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Memoirs of a Copier Sales Person

The Race to Zero is Over

I can't decide if this will be one of those longer blogs or maybe one of the shorter ones.  It's after 10PM and I just finished all of the P4P Hotel updates.

What I wanted to write about is my thoughts and ideas about what our industry calls the "Race to Zero".  I'm sure the phrase was coined sometime and some place long ago.  For the last 25 years we've used that phrase quite often to explain a brief explanation of the copier service business model.

It's my belief that the "race to zero" is over for those that want it to be over.  I heard a recent conversation about a bid for copiers/MFP's where the service and supply cost was at .002.  That dealer principal stated that they believed the dealer needed to win the bid because of decreased COVID revenue.

That previous statement sends a salvo to my message that the race to zero is now over.  However I'd like to point out my thoughts as to why I believe what I do.

1.  Inflation is now hovering around 5%.  Everything is going up, heck when my wife got back from the supermarket last week she told me a 1lb package of bacon was $10.  We all understand that everything is going up and why not increase our maintenance and service costs now, because we're going to need it very soon.

2. Our industry has a technician problem with aging techs (many are boomers and gen x).  Many of those younger techs are now leaving the industry because they are being offered jobs that pay more, have better benefits and they don't have to travel to multiple offices every day and may get exposed to Covid.  Our industry will need to increase our pay rate and benefits to offset the loss of existing techs and create some type of program to bring younger people into our industry. Which means we'll have to increase our pricing for copier/mfp products and services.

Just a thought here, maybe it's time to offer tiered service response time. We offer clients guaranteed service response times for x price for x amount of hours.  Two hour response is an extra $100 per month, 4 hours for $50, 6 hours our regular charge. 

3. Staying with the technician issue,  I believe that many of the dealerships that are not diversified will not weather the storm.  Decreased page volumes, increased inflation along with the loss of techs that can't be replaced will sound the alarm that many of these dealers will need to fish or cut bait.  Many will choose the later and cut the bait to sell what they have an get out while they can. Thus the need to increase our revenue to prepare for additional acquisitions.

4.  With the age of Covid mixed with another year of supply chain issues, clients that need print devices are not as concerned about cost per page (maintenance/supply agreements), nor the price of the device but are fixed on how soon can we get our device.  Thus there's an opportunity to increase prices as long as the dealer has the equipment available for both maintenance/supplies and GP margin.

5. Many clients in the last 18 months have experienced the ravages of COVID with our industry. There was a time when many clients were not in the office but there were many companies that were deemed as essential companies. Those essential were open and conducting business and having to work with many dealers that furloughed or laid off technicians.  Many of those techs never came back and many of the clients remember what they went through to get someone on-site in a timely manner.  Those essential clients became service/response sensitive and understood that there is a price to pay for better support.  Better service and support commands a premium for that business.

There will still be many dealers that will play in the Race to Zero as we move to the end of 2021 and into 2022 especially for RFPS and bids.

I believe everything has changed during the last 18 months, what was up is now down and what was down is now up. Dealers that are well financed, well endowed with faithful employees and offering diversified products will be able to write their own successes.

-=Good Selling=-

My Bucket List Before I Retire from the Copier Industry

I wrote this 7 years ago and made a few changes to keep up with the times

Almost 41 years ago that copier tech job that I landed did not work out for servicing copiers. On that fate full day I was told I do a great job at taking the copiers apart but not so good at putting them back together.

The dealer principal pulled the Columbo close on me as I was about to leave his office. Guess I struck a nerve and I was offered a job to sell copiers.....and I never stopped.  I was never was a slacker and had this thought that I was never really good at anything however I could be great at selling copiers.  Many years later I had this silly notion that I wanted to make my name synonymous with the copier industry as xerox is to a copy.  What a pipe dream eh?

Thus now that I'm on the downward trend of my career there are still some things that I'd like to accomplish and maybe somethings that I'd like to see happen before I exit (not saying that's going to happen any time soon).  But here's my list:

  • I'd like to have one day of door to door cold calling with out seeing a "no soliciting sign" or dealing with a rude gatekeeper.
  • I'd like a prospect to tell me this, "we like you, we like your product but we think your price is to low, how about we increase the lease payments by a hundred dollars a month if we sign the deal today"!
  • I'd like to get a lead a day for the next 30 days, with no prospecting involved.
  • I'd like to go an entire year where I've reached my monthly quota by the second week of every month.
  • I'd like to nail my yearly quota by the end of the second quarter of next year.
  • I'd like every prospect to call me back after the first message I left for them.
  • It would be awesome to tell at least one cheap, tight ass prospect that I don't want to do business with you.  (I did this recently)
  • For one week, I'd like to make an appointment with every cold call I made that day.  Heck, I could have a months worth of appointments in one day.
  • I'd like to have one month were all my commission reports were correct in my favor.
  • Last but not least, I'd like to be able to get an order for 100 systems in one order, heck I'd even take 50 but then I'd want a hundred.



Enough said. Actually one more item, when I was let go with the copier tech position the owner of the company asked me a parting question. He stated "let me ask you one question", he reached into his pocket and pull out a wad $100 bills and stated "which would you rather do, work the rest of the week days for what's in my hand or would you rather try to talk me out of it"?  

Now I thought to my self that my mamma did not raise a fool and I tried for what seemed like 30 minutes., I never talked him out of the money however I was offered the job in sales....hmmmm, maybe this should happen more often on interviews???

-=Good Selling=

Our Copier Industry & The Hits Keep Coming

It's basically the end of October and another year is set to hit the books for most of us. Tomorrow starts the first day of November for me and this is my final push to see where I can finish for 2021.
I wrote these notes last night for my weekly email update below and I've added a few additional thoughts. Keep in mind that I'm still having some issues with proofing (lol, I think I always did but now I have something to tag it on )

State of the Industry

The other day I had a long discussion with my long time buddy Larry K, and I made mention that in my 41 years in the industry I've never seen our industry take this many hits like we have in the last 18 months.  I don't need to rehash every instance of those 18 months but we understand it's been a mighty struggle.
My Concerns/Sales
I have some serious concerns about our industry. First and most important is the continued back ordering of devices and my concern for many of us that make our living in sales. For as long as I remember it's been a commission based compensation with a meager salary.  I like to equate the pay structure as getting waiter/waitresses pay and we're all in this for the commissions because the pay structure would never support the families.

Commissions

If you're only paid when MFPs are delivered and funded then receiving commissions become a waiting game. My question becomes who has the bigger bucks to hold out for the MFPs to be delivered.  The dealer owners or the sales people? This is not meant to rag on dealer owners and I understand the issue at hand that we all face. I would just hate to see our industry lose talented sales people and can only hope that dealers will find ways to help sales people with additional comp or draws to get us all through these times.
Concerns/Techs
I've always seen techs as an aging bunch (just like me) because I don't hear of or see many 20 something technicians. Lately I've heard from multiple dealer owners that they've had many techs leave the copier industry and take jobs out of the industry.   The reason recent frenzy of hiring and compensation offers in the last 6 months. Many of these dealers can't find techs to fill the voids.
Forty one years ago I was hired as a trainee for a copier service school. The school was a 16 week course and at the end of the course that company found every tech a job (of course it was entry level).  The program was run in conjunction with the local government county. The program was funded by the feds along with county peeps and the dealer to facilitate the training program.
When it was all said and done that dealership ran 4 or 5 classes graduating around 120 techs. To boot we were paid an amazing $3.15 per hour.
I wanted to mentioned this because maybe this might be an idea that may help others. I know the entry level position will not fill the entire void, however it's a start.

Copier Inflation

A few more thoughts,  one of the easiest ways to keep the existing techs is to make sure they are paid well and compensated well.  I'm thinking instead of seeing the race to zero we will now start seeing the increase for cost per page, maintenance agreements, and hourly charges.  It could also be a blessing as long as we can finally stop the raise to zero.

Hardware/supply prices are already up and some as high as 10% and we'll see higher prices if the container prices continue to increase for the next year.

Do you recall the idiom "the straw that broke the camel's back", it was more about a number of issues or events that finally added up to the breaking point?  At this time I'm not so sure how many straws we can take.

-=Good Selling=-
Looking for a Greener Pastures?
I have a well respected dealer principal that is looking to higher trained Canon technicians for the Salem, Virginia area. They are willing to extend relocation costs and offer an excellent comp program. I've been to his location and the area is beautiful. A great area of the country, and a great area to raise a family! Please follow this link and contact Paul Story Sr.

Jail Break and I'm Out of Cardiac Jail

Actually I've been waiting to get out of Cardiac Jail for the last thirty days!

I was finally sprung mid-afternoon on Friday the 8th and I decided to take a couple of days from posting anything on the Print4Pay Hotel and social media for the weekend.

After my first stent (3) procedure it's been more about just trying to pace with work and all of the changes in my life. Yes, things had to change and it was more about how I had to change.  During those days there wasn't much I could do rather then sending and answering emails along with a few phone calls.

Make of those calls in the first days was though and I was doubting my ability due to my loss of words and train of thought. I was promised by my Neurologist that as time passed I would get back to my excellent communication ways in 5-12 months. It's now 2 weeks short of two months and I feel I'm getting mentally stronger each day.

My VP

In the beginning I had some time with my VP of Sales (Tim) and I enjoy what we've developed over the years.  It will be sad for the one day when I finally decide to pack in the retirement watch one day .

In the early days of my stroke I had a chat with Tim about my Neurologist about what I've lost mentally. It was more about a game of word association like "name five types of fish", then "give me five movies you've recently watched". There is no doubt was pretty poor at the start of the game. In fact,  I was maybe naming one of the five for each category and that stated to worry me.

My second track with the Neurologist was centered around work.  What I remember and what I don't remember and not remembering is the toughest part when you're not being asked questions.  However I asked the "Dr" can you ask me these questions about work.  We centered on sales and prospecting to start. First question up was asking me about my sales job and believe it or not everything was perfect!  I had no loss of memory for anything related to work and my sales job. Whew, that made be feel so much better

The next question asked me to tell me 5 things about prospecting...........such a crucial part of my job it is. I tracked a zero for answering any questions about prospecting, in fact my wife (she was there also) gave me a hint and tried jogging me with a cell call to kick start the prospecting.

That hint failed also, and it's obvious that I had a problem larger that I thought.  I had forgotten how to prospect even on the phone! My on my, forty plus years of prospecting out the door!  After a couple of hours we finally finished with my Dr.  as he supplied me with a note for Tim my VP of Sales.

"Please excuse Art from all activities of prospect and especially by the phone,  because has lost the ability to recall any level of prospecting".

Now that's a good one and yes that's a joke that I spoke about in the early days, there was no note and Tim was a great sport about my shenanigans.

Prospecting

There are days when I can go ten rounds when sparring with a verbal chat and there are other days when I'm lucky if I can go one.

I am lucky because I can see that I am getting better and that helps the process.

The Future

I'm not sure where my future lies right now. Three months ago I would have stated I'd be doing this for another 20 years.  I know that I still love what I do and don't plan to stop it, however time and GODS will may take me down other paths.

I do need to thank my wife again and again for all of her support and he love.

-=Good Selling=-

Some Days You're on Point & Other Days Everything is a Miss

Recently I've been back to prospecting, yes I'm the 64 year old dude that still wants to prospect.

Last 4 Days

In the last 4 days I lost 2 net new accounts because I missed the mark with offering the client additional device options. Mind you,  the prospect I met with had no reason for an A3 color device. Our A4 color would have met their needs for years.  The prospect never asked if there was a larger color MFP. In fact the prospect was adamant about the finances that were available.  Thus where I thought I was helping the client with one quote for one device I hurt my chances by not including a second quote for an A3 color MFP. Apparently someone produced an offer for an A3 color MFP that kicked my butt.

I  still need to  remember to offer the client multiple devices and let the client choose. I'm usually in the camp for offering multiple devices but in this case I made the mistake and lost the opportunity.

Family Account

Another account that I've been tracking for color production for the better part of 18 months got back to me a few days ago. Now this was an existing account for years, we were good with everything, never ever was there an issue.  Out of the blue I was emailed that the client pulled the trigger on another brand. Yes I was floored but not surprised.

Now with this account there is nothing I would have ever changed about the models we mentioned, along with our chats and pricing.  I have yet to figure out why I lost.  But I'm sure when we follow up in the near future it will come out that the client bought from someone they knew that just hooked up with their new copier company. Over the years I can tell you that I've lost at least a dozen of those deals to those family reps.  Now x amount of years later none of those reps are still in the industry

Things Happen in Threes

I'm sure I'll have another opportunity that will pass in the next few days. It always seems to happen in threes an that's  okay for me because I'll end up make room for additional opportunities to fill the passes.

Prospecting

Prospecting today is more about prospecting my ways.  Over the years I've thrown enough crap on the wall to see what sticks. I've found that times that you call, apps that you use to reach out, along with certain days will produce more that the 30 year old phone blocks. Just like one of the reps that I worked with today, they found out this little bit of information about wrapped this info around the talk track and it produced appointments. Do not ever be afraid to try something new because you might land on something that works.

MY next 8 weeks is now about trying to find $180K in revenue. I'm over the hump for the year, but packing in another $180K during the world series year would put icing on the cake for a great career.

-=Good Selling=-

70% of office equipment sales reps do NOT include any solutions

70% of office equipment sales reps do NOT include any solutions in their MFP proposals was a recent survey that was published with ENX Magazine.

In addition these statements came from that article. 

Suggests that sales reps focus on:

  • Focus on the big picture benefits of the hardware/software/services working in concert
  • Do not get bogged down in specs and features of the solution
  • Offer all-inclusive monthly payment, instead of separating hardware and
    solutions

80/20 Rule

My first thought is that 30% of the reps are including pricing and or information for the solutions.  When we think about the 80/20 rule it tells us that 20% of the reps are making the 80% of the commissions. Thus I don't think 30% of reps selling or offering is a terrible number, however there's a lot missing when it comes to solution revenue, and solutions that create sticky clients for multiple years.

I'm one of those 30 percent reps and in most cases I'm always pitching solutions to my clients.  My reason for offering solutions is pretty simple on a couple of different points.

If I'm not selling solutions then my competitor is.

I will also look to offer the best opportunities to my clients to make my products or values be a difference maker. It's not about copy, scan, print and fax anymore, it's more about digging down with the client and finding issues that make their job take more time.  If I can pin point that issue and have that client buy in,  then our solution makes sense then it's an additional check in our column for when it comes time to purchase.

Focus on the big picture benefits of the hardware/software/services working in concert

I can agree with the bigger picture of the hardware/software/services working in concert but we still need to keep an eye on our competitors. I like to say that if I find a competitor that's not offering a valued solution to the client then I'll find a way to talk about how the combination of the the MFP and solution will make a better option.

Do not get bogged down in specs and features of the solution

You need to understand the specs and the features of the solution before you can offer an option that will work for the client.    So to tell a client that we have this great PaperCut solution that will save you $2000 a year is not going to convince the client that they need the solution.  The rep that takes the time to explain the specs and features will score points with the client so they can decide if the solution is something that will help them.

Offer all-inclusive monthly payment, instead of separating hardware and
solutions

In recent months it seems that the all-inclusive maintenance/lease payment is picking up steam.  Adding $15, $25 or $50 per month per device is a simple way of  delivering a simple billable delivery to the client.  We do need to make sure that those amounts per month can be billed as pass through. Thus the client is not paying interest costs with the current lease.

Back to 70% don't include or offer solutions

Most of the industry manufacturers have been horrific when offering vendor  solutions to our dealer vendors. We've seen solutions launched time after time to only see those solutions fail and discontinue in a couple of years. Dealer vendors and dealer salespeople will find it hard to go back to those clients with addition solutions that failed the first solution offering.

Solution Offerings

What I find is that there is not enough time being spent by either the dealer or the manufacturer about the subscription solution.  If more time was spent by both the dealer rep and the dealer rep (rolling pricing and programs out to our sales people) would make a big difference helping sales people understand their solutions better.  Better understanding allows the reps to offer additional options to our clients.

Would love to hear from others

-=Good Selling=-

Daily Thought Sales Blogs "Section 179"

Many of us still have the mind set that it's still summer .  Hate to burst the bubble but summer is over!

I had a recent interaction with an existing client that upgraded from an older wide format to a new wide format device.  I was able to check on availability and our first window of delivery is the second week of November.  The client was okay with that but that means we're in the jack pot for a two months time frame for delivery.

My first thought was about  Section 179 because one of the covenants requires that the leased or purchased equipment needs to be delivered before or on the last day of the month ( December 31st ).

With exponential delays with equipment, this means that we need to explain to clients that their window for delivery is now 6 weeks smaller than previous years when there were no problems with supply chain issues!

FYI, the struggle is real and we need to hit this home to all of our clients.

-=Good Selling=-

Daily Thought Sales Blogs "MFP Screens"

So, I'm thinking an easier thought track for me until I get 100% back on my feet will be short blog thoughts. Let's get it going.

Yesterday

Yesterday I sent an email to a new client asking if we're ready to move forward with the order (always assume the order).

I received a reply this AM that they aren't ready at this time and I posed to punt on the question why they aren't ready to buy now.  Yet I choose to focus on the additional question that asked "the screen on your device is it touch device?"

I thought it was too easy since almost all of our MFP devices have touch devices.  But I then asked why is that question being asked?  Could it be asked be cause there is an underlying question about the screens?

With the entire world dealing with Covid19 I thought just maybe someone else has a no touch MFP solution that I'm not aware of.  Thus with my reply to the client I explained that we do have a color touch device and added an additional talk track  that we have a "safety" security feature that allows end users to control the MFP color screen with their smart phone devices.

Okay, so maybe I was over thinking the question from the client, but I'd rather cover all my bases because I've seen some pretty crazy buying questions in the last 41 years.

-=Good Selling=-

Short & Sweet for My First Sales Blog Back

Ah the title of my first real blog since my world was turned upside down almost two weeks ago.  Over the past couple of days I've found a couple of hours here and there to catch up with current accounts and answer some emails.  For me it's been more about trying to stay even with the existing opportunities and and some of the orders that went down early in the month.  Today I sent an order to an existing client for two A4 color MFP's and of course there was no response that the email was received.

Tomorrow I'll dig a little deeper into getting back to 30% of my work day and keep it light for a least a week or so. I still have to go back to my Doctor for one more procedure that will require me to stay one night at the Hospital.

I guess at this point in time I want to finish strong for the quarter (which I have opps in the pipe line that should close), but I don't want to burn the candle deep with prospecting until I get the all clear from my Cardiologist.

Concerning

Of course one of my concerns is that my stress and other habits contributed to  my recent issue with my health.  At my age I need to recognize that there are risks with the continued stress of selling each month and quarter.  I've never been able to turn off the part about not wanting to do my best and the other part that I can't turn off is beating my self up if I don't hit what I'm expected of.  Those wants and beating my self up now needs to change.

It will be a come to Jesus meeting that I'll need to discuss with others in the near future.  Don't get me wrong I still love to do every day,  but I just need guarantees to eliminate the monthly and quarterly stress so I can continue.

This is my first blog and the first few will be short because I still have issues with words or phrases from time to time. I figure the more I write the better I'll get with the small parts I lost a few weeks ago.

Would love to hear from others.

-=Good Selling=-

Just When I Thought All Was Coming Up Roses

Please excuse me if some of the words are not formed corrective.

It was Wednesday early in the day,  and Tuesday saw me secure an existing client for 22K.  That was a great way to start the month and by 11AM an existing client added another 10k for a production RT device and a high end stacker.  By mid day Wednesday every thing was clicking, it was another hour later when an existing client client added a 7k. Within another 25 minutes I received another 5k from a client about PM for an A4 device.

By 4 PM on Wednesday I was at 43k for the first two selling days of the month.   July saw me add $140k in orders and June finished at 11k.

It was going to be a great month because there were other ducks on the pond for the month. At 6pm all went to ****. My wife knew there was something amiss. Kathy was concerned because I was not responding to her questions. Me, I had no clue and was not aware I was having a stroke. Make a long story short and I was off to the hospital confirming the stroke. It’s now Friday and we find out I have a clot in my heart, the only remedy is to have Herparin dissolve the clot.

So we never know what happens from day to day.  There were no warnings and I was enjoying life.

I’ll be taking some days off over the next few weeks and hope to be back in the near future.

Special thanks for those that have contacted me and thanks so much.

Art

PS only took me 3 hours to write this

Is the Pandemic Over Yet?

I've been thinking quite a bit about the world that I now sell in.  With the Delta variant picking up steam here in the East, I'm concerned that the Pandemic may have not run it's course just yet.

It's my belief that this pandemic started here in the US in late November or early December of 2019.  The reason I believe that is because everyone in my family got sick in December and all of us tested negative for the flu.  It was nasty for us but we came out it. We'll never know since there was no testing for COVID19 at that time.

Thus as far as I'm concerned we're into this for 21 months now and most of us in the sales world have experienced 18 months of change. Personally I thought we were out of this in May, however in recent days at least here in NJ some businesses have instituted their own mask mandates, all K12 schools will be in session but all will have to wear masks, and most all of our colleges are mandating that students be vaccinated or they can't attend class. In addition I've heard of some businesses now mandating that a condition of employment is that you're vaccinated  for COVID19.  The NJ Marathon was just cancelled and many indoor and outdoor events are requiring proof of vaccination.

Sales

Sales has been uneven for the last 90 days. Some months are up and some are down, I was fortunate to close two rather large opportunities last week that totaled $135K in revenue.  One of those opps with an existing client took 6 months from start to finish. The other opportunity that closed wasn't even on my 90 day funnel (the hardier you work, the luckier you get).  However I still think about the state of business if those two opps did not go down.  When removing those opps the market here in NJ is sluggish and it's not just me, I've spoken to two other dealer principals that are seeing the same business climate in NJ.

BTA National Event

This week features the BTA National Convention in San Diego. Many solution vendors, speakers and vendors will gather from across the county for this two day event.  I'm sure the state of our industry will be one of the hot discussions with those back door chats. I wish I could be there but I choose to stay home and put in the work to make sure I can finish my year where I want to be. This is what I do and I know no other way and I still enjoy what I do even after all of these years.

Questions I Have

  • Will companies in our industry start to mandate a COVID19 vaccine for employees?
  • Will companies that I visit require me to show proof of vaccination?
  • Will companies revert back to no visitors from salespeople as the Delta variant gains strength?
  • Will we ever get back to where we were in business prior to the pandemic?
  • Will we do this all over again for the next H1N1 or Swine Flu?
  • Is this our new normal business climate?
  • Will NJ or other states go back to requiring masks for indoors?
  • Has the pandemic forever altered our industry?
  • Will we really need a Virus Passport to travel from State to State?


One thing I do know is that I don't have the answers for any of those questions.

With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 just a few short weeks away it got me thinking about many of the hardships we've been through over the last twenty years. With 9/11 did not give up, we went back to work and we made the best of things that we could.

I guess that's the attitude we have to take with us as we continue to fight an unstable business client.  Keep pushing, keep moving forward and don't ever, ever give up.

-=Good Selling=-

Is It Time to Add an Additional Covenant to Copier Leases?

It's common knowledge that I've been struggling with hitting my numbers for the last 8 weeks.  I should have expected a run like this since I had a run of 14 months that were above average.  Instead of saying "Why Me", I'd rather stick to "Why Not Me".

I had five appointments in the field today and that gave me a lot of windshield time and time to think.  Because of the pandemic and now the ensuing Delta variant I have at least 5-6 leases that are in renewal.  At this time I've not found a way to get those clients to upgrade.  In most cases it's easy to show the show the savings on the maintenance side in order to facilitate the  upgrade.  I have three clients that can save thousands yet they still won't pull the trigger and  are in rollover with month to month to month clause.

With most copiers leases there are four options at the end of the lease.

  • upgrade
  • purchase
  • return
  • don't return and don't buy, just keep renting on a month to month, or every two months and some leases will auto renew for 12 months

I would tend to think that most copier dealers that use leasing companies have these options in the lease.  The fourth clause can be different from each dealer and or leasing company.

I'm also aware that there are many dealers that have their own leasing companies and they may dictate the end of lease terms differently from what I've seen and what I use in the field.

Car Leases

I just looked up the terms of my car lease and at the end I have three options. One is to purchase the leased vehicle, upgrade to a new lease or return the car and walk away.  There is no rollover clause that I know of, however I have heard that some of the car manufacturers will grant a short term extension of the lease if needed.  Pretty simple stuff right?

Times Like These

We've never endured times like these before in our industry.  I've got five to six leases in rollovers and I can only imagine how many others are in the same boat as me.  It's times like these that make you think about those terms and conditions and if they could be changed to help facilitate upgrades in a more timely manner.

Rollovers

At some point in time these clients will pull the trigger on the upgrade but when you're struggling you tend to think that just maybe there is another option to add or takeway.  Most leases state if you don't exercise your option the lease will renew on a month to month, every two months and then some that have a 12 month rollover.  I've heard that some of the leasing companies will roll a portion of that rental back to the dealer.  So, that's great for the dealer but not so great for the sales person because they don't see any of that revenue. Thus good for the leasing company and somewhat good for the dealer.

What I Would Like to See

I'm not sure if I'll be around when the next pandemic hits, but it would make sense to me that a dealer may want to re-think the the fourth option of the roll over.  Now this idea comes from chats with many clients that have asked me about the end of lease options. When I get to option 4 which is the roll over some of the clients asked me if there is an additional cost for the device once the lease goes into the month to month. The reaction from the client is more like they thought there would be an increase at the end of the term.  Of course there isn't but what if there was?  Why can't the month to month rental double in cost or there is no month to month option and the equipment has to be purchased, upgraded or sent back.

If we had these additional covenants it would be a win for the leasing company (especially if the lease went to rollover at double the cost), win for the dealer and the sales person would have a much better chase of securing the upgrade at the end of the lease.

Again the only reason that this came to mind is my current situation but it does get you thinking and when you compare the end of lease options with a car it seems to be that they are better at protecting the upgrade process.

As my buddy @VinceMcHugh, just my two cents

-=Good Selling=-

Will Delta Variant Push Us Back One More Time?

Just when I thought the coast was clear of COVID19 it seems that we may be in for a bumpy ride.

New Jersey

Where oh were do I start?  During our Governors press briefing today he stated that the Delta variant cases are up 22% statewide. In addition the RT has risen to 1.37 (anything over 1.0 means the virus is spreading).  While our Governor has not mandated any restrictions other than those in already in place he did state that they may be coming down the road if the situation gets worse.

Lovely just lovely to hear

If we go back to masks and closings I'm afraid that all of the good that was accomplished since May will be nothing more than a flash in the pan.

Seven Weeks

The last seven weeks for me has been stale. I'm holding at least 28 opportunities and all have stalled.  There's a couple opportunities that would put me over the top, with one for $65K and the other for $35K.  One trigger point has passed on the one lease and the other has a due date in September.  With Delta on the horizon I've got this feeling that these two larger opportunities could hold their cards a longer that I thought.  Which really screws up my pipeline.  I have some smaller opportunities that could pop but all them are in the $5-7K range and it takes a lot of them to make up for the last seven weeks.

I relegated the last four weeks to prospecting an I'm sure that will be the theme for the next two to three weeks.  When the pipeline is dry or stalled you go out and find more opportunities right?

We have reps that are kicking ass and doing really well in Pa, but New Jersey seems to be a different animal when it comes to COVID19.  It's my belief that since New Jersey was locked down for so long that many took the opportunity to enjoy the summer and put off those buying decisions until the fall.  I can't blame them because most of us did not take the time we needed last summer because of restrictions.  This summer has proven to be a real bear in the business climate.

What can I do to change things?

The only chance I have to reverse this is to keep on prospecting and sooner or later good things will happen. The old saying still holds true that winners make things happen and losers wait for things to happen.  Lately even prospecting is starting to take it's toll on me, when I used to be able to find 5-7 opportunities in a week, it's now more like 2-4 I'm finding and most are small revenue.

But we continue to move forward, never give up with the expectation that good things will happen.

Tomorrow is another day and it's always a good day to find more opportunities!

-=Good Selling=-

Is 1 Rate aka Flat Rate Billing Passe

Is 1 Rate aka Flat Rate Billing Passe in a Post Pandemic Business World?

Since July is all about prospecting I've been able to pay many visits to Linkedin for conducting my research.  Today the post below stood out from all of the others.....

Yes, it seems Kyocera is going to have their own version of the 1 Rate aka flat rate billing for MFP's. For me the ad implied that the "one fixed rate subscription will be coming to a dealership near you soon".

I had a rather long chat with an industry veteran today and we covered so many items in the industry and then landed on the 1 Rate aka flat rate programs.  I was asked about my opinion for the subscription based billing model that was gaining popularity before COVID19 struck.

I believe that the subscription based models (1 Rate or Flat Rate) is good for clients that are producing a high volume of prints.  Most DM's can see the value and take it to the bank.  With those lower volume users there are many us of in the industry that can pick the plan apart and offer a less expensive alternative to the client.  That's what we were doing in the pre-COVID19 times.

Since we're in a post pandemic business climate my thoughts have changed about the subscription based billing model.  Many if not all businesses were forced to adapt to "shelter in place" and then launch remote services for most employees to work from home.  Thus those MFP's in the office sat idle for months and months on end with little to no volume being produced.  Win, win for the manufacturer and major loss for the clients.  Since many subscription billing models are tied to a lease there was no way for a client to get a financial relief with the MFPs not in use. They still had to pay and I'm sure the thought of what a great plan it was turned in to more of what did I do?

I guess the nice thing about having a maintenance agreement separate from the lease means that if a client asks the dealership there maybe a chance that some relief can be offered.  Well not a chance because I know many dealerships that did offer some type of relief for those clients that asked.

Post Pandemic Subscription

Most business leaders will make decisions based on past experiences and many will also rely on a vision of what the next few years will be like before signing a long term contract.

I and others believe that we will see more of these "shelter in place" and businesses relegating employees remote working when the next pandemic hits.  I don't believe it's a case of "if" it happens but rather when it happens. I don't believe that it will be another 100 year cycle like the Spanish Flu.  I do believe that we now live in a different world when it comes to viruses and whose to say that what we just went through won't happen again with the next few years.

Getting back to the subscription billing model means locking in for 5 years and I can't see any business owner/leader approving something like that after what the world just went through.

_=Good Selling=-

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