to purchase copier cabinets, paper tray locks and a host of other accessories that will allow your copier to be different. Please make sure you check them out. Martin gave us an overview of what the market is like in the Netherlands with Covid19. Sometimes we're so stuck in our own world we're not seeing the ramifications in other parts of the world. Thanx Martin
Our second mic opening was to Deon Beshof in South Africa. Deon also provided insight to what's happening in his area but also enlightened us with some info regarding AI and what's coming down the road. Special thanx to Deon also!
We have any another one planned for next week, stay tuned for details. We'll also be opening up the mic to other peeps here in the US to get a better understanding of what's working and what's not. It should be another great episode!
I'm not going to bore you with the rest of my day, because there wasn't much to it besides a couple more TEAMS meeting. What I can tell you is that the SHOCK & AWE of Covid19 is OVER. For the time being this is our new normal.
We owe it to ourselves to start getting creative and start selling. You could say it's our duty, and on the other hand it's the duty of our clients to buy (I got that from Greg). If anything is going to save the economy it's going to start with us and our clients.
Like I said this is a short one, I'll be back tomorrow.
I'll be the first one to admit that I'm no expert when it comes to Managed Print Services. Over time I've struggled with trying to sell it because I did not have a tool that would make it a simple process.
The wait is over, that simple process is now a reality with Simple MPS Program from Harry Dearing and H4software.net
We have a webinar scheduled for for April 9th at 1PM EDT, you can go here to register and get log in details Simple MPS Webinar.
Here's some additional information that Harry forwarded to me. I'll be on the call also to pick up some additional nuggets.
Busy, busy day for me. I started at 7:30AM and it's now 9:45PM, I figure I still have another 30 minutes or so to go.
One thing I noticed today is that the pace of industry press releases as slowed to a crawl. Tomorrow marks the last day of the year for most copier manufacturers, I can only image the deals that are available for dealers right now. Yes, it's one of those years that will go down in the history of the industry.
Today was interesting to say the lease. I had 40-50 contacts in my CRM to tackle, most of them were earmarked to send an email. Since I sent most of my emails last week I needed some different content. I had just the content that arrived in my emails last week. A Print4Pay Hotel member from the west coast emailed me a link with a webinar recording. That webinar was about the Federal Response for aid for medium and small businesses and how to apply for it. This was awesome! Content that any business owner would want to review (if you need that link please email me firstname.lastname@example.org). FYI, I did have about ten responses thanking me for the content. In addition I believe I nudged a couple of opportunities closer to coming home. Special thanx to Joe!
There was an additional 8-10 accounts that I did not have email addresses for and that proved to take some time in getting those. I was able to acquire 7 of those addresses and left the rest for tomorrow.
I did have a couple of phone conversations, nothing great but it was better than last week.
At 3:30PM I had a local NJ TEAMS meeting which was fine by mean, I was pressing all day and needed some time to wind down a bit.
The best part of my day was from 4PM to 5PM. One of my ideas is to give clients "video demos'. Of course I can't demo a copier, but I can demo software! I made my first video using snagit. It took seven takes to get it as good as I could.
What I did was to pick put one feature of the software and demonstrate how it's used. All in all the video time was three minutes or so. When I finished I posted on my YouTube channel. The plan is to do three each week for the next four weeks. Here's the link if you want to check it out.
All in all a pretty productive day. Tomorrow I have a TEAMS meeting with our sales team. NOON TIME means Greg Walters and I will have a second chat session about " How to Sell Copiers in the Age of Corona Virus". You can register here and please get in early!
My friends, soon we will discuss the Imaging Channel's deliverables as Pre-Virus and Post-Virus. Over the next few weeks, we will all witness many unpleasantries. However, we must prepare, and as I have done for many years, I will continue sharing my thoughts and what I envision coming. Hopefully, helping everyone prepare. In this article, I will discuss Leasing Pre-Virus and Post-Virus.
Will this Pandemic cause the same problems as the 2008-09 Financial Crisis regarding Leasing in the Imaging Channel? Most would say yes, and then some. During the financial crisis, the industry's leasing organizations went through some tough times as end-users struggled to make payments. We can assume that this Pandemic will cause a similar condition.
The most significant difference between the Pandemic versus the 2008-09 financial crisis. The Pandemic is affecting the entire marketplace, and for the first time in the Imaging Channel's history, the customers are not using the equipment as they are working remotely. It is important to note that most of the leased equipment is sitting in empty offices not being used.
How many pages are included in my lease?
Printer Service based on output include in leases will now raise questions. End-users will want to understand how much of their monthly payment includes monthly service and for how many pages? End-users will question paying for output or services when they produced no output.
Over the last decade, the Imaging Channel has increased in the number of leasing contracts where service is included in the payment. This all included one payment approach was a way in which the industry could simplify payment processes to the industry's end-users.
I have been a critic of many of the outdated leasing practices as most are not customer-centric and have helped lead the industry to an over-spec'ing and overdelivering model. A model where leases are perpetually prematurely upgraded with excessive buyouts rolled into the upgraded deal.
In the Imaging Channel's past, when print output was growing, and customer's needs were changing based on growth in printed or copied pages, and the equipment's capabilities continually improved, premature lease upgrades made sense. Those days are gone, and today's end-users are learning that every day through this crisis.
Today the industry needs to focus on downgrading customers' print equipment and the expenses associated with its acquisition. Customers will not be inclined to continue paying 20% interest rates on equipment hardly used and will be very apprehensive to the including of CPC service contracts in in future lease payments.
Especially as today's new equipment which aligns more suitable to customer's needs is very inexpensive. Not to mention Leasing companies will be forced to evaluate many of their own practices as they will experience increased write-offs caused by the Pandemic. There will be a lot of end-user scrutinies regarding Leasing just as the other components of the industry's deliverable.
Here are some questions the end-users will be asking the imaging channel's leasing partners.
How will leasing companies separate service from Hardware in the lease defaults if the services were prepaid upfront?
Will leasing companies let end-users abandon leases if the dealer that serves them falls victim to the Pandemic's economic turmoil and can no longer service the equipment?
Will the tier three smaller Leasing companies find themselves with too little liquidity as delinquent payments mount or lessees go out of business?
The overbooking of Hardware to upwards of 125% of list price will prove to have an impact on defaults, and those asset values will be way out of sync with the new realities of the equipment's value.
Will leasing companies who have diversified into other dealer services be able to maintain those services if those services are not profitable on their own?
That last question will ring true to dealers or manufacturers themselves. With the evaporation of revenue and profits from a core deliverable, the diversified one must be sustainable on its own. Losing money as an investment on one side of the business or a separate wholly-owned business to bring value to the core business can be a strategy. However, when the core is threatened, and the diversity has never been profitable, maybe it's time to evacuate, cutting costs, and focus on the core.
The time is Now for industry manufactures and the dealer communities who sell and service their products. To re-think much of the outdated product-centric approaches of leasing and equipment placements, which for the most part, have been more beneficial to the industry's actors then the customers they serve.
It is time to start thinking of what the future of Leasing in the imaging channel will look like?
Does this recent Pandemic bring an end to some of the outdated leasing programs, programs that quite frankly require a massive innovation? I believe, yes.
Over the last decade, we have seen some innovation with global leasing companies. It seems nearly all now accept credit cards for payments, have digital platforms allowing for on-line approval signatures and digital documentation programs eliminating the need for unnecessary phone calls, which speed up approval and document preparation processes. Those things are not innovative; they are common practice. For the most part the leasing of copier/printers has not changed much at all in over two decades.
Leasing as we new it pre-virus will make way to rental platforms using a different means for needed financing, which will allow for dealers and manufacturers to offer more subscription-based annual contracts as the less expensive A4 equipment becomes mainstream replacing a majority of the oversold A3's. Also as e-commerce and subscription model alternatives become mainstream much of the outdated Leasing programs will perish to obsolescence.
The A4Revolution will advance by five years from this Pandemic along with many other components of the deliverable. End-users, for the first time, have realized that those big copier/printers are not near as essential to workflows or business processes as they thought pre virus. We will see end-users looking for the least expensive and easiest way to acquire A4 MFPs.
Some suggestions for dealers to address leasing concerns as this pandemic crisis ends.
Dealers must prepare to deal with non-payment of service, whether that service is included as part of the lease or billed outside of the lease. Customers will question paying for services they did not use or need. Think of creative ways to apply credits for unused service. Be proactive in calming end-users to a coming reality.
Dealers should stop the practice of excessive buyouts, and inform their marketplace not to allow their competitors to continue overselling and prematurely upgrading their printer/copier leases.
Dealers should look for alternatives in equipment financing and stop the dependency on a dysfunctional model. Preparing themselves as some manufactures will come to market with annual subscription programs which will buy-pass normal leasing as the industry sees today.
Dealers must accept that a vast majority of customers will migrate to A4, and that fact opens the door to outsiders who will be excited to offer print equipment and its services. Bringing to market a more customer-centric model, and it won't be five year leases loaded with buyouts and pages.
The Imaging Channel's dealers must be ready to challenge the status quo of the manufacturers they represent and all the supporting vendors to the channel. Many of the channel's actors will do everything they can to keep things as they were Pre-Virus.
Sadly as I Pay attention to some of the daily conversation it would appear many think nothing will change. It will be up to those who understand it's time to be customer-centric that will win in the Post-Virus World of Print.
Remember, Status Quo Is The Killer Of All That Will Be Invented."
Leasing will not be immune to the massive changes coming.
Stay Well My Friends
Ray Stasieczko CEO/Founder TEASRA, The Innovation Channel and Host of The End Of The Day With Ray! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channe...A?view_as=subscriber
It's late, need to be ready for another day. You know what they say another day, another dollar!
I have been laid off. What’s Next?
March 30, 2020
It has been a long time since I have uttered those words “I have been laid off”, But here we are. I have to say that my previous employer has been pretty cool to maintain my Health care indefinitely. But, Having said that, I have been laid off.
What does that mean. In fundamental terms it means I am unemployed. So what does that mean to YOU? It depends upon who YOU are, and YOUR comfort with risk. I mean after all I am 59 years old. And currently unemployed. BUT, I know I can transform a Sales Organization from Box Movers to Solutions sales! How do I know I can do this? Only because I have Done this! I have done it at NECS, and I have done it at RICOH. I Assume that I am pretty good at what I do because I have had two past Ricoh Managers reach out to me, and I have heard from a couple of key NECS folks!
Here is what I know. I am VERY GOOD at Solutions Sales. I am good at bringing the chemistry of solutions sales to a branch that primarily knows how to move boxes. So If you need some one with my skills, then give me a call. and let’s see if we can work together.
What can I do for you? I can run and develop your Solutions team. I can run and develop your Production Print or Color Specialist team! And yes I can run a Branch if that is what you need. Me. I am looking to get back to work. But I have Toner in my blood, I am sad to say but I do.
Having said all this, what do you need? And how much are you willing to roll the dice? I am unemployed today. But I have already heard from two top industry managers. I say this to let you know, I won’t be unemployed for long. Do you need someone with My skills? If you do reach out to me with a reasonable offer. I say reasonable because if you low ball me (on salary) someone will come along a month later and make me a legit offer. And I will be compelled to consider that offer. After all, I know what I am worth, because I know what I bring to the table. So make me a genuine offer, and we can start doing Sales Trainning NOW, while we wait for this Corid-19 stuff to pass. So when we come out on the other side we will be READY TO GROW!!!! If You have the vision I May be YOUR GUY. But that is up to you.
On a final note if you are trying to build a great organization I have a history of bringing talent with me, So call me, let’s talk 603-765-2767.
Hot Dog! Yes, I'm going to mention those savory dogs in a bun. Ten years ago we had a discussion on the forums where to get the best hot dogs in New Jersey which evolved into the best dogs in the US. Have you been to one of these joints? Care to add your own?
Enjoy these delicious threads from ten years ago this week!
Since the last two to three weeks have been less than perfect I figured we could reminisce when times were better. There's a cool little story about and event that took place in Jamaica while on a Presidents Club trip with Dr. Feelgood. That link is below!
Enjoy these awesome threads from five years ago this week!