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Memoirs of a Copier Sales Person

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Thirteen of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Thirteen of Selling Copiers

Not much has changed since I wrote my last blog on the thirteen from last week. One opportunity is in and still looking to see if I can land two net news by the 25th of this month.  Seems like every opportunity has some sort of hoop that needs to be jumped through.

One opportunity is solid for $35K as long as I can get the lease approval and the other potential client is extremely price conscious. At my meeting today with that the price conscious client I felt I was saying no more often than I was saying yes.  But using the "no" word did lead us to additional discussions about different hardware.  I rate this opportunity 50/50 at best for closing this week or any other week. We had all intentions of writing the order today but there was a snag with something that was not in my control.  Thus it's back to drawing board one more time for this opportunity.

This afternoon produced a great meeting with an existing account with the possibility of them changing their BDR and Managed IT to me.  There's much more work to be done and I was delighted that we were able to schedule an appointment with the next step for this client. Always schedule that next sterp before you leave a clients office or end the call.

Again prospecting has eluded me for quite a few days in a row.  But I can tell you that the act of asking for referrals has picked up some.  In the last week or so I've been able to add two additional opps based on asking for a referral. It's the old adage of "if you don't ask you don't get".

Cost Per Page

In the last week I worked a lead for and net new opportunity.  That net new client was in the need for a small A4 black device but also had a volume of 8-10,000 pages per month.  During discovery I found out that they were using an "x" brand of a small inexpensive (cheap) MFP.  I also knew the cost per page for that device was around six cents per page because of the high cost for the toner, drums and fusers.   

As much as I tried to convince the client that a $2.5K A4 device would save them thousands of dollars. It all fell on deaf ears.  After much going back and forth I found out that they only wanted to spend $400 for the device.  I stated do you realize how much you're going to spend on consumables?  It didn't matter and I guess they thought I was trying to give them a snow job.  I blame this on me, I should have asked them what their budget was and I did not.  If I would have asked that up front I would have walked away.  I will tell you it's hard to walk away when you know you can save the client so much money!  My fault  but I will chalk this up to what do you expect from a pig but a grunt.

Just yesterday I ran across another user who stated they were running 10K per month on an inkjet printer.  I was at the shop for another purpose and I wasn't able to see the printer.  I estimated that they are spending $20K a year just on ink!  This client will warrant a call however the logistics of having something bigger just may not work.  But another account to call on because there is a story to tell.

NJ COVID Update

We're still stuck in the same place we've been since August.  In August there was a partial opening of some services like dining, gyms, barbers and salons.  Next week our Governor will decide if he will continue the health emergency act for another 30 days.  The extension of the act will mean that offices will not go back to any sense of normal.  I also might ask what is normal now?

On average we are vaccinating 22,000 people per day. In order to vaccinate 9 million New Jerseyans it will take almost 406 days! 

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Nine of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Nine of Selling Copiers

In 40 some odd business days it will be one year since I was optioned to working remotely here in New Jersey.  Two days after returning from our Presidents Club Trip to Aruba everything went to crap.  Just hard to believe it's going to be a full year.  Also hard to believe that I've been writing this blog series for almost one year.  Maybe it's time to write that book?

Today's positive cases for COVID19 reached an all time high at almost 7,000.  Many are calling for additional lockdowns while almost as many are calling for the lockdowns to end.  In addition it's an election year from our Governor.  I expect conditions not to change in New Jersey until June of this year.  I can only hope that it will happen sooner than later.

Today

As much as I tried to get ahead of the prospecting curve I was pushed back with either an important email or a call.  Those calls and follow ups need to be finished but it just wasn't in the cards today.  I was able to muddle through my important list of things to do but making the 25 plus calls or emails didn't happen.

I was able to process the one order I received late last week (was waiting for credit approval) today for about $64K.  In addition I was able to garner a $30K opportunity with a net new account.  I think this opportunity has legs for this week however I'm not counting my chickens just yet.   

One of my other opportunities for a color production device also committed to an appointment late this Friday.  I'm hoping this will be the appointment that locks down the order an we can move forward.  This opportunity is worth $35K.

Thus there's an outside shot that I might be able to run the month somewhere around $130K.  That would be nice and an awesome way to start the first quarter, however I know that anything can happen at anytime.  Thus the reason to continue prospecting and keep moving opportunities into the funnel.

Like I stated on the last blog about being ahead of quota is nice however if you slack off you'll be right back to where you started.  Just maybe this could be the year that I hit my revenue numbers early and not having opportunities go down to the wire.

Virtual Demos

Within a week or so one of my clients will be seeing a virtual demo for a color production device.  Since this is new to me and new to the client I was curious if anyone has any tips to share.  At this point I'm thinking virtual demos could happen more often because the client does not have to leave the office.  Would that be a fair statement?  I can remember many demo's in our office that didn't come to fruition because the client wasn't able to leave, got hung up on a project or just didn't have the time for the travel back and forth.  If you have any tips please leave them in the reply for this blog and they will be appreciated.

Conversations That Make You Think

I had three phones calls with one of my opportunities today.  She is very "red" and was peppering me with questions about features, pricing, and others that I just can't remember right now.  I've realized that I was not in control of the conversation and what happens when you're not in control is that you can make a mistake.  Those mistakes can be for pricing or features and once the mistake is made with a "red" person in most cases you can't take it back.

I had to find a way to grab control of the conversation and slow things down.  I was able to do that by giving the client an "atta girl".  I waited for the moment and then told her I was impressed with her knowledge and the need to get only the facts. There was a moment in silence and I then stated that we have many different features, price points and the best option is for me to get her a document that shows here everything she needs to know in a simple format.  It worked and now I have the time to research, do the pricing and make sure all is correct instead sparing with questions and answers.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Seven of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Seven of Selling Copiers

Apologies for only posting one blog last week however I've been dealing with sinus issues for the past few days.  It was somewhat better over the weekend however it's back and I'm playing catch up with many items.  I hope to have our weekly email address out this week but it's already 9:30PM.

Spy Chips

Spy chips have you heard of them?  Do you know what they are?  Seems I do because I follow press releases related to IT, IT services, MSP and MSSP.  Each week I publish an easy to read up dates of IT related articles and press releases that come across in my google alerts.  Last week I read that Toshiba in partnership with a Japanese University has developed a tool to sniff out those spy chips in electronic hardware.  The cost is about $15K per device but what's the cost of losing your proprietary or trade secrets?  The more I thought about this the more I thought this would be a great tool for dealers to offer to their high end clients. We all know how many of those Chinese made devices are in those accounts.  It makes a lot of sense to me, you can read the thread on that here.

My Day

Today was still filled with playing catch up with some accounts and prospecting.  I didn't fare to well with the prospecting but I was able to cross everything and everybody I wanted to contact on my to do list.  That was my goal for the day. No matter what I had to get those tasks completed so I could move forward.  Tomorrow means another list of things to do.  I think the end result was maybe 15 calls and and 20 emails for the day.  I was also able to schedule two appointments which was not good but it was better than the alternative of not setting any appointments.

Late Friday I emailed pricing over for that net new account that is no longer net new due a timing factor.  That account expired as net new on the last week of December.  Since I emailed the pricing late Friday, okay I'm going to stop right here for a moment.  In most cases when I think an order might be close,  in addition to sending the pricing proposal I'll also send the order docs.  For me it shows my intent to to move forward and gives the client everything they need in writing along with the proposal.  Since those docs were sent late Friday today was the day I would let the ball travel and follow up tomorrow.  At 4:45PM I received the signed order docs.  Yes, I was surprised and yes the order was a nice one coming in around $60K.  Yay! for once I'm ahead of the game, I've still got two weeks left in the month and there's another $40K out there for the month.

My next two weeks will be spent rebuilding the funnel because many have fallen off, many have delayed their decisions and many are still fighting COVID.

Tomorrow

I've got another full day tomorrow with a long list a new to do's and an on-site appointment to help an existing client. I'm hoping my time at this client can move the ball forward with a content opportunity that has been in the weeds for two years.  Plus I need to process that order and get back on the stick for email and calls.

More to come tomorrow!

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Four of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day Two Hundred and Four of Selling Copiers

I will be the first to admit that it's been challenging to get the motivation back after Christmas and New Years break.  Tuesday was my first official day back at work, however I did put some time in on Monday to clean up and update my CRM.

Opportunities

I had about twenty opportunities roll to the new year and also signed a small opportunity for some accessories.  Thus January will be the month of starting all over for at least another season.  There are times when I have that internal struggle when I ask myself do I really need to do this for another year.  The answer always comes back as yes I still WANT to do this. I'm still a fan of learning, still a fan of making money and above all I'm still a fan of reaching another goal.

I expected nothing from yesterday, it was the day to assimilate back to the daily grind.  One of the first emails I received yesterday was that one of my roll over opportunities is ready to pull the trigger on a production color device in the next 45 days. In addition I was asked to provide answers to questions along with providing a quote for the new systems.  This opportunity has been in the works for about two years and there's been a model change since the first proposal.  I thought the best way to introduce the new color production device was to email the link for the device configurator.  This way the client could select the options that are desired or needed and then send that configuration back to me for pricing.  By night fall I had the configuration back. I'll be quoted on this tomorrow and putting a little extra incentive to order this month with placement for next month.

It was about 5:45PM when another one of my clients (not net new anymore) emailed me that they wanted a proposal for their third production in the last nine months. I was both happy and a little concerned that many of our promo's had expired for the end of the year.  However the client was made aware that pricing may change.  I'm somewhat confident that this will be a $60K order for this month.  Docs will be going out tomorrow for this client as well.

Thus 2021 seems to be off and running with a potential for a 100K month.  As of today I have 13 selling days left in the month.  Add the vacation days, the holiday, the closing for the end of the year and most Januarys are always a struggle for me.  But it's not something that's new and it's more about just running the race and not sprinting to the end of the year now.

New Jersey

Not much has changed as far as the pandemic.  We still stuck in a partial shut down and our Governor renewed his "Health Emergency" declaration for another 30 days.  Our case load of infections is averaging around 5,000 per day and at least vaccinations are under way.

I still see another 4 to six months of our Governor extending the health emergency.  Which means another 4 to six months of most offices not being populated. 

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Eight of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Eight of Selling Copiers

This is my second selling day of 2021 and the one hundred and ninety eighth  day since I was optioned to working remote in New Jersey.  This is also one of my traditional vacation weeks.  You may ask what the hell is he doing writing about a selling day when he's on vacation?  Ah grasshopper it's because every day is a selling day whether you're on vacation or not.

For someone like me it's extremely hard to shut the engine down especially after the events of last week.  Our team put some special sauce on the last week with garnering almost $400K in revenue for the last three selling days of 2020.  We can go into 2021 with the attitude that pandemic or not there is business to won and clients that need our help.

Today

I had a few action items that I had to clean up today and it was just a few emails that I needed to attend to.  It was about 9:30AM when I received my first order of the new year via email.  I was also not expecting the order because it was for two accessories that I didn't think the client would follow up on.  Thus instead of letting the order sit for 5 days I put in the 40 minutes or so to process the order for our client. Nothing big but every order is going to be needed in order to get where I want to be in 2021.

In the next couple of days I'll also put in some additional hours to make sure Monday is off to a clean day of prospecting.  Looking back it's seems like 2020 was over in the blink of an eye.  The days of frustration, and anguish of 2020 are past and all I can think about is what pitfalls and perils may lay in wait for us in 2021.  However from the past we know that hard work, that never quit mentality can and will pay off.  Thus I'm looking at 2021 as a fresh start and there's something I need to accomplish one more time.

Afternoon

What does one do with a stay at home vacation?  Well for me it was time to dedicate some time and resources to my other passion.  That passion is creating and for me that means creating art of our items I find on the beach.

After four years of prospecting the local beaches I've taught myself how to make works of art and jewelry out of the shells and beach glass that I find. I will admit the first year I was learning and experimenting however and over the past three years I've been able to craft almost 500 pieces of artwork and jewelry.

It was two years ago when I started up my Etsy store named artpostdesign.  The Etsy shop was another learning experience and much of my time has been taken up with taking pictures, uploading those pictures and then trying to tell a story about each of the shells that I find. I admitted to my wife the other night that I had not idea how much time is involved with setting up and maintaining the site.  In addition I need to now gather an audience and create my brand.

It won't be easy, but I guess that's what I like about it. It's going to be another challenge to prove to my self that I can be successful in something other than copiers.

I call this shell "wheatfield". The "wheatfield" has an interesting story to it. I found that shell on my friends beach on the Coan River in Virginia. Every year Kathy and I take a trip there in the summer months.  I found that shell three years ago and from what I gather it's a piece of a larger shell, however the sands and tides of time creating a beautiful piece of art.  All I did was to find it, recognize the beauty and figure how it would hang.  But the colors and the lines are wonderful. To this day I've never found another shell like it.

I call this piece "sunrise".  The shell was found close to where I live and local name for the shell is "jingle shell".  When you get a bunch of these shells together they can sound like small bells when they brush up against each other.  This particular jingle shell (also know as mermaids toe nails) is "cupped" in shape and what you see in the middle is what I think is a rose quartz beach pebble.  Thus both were cleaned, polished and drilled and I set the rose quartz in the cupped jingle shell.  One thing I learned is that you need quite a few diamond drill bits to out a hole in quartz.

Creating

The creating is another passion of mine. I guess it's kind of similar to sales in a way because in a way we are creating opportunities with our clients and prospects.  We are giving them a vision of the future on how our products and services can help then in their day to day business processes.  Thus whether I'm out on the beach or in a clients office, oopsie I meant virtual meetings we are painting a picture of the future from our discoveries, right?

It's late. I have a big day of shelling in the cold tomorrow.  If you have the time please pay a visit to my site. I also have a facebook page Jersey Shore Jewelry by Art Post and give me a like and a follow.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Six of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Six of Selling

Where do I start since I've come to the end of my selling days for 2021?

Do I start with the fact that I was down the last day of the year this morning and knew that anything can happen to screw things up?

The year is finally over, it was the year that started when I got back from vacation this time of year.  My end of year vacation is a stay at home vacation and it allows me to get some things done at home and just relax.  I was back at it for 2020 business that first week of January.

Quarters

My first quarter of last year was a bummer and I did not meet my revenue quota. I was somewhere around 75% and as we know COVID19 struck in March and pretty much all was lost.  The second quarter of April, May and June was one of my best quarters in the business in 40 years. At the end of the second quarter I was 1.5 months ahead of plan.  My third quarter posted up at maybe 75% of plan.

When looking back on this year I can say that it took some really hard work along with some creative thinking to make things happen.  At times in sales we can take a few days here and there to wait for things to happen. I also call that "letting the ball travel".  At times you'll need to slow down a bit, slow the grind and see what develops or happens.  However for the other 90% of our time we need to make things happen.  We need to push the envelope, offer up different ideas or different financing vehicles for our clients.  At lease two of my orders I used the "bakers dozen" lease.  I truly believe that with out the knowledge of something as simple as the "bakers dozen lease" I would have not received those two orders.

2008-2009

This year proved to be the largest challenge I have ever faced. Especially when clients were faced with closing, lost business revenue and falling profits.  That scenario reminding me of 2008 or 2009 when we had the financial meltdown around mortgages and the economy tanked.  For those that were still in business there was one key denominator for all of those accounts.  Whether they wanted to admit it or not all of them needed to brace for impact.  All of these clients needed to reduce their cost of doing business.  That cost of doing business is what I relied on to close many of the orders.  I was able to give clients my vision of what they should do with their overall costs to run their print devices.  It was a combination of reviewing needs, print volumes and getting creative with different print devices.  Everyone wants to do more with less.

4th Quarter

My last quarter of this year I needed to close some where in the area of $200K in revenue.  Yup I was behind the eight ball again, and it's nothing new to me.  I can't name one year, well maybe one that I had my revenue numbers prior to any December.  In addition December was also a short month because of the Thanksgiving Day break where we lost two selling days.  At times I felt defeated and asked my self why did this have to happen.  I guess after many years of selling you build a mental toughness that guards against the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. Because that's some thing that is learned by experience and not something that people are born with.

Waiting

By 1PM I had an order flow through for $12.5K which was a good.  Even with the $12.5K (btw, this was an opp that stated NO yesterday and I turned them around) I still needed another $35K order and there was only one left on the plate.  The client and I spoke yesterday and if the order was to come it would be today.  I mentioned to the client that in order to save time since it was the last day of the month if I could send the documents in advance of the meeting.  The client was okay with that and all I had to do was wait.... and wait and then wait some more.  At 1PM I couldn't wait any longer and launched an email.   It was 3PM when I heard back from the client and he stated the order was approved but there were no documents attached in the email. Yikes!

At 4PM I received the signed lease document but nothing else.  Another email was launched along with a text.  I received a text back to please resend the other two docs that need to by signed. Whew! It may just happen!

It wasn't until 4:45PM that I received the docs back. During the course of today I had prepped all of my docs that need to go with the order.  At ten minutes to 5PM I emailed the docs to our order team.

The efforts of 2020 were now over. I accomplished my goal in a year when just about everything went sideways.

It's my belief that our industry and the nation is another six months or getting back to pre-COVID19 times.  There's no doubt in my mind that 2021 will prove to be the bear that 2020 was.  But who the hell want's EASY!

Teams

As with every good person that has a win there is a team behind them. It wasn't all me and I made plenty of mistakes along the way.  But members of my team helped me to achieve my goal and I'm thankful for them.  Our service team, our order entry team and the Captain of my team is our VP of Sales.  He knows who he is and I thanked him for his help this year.

Our Community

There are others that helped and those are from our Print4Pay Hotel Community.  We always find time to chat with each other and we are always there to lend and ear and I thank them for that.  Special thanx for listening to me this year to Chris Polek, Jason Habbal, Eddie Jones, Dayna Karron, Greg Walters, Coach Salmon, Jeff Redmond, Mike Laverty, Chad Alban, Chris Pierson, Brett Apold, Brent Martin, Monte Jensen, John (wide format) Anderson, Monte (Tahoe), Mike Stramaglio, Greg Ross, Jesse Harwell,  Joe Escamillia, Larry Hirsch, Ray Stasieczko and many others.  My apologies if I didn't mention your name but I like you are getting older.

2021

Tomorrow will start year number 41 for me in SMB copier business.  Tomorrow I know that I'll only be as good as my last month, tomorrow I hope to rise to another year of achieving my goals.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Five of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Five of Selling



Well four out of those 5 opportunities for this month went down the tubes by 11AM.  I was able to get a re-consideration by using a drop close on one of the prospects.  I figured what the heck, it's end of everything and I've got nothing to lose.

My 11Am net new appointment for the hardware/content opportunity went very well.  We are close, so close in fact that the DM agreed for me to send all of the order documents in advance of the meeting they will have in the AM.  At this point in time I think they understand what's been ordered is needed and will allow them to grow their business.  Price seems not to be an issue.  I'm hoping by Noon tomorrow to at least have the verbal and the signed documents by the end of the day.  That one meeting was about two hours of my day.

The rest of the morning was spent playing catch up with the other four prospects. I was able to reach all of them and for various reasons beyond my control getting documents today or tomorrow won't work. I guess the good with the bad is that I didn't lose any of them to competitors and most will be in the funnel for January and February of 2021.

Sounds kind of odd talking about 2021 however in my sales life 2021 will arrive at midnight tomorrow night.

Just a another short blog and we'll see what tomorrow will bring.  At least there is another day!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Four of Selling

Well......, nothing today. I wasn't able to connect with any one of the five opportunities today.  All I can say is thank goodness there are still two days left!

I'm sure some are probably trying to avoid me like the plague at this time, however that's not going to stop me from going my job tomorrow and day after tomorrow.

I was able to get some prep work for some of the accounts that may have a chance of moving forward in January.  There was no sense if making a ton of calls or emails since it's down to those last 5 accounts.  Although I did just get off the phone with a net new prospect that is looking for an A3 color MFP.

After the 24th it's sayonara for at least a week, or maybe longer. It's that time of the year that I take to relax and recharge!

On the home front it seems that congress will pass another PPP bill. I posted a couple of links on the this site today about the PPP. I also sent those links to one of my net new prospects that put a lease or purchase decision on hold until they read more about the bill. I also didn't hear back from that account also.

Our dear Governor extended the Health Emergency for another 30 days in New Jersey even with vaccines being administered.  One person I spoke with today is convinced that Murphy will not release his power until 70 plus percent of people are vaccinated in our state.

Just wanted to give everyone a short update.

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Two of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Two of Selling Copiers

Last night one hell of a night. I could barely sleep with the sheets of ice that were bouncing off our slider window in the bedroom last night.  What was suppose to be a snow event was more of an ice event with wind gusts hitting 55 miles per hour.  We didn't lose power thus a traditional work snow day was just another work day because of our remote technology.

I'm also grateful that I'm able to write this blog tonight.  After two and half hours of breaking and shoveling ice I was able to clear our driveway and sidewalk.  My fingers are somewhat tight but there was no heart attack from moving all that ice.  it was more about slow and steady to get the job done.

Slow and steady is what the last few days have been like. I was able to book an existing client for an order just short of $10K today (docs in hand), and there are commitments from two other clients for additional orders that will total $21K . In addition the net new opportunity that was on the far rail the other night is also going to give me an answer tomorrow.  That net new is worth $9K.

By tomorrow I should be somewhere around $54K in revenue. I need to be at $74K for the month to make my yearly quota.  I still have another $110K on the fence with 3 accounts and one is the net new content/hardware for $54K.  I already know that opportunity is going right to the wire.  If all goes well the docs will come to me on the 23rd (last day of the year). The other two opps are 50/50 at best.

I've been here before and it's nothing new from working behind.  Guess it's similar to a hitter who is always working behind in the count.  Odds are you will not get the hit that you need to win the game.

I want to hit my quota this year probably more than any other year that I've been doing this. Right now it's more about I can do this, I want to do this and I can make this happen even with a pandemic. Would be a nice feather in my hat as I get ready for the final years of my career.

If I don't make it, I'm okay with that also and that's because I believe my performance in April, May and June helped our team believe that's it's possible to rack up great numbers even with a pandemic.  It's more like wtf if that old guy can do it then why can't I? 

When we came back from Presidents Club in Aruba the first week of March the NYC area pretty much shut down two days later.  My March sales were in the ****ter and I took the attitude that if anyone needs to lead it should be me. I never told anyone that and that's kinda brass balls on my part.  But that was my driving force.  I did this one other time in my career when another dealership I worked for was in dire straits.

I wanted to do this and it was a challenge.  If I don't get this content/hardware order and fail on the other two I will miss by number by about $20k.  I've realize that may happen and don't want it too happen, however I can take comfort that our sales team had a great year especially when all was stacked against us.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-One of Selling

It's just a little after 5PM and the snow is coming down pretty good now.  At the coast we're expected to receive 6-10 inches but being so close to the ocean there is always the chance for freezing rain or sleet to knock the totals down.  Our roads are passable and just wet from all of the salt and brine that's been laid down in the last 24 hours.

Guess I'll find out in the AM if I have a snow day, wait a minute since I'm now working remote are there still snow days?  Egads those snow days from school were just magical and unexpected day off, time to gather your friends for whatever outdoor activity you wanted.  So do I still get a snow day if I'm work remotely now?  Sorry to day but the answer is NO, unless you don't have an internet connection. Oh please it's the end of the year please don't let the power fail!

Appointment

I had that one appointment today at 9:30AM with an existing account to upgrade two of their current A3 Ricoh MFP's.  The trip from my house takes just about an hour and I was relieved that I made the appointment on time.

Last night I spent the time developing the two sets of documents because of the two different locations that are involved for this appointment.   I wanted to make sure all was ready for my DM to sign.  I was able to print one page to my printer and was then notified with an audible alarm from my printer.  When I checked the printer I was told that the printer was out of toner! WTF!

Yup I had ignored the previous warnings that the toner was low, however I really didn't print that many pages since the notification appeared. I pulled the cartridge out, shook it up and put it back in, and received the same message. Frak because it was too late to go out and get one because why would I have an extra cartridge in my house? Thus I moved those files to a USB Drive and figured when I get to my appointment I would ask to use the Ricoh copier and print them out.

There I am at the front door in the cold and the door is locked. It's 9:30AM why would the door be locked? I peered in the window to see that none of the lights were on and the office was empty.  I then made my way to the one of the other doors to give it a go, on the way I called the DM and the first thing I hear was "are you at the office Art?" I stated "yes I am". In the next 5 minutes my DM apologized for forgetting about the meeting, I then asked "let me email the order docs and just sign them and email them back to me today, will that work?".  Our DM agreed and that was that.

It was another hour ride back to the office, once at the office I had to set up the e-signature for the documents and off they went.  I had the docs with signatures back by 2PM today. Another one down and hoping many more to go.

The rest of my day was spent with a few emails, a 90 minute wide format meeting with a net new client and the rest of the day was dedicated to that net new content deal I'm trying to knock down.

With 5 days left in the year it's more about how can I get some of these opps to the order process. What else can I do to make things happen?  Six out of the ten opps sees me in a waiting mode, three out of those six gave me a date when I should expect to have the documents. The other 3 are still on the edge if I will be the one that wins their business.  The other four need some addition work.

I've never shied away from work and I guess the only thing I know is to keep moving things forward.  There is always a way to get it done, we just need to figure it out.  That's what the last 5 days of the year will be about.  Figuring it out.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety of Selling

As of right now I have five selling days left in the month, quarter and year.  Over the last three days I've been able to acquire zero orders.  Yes it's been somewhat disappointing however I still have one week or 25% of the month left to work some magic.

For a quick update,  my content deal for $53K is still there and still has a decent shot of closing for the month.  I have to re-do the proposal one more time and put it into an easier format.  In addition the client asked me to list the pros and cons for each of the four offerings.  At this time I'm thinking this will take the better part of tomorrow to review, re-format and change.

I received two emails today that I should have docs for two other opportunities by the end of this week.  One is for $8K and the other is for $16K. I have any appointment tomorrow morning at 9:30AM on-site that should result in documents for $15K. On the far rail is a net new  client that will give me a go or no for wide format color by Friday. This opportunity may post for $9K

My demo from last week was okay at best. I'll be the first to admit that you can be a little rusty after 9 months of not doing one demonstration.  However being rusty with the presentation was not the issue.  The issue is that a competitors device could a couple things that my device could not.  However at the end I was able to point out the pro's of my device and made the argument that our device will save countless hours when printing and scanning.  Not going to get in the weeds on this one because it's a working opportunity right now.  I did speak to the client today and we have a call scheduled for Monday.  This opportunity is $21K.

I had another client today that told me my price was too high!  Stated I was 25% higher than what he could find on the internet.  When I asked compared to what he wouldn't answer. I also asked to let me see the quotes so I can make sure we're apples to apples.  He wouldn't do that either.  I then asked about scheduling a call and he stated "send me your final price".  Yes I was kinda ticked because I put a lot of time into this but what do you expect from a pig but a grunt.

I wanted to write about videos in the last blog however my my fingers got tired of trying to keep up with my brain.  Since emailing and virtual presentations of proposals are more of the new normal why not try incorporating a couple of videos or video links for your clients.  Of course YouTube is the place to go and if you can't find a video that you're looking for then make your own.  I've done it several times for clients in the last few months and I believe it can give you an edge with the competition.  Think about the video thing for a moment, when you're in need of information and rep takes the time to send or make you a video who will you gravitate towards?

Big day tomorrow, I need to get one of these six opportunities under my belt and at least move two more towards a possible close by the end of the weeks.  The next few days will tell the take for the end of the year.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Seven of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Seven of Selling Copiers

It took me ten months but I was finally able to complete my first in office demo.  It was one of those most interesting days in quite sometime.  I received notice last night that I needed to get to the office early in order to have our wide format ready for a demonstration.  COVID19 had reared it's ugly head an one of my team members is quarantined and I was able to pick up the slack.

Initially my plans were to arrive at the office by 8AM, however a severe accident stopped traffic and my arrival was more like 9AM.  My demo was scheduled for 12PM-12:30PM however there was much to do and much to prep for. By 11AM I was finished and ready for my clients.  As it worked out my clients had heavy traffic getting to my office and by the time they arrived it was after 1PM.

The demo went well and not so well.  When a client is coming from one brand to another there are always a few features that one tends to get use to. In my case it was two key features that my Ricoh device could not replicate, however there were three features that Ricoh offered over his existing brand that he did like.  When it came down to the end I presented the pros and cons and of course there were a few additional action items that I could not act on immediately.  Thus the client had to leave and an order was not signed.  I've already followed up on those action item and I will be calling tomorrow.  This opportunity is $24K.

I felt rusty during the demo, it had been sometime since I've demo'd an MFP and there were times when I felt like I was fishing for the right buttons to push when those questions came up.  Yet I did admit that it's been 10 months since I did a demo on this device and apologized for not remembering all of the steps.  All in all it seemed to go over well as anything does in the time of COVID.

One thing I did notice is that I couldn't see an expression on their faces since we all had masks on. I felt like that was an dis-advantage for me and an advantage for the client.  Never the less we got through it.

I'm now down the last 8 selling days of the year. I received the one signed PO yesterday for $8.4.  I still have five opportunities in the weeds that total another $70K.  In addition I believe another $30K that will happen in the next eight days.  The reason for counting these is because with one account I have a meeting for next week.

The other reason is because I performed a test with another client.  I emailed the order docs late Monday , and they have lease trigger date for this month.  With the meeting we had on Monday I went over the logistics of the install, received the verbal but was told that the docs have to be signed off by another person.  The test was to schedule an short appointment with the client to go on-site and gather the network report from the existing MFP. Once that was appointment was approved it told me there's a good shot that this opportunity will happen.  Had they told me no then that would have raised a red flag as to "why not"?

Yesterday also had me with a larger net new client that needs to make a content change rather ASAP.  Our first meeting took place yesterday and is scheduled for tomorrow.  I believe as long as we can develop the SOW and pricing by next week that this opportunity has a shot also. I have not clue as to the revenue yet but have an idea that it could be rather substantial.

All is all while some opps are still in the weeds, and with 37% of the month left. I'm still optimistic that I can make this happen.   There's no place to go but up!

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Four of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Four of Selling Copiers

The blog I wrote last week centered more about how I feel about the state of our industry.  There's no getting around the fact that business is not what it used to be for copiers.  But who the frak needs copiers when you can also offer up content solutions?

Today I received a referral for a content opportunity and it's going to be a decent sized one.  Thus in the last 30 day I have three content deals working.  Yes, one of those opportunities has some hardware in it, one is in the lowish 5 digits, another in middle 5 digits and todays meeting could be upper five digits for revenue.  Trust me I have no problem with change and if content is going to drive my business then I'm all in!

Of course that one content deal is from last month and that's the one that has the content and some hardware in the offering.  The DM had a tough week last week and emailed me stating that they required a couple of additional days to render their decision.  At the first of the month this is the opportunity that would make me or break me for the month of December.  That $53K can go a long way and I'm resigned to being somewhat patient right now.

Late Friday I received a purchase order for an A3 color for $8.5K, however it the PO was not signed.  I'm hoping to have that back tomorrow to kick off my week.  In addition I had a verbal come across from another existing account for $16k and documents were sent today with an urgency to get these back this week.

Just a few moments ago I sent another quote to an existing account for $17K and I have a feeling that this has some good legs for December also.

December is always a tough month and since I need 80K it's going to be that special type of grind.  Nothing gets over looked, extra hours and prepping for each day goes along way.

I've got a few other opportunities out there but I didn't have the chance to move those forward today.  Tomorrow will be a mix of follow ups along with some mild prospecting.  The only thing that counts now is to get some of these opps under my belt so I can focus on some of those that are in the weeds.

COVID19 is sill an issue in NJ, however it seems many of the smaller SMB accounts are navigating it quite well.  Smaller SMB's for me is 30 employees or less and still putting focus on the AEC market.

More to come, apologies for the short blog tonight, however I have a ton or work that still needs to be done.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Two of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty-Two of Selling Copiers

Just in the last week I posted some additional pictures of older copiers on this site.  For some reason it always seems that those vintage picture of the copiers that we used to sell brings back awesome memories.  With a recent thread on Linkedin where I pictured an old analog Mita copy machine, that thread has more than 7,000 views.  In addition I find it odd that it's only this time of year when I tend to find and post those old pictures. Thinking it has to do something with the time of year and the holidays.

With another recent blog post on this I wrote this for the first paragraph.

"Some may ask how will our industry grow after COVID19? There's some naysayers proclaiming that our industry is doomed and it will never be like it was. Personally I think the pandemic has allowed us to reset and rethink our industry. I believe the next 5 years will be the best we've had in 10 years."

9 Months

The last nine months has allowed me more than my share of time to sit back and take in our industry in a greater picture.  While many see peril and turmoil, I've been able to see the bigger picture of our industry. I stated this to a colleague the other day when I was asked about what COVID19 has done to our industry.  I stated it's the best thing that's every happened to our industry and I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring.

I believe that the last five years allowed us to be complacent about our surroundings and our clients needs. There was no reason for our industry to change even though we were heading towards the end of the track.  You know what I'm taking about it's what others called "the race to zero".

COVID19

The emergence of COVID19 has changed everything.  The emergence of COVID19 has also awakened the creative juices in every entrepreneur in our industry.  I can see that our business is changing and it's just not about the clicks anymore.  It's about dealers owners and entrepreneurs once again taking the risk to change their offerings to their clients and listening to our clients.

The 60's, 70's and 80's was an exceptional time in our industry.  Copier dealerships started in homes, garages and in most cases funded with very little cash and maybe some credit cards.  Those entrepreneurs put everything aside because they had no fear of risk and had to vision to see the best of times.

In recent chats with many in the industry there is no feeling that we've been defeated, there is no fear that are industry is no heading towards the end of the track.  Yet there is a new feeling is of optimism that is gaining steam with everyone.  It's been nine months and yes we've seen the worst of times, but I  believe that next five years can be the best of times.

I thought the below song would fit right in with this blog. Thus while many may think that times are bleak there are others like me who believe that COVID19 gave us that wake up call that will change us forever. Change is good!



I urge you to not hang your head low, but to keep pushing forward, keep turning over those rocks (prospecting) and keep listening to what our clients want.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty of Selling

COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Eighty of Selling Copiers

Last time I blogged on this series was last Tuesday.  Of course Wednesday was the day before Thanksgiving and I was off on Friday.  Thinking back the Thanksgiving break is always the same, it's always four days off.  Having off that many days in a row, especially moving into the last month of the year is great to reset for the final countdown.  It's also a tradition of sorts that I take a weeks vacation after Christmas to recharge one more time.  When you get to may age you need as much recharging time as you can squirrel away.

Nothing much has changed opportunity wise in the last week.  My content/hardware appointment went fairly well last Wednesday.  After the meeting I was told it would go to the board for approval and expect a call back on Monday or Tuesday of this week.

Rather than calling or emailing first thing this AM I figured I would let the ball travel a bit.  By 4 PM I was done with letting that ball travel and sent my DM an email.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will happen tomorrow and that's about all I can do at this point.

Never ever assume you have the order until you have the signed documents in hand right?  However I was taught when working with a client is that you always assume you will get the order.  I guess both go hand in hand these days.

Today was a day when I knew I had to address my demons.  For those that don't know it my demon is cold calling on the phone.  I know it has to be done and I can't move forward if I don't get them done.  For some it's easy,  for me it's a demon that I still struggle with.  However I put the big boy pants on this AM and made a whopping 12 calls, sent 10 emails, sent 1 Linkedin inmail.  Thus for the day I acquired 2 appointments and adding one opportunity.

I was also able to squeeze in three appointments and one of those was another content meeting.   I can see the writing on the wall and I need increase my opportunities for content.  It also turns out that this content opportunity could bring in $25K in revenue.  So that's some killer revenue for a down the street rep.

Desire to hit my annual number, dedication to increasing my knowledge and determination to finish will drive me for the rest of the month.  Even though I'm an old fart I still have the three D's of selling burning inside. 

Wait, one more item,  when sending prospecting emails make sure you put 2021 in the subject line. I picked this up an Linkedin the other day and I agree we are all done with 2020 and anything with 2021 I'm going to open.

-=Good Selling=-

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