Memiors of a Copier Sales Person

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Nine of Sales

Yay!  It's 4:47pm and I'm getting to write my blog for the day.  

In order to stay sane with each passing week I'll turn to jibjab and create some ecards for my team members.  It's easy to do because you can get their images from facebook, instagram or Linkedin.  Today I had some extra time to search for ecards where I could input 5 people. 

No on is safe from these videos! 

I had time to cut three of them today.  Just a few minutes ago I sent them to our team with the subject line "a little pick me up for Tuesday".  Tuesday the 26th is the last day of our month and orders will count for the week!  Matter of fact I'll see if I can put one of the video's in this blog for everyone.

We're Not Gonna Take It (is our mantra during these times)

This morning I had to prep for my 9:30AM because I didn't have time last night. It was right around 8:45am when I received an alert for my 9:00am meeting. What!  I checked my email and then checked my calendar and wtf, my client accepted the meeting for 9:00, however my email stated 9:30am.  I hopped on TEAMS asap and there I sat for 30 minutes.  I figured maybe they saw the difference in the schedule and was still going to log in at 9:30am.  I waiting another 10 minutes and nothing. Okay, this is serious I need to call them now,  called and got my DM on the phone and received an apology that they forgot all about the meeting.  It was all good because he did have the time now. 

Our meeting was centered around upgrading an A3 device to an A4 device.  The savings in the MA and the device would save them about $100 per month.  We continued the conversation where I told him about my last three weeks and general consensus that I'm getting hearing from all of my accounts.  My accounts are going to stay in business however they are concerned about future risks and the need to cut business costs is at the top of the list for all of my SMB accounts.  By the time we finished I received the verbal for the A3 MFP along with an order to replace their wide format MFP.  End result is we've scheduled for Tuesday the 26th to do the docs.  

Right, $15K for this one and my appointment on Tuesday to get docs signed will give me $22.5 for the last day of the month. If all goes well I'm expecting to finish the month with $214 and more than 400% of quota. I still have one other opportunity for net new out there. TUESDAY, TUESDAY

It's not done yet, but it's close and Tuesday will be a fun day to say the least.

Don't count on it Tim!

Looking back at the month the one thing that jumps out at me is productivity. I don't think I could have ever done this with driving to appointments on a daily basis.   Could this mean I can do $200K each month? 

It will be interesting to see how next month pans out especially if we're still in lockdown in Jersey.

Everyone have a nice Memorial Day Weekend and remember to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Eight of Sales

Many times you'll see me use the phrase "the harder you work the luckier you get".   Many years ago Jack Carroll (Partner with Century Office Products) use to tell me this every time I brought in a decent size order.  The first time I met Jack was way back in 1986 and that was the year I started my dealership Atlantic Office Systems in New Jersey.  After selling the business to my partners in 1998 (best thing I ever did) I took a sales position with Century Office Products in New Jersey.  I believe it was 2010 when Jack and his partners sold the business to Stratix Systems. 

What I could never figure out is why all the sales people did not stay on board. I was the only one that stayed and I guess you could say that I came with the deal (lol).  Anyway that phrase has stuck with me all of these years.  It was not until today that Coach told me what the "luck" part actually stands for, it's Labor Under Correct Knowledge.  Guess I've been ahead of my time all these years!

It's after 10PM here in Jersey and the memory of what happened today is fading fast.  I prepped for a 10AM meeting that never happened, after three phone calls and one email I moved on to bigger and better things.  One of my plans was to secure an existing order for $8.5K and get a meeting with a net new for the $11K opportunity.  

I was able to meet with the net new account, we went over the specifics of the offer and this was after the proposal was sent. I was told the DM was a numbers person, thus I was asked to simplify the quote for the three proposed copiers I was offering. I wasn't going to sell three but I made sure that I was quoting three different copiers that would meet their needs with the hope that there wouldn't be any shopping. I do hate to bring up the shopping bit in a conversation because if they we'rent shopping they might be after I made mention of it. 

I thought it was best to rely on what I do best and leave it at that.  I finished up the revised numbers and email with one caveat that the two extra items I put in had a expiration. I guess that's quid pro quo right?  You give me this and I'll give you that as long as we get it done by x date. Seems this might roll till the last day of the month.

I tried three times in the day to reach my existing client that was stated he would upgrade as long as they could save money. I had sent the closing email the other day and today was do or die.  Nothing on those three calls,  just about 4PM I dialed again and got my guy.  He was swamped with work and stated he didn't have time to review yet and stated maybe Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Oh frak Wednesday that's not going to work for me I thought.  With that I stated my month ends on Tuesday and can you at least review it then or we could do everything via email.  He came back with that's no fun, I'll look at this over the weekend and you plan to come in on Tuesday okay?  Did anyone think I was going to say NO.

That's a verbal in my book, and I'll be there with docs that need to be signed.  K, as long as this one goes I need another $10K to hit my goal.

The horse race is on!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Seven of Sales

I am so looking forward to having an extra day off next week!  The last 75 days have been extremely stressful.  It will be nice to have three days to wind down a bit. 

Does anyone feel like me that this year is taking forever to unfold? Most years it seems that the months and quarters fly by. So far this year seems like everything is going in slow motion.

I had a plan for today and it consisted of researching three possible existing clients for upgrades along with prospecting via the phone, email and Linkedin.  At one point I was doing a pretty good job with marking the calls, the emails and the appointments until I got side tracked from an existing account. 

In a Teams meeting (NJ) the other day I was roasted for still keeping a daily hand written journal of things to do and opportunities for the month.  A point was made that I have all this software and you're still hand writing stuff! MY response was that at any time I could glance down at see my opportunities and my things to do.  For me it's all about instant satisfaction that I can cross something off my list or put check next to a clients name that I touched.  Yes it may be old school but it works for me and it keeps me on track.

With one of the existing clients I sent out a closing email and I think we've all done it from time to time.  I bullet pointed all of the advantages to doing business now and then put the close at the end for "Is this something we can do this week".  Is it not right to ask for the order?  Many of those self proclaimed sales guru on Linkedin will say it is. I'm thinking many of those sales guru's don't have a monthly quota and most probably weren't decent at selling thus why they moved into writing and coaching.   Rant over

That closing email went out early in the AM and since I have three days left in the month I was okay with letting the ball travel with this client for a day. 

Out of the prospecting today I yielded no appointments,  and no new opportunities that could close in a few days.

Tomorrows plan is to call the one client with the closing email, and then call one of the net new opportunities and give the Ron Popiel offer.  That's where I review the existing proposal and add two additional items that will make the offer to good not to move on it now.  Using this strategy can only go two ways, one is you get the order and the other is the client backs off. I'm the camp right now of I don't have the order so I might as well go for the order.

In the AM tomorrow I'll be prepping for a 9:30AM with an existing client and then it's back to my favorite task of prospecting.

Thinking back about today and was there anything that I did that was unique or special?  Yes there was!  One of my clients needed help with printing from their wide format.  They couldn't figure out how to direct the prints to the front or rear exit tray.  It took me a few minutes and I created a video showing the process.  When finished the video I posted it my YouTube channel and sent the link to my client. Now I have the video archived and can create a blog around the feature and incorporate the video.  I still love what I do!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Six of Sales

Yesterday I had my first appointment in the field in more than two months.  It was time to get back in business attire, that meant the dress shoes needed to be shined, the pressed slacks removed from the closet and of course that neatly pressed dressed shirt that's been on hiatus for the past 10 weeks.

Looking in the closed I spotted a nice blue shirt with very think white lines and thought that would do the trick for the day.  As I reached for the shirt I thought that this can't be my shirt, I never had one like this. I pulled the shirt off the hanger and looked at the tag.  The tag read a 2XXL, okay I never bought a dress shirt this large in my life and it dawned on me that my cleaners gave me another clients shirt.  Over the course of the last year I switched dry cleaners because my regular guy passed away (was with him for seven years) and I went back to the dry cleaner that I fired year ago.  I had left them seven years ago because they ruined a suit jacket on me.

Over the course of the last year I could swear I was missing shirts from time to time. I have so many dress shirts that I can't keep track of them. I thought it was me and the fact that I had some many that I couldn't keep track.  This blue shirt I pulled out was the proof that I needed that yes my dry cleaners was losing shirts on me.  I'll be going there tomorrow and will do my best to be calm and have a polite conversation, however the last time I had a polite conversation when it came time to admitted that the business owner had screwed up, suddenly his command of the English language wasn't quite as good as it used to be.      

I wanted to tell that story because at times many of our clients can get aggravated with something goes wrong.  Thus we as sales people need address the problem and diffuse the issue the best we can.  When we do that we'll get to earn the trust of the client and it will enhance the client experience.  We'll then have a client for life. I hoping my cleaner guy goes the extra distance tomorrow and does not have a timely memory loss for the English language again.

Today I gad the chance to do some real prospecting after our weekly sales meeting was over.  Our meeting starts at 11AM ends at Noon, by 1PM was busy with emails and phone calls.  In fact today produced more phone calls than emails.  The end result was four meetings scheduled for this week and I created two opportunities for about $9K each with existing clients.  One of those opportunities has a really good chance of closing this week or on the 26th which is the last day of the month for us.  Another appointment was scheduled for Friday of this week with an existing client with a $5K opportunity. There's a chance this can happen by the 26th also.  

Late in the day I had a call from one of my net new prospects in reference to the proposal I provided which turned into a short meeting.  The meeting went well but no commitment at this point in time.  However I go the feeling that this too could have a chance to close on or before the 26th.  End result of the day was three opportunities that have a shot at closing for a total of $25K.  Not a bad day right?

The work is not over though and the reason for that is many times I've been in this position before and everything that I thought would close did not.  In order to feel comfortable with 4 days left in the month (still 20% of the month left) I need to find another $15K -$20 to have a real shot of hitting my goal of $200K for the month.  Thinking by the end of this week I can be at $190 now.

Ah it's a horse race now and we're getting  down to the finish line.  Now it all becomes how bad do you want it?

Another day of prospecting tomorrow and this should get interesting. BTW Greg Walters and I have our lunch chat this Thursday and you're all invited to join the call.  I do love these calls!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Five of Sales

Day Forty-Five and in no time it will be a full quarter since being optioned to the home office.  Our blessed Governor post this on Face-book today and the response was WILD!

Of course you can only guess at who captioned it with "The fool on the hill".  Within a few short hours there were more than 5,000 responses with 90% or more of them being negative.  Geesh I wonder why?

Monday was a good day since I was able to roll through my list of things to do pretty quickly.  In addition I also submitted my week forecast which was for $30K.  That $30K will be a stretch but when thinking about forecasting a little more what does it actually mean?  When weather people forecast the weather they are not always right and in many cases they can miss the mark.  The definition of forecast is to calculate or predict. Okay, I understand the calculate part but what about the predict part of it?  If I could predict the outcome of every opportunity I sure as **** would not be selling copiers and I'd be right up there with Nostradamus.  Maybe we should start calling it "what can you close" in a given time frame.  I'm just really really bad with forecasting and the term frustrates the crap out of me.

I had my first on-site appointment in more than two months today!  Here's a few takeaways that I pondered on.

Travel time back and forth along with appointment time ate up three hours of my day. Frak that's almost 50% of the day lost.  Maybe this entire gig with on-line meetings is the way to go.  Mind you I don't mid the driving bit but the time lost is gone forever.

What do you get when three 60plus year olds are gathered around a table with masks on?  I found out today, it was foggy glasses!  Something I didn't expect and neither did the other two people in the meeting. We had a good laugh about that.  Another item of note is that with masks on I can't see a frown, a grin or a smile.  Thus I had to focus more on the their facial expression from their eyes along with body language.  The end result was awesome and another signed order for $12K.  Brings me to $182K with five selling days left in the month. 

One of the issues for this week will be Friday since most clients get out of Dodge early.  Should be interesting to see what Friday brings.

$18K left for my goal with 5 selling days. I can make this happen with one net new wide format order and a preowned MFP.  Now I liking that the last day of the is the 26th and the day after the Holiday.  Time will tell

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Four of Sales

It's 10:36PM on a warm night in New Jersey.  Finally we have a day in the low eighties and there was no wind that blew in from the ocean.   When that wind comes off the water we can be anywhere from 10-20 degrees cooler from inland parts of Jersey.  There's also a chance that a week from today we just may be feeling the effects of a tropical storm that is suppose to move up the coast.  If this storm becomes a tropical depression that stormed will be dubbed Arthur.  What a great way to start off the Memorial Day weekend!

Today was all about prospecting there were no orders to process and nothing was hot.  My plan was to make additional touches to my opportunity list, send a few inmails from Linkedin, make some phone calls, and send emails from my CRM.

One opportunity that I was tracking for a potential order in 3rd quarter needed some attention today.  I can't get into details because of the local competition that reads my blogs.  End result is that I had to put in a couple of hours today to give me the best opportunity to win.  Winning is a funny thing, we all like to win, however how much fun would it be if we always win? I'm thinking it wouldn't be that much fun and we'd never get better at what we do because we would never be able to experience losing.  Losing is a part of winning.  Losing builds character, losing makes us more determined to win, we then make the extra effort to make ourselves better.   None of us like to lose but we all understand that losing is part of the game.

Maybe 15 calls today along with a half a dozen emails and maybe another dozen or so emails from my CRM.  I also took the time to catch my CRM up to date and make a plan for next week. It was the who's who of who I wanted to call that gave me the best shot of reaching my goal for the month. 

Yesterday I made mention of my handwritten list of things to do. That list consists of my daily goals, those are the tasks I want to accomplish day in and day out.  Setting small goals daily helps you get to the larger goal. No goals for every day means you're probably not going to cut it in sales.

It seems Fridays with COVID19 is putting a strain on everyone. I've noticed the incoming emails from clients and phone calls have taken a serious dive on Fridays.  I understand because by the end of the week and I'm shot also, mentally drained just from the stress of trying to have conversations.  I get it!

Yesterday I made a call to one of my clients that was on my opportunity list.  They've been closed for the better part of 10 weeks now.  Luckily I have that clients cell phone number and since it was about three weeks since we last spoke I figured it was time to reach out.  While calling I had the message on my cell that read "can I call you back" text.  Thus I rolled that call for today and made that call somewhere around 2PM or so.  We were able to speak and in 30 seconds or so my slump was over!  They gave me the verbal for a  $12k order and I'm going to be on-site at their location on Monday afternoon.  Wow, not a bad way to end the week.  Of course this order will count for next week and didn't increase by numbers this week.

By late Monday I should be at $182K for the month with 5 days (20%) of the month left.  Now I'm down to $18K and I have no clue where that's going to come from.  Should prove to be a very interesting time going into Memorial Day Weekend.

Everyone have a great weekend!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Three of Sales

This is the first night since I started writing this blog series that I wasn't sure what I was going to write about.  After 43 days of writing how much more can you cover or how much more content can you provide for other peeps with help they might need.

Tonight I'd like to cover a few things I've been doing everyday other than taking the occasional break and lunch.

Many weeks ago I learned that I can't work with the TV on in my office. It's too distracting especially when I have the news on all day.  Plus the fact that most of the news is bad news and I can't function with bad news.  Yup, there's stuff that will bring me down also.

What I Do Every Day

  • Update my list of things to do. It's constant list and it never ends, learned many years ago that I can't remember everything
  • Prospecting, whether it's a lot or a little I'm prospecting everyday.  It's more emails, and inmails (linkedin) and not us much phone work.  Once I find that there's an opportunity that leads to the phone call.
  • Review my hand written opportunity list for the month.  Every time I make a touch on that opportunity I'll put a check mark next to the business name.  Seven touches is the goal, however with COVID19 it's taking many more touches to get to the order
  • Search and offer up connections on Linkedin and send those inmails.
  • Post content, share content, like content and make comments on threads from companies I follow
  • Google search for motivational quotes and write it on my white board in my office
  • Always thinking about good content to post on my blog or an article on Linkedin (doing more of this lately)
  • Increase the amount people I'm connected with on social media (facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Alignable)

Just a moment on Alignable,  it's something new for me and I'm on it everyday for a few minutes.  I do find it interesting because the site will suggest connections  for you.  In addition you don't have to belong to groups in order to  get alerted for new threads in your geographical area.  Kinda liking that part right now.

Moving to today I've declared that I'm back in a slump, nothing hot and few clients that are lukewarm at best.  The only way to break out of that slump is to keep getting up to the plate.  Of course that plate is prospecting.  There's nothing that will drain your emotions more than a day of prospecting.  Ending the day with not creating an opportunity or an appointment and you feel like crap.

Nothing much went on today.  Two meetings, one was internal and the other was a review.  Emailing, inmailing and phone calls produced nothing.

I've got 8 clients/prospects I need to reach tomorrow and the rest of the day is prospecting with one late appointment at 4PM.

With that it's now 10:19PM and it's time to check my google alerts.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-Two of Sales

This will probably be one of those shorter blogs tonight, however you never know once I start writing.

A few minutes ago (it's 10PM) I just set an appointment for this Friday with a net new production prospect.  I had emailed him earlier in the day and a few minutes ago I received the reply that yes Friday at 10AM works.

Let me touch on the email a bit. The subject line was "hope you are well" and the base of the email spoke more about new 5th station color technology that could increase profits and revenue.  There was no mention of a model number nor speeds and feeds. It was more about peaking his interest that I have technology that could potentially grow his business.  At this point in time any appointment is better than no appointments and I'll see where this takes us.

Did you ever have one of those days were everything is a cluster ****? That was my day today, the ambition to put a dent in prospecting fell apart by 11:30AM.  I'm not going into details, however a fair amount of time is still required to fix a few things tomorrow morning.

I guess it was finally about 2PMish when I was able to get down to some real prospecting. About two weeks ago I signed up for Linkedin Navigator and yes I can't stomach the monthly fee of $80.  But with only 11 potential client upgrades coming due in the next eleven months (according to my CRM) I need to make **** happen.  BTW with those eleven upgrades there is something wrong in the CRM, back in 2015 I hit Presidents Club.  I did send an email out to question that but haven't heard anything back yet.

Back to Linkedin, this Navigator is new to me and there's a learning curve however I'm seeing some value in right away. I can locate decision makers in a company, also see who they are connected with and can send up to something like 60 inmails in a month. I probably sent a dozen inmails, but found it extremely awkward to have to go back to my CRM every time to enter notes.  In addition our CRM will not track anything sent from Linkedin.  Would be cool if there was a Linkedin button in our CRM, it would make prospecting much easier. It's something I need to learn and master in the coming weeks especially since I'm paying for it.

Yes, I received a lead today! YAY!  I was also able to speak with the client and scheduled a short meeting.  Seems there is a need to replace of their devices asap.  Thus right after the call I went to work in developing the proposal providing links to my blog and providing links to my YouTube channel.  When you're not able to be face to face with clients and have to email a proposal then your proposal needs to be thorough, clean and simple to comprehend.  Adding links and video can always help.  If something like what I did was sent to me I would be thinking this person is on top of their game.  Even though the process of completing the proposal was longer than I wanted. I was satisfied with what I sent.

Tomorrow in the AM I need to process the order from Tuesday, never did that today and that's on me.  Prospecting all day with one internal meeting scheduled. One opportunity created today, two appointments, no verbals, no other orders and eight days left in the month.

-=Good Selling=-

Sales Summary

  • Create your own YouTube Channel for video of devices and demonstrations
  • Rather than email about speeds and feeds focus on how you could grow their business or increase revenue
  • Now more than ever proposal needs to be top notch with reference links (linked) and links for videos

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty-One of Sales

I guess the day is not over until it's over.  Tonight I received text from a good industry friend of mine with some rather bad news.  Seems two calls went out to two groups of employees from Canon.  Those that were on one call were laid-off with no future employment, those on the other call were furloughed and hopefully will be getting their jobs back at some point in time.  My source could not tell me how many were affected but stated "a large group of employees, each call was no longer than 15 seconds and some of these folks had 25 years or more of service". 

Wow, something I was not expecting to hear.  I'm hoping that this does not create a groundswell with other manufacturers once the news breaks.

My day was awesome!  I received the docs back for the $20K existing account this AM.  I will be processing these tomorrow.  For the month I'm a little north of south of $170K.  My VP of Sales (Tim) congratulated me on a personal high water mark for business in one month. I thanked him and stated my goal is still $200K and I've got work to do with only ten days left in the month.  I thought our month would close on the 25th, but the 25th is Memorial Day, thus the last day of the month is the 26th.  Which also means that June will have less selling days than May.

I think I had two meetings with the same account today for a BDR opportunity.  More than one hour into the call we hit a couple of snags. I can't discuss those here but I think one can be resolved and the other snag we turned into a another opportunity that has a chance to close in June.  Good, because I need some June opportunities in a bad way.

We had a weekly sales meeting at 11AM and what can I say but "It's good to be the King", yeah I stole that from Mel Brooks. I also know you're only as good as your last month, thus I'm going to enjoy this as much as I can. The rest of the day was a lot of back and forth with clients. I did manage the three meetings (two were with clients), sent maybe 6 emails and made about 4 calls. 

One of those calls was pretty freaky and that's because I had a returned aka bounced email from the client about 30 days ago. I assumed she was laid off, and schedule the call back for today.  It's a $30K net new opp and I'm not about to let that slither away without a fight.  I made the call and who picks up the line but the gal that I thought was laid off.  We spoke for sometime and I was told the opportunity to change is still there however they wanted to wait until all is back to work. Dang, that's a pretty good call in my book.

Those few emails amounted to no return emails, maybe that will change tomorrow.  Later in the day I had a text from Coach Jerry. I'm not going to get into details about Coach but I can tell you that Coach is there if I need to bend an ear.  Coach wanted to give kudos on a good month, and I asked that we get on a TEAMS meeting when he had time.  Our chat was about 30 minutes or so, and he was able to give me a take away for the remaining nine days.  You want to know what that take away is?  "If you don't ask you don't get", something so simple yet so powerful.  The plan is to push for the next nine days to see what I can uncover because right now it's slim pickings.

Another call with Tim later in the day was the best call of all.  He had some type of meeting with others dealers, each person who was on the meeting had the time to speak about what was happening in their neck of the woods.  The picture that was painted wasn't that rosy from the others.  However Tim killed it when he spoke about how is team is crushing it in all of our markets.  In fact his outlook was referred to as "assumptive greatness".  That's really cool because when you think about it there is nothing holding us back but ourselves. The shock and awe of COVID19 is over! Our clients know it, our sales people know and know it's time to makes things happen.

Tomorrow means submitting the order in the AM and prospecting until my TEAMS content meeting starts.  After the meeting it's more prospecting.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Forty of Sales

By the end of the week it will be  two solid months since I was optioned to the home office.  Could this really last for an entire quarter? 

I'm somewhat worried that many businesses will cease to exist if the our Governor does not open up the state for business.  In today's address he was non-committal for releasing a time line of when we can re-open.  He hinted at maybe something coming this week.  All we can hope is that he comes to his senses and will realize that shutting down the state also shut down the states tax revenue.  Of course he is posturing for additional Federal funds so he can remain in control.   Then we have the issue of Contact Tracing, maybe it's time to ditch the cell phone because once this starts there's no turning back.

Today was somewhat of an easier day with not that much stress. Stress, right why would any of us be stressing.  My day started off with updating my CRM for all existing opportunities.  Next on the list was to process the $7.5K order from Friday of last week. Yes, and I also had to give my weekly forecast....

One interesting note from today was the lead that I received last week from my Jersey Plotters site.  Of course we can't be on-site thus we have to email the proposal and I did that.  It was then three days of ghosting by the prospect, finally this AM I sent an email asking if that person was okay and not mired with COVID19.  Behold a response came back to me, and the response was "my boss is leaning towards another manufacturer, however he hasn't made the final decision".  Right, where have I heard that before, instead of asking the gatekeeper for a meeting I went to Linkedin and found the company.  There were 15 people listed, after searching a few I found the owner. I then sent the owner a short message with a few bullets points why we are better.  I tell ya, there's not much you can do with 300 characters and the spaces count also.  At this point in time the DM has not accessed my profile, thus a phone call is in order tomorrow.  You just can't let a $12K net new walk away.

11AM was time for my Monday Mornings with Ricoh.  One of the things I like to do while on the call is too stalk all of those on the call. No, I'm not really stalking them but just curious who else has the zeal to garner more knowledge about their products.  As far as I'm concerned anyone that is selling Ricoh should be on these calls every Monday.  It's one of the better weekly gigs that Ricoh has going.

A few more calls and emails and it was time for lunch.  It's at this time that I listen to our great Governor give his 2 cents everyday of the week.  Blah, blah and more blah, and nothing!

The afternoon I was mired in emails, taking calls and then trying to figure out my plan of attack for the next two weeks.  Late today I received an email from my existing client that they received the docs for the $20k order, will review and get them back to me.  Hoping this happens tomorrow also.

The plan for the rest of the month will all hinge on wide format.  The plan is to get at least $15K this week. Then sign my contract for the lead service this and hoping I get a few leads to make the $15 for the last week of the month.  This week and next week is going to be tough, nothing is solid, all are possibles.  If I get the docs for for the $20k order I'll be sitting around $170K.  Maybe just maybe a little bit of luck will come my way.

The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Thirty-Nine of Sales

For some reason sleeping last night didn't go that well.  I worked late and by the time I finished last nights blog my mind was running at full speed as I tried to get to to sleep. Too many deals in my head!

Last night my wife mentioned that she wanted to go see our granddaughter today. Am I bad guy?  All I thought about was how much I wanted to get done today.  I had a 1PM appointment that I moved to 3PM with a net new suspect late yesterday.  i made the time because it's what we do.

This morning I worked on a few emails, researched a few more accounts for possible opportunities.  After a few hours of not turning up much I moved to the meeting that was scheduled for an existing account for BDR.  Meeting went well because all I needed was a couple of questions answered about the existing BDR specs. A few minutes later I relayed that information to my team so we could finish the proposal.  Later in the day I scheduled another meeting with our existing client for Monday to review (hoping for another good day).

In the last few blogs I made mention of the $20K opportunity that was created yesterday after a late Wednesday night email.  In the response email yesterday I was told, "I need to speak to my partner and I'll get back to you" and in another sentence he was asking networking questions about the proposed devices.

Many years ago I learned from someone else is that if you hear certain words or questions that the client is considering your offer.  Years ago one of those questions that we listened for was "What's the warranty on your copier?" , that question means that the client is almost there.  When my client asked about the networking I knew we were close.  Thus later in the day I sweetened the pot with a little extra.

LETS DO IT, was the email I received from that client around 11AM this morning.  I sent my email response and stated documents will be coming over later today. Problem was I was going on a lunch date with my wife to visit our granddaughter.  I got the verbal, I knew it wasn't going anywhere and off we went to our lunch date.

By the time I arrived home it was about 2:30 and I had to prep for my 3PM.  That appointment went well, it did not produce and opportunity nor a prospect yet.  However it's that technology client that will bear fruit sometime down the road.

After the meeting it was time to develop the order docs for the sales verbal this AM.  I finally go them out about 4PM?  It's now the last hour of the day and I'm still waiting on docs for the $7.5K verbal I had yesterday.  By 5PM nothing, okay I thought, I okay with sitting at $19K for the week. By 5:15 or so I had the documents in hand.  Not a bad week at $26K and documents coming on Monday for another $20K. BTW our sales team broke $200K again for the week!  WOOHOO!

Sometime late on Monday I should be sitting at $170K for the month with eleven days left. My goal is another $30k and at this time I have no clue where it's going to come from. I've closed everything that was wiggling.

Now I know next week and the week after is all about prospecting.

Everyone have a great Mothers Day and a nice weekend!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Thirty-Eight of Sales

So much went on today and I'm not sure where to start.  I'm thinking I won't get back to full time prospecting until next week and that's because I've be digging to try and hit that magical number of 200K for May.

As of today I have about 30K in opportunities that could close in the next 2 days.  After that it's going to be a struggle, however after tomorrow there are still eleven selling days in the month for me.  What's good about the eleven days is that I still have more than 50% of the month left. 

That email that I sent at 9PM last night turned into an opportunity around 9:30AM today.  I was asked a question in the return email about the networking of the devices and that's a sign that it could move forward pretty quickly.  The hang up is because we're waiting on the other DM.  I'm hoping a decision one way or another will be made tomorrow.  If so, it will be another day of the dreaded processing the orders from a single screen.  Notice I mentioned orders as in plural.  That's because my 10AM appointment gave me the verbal for a 7.5K order than can be delivered asap! Thus, I'm sitting somewhere around $150K for the month.

I didn't have a lot of time today because around 2:30pm a truck decided that it wanted to hit a utility pole by my house.  No one was hut but power was knocked out for almost three hours.  I could have use my phone as a hot spot but I was already down to 10% power.  The rest of the day was spent outside with my cell monitoring emails and actually scheduling a meeting with a net new suspect tomorrow.  Not a bad afternoon especially with nice weather.

Greg & I had our COVID19 lunch chat today at Noon, and thanx for all of you that attended today.  Our chats always lead into some pretty interesting ideas and comments about our experiences.  Of course I spoke about how sales are going for me and digging a little deeper I realized that all of these orders came from essential businesses. Those businesses that are open and operate under the guidelines of New Jersey.  All but one of the companies are in the AEC (Architects, Engineers, Construction) market.  Go figure right, right place, right time and right market. 

Later in the day on another call someone mentioned that I was "lucky". Of course he was referring to "the harder you work the luckier you get".  I remember the great recession of 2008 and I was not "lucky" then, I lost at least 30% of my AEC accounts at that time.

One thought that came out of the lunch meeting is that many dealers may not come out of this pandemic in a viable financial state.  With no PPP money and the fact that they laid people off, combine that with almost zero revenue and where the does the money come from to ramp back up again?  I'm thinking there will be some fire sales for those that are still looking to acquire. Good for some, bad for others.

Another thought centered around POSTCOVID19 and the recovery phase. I've already read a few articles that made mention of how office space has to change to protect their workers in their buildings.  Offices, especially open area offices will need to be changed, PPE gear will be required or needed, walkways redesigned, safety signs, warnings, cough and sneeze guards, sanitizers, plexiglass guards installed.  Made me think about dealers that are already selling in this space to diversify and offer some of these products and services.  I've got a tremendous idea and I'm not telling anyone unless I get some bucks for it. 

Other than the two meetings one with an existing client,  my lunch chat with Greg, and then some content training internally it was a good day, not a great one but good.

Tomorrow I have two meetings on tap and hoping to deliver two sets of docs for orders.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Thirty-Seven of Sales

Thirty-seven business days now since I was optioned to working from my home office.  The average number of selling days is twenty-two per month.  Five days from now it will be two solid business months and 66% of the quarter.

Our fearless and blessed Governor just extended his Executive Order for his Emergency Act for another thirty days in the State of New Jersey.  

I'm kinda torn about this now, 30 more days of working from home could be a good thing since I'm on such a roll and who wants to break a streak right?  On the other hand the need to go where I want and when I want is weighing heavily on me.  Our Governor does not have the power to issue such an order yet we are being good citizens and adhering to those orders.  I believe the boiling point will happen as we get closer to Memorial Day.  We'll just have to wait and see.

I just finished up researching and existing account to see if I could launch a $20K opportunity.  Of course I did the math, figured the saving and then presented those savings via email a few minutes ago.  Did I state a monthly savings?  Hell no, I will always quote a yearly savings. Which sounds better $300 a month or more than $3,500 per year?  Yup, the annual is always better received. Thus I sent that email at 9PM tonight.

No orders today, no clients meetings today and one opportunity created for a pre-owned wide format.  Prospecting and follow up with peeps in my funnel was the focus. I was able to follow up with 6 prospects which generated nothing by the end of today.  Thinking I made a dozen calls and a dozen emails also.  

What was cool today is that I was trying to make some additional connections today via Linkedin today.  I was able to obtain a first level connection with a CEO of a technology company that caters to the healthcare market place.  Since we are both in the same space and both have healthcare accounts I decided to see if I could help his company.  My inmail stated that we both sell in the healthcare market, however I do not sell what he sells which is EMR software.  I would be more than happy to refer his company to my clients.  That's what triggered the connection.  Another inmail from me asked who would be the right person to speak with at his company.  Another reply came in a matter of minutes and we're on solid ground.  Now the fun begins because as I speak to my clients I will ask them who they are using for their EMR and if they are happy.  Of course the ones that aren't is a lead.  Sometimes you need to give in order to receive. Of course after I've proved my worthiness I will look to see if they can reciprocate.  

I've believe I have two meetings on tap for tomorrow one with an existing client and the other is an internal training meeting.  I'll be prepping first thing in the AM for my 10AM meeting and I'm hoping that will result in another order for this week.

Other wise another day of prospecting and trying to get some net new prospects on my funnel pad.

The quote I used for the picture is from General George Patton. We've all probably seen the movie, and I thought the quote was appropriate for what we're all experiencing these days.

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Thirty-Six of Sales

Working from home is something I never liked doing. In the past I've worked from my office when there were snow days, bad weather or days leading up to and after a major holiday.  The reason I never liked working from home is because I can get distracting with other items when my mind roams.  Whether it's watching the news, tending to the yard or just fix something that I've been itching to fix for a long time. I guess it's my adult ADD.

A few weeks ago I decided to write my self a little note every other day. I wanted it to be a motivational quote that I would see every time I was at my desk.  Of course I found all that I need with the help of google.  The picture you see at the top of this blog is my mini white board. I procured it from Amazon about three weeks ago and have found many excellent uses for it.  Getting a message across on Zoom or Teams meetings works well, but it's best right where it is on my wall reminding me to keep the pedal to the metal.  Invest in yourself right?  That $6.00 investment is sure paying off right now.

Frak, I had all of these cools notes that I wrote down about what I did today.  Where they went is a good question because I can't see them anywhere on my desk.

I had that one order sitting in my email from the day before, however before I processed it I needed to finish that proposal for a two machine deal with an existing client.  That's the one where one of my larger A3 mfp's no longer supports a fiery.  I finished up that proposal within the hour.  It was then off to creating another proposal for a net new prospect.  I received this lead yesterday from my Jersey Plotters web site. This proposal also took the better part of 45 minutes.  I don't think I have a good shot at this one just because it's so far from my home office.  But, it's always good to put up a $14K opportunity because you never know.

One thing I've noticed is that it takes me much longer to process proposals and complete order documents from the home office.  I believe it's because I was used to working with three monitors at the office. It's much easier when you can keep three screens going at the same time.  At my home office all I have is my notebook and then my two screens for my personal PC.  Disconnected and reconnected is not an option since the two screens are wire tied with a harness.

By 11AM I was ready for our weekly sales TEAMS meeting. We ended shortly before noon and it was time for that awesome lunch break.  It was not pea soup today, funny thing about pea soup and New Jersey.  On any Thursday you can order pea soup in a dinner in New Jerset. Go in another day and there's no pea soup,  just Thursdays. I would love to know the story behind that.

After lunch I took call from another sales person in NJ, way out of my territory.  He stated he was struggling with net new business and only had a small based of installed MFP's.  He was interested in how I was doing it.  I told him that I have forty years in the business and even I struggle from time to time.  I was able to share some thoughts that I had and also told him to go about branding himself via social media.  I didn't have much time to spare but offered that he can call me anytime and feel free to use the message boards on this site to get input from others.  We're all rowing the same boat boat down the same stream, we all need to row together to make sure we can support  our selves a and our families.

I had a call from one of the deals I signed last week.  Seems one of the devices they wanted to change to something faster and with additional features.  After one meeting and a flurry of emails we agreed to another device.  It was then time to do the paper work!  End result was another $12k in the revenue kitty.  With more than 60% of the month left I'm sitting around $140K with a chance for another $16k for the rest of the week.

Now is not the time to let up, now is the time to push.  By the end of the day I was finally able to get in a couple of prospecting emails and phone calls.

Tomorrow is all about prospecting and setting additional appointments along with trying to move some opportunities forward.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Thirty-Five of Sales

During the month of April we posted 66 blog and videos. Special thanx to Ray and Larry for their contributions.  In my twenty years of hosting this site I've never seen this much inaction from the copier manufacturers.

Just today I heard from an unnamed source (frak I always wanted to write that), that XBS former Global has axed up to 50% of their Market Place Presidents.  A few days ago there was a another thread about lay-offs from Kyocera.  Really?  Does it really need to be this way?  When the going gets tough the tough get going!  The mentality of hunkering down and letting staff go is not the way to get through these tough times.  Leaders need to step up to the plate and present a vision for the future.  No vision from our leaders means no future!


Another day with not a lot of prospecting. Sooner or later this lack of prospecting will catch up to me so I need to make the time.  Setting aside that time in the day where you don't answer the phone, and don't answer emails.  Yes I've been busy however if I don't set aside that time in the near future I'll be back to square one.

This morning I needed to process the $60K net new order from Friday. In addition I caught up on a few emails, by the time 11AM rolled around I was ready for Monday's with Ricoh.  Every Monday at 11:00AM Ricoh hosts a webinar with various themes for their dealers and direct channel.  Since COVID19 I've had the time to check in every Monday. Every Monday is well worth the time spent.  The learning never stops on our business. 

Cool thing today!  I took my notebook into the teal room (we call it teal because of the color) and hopped on the exercise bike for 30 minutes.  Right after this blog I'll be on for another thirty minutes again.

My afternoon had two appointments and then the struggle of the afternoon was how to develop a strategy to replace two existing MFP's with new ones.  My main problem is that one of existing MFP's has a fiery and my new device does not have a fiery.  Client wants to stay with the same features. I wasn't able to get the quote out because I needed time to think and research some of my options.  I found my option just not sure if the client will like it.

Around 4PM I received one of the other orders I was waiting on for a $7k deal.  In addition I was able to schedule two additional appointments for later this week and developed another wide format opportunity from my Jersey Plotter site.  This week I'll be signing a contract to move forward with a lead generation program. 

I'm hoping on an additional two orders this week for another $20K. Just maybe I can hit my goal of $200K (I set that goal over the weekend).  It's all about how bad you want it.

Greg and I are back on for a chat this Thursday it's FREE and we're not selling any books!  You can register here

How To Sell in the Age of Coronavirus: Part Vi, "Breakdown? Breakthrough."

-=Good Selling=-