Why Copier Sales People Still Need to Demonstrate MFP's & Wide Format Devices

For three days this week I stationed in Atlantic City for an Association event.  I don't care to be away from home for three solid days but the Association event is a solid event to gather leads for net new prospects.

Half the day on Wednesday, 7AM to & 7PM on Thursday and half the day on Friday can drain the best of us.  I was thankful to have backup with reps for Wednesday and Thursday.

Prior to the event I had arranged to have two Ricoh digital whiteboards on hand along with a Ricoh CXW 2201SP wide format printer/scanner/copier.  Last year I only brought the Ricoh white boards and felt that I missed out on many opportunities with wide format because all I could present was a brochure.  Thus the reason to get a wide format device on-site.

Last years event was unique because we were the only technology company there. The white boards were a big hit, we had a lot of interest but did not acquire one order from those leads.  This year it was going to be different, I would still bring the white boards, but the icing on the cake was to be the CW2201SP. It was time to shine with demonstrating our wide format device.

Our Ricoh CW2201 arrived just before vendor set-up time was to close. As our device was being wheeled to my booth, I was floored to see another wide format device coming in right behind it. Frak, there's another wide format vendor? WTF!

After I got over my initial shock of the other wide format device. My focused turned to what makes my device unique and different from the other device. The other device turned out to be one of the new Canon TX series ink based MFP.

What I knew about the Canon TX series:

  • Lower purchase (Dealer & MSRP)
  • Can produce high quality graphics
  • Best image on IJ (inkjet) paper
  • On-board Windows 10 controller
  • Copy/Scan/Print GUI via Software on Windows 10 controller
  • Optional additional paper roll (up to 600 foot rolls of paper)
  • 5 ink colors
  • Color Scan
  • Scan & print from and to USB Drive
  • Pigment inks (will not run or smear when wet

How Ricoh CW 2201SP device stacked up against the Canon TX series:

  • Higher purchase price (Dealer & MSRP)
  • Can't produce high quality graphics
  • Gel ink Technology (will not run or smear when wet)
  • Produces good imaging on bond paper
  • No windows controller required
  • No need to access software for Copy/Scan/Print
  • Optional additional paper roll (up to 590 foot roll of paper)
  • Scan & Print to and from USB & SD Card
  • Print from Hard Drive Library

Alright some better, some not so good. Thus I came up with a plan to show the sizzle of our product.  I pre-printed about 16 color 24x36 plans. I did not leave them in the stacker, but folded each one and laid them on top of our Ricoh. I had then folded down to maybe a 6x6.  On the other side of our Ricoh, I placed a small 6 ounce cup of water. My plan was to start off with "sizzle", because it was demo time!

As attendees walked by and I noticed them looking at the device I would ask them if they had a wide format device, most answered yes. I then told them that I wanted to show them show then something magical about the Ricoh.  I took one of the folded plans. I stated "you know that oil and water don't mix right?", and yes was the response. I then went on to. "well the same is true with ink and water correct?".  I did not wait for an answer I poured some water on the print and then smeared the water on the drawing. There was no running of the ink or smearing of the ink!  All and I repeat all of those that saw this were amazed! 

From there I went on to state that this was a color CAD printer, not a graphics printer. The large roll of paper meant a lower cost per square foot, and the bond paper was much less expensive than smaller rolls. I showed the huge cartridges of ink and gave then estimated cost per square foot of black in. I then showed how to print from the USB drive, the document library and showed the ease of making a copy.  I closed with scan2email, scan2folder, scan2cloud, TWAIN scanning along with how the Ricoh will stack scan originals. Keep in mind that after each feature I explained the advantage and benefit to each person.  I even reverted back to my copier demo days and asked the client to look at the small printed a's, o's & e's, do you see how they are not filled?

I believe we walked away with 20 plus wide format prospects (10-15 leads). It looked good for two sales those days, however one did not want to pay the price and the other ghosted me at the end. I'm okay with the price buyer and the ghosting because I knew we did a killer job with the demonstrating of the device because I had at three people tell me that we knew our stuff.  Even though the Canon TX prints will not run or smear when wet I knew that they would not show that important feature. It was all about the "sizzle" and performing a kick ass demo.

On Friday I had the chance to view the Canon booth.  There was no cup of water next to the device, there was no large roll of paper, and there were no pre-printed drawings. The person manning the booth had a hard time showing me the interface for scan/print/copy. It was then that I knew that I had done my job.

-=Good Selling=-

Why We Decided to Make Our Own Copier Quoting Tool

Why We Decided to Make Our Own Copier Quoting Tool
Getting clients good information is critical to a sales process and we have taken a lot of time and energy to create quotes that are easy for us to make, and give the client a good feeling about the options they are choosing.  I would not want to go to a car dealership and have them only want to show me one car, or to a realtor and only see one house.  We like to see options when we buy stuff, so I thought about how can it be easy for clients to also get options.
We had a new sales rep, let's call him Brett, because that was his name.  Anyway, Brett was driving me crazy because as a Millennial sales rep, he wanted to give every option on every quote so doing 1 quote became a process of doing 10 quotes.  Here were some of the items "Brett" wanted itemized.
  • The client wants to see 1,2,3,4 and 5 year rates, both FMV and $1 out.
  • The client wants to know how fax, staple, etc will affect the numbers, 1,2,3,4, and 5 years
  • The client changed their mind, they no longer need 11X17, now they just want Letter/Legal quotes.
  • The client changed their mind, they no longer think Letter/Legal works, they need 11 X 17
  • There is a lease buyout, how much do I need to add?
  • What do I add for install on this deal?
  • What specs does this copier have for paper handling?
  • etc...
For about a month or two, I tried to help him, then he quit and I had to hire another gal.  When that happened, I realized we are going through all the same issues, questions and numbers.  It seemed to be time to establish a goal.  Here is what I decided on:  
I want to be able to make a side by side quote in under 2 minutes that looks nice and that is easy to explain to a new rep or a new client.   
This is where my obsession with building a great system for our team was born.   When I am driving from client A to client B, can I create a quote on my cell phone that looks nice at a red light in Denver (as we do not suggest quoting copiers while you drive, though I cannot pass a lie detector that I have never done it...)
Anyway, that being said, it has made the number of mistakes reps have made way lower and the consistency much higher in terms of generating a quality looking quote.  Since we started, we have made dashboards and added some brands, and then making it so it can be used by any dealer in under a day where all their reps could make quotes in under 2 minutes as well.  It is constantly being improved, but I am proud of where we are and how flexible we have made the tool for our partners.  We would love to have a dealership or two in every city in the USA use this tool!  We hope you can attend a webinar, if not, we can call at a time that works for you.  We are here to help make the marketing of copiers super simple for your dealership!
-=Good Selling=-

A Recent Copier Appointment That Went From Bad to Good

My second appointment of the day proved to one of the most enjoyable appointments I've had in recent memory. It was with an existing account that was in the last 3 months of a 36 month lease for an A3 color MFP. The account only has one, but so do most of my accounts. I'd like to say I flourish with onesies and twosies.  

Just a tip for some of you that may be new in the copier business. When quoting leasing always lead with a 36 month lease.  There are two well maybe three reasons for that. One, is the upgrade time comes around a whole heck of a lot sooner than 60 months. Two, if you have to drop price then drop by the lease term for the lower price. The third reason is if your dealership has auto escalators in the maintenance and supply agreements. 

Right, back to our meeting.  

Everything was going quite well with presenting the reasons for upgrading to a new A3 color MFP. We reviewed the ROI, their existing annual costs for thier lease, the existing annual cost for the maintenance agreement. Heck I even developed a spreadsheet as to what thier annual costs would be if they did nothing (always have a back up plan). 

Like I stated all was well until one of the two clients shot me a question about the color print quality of existing Ricoh A3 MFP.  He stated we've had a couple of issues with color quality and is the Ricoh quality suppose to have a "muddled" appearance? I though okay where is this going, perhaps they weren't happy with the quality of the Ricoh?

Within a few moments the one client came back to table with a color 11x17 document that was printed from an Excel spreadsheet.  Sure enough the colors not consistent, not vibrant, and had a lot of whiteness in the color. The client then stated that this document was printed back in October and then showed me another print that was perfect that was printed in December.

Okay, at this time I thought it was best to tell them about my back ground as tech back in the eighties. This story got a few chuckles and lightened the seriousness of the print quality for now. This existing client has many wide format ink based printers (can't tell you anymore), I explained that wide format printers only have two consumables which is ink and printheads, correct?  Both agreed and I then went to explain how the print process works with laser based MFPs.  I went into depth about how the process works for printing and then explained the major consumable components of the MFP. The last component I spoke about was the color transfer belt and how that works. I stated that most likely the transfer belt had failed and the replacement belt solved the issue (yes, I was patting my self on the back). 

The client then stated that a tech never replaced anything and the MFP had fixed it self.  Okay, I went back to muddled print and the client confirmed it was printed back in October, and the other print was from December and no service had been rendered.  Now, I'm thinking about whiteness in the image, I picked up document and I asked the client if they ever had any humidity issues in the building? I explained that humid paper can sometimes cause poor print quality. The other client (he was doing a great job at listening) then asked the guy when was that document printed? He stated October, and said do you remember what happened in October? I saw the other client nodding in agreement.  

Let me back track a bit. When I pulled into the lot, one of the items that I noticed was that some trees where recently cut down by the building. I was then told about a tree that had crashed through the roof during a storm in October.  I was like well there's the reason why you had the poor print quality and the MFP fixed it self. Not damp or humid paper means great color quality. Boy was I relieved, I nailed it with on the second attempt! 

There's some additional quoting that has to be done in the next few days. I feel that my knowledge of the print process, the ability to explain the process and to have an idea of what might be wrong made then feel comfortable that another Ricoh MFP is in thier future.

After leaving the account and heading back to the office my thoughts were centered about what if. What if a new rep had to go to this account? What if they did not know the print process, what if they couldn't find the reason for the poor prints? I'm not trying to toot my own horn. What I do know is that 80-90% of the reps that I go up against could not explain the print process, nor would they have any idea of what is wrong.

Thus, you could have the super sales skills, and the best coaching in the world and it would not have mattered because you're trying to sell something that you have no clue how it works.

I would urge all of the newbies to learn more about the print process and each component so that you could explain the process of color print if you have too.

-=Good Selling=-

5 Tips to Help You Increase Your Sales in 2019

I started to title this blog and then stopped because I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with this.   I wanted to write about the start of the new year and what reps can do to increase their skills and sales from last year.

The first thing we need to do is to forget about last year.  Whether you were a winner or a loser last year is over!  An old saying in sales "is that you're only as good as your last month". Now is the time to forget about last year, now is the time to set your sales goals and find a way to get to where you want to be at the end of the year.

August of this year will be the start of my 39th year of office technology (copiers, fax, printers, wide format, IT, content) and this year I plan to change a few things to try and get me to where I want to be at the end of the 2019.  

1. I'm going to write more blogs for my this year. I was a little lax last year, however this year I plan to post one a week.  I'm thinking this should gain me an additional 2-3 leads per month.  

2. I fracking hate cold calling via phone.  Thus this year I'm going back to planning 20-25 stop in cold calls every Thursday.  The reason I pick Thursday is because most Holidays we have a Monday off.  Tus scheduling for Thursdays means I won't lose a day in the field.

3. For those special accounts that I haven't been able to crack, I'm going to invest a little bit of cash and send them via Fed-Ex a care package designed especially for them.  I'll write more about this in another blog, it's going to be something different and unique. Thus when I do make the phone call, I'm sure I'll get the chance to speak to the DM.

4. I'm going to lean on my existing relationships and ask for referrals that I can reach out to.  When I'm in the office tomorrow, I'll print out an 11x17 document as a reminder to ask everyone.

5. Extra focus for selling content, even if it means lengthening the sales cycle. What I'm finding is that most reps are still focused only on selling the box and couldn't care less about content. 

There is a recession coming in the near future, now is the time to plan ahead.  For me this means that I need to increase my net new business while building my current business. All of that can be accomplished with the 5 steps I've addressed above.

New to Sales?

For those of you that are new to sales here's some quotes that I've relied on over the years to help me get through the good and the bad

  • Winners Make Things Happen and Losers Wait for Things to Happen
  • Prospect by Day and Quote by Night
  • The Hardier You Work the Luckier You Get (thanx Jack)
  • Assume the Order

Feel free to use this tips, if you have any additional questions PM me on this site or post a reply and I'd be happy to help.

-=Good Selling=-

Selling Copiers "The Rep that BS's the Prospect"

I apologize for not being able to write as much as I usually do.  December was a rather busy month, in fact the busiest December in years. Cheers to that!

It all started a few weeks ago when  received a lead (yippee) that was labeled "looking to lease a printer" .  I wasn't excited about the word "printer".  However, a lead is a lead and follow up has to be immediate when you get a new lead.

The Call

I was able to connect with the prospect that day on the phone.  I was asked if I sold Canon, I stated I did not and made reference to Ricoh.  My prospect went on to tell me that he had received a quote for a used (are you kidding me, used) Canon imageRUNNER Advance C5240. The prospect also stated that the C5240 also had a fiery.

While my prospect was telling me more about the Canon. I googled "Canon C5240 brochure".  I wanted to know about the print speed, paper size and substrate (paper weight) of the device. The Canon brochure is now displayed on my other screen and the prospect tells me that the Canon sales person stated the C5240 is only two years old. I was like WHAT?  I stated to the prospect "it cant be only two years old", he then replied "why". I immediately scrolled down to the bottom of the Canon brochure and there it was, the Canon brochure had a copyright date of 2012.

I then explained to the prospect that the C5240 (not the A version) has to be 4 to six years old and that he was being snowed by the sales person.  I then explained that copier models are usually only last 18-24 months before the manufactured upgrades that model.  I then countered with that the C5240 was upgraded in 2014 with the new C5240A version. By now I could sense that my prospect was now questioning everything he was told by the Canon rep. While I was on the phone with our prospect I had already emailed him the Canon brochure I was referencing.

I then dragged the Fiery in to the conversation.  I asked, "do you know what you're getting into with a Fiery that is four to six years old?". I went on to educate my prospect about the age of the hard drive on the fiery and stated that hard drives don't last forever. In addition I pointed out that the Fiery will need updated patches for the software and most likely does not come with a current license. I topped all of that off with the fact that he will have to calibrate the Fiery and you can't do that with out spectrophotometer. 

Alright, I poked enough holes in the Canon sales rep authenticity and created many concerns about the older Canon device. It was time to move on and that's when I asked him if he might consider something new?  My prospect was open to hearing more and I went on to give him the details about a new Ricoh C4504ex which had a little higher print speed than the Canon.  In addition I explained it was the end of the year, the end of the month, the end of the quarter and he was a new account which entitled him to an additional discount. 

It's been almost 40 minutes (we agreed that there was no need for a Fiery) into the conversation and it's now after 5PM at the office.  My prospect was somewhat on board with the pricing and the features (need bookletmaker) but non committal.  Through out the entire conversation I was also closing for a meeting to bring print samples and a brochure. Every time I asked I was shot down. 

Changing Gears

I decided to change gears because my prospect was looking at something used which meant that his price tag was somewhere around $5-6K, and I couldn't match that price point with the C4504. I then posed two questions to my prospect.

1.  Do you have a device at your office that will scan?  He stated yes

2.  Do you have a device that will make copies?  Another yes came out of him.

I stated, "Well this is a horse of a different color (I had watched the Wizard of Oz last night) we have two color printers that will print at 45 and 62 pages a minute and the pricing should be right in your wheel house"  Another 20 minutes had passed, my client was now leaning heavily towards the color A3 print with a bookletmaker. We scheduled an appointment for next week to me.

Next week I'm at the prospects office we reviewed the brochure, reviewed the specs for the bookletmaker, the duplex substrate specs and the pricing.  We then arranged for a demonstration at our office for a few days later.

My prospect is now in my office, we greeting each other.  He then tells me that the Canon rep got very mad at him on the phone and was insisting that his Canon only had 50K on the meter and was practically new. For me the keyword was "practically'", it was obvious that my prospect was all ears to me an not believing the Canon rep anymore.  Although my prospect did throw me a curve, stated the Canon rep had told him that the Ricoh machine was made out of 100% plastic while the Canon was made from heavy iron.  I went on to tell that client that was ridiculous because all of the manufactures (Canon, Ricoh. KonicaMinolta, Xerox) all use metal for thier frames and he's just grasping at straws.

We demonstrated the crap out of the C842DN, print quality, booklet making, paper sizes, and paper substrates.  Everything went well there was a few hitches with the substrate that he wanted to use.

What's the moral of the story? 

If I were on the outside looking in they would be:

1. Don't BS your prospect about the age of the device, you can find anything on the internet

2. Do push what you want to sell, rather dig deeper and help the prospect to understand thier needs better

3.  Always know that your prospect will do additional research after the first talk track

4.  Prove to your client that you are the guru in you geographical area when it comes to copiers and print devices.

5. Don't be a BS'er

Yeah, one thing I forget to mention is that the prospect mentioned that out of all the reps he had spoken to that I was the most knowledge and the most courteous. I enjoyed that compliment more that performing the demonstration.

-=Good Selling=-

Architect in New Jersey Adds Ricoh MP W7100

Ricoh MP W6700SP

front view

It’s not often that you can place a Ricoh MP W7100 in the field.  In most cases the Ricoh MP W6700SP is more popular because of the lower price point from the Ricoh MP W7100. It’s also about the print speed too.  The W7100 will print at ten pages per minute.  The Ricoh MP W6700 prints at 6.7 pages per minute.

Our existing client had an older Ricoh W2470 (owned) and the Ricoh W5140 (end of lease) in place.  However, their volume has increased to about twenty thousand square feet a month.  Initially our thoughts was to just upgrade the W5140 with the Ricoh MP W7100.  In addition the new Ricoh MP W7100 does not support the older Plot Works print software tool only worked with the W5140.


Our recommendation was to add our new Ricoh Print/Copy/Tool software because it would help our client manage print jobs. In addition users can print and edit any file quickly and easily, even if they didn’t have the application that was used to create the file. Ricoh Print/Copy/Tool software will also work with their existing Ricoh MP W2470 printer.

read the rest here

7 Signs of The Utterly Average Copier Salesperson

My blog is not meant to disparage the average copier salesperson. It's more about taking the talking points and making improvements so that you can be the above average salesperson.

1.  Five PM rolls around and it's quitting time. Working late is not an option

2.  I'm okay with not hitting my revenue quota, doesn't bother me at all

3.  A client calls you after 5PM, you know who it is but let it got to voice mail anyway

4. The only time a prospect has to see a demonstration is on the weekend. Thus the problem because you don't work weekends.

5.  Is not involved with social media to promote thier knowledge or skills with others

6.  Does not take the time to educate themselves about thier products or services, relies on other to answer all of thier questions.

7. Doesn't have the time to share thier knowledge with new reps in the office

I could probably rattle off another ten points on this subject.  Sales is not a 9-5 job, if you want 9-5 work then go work at McDonalds. Oh, that's right, McDonalds now has automated kiosks to take orders,  maybe a bank teller will do?

It's 11:28PM, I just finished sending a couple of emails to prospects.  Nothing is better than sending late emails to prospects because it shows that you're a worker.  DM's like and trust people who work hard.

I picked this up somewhere, "prospect by day and quote by night". I still do this when I get behind the eight ball.  Most of November and December will see me working late into the night because I care about obtaining my quota. In fact I always want to exceed quota.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but after 38 years of selling copiers I still have that desire to succeed.

Think out of the box, be different, give your client a different experience when you meet. Try bringing coffee, maybe some company pens, pads or candies.  Do something that makes YOU standard out from the others.

It's now 11:35PM. I got a busy day, hoping this helps someone!

-=Good Selling=-

Four Sales Tips to Help you Close More Copier Opportunities

Recently, closed quite a few orders in the last couple of weeks.  Almost all of those opportunities had some stiff competition from other vendors.  Thus, I'd like to share some of my secrets that I've used to help win the deal. 

But first I'd like to share some thoughts about buyers.  There's two types of buyers in my book. One is the value buyer and the other is the price buyer.  If you've been on Linkedin long enough you'll read sales guru's spinning the yarns of selling to value.  The truth is you can't sell value to a price buyer.  Those price buyers want the best price and or the best deal.

Those sales guru's will tell you to walk away from those price buyers because it takes too much effort for too little return.  Okay, I got that and I understand it, but when you have a revenue quota and you work in a market that is saturated with copier vendors. How many of these opportunities can you walk away from?

I guess I'm kinda old school and I believe it's better to make a few bucks than make nothing at all.  I was never scared of hard work, and I put the same work ethic into every opportunity I come across.  Hoping maybe some of these tips can help others.

1.  Warranty: Pass through the manufacturers 90 days parts & labor warranty to your client.  While everyone else is quoting thier copier with an annual maintenance supply agreement.  You hit em with 15 months of annual maintenance supply agreement. If may cost you a few extra bucks for toner, but I guarantee you'll be the only one with 15 months (you'll stand out).  I use this when proposing non color copiers and wide formats. It's too tough to eat the cost on color.

2. Trade-Ins:  Almost everyone asks about getting something for thier existing copier (if it's not leased).  Most of us don't have real trade in money, and yes we may get a few dollars from a manufacturer for different brands.  But, everyone has that. Thus, how do you make a difference?

I've got a connection with a wholesaler and each month we'll chat about what's hot or what he's looking for.  In some cases there are some copiers and wide formats that have some real value.  Instead of me offering to take a worthless copier back, I'll tell the prospect that I know of a wholesaler that will pick up and give them cash for thier copier. In some cases it can be a thousand dollars or more, thus I didn't have to lower my price and the prospect feels that they are getting the best deal possible.  Email me if you'd like to contact my guy.

3. Print Speed:  I try to never ever mention print speed because no one cares about the speed of the device.  Yup no one cares.  What they really care about is the scanning speeds. I'll tell them the scanning speed of thier existing copier and then migrate to the scanning speed of my copier.  Everyone is talking print speed, and you're talking scanning speed. Again, you're setting yourself apart from the others.

4. Price Drop:  Yes, I'm guilty of dropping my price every now and then. But, over the years I've learned I can add value without dropping price.  I do that in a number of ways.  I've offered the below points many times to prospects.

  • On-site personalized training from me (why not have the best teach them all about thier new copier)
  • I'll give out my cell number so that they could always reach me
  • I'll offer to help them introduce them to some of my accounts. I've done this via email
  • Unlimited training, I'll be there anytime you want me
  • Loaner support (I have my own A4 MFP that I'll bring out if needed)

I could go on and on, but it's getting late and I need to be wide eyed and bushy tailed in the AM. Still need to hit some numbers for the end of the year. Please feel free to post any tips that you've used.

-=Good Selling=-


Three Copier Sales People Walk into a.........

Three sales people garner an appointment with the same client.  One of the sales people is with the incumbent dealer of the account.  The other two are on the outside looking in to gain net new business.

The client is at the end of a five year lease for a color A3 MFP (30 ppm).  Other than the copier cabinet there are no additional accessories on the existing A3 color MFP.

All three sales people had the same opportunity with the client. All three sales people paid a visit to the clients office to beat thier chest as to why they are the best.  Seems that only one salesperson listened to the client and did a little extra digging. That client wanted to reduce thier costs due to a change in thier business model.

The incumbent sales person offered up a new A3 30ppm color MFP for a couple of dollars less than what the client is paying on the current lease.

The second sales person offered up a new A3 30ppm color MFP as well, but also offered up a price for a slower A3 color MFP.

The third sales person took a different approach.  That sales person went to existing device and inspected all of the paper trays.  Only two of the paper trays had paper in them and both were filled with letter size paper.

The fact that only two trays were being used and only letter size paper was in the trays sparked the next action.  That sales person then accessed the meter counter in MPF, but it wasn't the total counter he was after.  With a couple of extra button selections the sale person accessed the true meter for the MFP.

The true meter goes into depth about how many pages are printed for each paper size.  Can you guess how many 11x17 pages were printed in five years?

Who guessed zero? 

If you did, you win.  Our sales person also calculated the average volume and it fell right into the perfect volume for an A4 color device.

Our sales person asked for a little bit of time to work up a price for the client.  While working up the price, he noticed another glimmer of hope on the meter print out sheet.  The color volume averaged 100 pages a year.  This smarter than the average bear sales person then developed a second price for the client.  That second price was for a black A4 50 ppm MFP.

Presenting the numbers to the DM for the A4 color device was not working. The client needed a lower price.  Rather than backing down the price of the A4 color MFP, our sales person presented the A4 black MFP with the print speed of 50 ppm.

During the presentation of the price the sales person made reference that they were only printing 100 color pages a year or eight pages a month.  He stated if you really need to print only eight color pages a month, then just add a small inkjet color printer for a couple of hundred dollars.

In the end the client agreed that they did not need color, did not need 11x17 and wanted the low cost option of the black A4 MFP.  Documents were signed that day on the first appointment.  Done deal.

Afterwards our sales person asked for copies of the quotes that were presented.  Believe it or not both quotes were emailed to the client.  Both did not offer the cost savings that the client wanted.  Seems like both salespeople did not dig and do thier homework.  In the end that's why the both lost the sale.  

Can you guess who was smarter than the average bear?

-=Good Selling=-

PS "If you're not promoting A4, you're going to get your butt kicked"

New to Copier Sales or Just Sales? Follow My Top 5 Linkedin Peeps!

While driving to an account today, I couldn't help but thinking about a new rep that just started with us.  Our business is nothing like it was almost forty years ago. 

My job was to pick up the phone and or cold call for scheduling demonstrations of copiers.  We had maybe four different models of copiers and the only accessories that were available was additional paper trays. Back then you could focus and get results.

Today is much different and I don't have to tell everyone how convoluted our industry is.  Being a successful office technology rep is quite the task and I tip my hat to those who've made it past the first two years.

I thought it would be a great idea to share those on Linkedin that I follow and admire for thier content and thier activity.  Activity is BIG, why follow someone if they are not active.  Thus, there's no special order below, it's my short list of peeps to follow on LInkedin that can help your sales career.

Larry Levine: Larry started in the coper industry in 1988.  Which is something I found out when I picked up his new book "Selling from the Heart".  Larry is an active blogger on this site, and covers social media everyday.  He's got a great story for developing a genuine approach for sales. Larry is not only great at what he does, but finds time to give back to his community on a regular basis.  

Mike Stramaglio: Mike's been in the office technology business a tad longer than me.  Even though I don't get to speak to Mike that often, we do get to chat a few times a year at industry events.  Mike is extremely active on social media and also gives time back to charitable causes.  For me, Mike is my silent mentor on Linkedin. 

West McDonald: West the wolverine, West the Sultan of MPS (Managed Print Service) and West the great communicator.  His passion is to help his partners improve thier business as change accelerates the imaging industry.  West has many blogs posted on Linkedin an is active with sharing threads from others. If you're looking for someone to emulate on Linkedin West would be my choice.

Dayna Karron: Dayna and I have never meet, although we've exchanged emails from time to time.  I tried to track her down at last year's Jillian's Fund Event, however she wasn't in the same spot for more than a few minutes.  Dayna is a prolific poster on Linkedin and I can understand why she's great at what she does.  Dayna knows that hard work does pay off.  Dayna is another great sales guru to follow.

Dale Dupree: (The Copier Warrior) What can I say, someone that is after my own heart when it comes to being creative!  I'd like to think I was just as creative as Dale back in my hey day, but that was many years ago.  Many of Dale's threads on Linkedin take us on many cold calls where Dale uses his creative genius to brand himself with new prospects.  Following Dale will inspire you to get creative and think outside the box.

Looking for additional inspiration?  Follow all five of these peeps. I'm grateful that I connected with all of the above. Yes, there are days when I can find it hard to get going. All it takes is a short trip to Linkedin and one of these great peeps will have something that reminds me of "the harder I work, the luckier I get).

Hey, you can also follow me But, all of my stuff gets posted here first and then to Linkedin.

-=Good Selling=-

Why I Spend Time on Linkedin Everyday

Just a short blog for everyone tonight. I'm doing updates to the site, listening to the Yankee game.  Thought this would be a neat short story about Linkedin.

I've always stated that as long as you work hard you never know what tomorrow will bring you.

For years and years I've spent at least 30-45 minutes a day on Linkedin. Whether it's giving congrats for a new job/position, posting links to this site, posting interesting links to other sites, sharing threads, and making sure I send everyone a "happy birthday" note.

It's just something I do. Recently, I heard a statement that it takes 21-28 days of doing something to make it a habit.  Guessing that's the same for athletes when they practice over and over to get that muscle memory.  Linkedin has become a daily part of my selling day, whether it's for the copiers that I sell or promoting the Print4Pay Hotel.  Yup, it's a habit now

Today was kinda busy, I was on the phone (hands free) when I received a call from outside of my area code. I thought it was just another telemarketer (did I just write that!), I answered the call and was pleasantly surprised.  It was one of my Linkedin contacts, and that person was in the market for a copier ASAP.  I stated that I would call back as soon as I got back to my office.

We did the call, defined the needs and the one requirement was that the copier was needed ASAP. Traditionally I don't send proposals, I will send the other docs because it can speed up the order process. In addition the client has all of the T's & C's. There was no time to visit the client, I was told to send the docs for a review.  About thirty minutes later I had the signed order docs in my email. WooHoo!

It wasn't a large order and wasn't a small one either.  But it was a net new account that directly came from Linkedin.

Just thought that was neat that hard work does pay-off and as long as you work hard you never know what tomorrow will bring you.

-=Good Selling=-

Change is Good, Especially When it Comes to Scanning Documents with Copiers

Change is good, right?  I'm going to change is even better.

Being the same old you and doing the same old thing when presenting copiers can be prove to be a bad thing. Everything is changing at break neck speed in our industry. 

Thus last week I thought I would change it up a bit.  Instead of providing the same old boring talk track of speeds and feeds. I opted for making one short power point presentation (5 slides) that centered around scanning workflows. There were no pictures of copiers, no talk track about how fast the device printed or copied. 

My first slide posed this question.  "Is this the way you're currently scanning your documents?" I showed the picture below and asked about which one do they use and or do you use both? One client was using scan to email and the other client used both.


I then showed a slide that outlined the steps required after the document was received in the scan folder or thier email. 


I went over each step and confirmed that for the most part all of these steps are required when scanning documents, right?  Both clients were in full agreement.

My next slide showed my Ricoh Op panel and explained that we can set up a one touch workflow scan button for them. For the one client that was named "work permit" and two of the others were labeled as "A License" and "B License".  I explained that the magic happens because we can pre-program the 2018-09-28_21-34-45scan destinations (email, folder, fax) for each workflow. 

In addition, the documents would be programmed to scan as searchable .pdf's, color, and blank page detection. At the copier we could also preview the scan and name the file. Thus all of the pre and post programming can be accomplished when the documents are scanned. This saves time and also prevents users from forgetting to post process the scanned file.

Before I forget.  I'm still amazed at the amount of people that do not know what a "searchable pdf" is.  With both clients I asked, "do you know what a searchable pdf is? Both clients did not know and I took the time to explain how a searchable pdf works and how that feature saves time when reviewing scanned documents.

My next slide centered on Cloud Scanning applications. In the Ricoh world we call this Ricoh ICE.


Thus, I'm listing all of the connector and asking if they use DropBox, Box, Google Drive, One Drive, MS 365, Evernote, NetDocuments, etc. If I get a yes to one of these, I then take the time to educate the clients on the amount of time they would save by scanning directly to these cloud applications. If I get a no for these,  then I ask about the need to scan documents back to MS Word or MS Excel. This too provides a great education and talk track for the clients.2018-09-28_21-59-37

Why is the above slide important?  Most business lines of software (that's the software that clients use to run thier business) has a scan feature. In most cases it allows for a TWAIN scan driver work with the copier.  Users can then place documents on the copier, then open thier business line of software and then scan those documents directly into thier business line of software.  This my friends,  can also save an incredible amount of time.

Okay, you've seen all of the slides, and not once did I mention print speed, paper trays, fax (cause fax is dead), nor cost per page. It was refreshing for me and it was even more refreshing for the clients.  Just the talk track of focusing on scanning applications led to additional questions for higher end content opportunities. I told them I'm not the expert for the higher end stuff, however I got peeps I can bring in to help after we've installed the new device

Change is good, I'm going to change.

-=Good Selling=-

Why a Copier Salesperson Loves to Sell DocuWare

You probably don’t know me but I’ve been in the industry now for over 20 years and have been fortunate to be successful selling Canon, Ricoh and Kyocera products in both hardware and software sales.

I remember when I started it was all about hardware. I used to say “black and white paid the bills and color sent me on vacation”. Back in those days a color sale would be $40,000 plus and would always be a generous commission. I remember speaking with another colleague of mine back then who had been in the industry for many more years than I and told him “ I wanted to be a color specialist”. His response was why “would you want to only sell color”? Those words rang true and I learned much from him in our years together.

I’m guessing your dealership has a document management networking team that supports sales for products like Docuware. Long ago I realized this gave me another arrow in my quiver and allowed me to position myself as an expert salesperson in our industry. Why would I just want to sell Canon, Kyocera and Ricoh when I have other software applications to offer my clients?

At first the sale may seem daunting as it is a far cry from feeds and speeds. I suggest you take the time and learn two different departments. Accounts payable and Human Resources. It doesn’t matter the industry, these departments function almost identical in every business and if you could “speak their language” you’ll unlock the door to more sales.

In my experience these sales are also very profitable as they replace labor which is often an exceptionally high cost for business. So… look around your clients and prospects offices and see if you can find boxes of paper (which I’m sure you will). Ask about Accounts Payable and Human Resources and you will find opportunities that will help businesses streamline their processes, make them more efficient and profitable and will rely on you as their trusted business partner.

Bring in your Docuware representative or network specialist and listen to the language they use. Once you’ve done it a few times you can approach any business and add value.

 Monte Jensen

Note from Art:  Monte has been a Print4Pay Hotel longer than I can remember. I'm thinking 15 years at least. Monte is one my peeps in my inner circle of connections in the industry. We try to chat at as often as possible. Monte is the real deal and has a wealth of experience to share and I thanked him for sharing this blog with us today.  Thanks again Monte! 

Why Product Knowledge Can Vault You to Success

Would you agree or disagree with this statement? "You can have the best sales skills in the world, however, if you don't know your product you won't sell a damn thing".

I'm a firm believer in the above, excellent product knowledge has allowed me to be extremely successful selling print devices.  I feel bad for those sales peeps have the cheapest or lowest price along with zero product knowledge. The end result is guy and gals like me will eat them for lunch.

LinkedIn is full of sales guru's touting relationship building, sales gimmicks, being genuine, but none of this works if you don't know your products. I'm not saying they are wrong, but there's no one preaching product knowledge anymore.  Product knowledge about what your device can and can't do, along with interpreting how that will help your client will go a long way in winning an order.

Product Guides

I'll admit, I'm not a big book reader, but every chance I get I'll read the product guides about the devices that I sell.  Back in the eighties there were no product guides. In order to learn more about your copiers or your competitors copiers it was key to read the operators manual .  Reading the operators manual is still a good idea when you're not sure what the brochure means.  Meaning sometimes we read about a feature and interpret it the wrong way.  It happens more often than not because of those crafty marketers.  The operator manual does not lie and walks you through the feature and how it works.

The Appointment

Picture this, a sales person enters the appointment and has excellent rapport with the buyer.  That sales person is genuine, and extremely likable.  The buyer has already gathered much of the information that they required on the web.  The buyer now wants to ask a few questions about the device that they couldn't find answers to.  Those questions at the appointment go unanswered with the reply that I'll have to get back to you. Sales person exits.

Our next salesperson has all of the same characteristics of the first sales person.  When it comes to answering the questions of the buyer, this sales person is able to answer all of the questions along with giving advise about those configurations.  Who do you think is going to win the order?

Tips for Increasing Product Knowledge

  • First things first, read the darn brochure of the product you are selling.  If you don't understand something then ask one of your peers or even put a thread here on the Print4Pay Hotel. Some one will help you.
  • If you know who your competitor and the brands they are selling, read their brochures and see where there are differences. If you have a question then this site is a great place to post that question.
  • Every MFP from every manufacturer sports a product guide.  These guides go in depth about the features of the device and how they can help the end user. Read your product guides.
  • Read your competitors product guides, these may be a little tougher to get but they're out there and all you need to do is ask.
  • Maybe you have senior rep at your office, maybe someone like me that has too much knowledge and is willing to part with it.  Ask and ye shall receive.
  • YouTube Videos, it's all there almost everything you need about your devices and the competition. Excellent resource!

Finding the Time

  • Smart phones is probably the best tool I ever had.  Use them to your advantage.
  • Do your research at lunch.  Instead of eating with a buddy, go private and take the time to learn.
  • You arrived at the appointment early, instead of checking Instagram, Facebook or SnapChat, dial (lol dial) up the web and prepare your self.
  • You arrived early at work today, take a few minutes here too.
  • There's another place where you can steal a few minutes here and there, but we'll leave that up to your imagination.

Knowing Your Technology

I'll probably get some push back on this, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if I asked 10 sales people how a printer makes an image.  Seven out of ten would be lost.  That question might not ever be posed to you, but wouldn't be awesome if it was and you could transfer that knowledge to your client?

Sometimes you don't have to like someone to buy from them.  Yes, you do need to trust them.  Would you trust the more knowledgeable sales person than the less knowledgeable sales person.  Yup, I'm thinking more knowledgeable is going to win.

-=Good Selling=-

What do Millennial's, Horse Traders, Amazon, Ricoh MP 501SP all Have in Common?

I'm not sure what the title of this blog will be at this time, and as I get deeper into the story I may come up with it as I write.

About eight months ago I received a lead from my service department about and old Ricoh 1035 that was still in the field. We didn't sell the device new, but somehow ended up as the service provider for a small law firm. No maintenance/supply agreement, just service and bill as needed.

For six months I got not where with phone calls, was never able to get to speak to the DM and was told we'll call you when we're ready.  

Two months ago I decided to pay them an visit while out knocking on doors.  The woman in the office was very friendly, showed me the existing Aficio 1035 and stated that they were just about ready to get rid of that old copier. She asked me to prepare some numbers and she would talk with the DM and schedule a sit down for all of us to review the proposal.  

After asking many questions, and noticing that the Aficio 1035 was not connected to the network, not did they have a need for 11x17 or stapling,  I thought the best product for them would be the Ricoh MP 501SP with two paper trays, OCR, and Ricoh legal ICE.  I figured competition would come in with A3 devices and try to match the speed. It was a good plan, which also included pricing the system at MSRP.

After many follow up calls, the meeting never happened and I shelved the opportunity for another month out.  About 3 weeks ago I call had a call from that office from an intern.  That intern was tasked with gathering information for the acquisition of the new copier.  We had a few calls by cell and then many text messages in reference to the options. all the while I held my price on the MP 501SP.  We then went silent for about two weeks.

Our intern called and wanted to know why my price was so high? I asked "compared to what", that's when I was informed that he was also pricing the same unit from Amazon. I gave the intern all of the value points and still didn't drop in price, except that I eliminated the OCR and the Ricoh ICE because he believed it was not needed. Okay, so I thought I'm not playing this game any more, I called him back the next day and reduced the price by a few bucks just so I could get this off my plate. 

A FEW DAYS LATER, the intern called and left me a message thanking me for the quote and they were going in another direction. I was happy!  I could move on to bigger and better things.

A few days ago I received an email from the same intern.  Seems like they can't get the MP 501SP from Amazon for 30 days or so, and was asked if my price was still the same.  Okay, it's back in my lap,  it's an A3 and it was deleted from my opportunities for the month. This should be quick and easy. I responded with a yes as long as we can wrap it up this week. A few days of silence and I had a call from the women (intern went back to college) I meet many months ago.  They would like to move forward, however they already received the MP 501SP paper tray via Amazon. Could I take that off the price (she also provided with me a part number, how nice). I looked up the part number on google and and saw what they paid. I responded and told her I could take the paper tray office, but would only lower the price by $200, they paid $276. She was fine with that. I delivered the paperwork for the purchase, they signed and sent it back. Done!

I'm in the office early Friday and along comes an email from the DM asked me to remove the stand from the quote because they had ordered the cabinet from another supplier.  He stated that they paid $187 for the cabinet and wanted me to reduce that price.  I was like no way am I taking off that much. After a little research I realized they bought the wrong stand, they needed the smaller stand for two paper trays. I told that to the DM and also stated that if he wants me to remove the stand I can take out eighty more dollars.

That worked I got the revised paperwork, copy of the check.  Done again!

What's the moral of the story here? Maybe don't buy from Amazon, or don't let a millennial take charge of buying stuff?  After all of this,  the intern used the internet for all of the pricing. Bought the MP 501SP from one supplier, the paper tray from another and the cabinet from yet another supplier.  My God is this what the future holds for this generation? I thought out loud in the office and exclaimed the intern was more like a silent horse trader. Just searching for the best possible price an oblivious to the value that is provided by a dealer.

Thus, there you have it, if a client tells you there're buy from Amazon, you could make them aware of the wait or just let them buy from Amazon.  Oh, one more thing, at one point the intern had asked me if he bought from Amazon would we provide service for the MP 501SP.  I flat out told him NO.

-=Good Selling=-