Sales Hacks

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.

2018-09-28_21-14-20

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

2018-09-28_21-27-32

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.

2018-09-28_21-52-52

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=-

It's 5PM Do You Know Where Your Best Sales People Are?

I'm with you, in recent years it's been tougher and tougher to get through to DM's (decision makers) to schedule that first appointment.  In some cases it's taken me a hundred plus calls and many years of trying to get the DM on the phone.  The good thing about the 100 plus calls is that by the time I do get the DM on the phone they definitely know what I'm calling about.

Gatekeepers are better than ever, and the thought of potential phone scams keep them vigilant in their quest to not let you through.

There's much talk in sales about building relationships and that's all well and good as long as you can make contact with the DM. You can't start or build that relationship until you've made first contact.

You can't sell everyone is something you always here in sales, and I believe it's the same for building relationships. Not everyone you meet or greet is going to want to build a business relationship.  Thus it's the numbers game that can really increase your opportunities and your potential business relationships.

So where are your best sales people after 5PM?

1) They're still out in the field making cold calls!  One thing that I've noticed is that many gatekeeper leave in between 4:30PM - 5PM.  If you're in the field making calls after 5PM, it's a good shot the doors will still be open.  Most likely you'll trip over the DM as you scout your way around the office to find someone.

Instead of starting your day at 8AM.  Why not start your day at 9AM and work still 6PM, with the last two hours of the day dedicated to calling on those that you can't land the DM on the phone. It makes sense right?

2) Other sales peeps are attending and working at charity events.  There's nothing better than meeting that influential person while they're volunteering their time for a great cause.  Remember the six foot question? That's when you get within six feet of someone that you strike up a conversation and one of your questions is "where do work"? Of course then continue the conversation asking about what their roll is within that company.

3) Still at their desk or parked in a parking (by the beach) lot trying to squeeze in a couple of extra calls on their cell phones after 5PM.  You just never know who will pick up the phone.  Think, if this were your business, wouldn't you be working whenever and wherever you can? 

4) Continuing their education with reading sales books and or learning more about their industry. The web is a great tool because it's open 24 hours a day.  It's those rainy weekends that can give you a great kickstart to the week.  Been there and done that.

5) Continuing education not for sales people but for Professionals such as attorneys, architects, engineers, surveyors.  Each month these associations meet to deliver educational courses to their members so that they can stay up to date for state requirements.  Most associations will accept speakers (as long as they pay for booze or dinner) allow you to speak for 15 minutes and maybe have a small table.

6) Some are even sending emails late into the night.  Can't sleep, nothing will get a DM's attention more than an email sent at 2AM.  That DM can only wish they had that sales person with their company.

It's more about doing the extra work than it is about having fancy lines, trinkets or lame cold call gimmicks.  You need to be where the DM's (decision makers) are and interact with them. Not every stop in will generate a lead or build a relationship.  But from years of experience I can tell you that being in front the DM's if much better than not.

-=Good Selling=-

Special thanks to our friends at Polek & Polek for sponsoring tonight's blog, please make sure you check out their site and their awesome products for copiers

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The Quest for $200K "Still Time to Network"

In one of the previous Quest for $200K blogs I stated that my appointment for this AM had cancelled and was moved to Friday of this week.  That was a good thing, because tomorrow morning (Thursday) I need to present our proposal to upgrade seven devices with another client.  

I had no idea that it would take me hours to complete all of the data and the docs this morning.  In fact I was not able to finish the order doc and the lease in time. Not a problem I thought, I can create those tonight from the home office. 

After countless hours of updating this site tonight, I was able to create order doc and the lease for my client.  That's when I realized I was out of paper!  Argghh To boot there's not enough time to get paper in the AM.

My only is option is to load the files on my DropBox account and access them when I get to the clients office.  I'll then print them off on one of the Ricoh devices with Ricoh Mobile Print.  It'll be a little awkward, however I'm sure I'll manage.

Nothing really to speak about this AM. I did develop an opportunity for a 25ppm A3 black device (printing and scanning not needed). Not sure if I'll get that or not, the prospect is also looking at a re-furbished copier for $1,800.  Which got me to thinking about the word"re-furbished"  and how that word is thrown around.  

For me, re-furbished means that you strip the copier down to the mainframe and then clean and rebuild with new and used parts.  Stripping a copier down the frame can take hours and hours, then the cleaning, the replacement or worn and used parts.  This is quite a task for any technician, my best estimation ( I used to be a tech ) is that it would take at least twenty hours from start to finish for smaller A3 copier.   That's quite a bit if in house shop time right?

That sales person called that $1,800 copier "re-furbished".  I doubt that very much and conveyed that to the client.  Our prospect agreed that the system is could not be re-furbished, it's just a used copier with new PM parts (maybe).  If it sounds to good to be true it usually is.

I have nothing I could offer the prospect for under $2,000 used.  I told the prospect that maybe they are better off buying a Brother inkjet copier that can print/copy 11x17.  You can buy then for about $300 bucks or so.  Trying to dig a little deeper I asked if there as anything else that was required for the new system.   That's when the prospect told me that they also needed zoom reduction and enlargement.  I thought what?  I haven't heard that need in years. Well, I was back in the game with my A3 black device.  Just thought that was interesting today.

By 2PM I was off to my 3PM appointment with an existing account. That account was having a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4PM for their new location.  I was invited to stay for food and beverages and to hob knob with the Mayor of one town, a County Superintendent, along with the Executive Director of the local Chamber of Commerce.  Of course I brought business cards and made sure everyone got one, in addition I made mental notes of those I meet.  I'll be reaching out to them tomorrow via LinkedIn.

I did have time to meet with the DM, things were hectic because of the 4PM start, but I as able to move this opportunity to a point where I maybe able to close this late next week.

Tomorrow's a big day.  Luck is for rabbits and looking forward to making things happen.

-=Good Selling=-

Five Hacks That Will Help You Sell More Copiers (tre)

It's late, just about 11PM here on the East Coast and I'm watching/listening to the Nationals & Cubs do or die game.  Let's Go Cubs!  Not that I'm  a Cub fan, but more of a hater for the Nationals.  I guess that's what happens when you're a lowly NY Mets fan.

K, so I have no idea where I go this next hack from. I do know that it was not one of my ideas.  Thinking I read about doing this from some sales book that I read many moons ago.

Decision Makers

They come with many different titles.  In most cases we are meeting with C-Level execs with titles of CFO. CEO, CIO and probably a few others.  Most of us understand that in the first five minutes of any meeting, the Decision Maker is sizing us up.  How we dress, what we wear, how we walk, how we talk, how we look, are all taken in to account in those first five minutes.

However, it can also be about what we read. 

You're probably thinking how can the Decision Maker know anything about what we read?  True, the Decision Maker does not have a clue about what you read unless you perform a subtle hint.

K, that subtle hit would be to carry a copy of CFO Magazine in your bag.  Years ago,  I subscribed to CFO Magazine and to this day I still receive the magazine in the mail.  Each month I'll replace the old with the new and take a quick read to see if there are any interesting articles that pique my interest.  In most cases there may be one or two that I'll read.

Thus, when I'm off on a new appointment and I know I'm going to be meeting with a CFO. I'll make sure that I pull the CFO magazine out of my bag and lay it on the side of the table as I'm looking for my notepad or brochure. In some cases I may just leave that in my bag, making sure that the CFO header on the magazine is showing.

I can't tell if the magazine has ever helped me garner a sale, but I can assume that the Decision Maker did see the magazine and drew a conclusion from seeing it.  In most cases I would assume that the Decision Maker would have thought, "interesting, this sales guy must really be in touch with what I do". 

Over the years, there have been some articles that I've read from those CFO magazines that have increased my knowledge about the duties of a CFO.  Thus, when you do have that C-Level discussion there will be times when you will understand their language and their duties.

My point is, if that's all you want to do is to carry around the magazine and use if for show and tell, it probably won't help that much.  However, if you do read an article here and there and do the show and tell you'll have a much better conversation with that CFO.

You can also do this with CEO magazine, CIO magazine and any other C-Level magazines that you can find.  Again, the key is too read the articles from time to time.  You'll be amazed at how much this can help your career and those first five minutes.

-=Good Selling=-

Five Hacks That Will Help You Sell More Copiers (Uno)

With many athletes practice makes perfect.  It's that repetition of completing certain tasks over and over again the create muscle memory.  That muscle memory then becomes an instinctive reaction when that athlete puts those skills in motion. 

Since I'm pretty familiar with baseball, it's the day to day tasks of taking batting practice, long tossing and fielding that builds the muscle memory of the athlete.

Over the years, there are many tasks that I perform daily, weekly and monthly that have helped me to be successful in the copier industry.  In many cases, I'm not thinking about the tasks that I perform. It's just that I've been doing them for so long that they become my muscle memory for my sales processes.

Thus, I'd like to share some of these tasks and I guess you can call them tips that can help you sell more copiers.

1) Many times, it's hard to connect with a net new prospect via phone, social media and or in person.  Most of us understand that before we call that prospect that we should also pay a visit to their website.  Visting their website enables us to get a better understand of what that company does and who some of the decision makers may be. 

On many occasions, I will scout the "contact us" page to see if there is an email contact form. If there is I will send my intro email through their website. It's definitely going to get read and makes a cold call on the phone a bit easier when you can tell the receptionist that it's in reference to an email I sent through your website.

Now, there's another little trick that works from time to time when you're on that companies "contact us" page.  While on that page you may be able to capture the email address that is being used for that contact form.  In most cases that email address is usually used by a person that has some authority within the company.

You can capture that email address by "right clicking" on your mouse.  You'll then see a pop-up appear on your screen.  You want to find "view source", once you've found it you want to click view source. You will then the source code or the HTML that was used to create that page.  Now, somewhere on that page, there may be that email address that we're looking for. The quickest and easiest way to find that address is to type the @ sign in the search field and then press enter.  All of the @ signs on the page will then be highlighted.  See the picture below for exact instructions.

email address hack

I'll be posting the rest of these in the next couple of days, getting late now and I need to get ready for tomorrow. Only two days left in the selling month and quarter. 

-=Good Selling=-

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