Skip to main content

Memiors of a Copier Sales Person

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Eight of Selling

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Eight of Selling Copiers

One of my goals for Friday was to make sure that I reached my goal of contacting twenty-five businesses.  The plan was to get them all done in the morning since I had I thought my afternoon would be spent with one appointment and the writing of the large net new order for $58K.

Just about Noon I received an email from my VP about that potential order. I responded with "I'm being patient", he responded with "don't be patient after 1PM".  It was about 1PM when I emailed the client and asked about the signed documents.  It was thirty minutes later when the response came, "I completely forgot, will head back to the office and get them to you". Whew!  Okay I didn't think that was going to happen.  Two PM turned to three PM  and three wen to four PM  and there was still no documents. I sent off another email with "documents?". 

It was about five thirty PM when I called it a day and still didn't have the signed documents for the order.  I felt ****ty because we have this thing at the end of each week where all of the sales peeps post their numbers and it's shared with our team.  Mine was shared at $15K for the week. Hey, not a bad week but not what I had hoped for. Yup I was down in dumps an could only think about what else could I had done to bring that order home this week.

Six PM means it's dinner time for in our house and each night there's 5 of us for dinner. I finished dinner early and retired to our den to watch some news.  Of course I checked my phone to see if there was anything interesting.  Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and then my emails.  I had an email from my client that he had been super busy, he apologized and stated I'll get them to you in 30 minutes.  Of course I responded with one word, "thank you".  Thirty minutes and nothing, 7PM and still nothing.  I thought that next week will be a good week. 

It was 7:18 when I received the email with the signed documents!  Yay!  I sent off a message to my VP that we did it!  Finally the week was over and it ended on a high note.  In the ensuing email chain notifying all of the order, that we found out that we broke a record for revenue in a weekly time frame. Yes, it was a good week!

It's Monday evening about 5:45PM.  Much of my day was spent processing the order and following up on other action items that I had ear marked for today.  I had one appointment for tomorrow that I had to reschedule because of the impending tropical storm or hurricane that we may have tomorrow. Living at the coast is no fun for hurricanes, nor'easters or tropical storms.  Tonight will be spend securing the all items in the yard and making sure every window and door is tight.  

Not sure what tomorrow will bring in the way of weather but I do know what the forecast will be for prospecting.  I'm putting another 50 on my plate for the day and there should be no interruptions unless we lose power.

Our month closes on the 24th of this month. I have three weeks to add to my total. When I received the order on Friday my first thought was can I repeat May?  That's a tall task because I'm lucky if see $20K for the next three weeks.  But that's okay because I've never been shy of prospecting, the prospecting never ends.  

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Six of Selling

I had one appointment today and that appointment was more of a holding hands session with their new copier.  I didn't mind because I put the top down on the hardtop and worked on my tan for about 90 minutes with the drive back and forth from the home office.

Every time I drive to this client I take the same route.  That route takes me past the Garden State Parkway and Route 520 exit.  The parkway is a major artery that leads to North Jersey and that's where many of the jobs are.  At this juncture of the partway sits two commuter parking lots. I stopped there today to count the parking spaces or at least tried to count them all. My estimate is when the parking lot is full it hold about 750 cars.  Pre-Covid19 the lot was jammed everyday with additional cars parked where they should not.  Below are two pictures i snapped earlier today. Okay seems I only snagged one picture.

commuter lot Exit 109

There' another parking at the end of the picture.  It's my best guess that both lots had no more than 75 cars.  This makes the lot 90% empty at 12PM on a work day.  This is the story in New Jersey, many are working remote, very few people are in their offices and I can only guess how many are out of work.

New Jersey is not PA and we're still shut down and shut out of offices.  When will it end?  Some have said November 4th, and I say that when Trump wins re-election it may be like this for another four years (I'm joking haha).

I can see the writing on the wall, I can tell that the future of businesses in New Jersey is sketchy at best.  Construction carried the economy in NJ for the last four months,  however many of those pre-Covid19-construction projects are now complete and I've herd rumbling that new construction projects are stalled because of COVID19 during the last five months. Something is going to break in the near future.

Since I'm part Nostradamus and I can see some of the future I set a a personal goal today.  In the past few weeks I've ignored setting a daily goal and only focusing on the monthly goal.  My goal today was to get in a combination of 50 dials, emails, in-mails (Linkedin) or texts.  Even with the two hours I took for the one appointment I finished up my goal right around 5PM.  A dozen or so calls and the rest was a combination of the latter.   I was able to manage one appointment, carry three emails conversations and advance one of my existing opportunities down the road a bit.  No new opportunities today.

My goal for tomorrow is 25 touches and that's because I have to process an order in the AM. Then put some time in on the opportunity that I advanced today.  MY wide format opportunity is back in the weeds and may never come out because the client stated that all of his submittals  are now required to be in a digital format.  Thus he needs to procrastinate for another couple of weeks.  The thought on have $20K in for the small stuff has now floundered.

Tomorrow is Friday and with a little bit of luck (yes I do like luck), I'll have the signed documents for the $60K net new order.  

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Four

Thirty-two received emails, thirty-eight sent emails, ten calls and two meetings was the menu for today.  

We had our weekly sales meeting and Tim (VP of Sales) spoke about how our cheese was moved the last five months.  That cheese is many of those existing clients that had trigger points for lease upgrades.  Most of those trigger points for lease upgrades are not important to the DM's during this pandemic. In fact I believe many see it as a blessing that the decision to do nothing is the best course of action.  But there are those DM's when faced with reducing costs will choose the path of savings in uncertain times.  The key is to find those DM's with that mindset.  They are the cheese.

The moving of the cheese means that we need to find the cheese again.  The cheese is still out there but it's harder to find than it was before.  For those of us that are good mousers (diggers) we've been through similar times in our sales career.  Remaining status quo and do the same thing we used to do over and over isn't going to work. We need to change and the reason we need to change is because change is good a thing.  Who the frak wants to be status quo all their lives?  

When I look back on the first few months of COVID19 it was more about me finding a new way to communicate with clients and prospects since I could not be face to face.  I'm no charmer by any means, but I am a little smarter than the average bear, persistent and have a knack for asking the right questions.  I'll also admit that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer nor was I ever the best closer.  What I did did really well was educate myself and was never afraid to work. If I couldn't beat the competition because of price or lack of features I found ways to out work the competition and show clients why I was their best option.

My most effective communication tool now is email. Over the last three months most of my appointments come from emails and most of my closes come from emails.  If you don't ask you don't receive something so simple when it comes to being a rep.

That existing 5K order I was expecting didn't come today and also the net new for about $6k (the one where he finally came out of the weeds) didn't happen either.  Hoping that both of these will go down to tomorrow. I did have another existing client that emailed me today about a 5K A3 color.  This account has been stalled for more than a year.  I would say from the wording of the email and the questions asked that this is an opportunity that could happen in August also.

I think it was about Noon when I received an email from my net new client for the $60k deal.  He actually thought I was going to be on-site today but remembered that it's actually next week that I would be there.  He wanted to clear up a few workflow questions and was then ready to make his pick of the three devices I proposed.  I read the email the short and sweet email three times and I knew today was the day he told me that they would make their choice.  If you don't ask you don't get, I replied with "Can we move forward with the order for the new device today? We can always make changes if we need to when we meet next week."

It was about 5 minutes later and the reply was "yes, let's move forward".  There was the verbal and now it was time to drop everything else and focus on getting the documents out for signatures.  Within a couple of hours the docs were on the way. It was after 5PM that I received an email asking if Friday was okay to have the documents. Right, there's no way I would say no.  Of course I can't count this yet, but all is looking well for having the docs back by the end of the week.

Tomorrow means more prospecting some things just never change.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Three of Sales

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-Three of Sales

It's just about 10PM in New Jersey, and the temperature is still about 90 degrees.  The last few days have been hot, humid and terrible to be outside unless you're planning a visit to the beach.

COVID19 in New Jersey?  Not much has changed since I gave my last update.  We're in some type of holding pattern from the onset of Phase 2.  The curve in New Jersey has been crushed for months now, the line is flat and yet our Governor keeps his foot on the throats of New Jersey businesses. 

In a facebook post I read tonight someone mentioned when schools by ope, one of the replies was November 4th (election day) and I added "when TRUMP wins it will be 2024".  It's just bad news and no direction as to when things might open again.

Another one of these catch-up blogs because I didn't post one on Friday.  Friday was the first day of the new month for us.  Thus it was catch up day for me also with trying to formulate a plan of who, what and when will cost for August.   I'm still sitting on 25 opportunities that have some percentage of closing in August.  At this point I'm thinking 50% are already in September and another 15% for October.  Most will not change any of their print devices until they have some sense of when they can restaff the offices.  When the going gets tough you pick up the prospecting and just keep adding to the opportunity list at some point you'll start picking them one by one.

Today was a good day!  I had one net new order for about $7.2 and existing for maybe $3.2 and I'll be getting docs tomorrow for a $5K existing client order.  That wide format deal that hid in the weeds on Thursday if last week poked his head out and offered my Wednesday for the docs. I'll believe it when I see it.

Today was also the day I was hoping for a net new order for $58k, that's been pushed back a day because of a team meeting that didn't happen today.  I'm hoping that this orders comes home late tomorrow.  Everything looks really good, but you never what could happen.  

Each week I need to submit a weekly forecast (been happening since COVID19 started). I had the email this AM and responded with $109K for the week.  I should have read the email better because I was being asked the forecast for the month.  I'm leaving it at $109K for the month because everything else on the list is a bit of a **** show.  

One saving grace for August is because there are 22 selling days and no holidays thus a full month to prospect and close.  

I took that lead service about a week and half ago.  So far I haven't sold anything, but I received eight leads. Out of those eight leads four were crap and the others were decent.  I would say 80% of those leads were for volumes of 3K per month or less.  In addition you can't get most of these peeps to call or email you back.  Two are solid leads for a purchase or lease in August.  At this time I'm still evaluating the service however at this point I'm on the fence with the quality of the leads.

Tomorrow is all about prospecting, I only have a handful of appointments scheduled for the week.  Of course the one tomorrow for the $58K and then an existing client for $30K on Friday.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-One of Sales

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Ninety-One of Sales

What a way to end the month!   

I pulled a zero today and I'm pretty bummed because nothing came through.  I had three good shots at having a banner month, two of the opportunities kicked the can down the road and the other opportunity who told me it's a go was no where to be found.  Another account that I've been dogging for more than 5 years.  When I spoke to Tim later in the day I stated that in most cases buyers don't buy on our time lines, they buy when they are ready.

A few minutes after 5PM I received an email from one of three opportunities that was left on the board that they will move forward with the color wide format.  This is an order I had lost because we couldn't get the wide format up the funky set of stairs.  I hung in their keep the conversation going and finally received at least the verbal.  Docs are going out tomorrow.

For years and years my sales month always ended on the last day of the month along with almost everyone else. It was something I was use to and something most clients are used too.  When we first went to closing our month early I was pissed because in that month or that quarter I was losing selling days.  I don't like losing any selling days.  Eight years later I'm a fan of closing the month early because I have two end of months in the same week.  Of course I've got mine and then I have everyone else's end of month close.  So it happens that many orders won't go on my time schedule but many other orders will happen at the end of the calendar month.  It's more about how hard you push.

My afternoon was filled with prepping a cost analysis to replace three A3 color devices with an existing client. Three separate spreadsheet each with three tabs took a fair amount of time.  Working on those spreadsheets was suppose to happen until late this afternoon because I had the large 60K opp meeting scheduled for Noon.  That meeting was pushed back to 3PM and then 3:45PM.  

The call at 3:45PM produced some questions and numbers that I did not have available. After 15 minutes of meeting I offered that I call my DM back in 30 minutes. I had 30 minutes to add another device scenario, amend the proposal, put a picture next to each device and then email the document.  In the middle of getting all of this ready I had a call from a net new that I sent a proposal to in this morning, Net new, they called me, I need to take the call.  After 15 minutes I believe she liked what she heard and I know I gave here some additional info that no one else could.  It was back to work on the proposal and it was during that time that my DM sent me an email and stated let's do this at 4:45PM.  

Our meeting took about 40 minutes. I need to review one item for tomorrow but got the commitment that on Monday they will be ordering one of the devices I proposed.  Nothing, nothing is closed until you have the order! I like what I heard but so much can happen from now until Monday.

I ended the month not close to where I thought I could be.  However, I have a commitments from 3 opps with one for 5K, one for 7K, and the one for 60K, plus the other $5K deal that ghosted me today.  

Tomorrow means cleaning up my CRM, and prepping for the new month, and tying up some loose odds and ends.

The harder you work the luckier you get.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Nine of Sales

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Nine of Sales

My day started at 5AM with a short trip to my back yard to see the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean.  I was attracted the hues of orange, purple and blue that was getting ever so bright to the east.  After 45 minutes it was time to get ready for my 7am appointment.

I arrived early and met with the decision maker as we both kept a six foot distance. I did the measuring, took the pictures, check the electric and it was time for a short chat on how the order would progress.  Nothing surprises me anymore as I was thrown a curve ball about remote printing in a less than favorable network environment.  We left the meeting with the understanding that I would secure the additional information needed and we were scheduled to chat at the end of the day to finish things up.  I made the call around 4PM and my DM did not answer, of course I left a message with a sense of urgency since there are only two days left in the month.  I'm not sure what the hold up is but I need to track this tomorrow and get the order in the books. I hate stuff going to the last minute.

At 11AM we had a weekly sales meeting via MS Teams an by Noon it was time to take a lunch break.  My lunch break was a hard boiled egg, bottle of water and 45 minutes in my back yard enjoying the heat.

I was also hoping for signed docs back from another order today, however that contact person was not in the office today.  She did reach out to me and stated the documents would come tomorrow.  More waiting

It was about 2PMish when I heard from my net new 58K opportunity and the thought was we were going to meet tomorrow.  When I emailed to verify the time I was told that Thursday is now better.  Frak, Thursday is the last day of the month!   Looks like I'm stalled for 24 hours and the next two days should be interesting.

My fourth potential order was an email back and forth for most of the day.  Mostly focusing on pricing where I held my ground on price, the client then asked for lease pricing. I supplied that and made a few recommendations for the financing.  Late in the day I get another email with another four or five questions along with the client wanting a year warranty.  I held my ground again, then pounded on the send button and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

If all goes well without the 58K deal I should sit at $35K for the month and that's not a good month in my book.  However considering it is summer and we are still in the thick of a pandemic I'll take it.  

The wild card is the noon appointment on Thursday.  I presented two options of course I'm hoping to bring home the one device.  The plan is to go in prepared for the virtual meeting, in advance I will have both lease, order and maintenance agreements docs ready to go.  Once the verbal is given the email will send along with a plea for them to come back signed before the end of the day.

II managed maybe a handful of calls today and finally after three weeks I caught up with an existing opportunity for 9K.  By the end of our meeting the opp was turned into $40K and looks like August business.

More work to be done 2 days left means the month isn't over yet.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Eight of Sales

That magical day has arrived!  Eighty-Eight business days since I was optioned to working remote.  Four full months from the home office, four months with only four in-site appointments, and four months of stress.

Four months and still no sign of when offices in New Jersey will be full staffed again.  Even though the number of COVID illnesses and deaths are at the lowest point since the first week of March.  At the end of each day I'm mentally exhausted, thus the reason for not posting on Friday of last week. In addition I also did not send my Monday night email address.

As of now what I accomplished last Friday is a blur. What I do remember is that I received another net new order.  But all of the orders have been small this month, I'll probably write 5 orders and will be lucky if they all top 30K.  The only saving grace to the last three days of the month is that there's a shot to reel in another $60K net new order.  We have a meeting scheduled on Wednesday to review the configurations and the financing options. 

I did receive an order this AM for a 25PPM #A3 device and yes it was not over spec'd and over sold. The client required 11x17 and I passed along a great price to made sure the order came to me this month. 

I've had some people ask me what I'm doing differently during these times.  Besides the prospecting with mostly emails and targeted calls I've found that I'm not worried about GP. I'm giving my best price at the onset and where ever the chips fall they fall.  I guess for me it's about driving revenue and also driving orders that tells me I can do this in these times.  Yes, I would like to make more GP who wouldn't, but the cheese continues to be moved on us. I guess at this point I was make a good mouser.

I want to get back to pricing for a moment.  One of my good buddies emailed me a quote for a Ricoh IM C4500 on Friday.  He stated this is what he's up against in his neck of the woods. I took a look at the pricing and all I could think was HOLY ****, what the heck is going on?  You can view that quote here and I think it's excellent for us to have a dialog how this pricing is possible. Would love to hear from others!

I have a 7AM appointment tomorrow morning and thank goodness it's two miles away.  I have a verbal on the wide format, however stairs are involved and before I lose another order to stairs I need to be on-site for a sight survey.  Keeping my fingers crossed with this one.

I mentioned losing an order because we and another good copier moving company could not finagle a Ricoh MP 6700SP up a flight of stairs. I still have an opportunity to move a CW2201, however the client and I are $500 apart and my hands are tied.  Tomorrow I'll be walking away from this one and telling the client I'm sorry can't get to your price.  We'll see how bad the need is now.

Back to the Ricoh MP W6700SP, Ricoh needs to make a change to this device.  The larger 10ppm and 14ppm wide formats can break down with a separation unit.  Ricoh needs to make this available for the MP W6700SP and include it at no cost to the dealer. When they do their research do they not understand that there's no an elevator in every building. 

Three days left in the month, still more than 10% of the month is left and anything can happen.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Six of Sales

Today was one of the most interesting days I've had in quite some time.  Let's start off with a BANG!  I was able to connect with my net new prospect for a meeting in the AM.  This is the net new account for about $30K, this is account that I've lost twice and working a third time around.  Good news is that with a blind sampling of print quality my Ricoh device was picked as best quality 5 out of 5 times.  Competitors were Sharp and Canon on this one.  In a previous blog I spoke my travels to one of our offices to run the samples because I didn't want to lose control of making sure those samples were spot on.  Special thanx to Brian for working with me on this. 

Competition was fierce and all of the proposals were within a few dollars of each other.  Now for the other news, even though we won the coveted top spot for replacement of two competitive units the purchasing of the devices is now moved to December because of COVID19.  There as no overcoming the objection today. With only a few people in the office everyday and no guidance from the State of New Jersey as to when offices can go back to full staff the decision is to stay status quo for the rest of the year.

Yup, I was pretty bummed about that because how often do you win and lose in the same moment?  I did!

I was also able to finish up my proposal late in the day for the other net new account.  That proposal is for $60K, however I'm not sure what to expect for getting the order in for this month.  There is still 25% of the month left for me but pickings on slim since it seems most of the opportunities are in the weeds right now.

It was about 1PM when I acquired another net new win for about $7.5K, I didn't think this order was going to pop until the first week of our new month. I'm sure glad it did.  With a week left in the month almost all of the 25 (60 day) ops are moving to August. I have the one shot with the large net new but other than that pickings are slim.

Do you believe in fairy tales?  As we know many of the fairy tales are legends that are told and re-told over time.  There's one about a slumbering giant and I can't remember the name of it. It will come to me at some point in time. Well I'm going to be that slumbering giant for the next 90 days.  I pulled the trigger on the lead service today and even though it's going to cost $500 a month I think the investment will pan out with time.  If it doesn't then it's a good tax write off for 2021.  Invest in yourself.

As far as phone calls and emails today well I stunk, from the start of the day I wasn't feeling that well.  It may have been the over indulgence of jalapenos and tequila that I had last night.  Thus I opted to write some additional content for wide formats, which I posted in Jersey Plotters, Linkedin and then re-posted within some of the groups on Linkedin.  Writing content is similar to planting and seed and watching it grow.  Today I have almost 45 blogs posted on Jersey Plotters and most times I'm ranked on the first page or the secong page when someone is searching for plotters or wide format.

Tomorrow I'll concentrate on rolling through my CRM and making those calls.  

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Four of Sales

I had no intention of writing a blog tonight.  Last I wrote on Wednesday was to look for another blog in this series for Wednesday night.  This morning I received the email below from a long time Print4Pay Hotel member.

Art, I love reading your stuff and sharing some with our 15 sales reps. You have inspired them and me many times. We are all working from home here in the Midwest at Sumnerone. We just finished up an $850,000 hardware June which was good and 75% were new accounts. We think July will be better. Our folks are working hard and we never closed at all. We are supporting our clients and we think of them as friends and their families mean a lot to us so we check on them. And they check on us as well. 

We will all be fine if we stay the course and work through this. Art, keep us all going in the right direction like you always do.  Now,  go sell something!!!
The email was pretty awesome especially since I've had a tough couple of weeks.  That $850K is some kick ass numbers and how about the 75% net new!  That's off the charts in my book.  In addition that's a wonderful relationship the Sumnerone has going with their clients. That email gave me the kick in the ass this morning and I'm thankful for that,
Did I tell everyone I was also on vacation for a week?  I do love my vacations but usually end up hating the time after I return.  Some always needs to pay the piper so why not me?
Today was pretty cool since I was able to cross off ninety percent of the items on my to do list. In addition I had another three meetings, two of those weren't planned in advance.  One of those two meetings resulting in a verbal order for a pre-owned wide format.  That meeting was actually pretty cool because the DM was out of town when I called him on his cell.  Our conversation lasted about thirty minutes and I don't think we spoke about the wide format for more than 10 minutes of that time.  We had the chat about the current state of business in general, how is business is doing and we then somehow landed on the topic of Tequilas.  End result was the verbal and a scheduled appointment on-site for next Wednesday at 7AM.  Yes, that's 7AM, thank  goodness the account is 3 miles from my house.
My afternoon was spend making calls and sending emails. I was able to log 25 calls, set two appointments and sent another 10 emails.  One of those calls was for an existing account that was in the weeds a few weeks ago. Turns out that they will not upgrade early because they are in the entertainment business. I can't blame then for making that call since that business is in turmoil with COVID.  However the door was left open for something after Labor Day.
I did not call the one account that was making a decision today.  This is the one where it's me up against two direct branches and the third time around for proposing.  I had no idea of when their internal meeting was scheduled, thus today was a day where I let the ball travel.
Tomorrow has me for two additional meetings with one that's internal and the other with an existing prospect.  The rest of the day will be spent making more calls, pricing up a proposal for the 45K net new and sending more emails.
One of items on my to do list was to call all of my open opportunities that I had not touched in the last two weeks.  Almost all of those calls went unanswered but what the hell the way I see it is that I get to roll through more of the calls that I need to make.
-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-Three of Sales

Only 5 more days for four full months of selling days that I've been working remote.

You may have noticed that I've been skipping a couple of days here and there with blogging on this series.  I had no idea that Covid19 would last in to the summer and usually my summers mean less posting of blogs and more time spent enjoying the great weather.

Just a short recap for Friday. I was able to secure two orders for two net new companies.  However the revenue fell short of what I was hoping for. With less than two weeks left in my month I'm starting to feel the pressure of hitting my monthly goal.

Today was spent  traveling to two accounts which were at opposite ends of the state.  One in lower Monmouth and the other in North Jersey.  I'm thinking I logged close to 200 miles of driving today.  By the time I got back to my office office it was 2:30PM and I needed a short break for lunch. 

By 3PM I was able to start making some dents into the early morning emails and within an hour I had those cleared up.  The last part of the day was spent with my third appointment of the day for a tele chat.

That last appointment was interesting to say the least.  The company is a consulting group in the healthcare industry.  For years they've been using an hi-speed color A3 Ricoh and now that device is approaching seven years of age.  Seven years is a long time and since it was a purchase there is no trigger for the upgrade.  Print volumes during COVID for them are down big time! In fact over the last five months the print volume is next to nothing.  But as we've learned to adapt during COVID this client has also redefined their process with printing.  More virtual meetings mean less print, less print will mean a smaller color device in the future.  This is our new world for many accounts.

One of my other net new prospects is suppose to be making a decision tomorrow on which vendor they will choose.  Four years ago I was second and second sucks. I found out on our last meeting then that I was the first choice four years ago. However one of the VP's did not want training outside of their office.  This lead to the client staying with their current vendor for another 4 years.  With this account this is the third time that I've been in the mix and just praying that the third time is the charm with this account.

So far July is sucking wind, I need one of my big hits to come through or it's going to **** show of smaller deals.  Look for another blog on Wednesday of this week.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty-One of Sales

Just a little heads up on a recent chat I had with my son a few days ago.

My son went to Staples and Best Buy the other day to get a new printer. Since his wife is working from home as a para-legal she still needs to print.  They had an older inkjet but even I couldn't get the heads unclogged. I recommended that he get a small black laser print.  After visiting both Staples and Bet Buy neither of them had any laser printers under $500 in stock!  Yes, standalone printers sales are up.

That tells me that there is probably a need for desktop scanners also. Panasonic Scanners is a Print4Pay Hotel sponsor please click their banner ad and find you how good the pricing and their scanners are. If you don't ask you don't get and some us maybe missing the boat for multiple placements of desktop scanners.

Let me start with tomorrow, I have two appointments one on site and another scheduled phone chat.  The on-site appointment is going to have to be rescheduled because we'll be under a tropical storm warning here on the coast.  Three to five inches of rain along with a potential for winds in excess of 60mph.  Nice way to finish the week, and hoping we don't lose power because the humidity for the last week has been terrible.

I just received an email (when I started writing this blog) with order docs for a net new client and it's for an A3 color MFP for a total of about $7K.  Around 5PM I had to revise yet another set of order docs for the other net new client that I've had on tap for some time. I should see those documents tomorrow, but it's only for one MFP out of the three I had hoped for.  That's 4K tops.  Nothing else will be closing tomorrow unless a long shot comes to fruition.  I'll be sitting at a crappy $14K for the month.  Monday I'm on site for a 40K appointment which means I'll be putting in time late tomorrow to prep for that appointment.

Another day with 4 appointments which brings me to 12 for the week ( I was off on Monday ) and so far one for tomorrow with the other one to be rescheduled.

It's not easy working alone. For more than 40 years I've always had people around me, whether it was in the office or out on sales calls.  At times I miss being able to stop at someones desk and have a chat about the industry or a chat about our personal lives.  

Today Jason Habbal posting something on Linkedin about he wasn't sure if he was liking this "first bumping" intros instead of hand shakes. I replied with "I wish I had someone to fist bump with".  So far summer in New Jersey has not been summer with not going to places or doing things that you do every summer.  Jason replied back with "I hear you" to my thread and then I posted that my summer is now "The Summer of Isolation" .

Here's another factoid about my summer, my home office does not have air conditioning. Since it's an older home central air is only in half of the house where we spend most of our time.  Who knew that I would be spending 8 hours a day in my home office. Yes I do have an AC unit that I could put in, however I'm kinda of liking working through the heat, it's the humidity that gets you. Maybe I'll get the AC unit in as soon as my back clears up.

Tomorrow will be an excellent day to play catch up and prep for the last two weeks of the month.

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Eighty of Sales

Geesh eighty work days now since I've been optioned to working from home.  In eight days we'll hit the four month mark of work days.  A third of the year spent working from the home office.  Guess I'll need to ask my accountant about this one for 2020 tax time.

One of my favorite sales expressions is "another day another dollar", in New Jersey another day means a new executive order from our Governor.  Today good ole Murphy signed an executive order that a mask is required outdoors now.  Something to the effect that if you can't social distance no matter where you are you are now required to wear a mask.  Violations can be subject to up to $1,000 or six months of jail.  Thus if I'm alone in a park or walking my dog I'm okay, however if someone gets withing six feet of me we need to mask up.

After speaking with my wife we both agreed that we will not be going anywhere this summer.  No beach, no boardwalk, no dining, no parks we are staying home because we want no part of being masked in summer heat and humidity,  In addition I believe the New Jersey economy will take a bigger hit than it already has. If we're going to stop going places then I'm sure many others are in the same camp as the wife and I.  Tourism is big in New Jersey with our beaches, parks, amusements and boardwalks.  People like me and my wife deciding not to go anywhere will mean we'll be spending less.

Today was smokin hot! I booked four additional appointments for today and one for tomorrow. I was off on Monday thus between yesterday and today I've completed eight appointments with another four left in the week.  In addition I was able to put checks marks (touches) next to seven opportunities.  Yes, I keep two paper pads on my desk and yes I still write notes.  One is for opportunities and the other is for my things to do list.  It's all about having that visual goal right in front of me that keeps me on pace to complete the tasks.

I did receive a verbal today for a net new A3 color, this account got hot last week during vacation.  However the order won't be signed off in until after the 23rd of this month, which means August for me.  This deal was kind of funky too since it was a non Authorized Dealer trying to sell a Ricoh device.  The cost per page for black was .006 and the color cost per page was .045.  Which brings me to cost per page.  I would say on average for A3 mfp's I'm seeing under a .01 and .039-.050 for color on a daily basis.  Can't remember the last time I saw or heard of a quote for .075 for color.  

Late in the evening I also received an email from another account that they could order if I was able to help with the price. Docs are going out for this account tomorrow. That one net new that I was working on for the better part of five weeks will finally come home to roost tomorrow. But it's not going to be for the three devices that we planned but just one. With the other two coming in the next 90 days. At this point in the month I'm sucking wind with one small order. I'm hoping by the end of day tomorrow to be somewhere around $15K for the month.  See what happens when you take vacations!

I guess the only saving grace is that I have two additional net news that could order by the end of month for a total of $70k.  But there also the chance I could lose both. I do have a handful of smaller opps working also.  There's eleven selling days in the month which means I'm at the 50% of the month to go or 50% of the month left.  

I had a talk with a dealer owner in the mid-west last night.  They are a traditional copier dealer in a major market.  I asked how things are and I was told sales are so so at best.  I made the recommendation that they move to focus on essential businesses that are open and still busy.  That list included healthcare, municipalities, construction, architects, and engineers. I'm sure there are others but my stakes have been planted for the last four months in those types of accounts.

Tomorrow means more hard work and some prospecting.

-=Good Selling-=

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Seventy Nine of Sales

I guess I over did it on the weekend. My wife tells me I always "over due" everything and she's right.  Just dealing with some back pain for the last couple of days.

Today was my official first day back to work from my vacation.  I started my day at 7AM, took a half hour lunch and it was non stop until 4PM.  I had three appointments, and I couldn't even track of the emails sent and received.  It was good to be back doing what I love to do.

I've been working on this net new account for the better part of three weeks now. In those three weeks I believe I emailed at least five different proposals for three devices.  Yesterday that changed since the wide format is out of the picture for a few months.  However today it changed again, and there I was creating another set of proposals for yet another change.  Just hoping this opportunity will close this week.

Just a note on emailing and phone calls.  If someone emails me for information I take that as they want to communicate via email.  If they call me and I get a message I call them because they are telling me in a subtle way that they want a phone call in return.  Years ago if someone emailed me I would get back to them via phone because I thought I could get more done with a phone call.  In recent months I've found email to be a more effective than a phone call.  I'll make those follow up phone calls when an email goes too long with no response. 

With some of the recent leads I've received I'll ask them what is their preferred way of communication.  I posed that to a DM today and I had a return email that stated call me tomorrow.  Just something I thought my help others.

In addition I had a heavy email exchange with another net new opportunity that I've been working for 5 weeks.  I was notified that next week will the week that they select a new vendor.  There was also a request for references from that account. I had four clients in mind and before I sent that list to the client I sent each one of my clients a personal email asking if they would be open to a reference request. By the end of the day all responded and all accepted. 

I did the request emails because I did not want my opportunity to play phone tag with all four of these clients. Thus alerting my clients in advance will increase the chances that they will connect.  All I can hope is that my competition was lazy and just gave a contact and a phone number.  In the end hoping my opportunity will have connected with more of my clients rather than the competitions clients.

Tomorrow means back to the grind, which means following up with everyone in my funnel and making a dent in my to do list.

-=Good Selling=-

COVID19 "Remote Working" Day Seventy Eight of Sales

Looks like all signs in New Jersey is pointing to at lease 100 days of working remote.  Our Governor announced today is "pumping the brakes" for additional businesses to open.l  I have my own thoughts but I'll save them for another time.

Yup last week was a vacation week for me if I can really call it a vacation.  Each day saw me putting in about two hours in the AM and of course I was still doing some stuff for P4P in the evening.  One thing I like about this site is that I can schedule automated threads or blogs to post.  Which can really save some time.

I closed nothing last week.  I moved three deals further down the road, developed four opportunities and then had a set back today when one of my net news is putting the wide format on the back burner for a few months.  One of those opps is for $40K, and I almost forgot I lost a deal last week.  My first deal that I lost in the last four months.

Tomorrow if officially my first day back and it's going to be busy with two appointments and many installs happening this week.  All of those installs are from June orders. 

For the month of July I'm pretty empty right now with only a small A4 order.  But I did have a bunch of stuff carry over and hoping there's enough time in July to bring them home.

Just a short blog tonight and it's off to the races tomorrow.

-=Good Selling=-