Sales Hacks

Eight Things You Might Know Not About Copy Paper

Love it or hate it, paper is still one of the main go to sources for communication and archiving.

Living and selling copiers so close to the ocean all of these years has made me almost and expert with copier paper.

  • Image quality issues, maybe your copy paper is damp. Yup, copier paper soaks up the moisture  in the air. When paper is damp the image quality will suffer. In most cases you'll see white splotches where toner should be. If you need to confirm that the paper is damp,  then take that same piece of copied or printed paper, flip it over and put it in the by-pass tray. Print another image on the back side and if the splotches are missing then your paper is damp.  The trick is that you dried out the paper with the first print when it went through the fuser section.

  • Spend the extra buck for better paper and here's the reason why, better grades of paper means that each ream is wax wrapped. Not the outside of the wrapper but the inside. Go tear open a ream of paper and you'll see what I mean, feel the inside wrapper and it's smooth. That's because of the wax coating.  Now what does the wax coating do?  It prevents moisture from seeping into the paper. Can't tell you how many times a client is mentioned bad print quality and it's because they took the outside wrapper off the paper.

  • Copy or Print this side up! You won't see this label on the wrapper for inexpensive copier paper, however with better grades the "Copy of Print this side up" will tell you what side of the paper to load in the paper tray. The reason for this is that reams of paper have a tendency to bow (curve) under great weight. Forty cartons of paper per skid creates a lot weight. Using the "Copy or Print this side up" will also reduce paper jams and who wants those!

  • How much does that sheet of paper cost me? A recent check with Office Depot showed a cost of $36.99 for a carton of paper. Each carton of letter size paper has ten reams that has 500 sheets of paper.  At this price each sheet of paper costs .007398.  Of course that price doesn't included shipping which could add a few more dollars. At some point in the near future I suspect that a letter size sheet of paper will be a penny per sheet.

  • Letter size or A4 paper accounts for the largest market share in the global copier market.  Makes you wonder why Ray is always pushing A4 MFP's!

  • Great way to solve the damp paper issue when the paper in your paper trays is damp. Go and purchase some 10 gram silica gel desiccant bags. Place one in each paper tray wait a few hours and the problem should be solved.

  • Loss of paper, where the frak is all my paper going or better yet, where did my checks go? I'm guilty of this!  Every now and then we'll run out of notepads, where's the next place I go? Yup, it's over to the copier, open the draw and help myself to all the paper I need.  Believe it or not this minor theft of copier paper happens frequently at large educational institutions.  Take the University that has 500 plus copiers and uses more than a million prints a month. A five percent loss will mean losing 50K sheets of paper each month.  Depending on their cost for paper this can result in a loss of $125-$250 per month. Adding paper tray locks can deter those paper and check thieves. Cool paper tray locks here

  • All copier paper is not alike! Ever wonder why you got such a good deal on copier paper?  Truth be told there are many shades of white copier paper.  There's even some white copier that looks gray when you compare to copier paper that 95 brightness rating. Brightness of the paper is rated on scale of 0-100 with 100 being the brightest. It's all about the reflecting more light. The higher the number the more light it reflects. Thus, if you want excellent color prints or copies you'll always want 95 brightness. You can read more about brightness of paper here

-=Good Selling=-

Being Comfortable With Yourself Can Go A Long Way in Sales

Be creative, be authentic, be knowledgeable and be passionate are all great traits for sales people.

For most sales people it takes time to feel comfortable with who you are and the message that you want to bring to your clients. It's not something that you can change over night. It's something that successful level sales people develop over time and sometimes it's coupled with trial and error. The great thing is that we all learn from our mistakes. Trust me been there done that.

Clients Can Sense Your Expertise

It's more about that feeling that the client gets when you're on the phone or meeting with them. They feel comfortable with you, they are comfortable with your message, comfortable with your tone of voice.  Selling today is nothing like it was back in the eighties, the hard close is all but gone along with those leading questions to make the client say yes. I'm not saying that getting a yes is bad, however clients are so educated they can sense where you're trying to take them down the "yes" road and that's when the walls go up.

A Recent Cold Call

Last week I wanted to pay a visit to an existing account where we just placed a new wide format.  Actually I was chopping at the bit to visit them because I noticed there were four other companies in the same location that were wide format users.

My last cold call was probably the best of the afternoon and it wasn't because I developed a lead.  I was greeted by the receptionist and I stated my name, my company and explained that I had meet one of the principals at a recent event. She corrected me on the first name of the principal (yeah, I had a senior moment), I asked if she would forward my information to the person in charge (I knew who it was, but did not mention their name). I then stated. "when you're in need to replaced or add a new wide format we'd like to me included in that process". KISS

The receptionist then thanked me and told me that I was the most courtesy sales person she had meet in some time. Also stating that others would ask too many questions. I told her, "thank you, that means a lot, I've been doing this for a long time".  I followed up with a call just today, spoke with our receptionist and she put me through to the decision maker. Appointment was then scheduled.  Seems this was more about being comfortable with myself and the message I wanted to send.

Saturday Afternoon

After returning from Virginia for a few the days the wife and I needed to go on some errands.  Lowes, Hobby Lobby (for me), food store and I had to find a place to ship a package to Virginia.

My wide told me about there was a UPS store just up the road. It was Saturday, I was dressed in boat shoes, shorts and a tee-shirt.  Of course the first thing I noticed was the three KonicaMinolta copiers as I arrived. I made my way to the counter and was waited on by a clerk.  Next to the clerk was an older man and I surmised that he was the owner because of the way he interacted with the clerk. I got my package shipped and then asked the owner, "how is the copy business", his reply was "it's okay". I then stated, "good, but does anyone really make copies anymore?". "No, not really, but UPS mandates that I have to have three copiers, one for color, one for black and one has to have a Fiery" he said. "Wow, I'm surprised, is that because of the franchise agreement?" I asked. "Yes, are you in the copy business?" the owner asked. "Yes, I am"

We chatted for another 35 minutes which included one major point that I was not aware of. UPS wants the franchise owners to diversify away from shipping. UPS wants them to add other printing devices such as wide format, and color wide format.

Boy was my wife upset when I finally got back to the car. I apologized and told her about the chat. She stated. " I would expect nothing less".

What started as a routine visit to ship a package ended up with a casual conversation about copiers and then some. I was not a sales person, I was a customer in his eyes and that led to conversation that he and I was comfortable with.  Needless to say, he wants me to pop in when I'm in the area again.  Always be prospecting!

_=Good Selling=-

5 Reasons Why I'm Loving Perfect Copier Quoting Tool

I think I've got 15 or so quotes under my belt now for Perfect Copier web quoting tool. Everyday I use it means another day of falling in love with.....the web quoting tool.

  • Ease of Use:  Yup,  it took me a little bit of time to get things down, but things are straight forward and easy to understand because a copier guy put this together!  Take that other quoting tools!
  • Time: OMG, the time that I save is incredible. I can put together a quote in a few minutes rather than 30 minutes or more the old way.
  • Constant Upgrades: Yea! Plus they come free.  The last update was for adding multiple devices. Thus you do one, and click another tab to add 5, 10 or 15 more.
  • Increase Revenue & GP: Okay, so we all know there are many additional options on copiers. In most cases it's hard to talk about each one. Not with the web based quoting tool!  You can list all of the options and then review each of them with the client.  If the clients elects to add a few more options the lease pricing is automatically calculated.  How about when you're in the clients office, you're prepared with a quote for 36 month lease and the curve ball comes over with, "can you show me pricing for 24, 48 and 60 months?". Yup in the past out comes the phone, then the calculating, the scribbling and presto changing you've lost the buying momentum. Perfect Copier allows you to click one tab and all of the terms will appear with monthly pricing.
  • Side by Sides:  We're back in that clients office and here comes the slider! "So, how about quoting a black copier along with the color and maybe also quote something a little slower in color?"  I'm reading your mind now (wait for it) and out comes another sigh because doing all of this will mean either a trip back to the office or lose the buying moment because you're fumbling with your pricing book, software, and notepad. It kinda goes like this, "sure Jim, give me a moment as a matter of fact, just wave your hand over my ipad and I'll populate your quote in 20 seconds".  Not BS'ing you, it's that easy.

I'll keep brand names out of this, but I can't stand the pricing tool that I use. It's cumbersome, hard to read, if you move the mouse the wrong way you'll screw yourself. The list goes on and on.  When you're all done then it's time for populating the proposal, which is another real drag.

I'm including a link for everyone below. Jesse sent this to me a so that I could review on my own time and learn some of the new features. If you have the time, check it out, you'll be glad you did. If you're interesting in Prefect Copier, please email Jesse or follow this link. Make sure you tell him that you read this blog for the special Print4Pay Hotel experience!

-=Good Selling=-  

A Funny Thing Happened After My Sales Appointment

Just a short blog for all tonight.  It was a little over a week ago that I scheduled an appointment for a quarterly review with one of my clients.  The appointment was to review costs, volume of prints and what's changed with my client in the last 12 months.

I did my bit and then asked what's changed beside the recent move.  To my surprise the client was interesting in upgrading their existing wide format to one that could print and copy in color.

Thus, I led the client through the pro's and con's of the device I had in mind, along with answering many additional questions from the client. My meeting ended with creating an opportunity along with providing a quote as soon as possible.

Within a few days I had delivered the quote. Within another day or so I received an email with a few additional questions. One statement that worried me was "we're just not sure if the extra $75 per month was worth need for color". The client also explained that they would get back to me quickly with an decision. There was a little bit more to the email, however something I'm not going to post here. I did take the time to address their concerns with two additional emails.

It was another 72 hours and I received an email that they would like to move forward with the order. I developed the doc's, delivered them via email. The next day I had the signed documents return via email with a special PS at the end of of the email.

Here's what it read.

Ps - Before making the final decision, I was doing a little more homework online on ink jet vs toner plotters.  I came across a helpful article, only to notice after reading that you were the author!  Brandi and I got a kick out of that.  So basically you already answered some of my questions. 

I read this one, and also one on 10 FAQ’s about the Ricoh MP CW2201SP. 
I've been writing content on my wide format site for a couple of years now. Over those two years I received a fair amount of leads and have closed some orders for net new clients.  I was not surprised that the client did some additional research, but I was elated that my content showed up in their search efforts.
Just goes to show you that writing content is still king and pull marketing make more sense that dialing for dollars.
-=Good Selling=-

Extra Innings with Polek & Polek (baseball free agents, sales peeps)

Chris Polek and I are huge fans of baseball.  Chris is a lifelong fan of the Yankees and the same for me except I'm a big fan of the Mets.  You'd think that a Yankee fan and a Met fan would do some trash talking, but that's not the case since we are both avid fans of baseball.

During the off-season two of the biggest free agents out on the market were Manny Machado (signed with Padres) and Bryce Harper (signed with Phillies). Both are players are very capable of putting the team on their back and stacking up countless wins.  All that winning does come at a price though.  Machado with a 10 year guaranteed for $300 million and Harper with a 13 years with a guaranteed $330 million.

Both players are 26 years old, both players probably won't make the end of their contracts and both have career batting averages under .285.  When it comes to offense that means they fail more than 7 times out of ten where they do not get a hit.  Dang, if I failed 7 out of ten times with prospects, I'd probably be looking for another job.

While Chris and I were chatting the other day we thought we would share some points about signing or not signing that superstar salesperson. That gal or guy that can put the team on their back and help the time meet and exceed their goals.

Okay, so let's get into to it. Chris Polek will give us his thoughts and I'll chime in with a few of my own. 

Chris: These are certainly big bets by these teams, and just like in business, there is always risk. You know the saying: “No risk, no reward”

While it is easy for people to start calculating how many dollars per home run or plate appearances that adds up to, you know the owners of these teams weighed on benefits outside of the player’s stats to justify that investment. Things like more ticket sales, which equals more concessions sales. How many more people want to buy that player’s jersey?

Art: Yup, I can see that. By adding that top sale rep to the team, that person and their performance can enhance the sales team. That’s accomplished with the pecking order moving a down a notch or two with the other sales people on the team. Top sales people don’t like to be anything but first. Quoting from Talledega Nights, “if you’re not first you’re last”.

Chris: And what about the rest of team players? How excited are they to work with an impact player like that? Will they raise their level of play that these teams are playoff contenders? Believe me; these owners were looking to buy more value that just how many dollars each plate appearance cost.

Art: Acquiring that top sales person will inspire others. Other sales people on the team will raise their levels because they need and want to compete. Plain and simple we like to win.

Chris: Pay in sales is different compared to these guaranteed baseball contracts though. In sales the top players are making the big paycheck, because they are bringing in the results. As a business owner, if you are concerned that you are paying your salespeople too much money, you probably haven’t instituted the correct compensation plan. When you pay your salespeople record breaking paychecks, it means you should be having record breaking financial performance in your company.

Art: Agreed, you can’t sell Jersey’s with the names of your top salespeople on the back. But you can ride the backs of the those top performers.

Chris: Although Bryce Harper and Manny Machado were the players that were making the headlines because of the record breaking contracts, what happened after these signings was even more noteworthy. It seems that baseball owners realized something about free agency: it is expensive.

Baseball owners decided that instead of letting those loyal, good performers play out their contracts, and become a free agent, it was better to tear up that contract, and sign them to an extension of 5 or 7 years. These weren’t the pay levels of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or even Mike Trout, but all very comfortable and fair contracts to keep that loyalty and production from those players such as: Chris Sale, Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Xander Bogaerts, Ronald Acuna Jr., Aaron Hicks to name a few.

The point is those sales people or employees that are there for you through thick and thin, you need to make sure that you take care of them. Sometimes it is money, or new computers, but what goes farthest for a business owner is making sure that you genuinely appreciate the hard work and value that they bring to your organization. Your employees value that recognition over and above the paycheck. Your “A” players will stick with you when they know they are appreciated versus leaving you for a pay increase.

Art: It's all about investment. Invest in your team in order to reap the rewards. Adding a top player (salesperson) will improve the overall performance of the team, as only as you don’t treat them differently. Just getting away from baseball for a second. In New York we had a player by the name of Beckham, who is an awesome talent. Problem was he was not disciplined by the coaching staff, ultimately it lead to the demise of a season and Beckham getting traded.

Chris: That superstar sales person can be that final piece of the puzzle that makes your company a contender; perhaps a World Champion. That one person will not determine success alone. As a business owner, you need to continually invest in taking care of your loyal employees, and providing them the tools to bring successful results for your company. It will create a culture of loyalty, hard work, discipline, and the desire to succeed.

That superstar salesperson is the finishing touch, and the culture of your team is the foundation. If you don’t have the proper culture in place at your company, there is a bigger possibility that huge free agent contract will turn into buyer’s remorse. That superstar sales person will look like the answer, and you need to have the right culture in place for them to fit.

It is like having the key to your success, but you have the wrong keyhole. That will cause frustration, and will lead to a losing season. So focus on getting your company culture rock solid, then adding that superstar sales person can set you up for a season that takes you to the World Series!

Art:  Chris and I enjoyed writing this blog. If you enjoyed reading it please share and like.  Chris Polek is President of Polek & Polek. Polek & Polek is a 2nd generation wholesale distributor of toner, toner cartridges, drums, mfp, copier, printer supplies, parts, staples, power protection and more. Visit thier web site here

-=Good Selling=-

When Sales Are Good What Do You Do To Get Your Groot On?

It's a very short month for me this month. In fact my month ends on the 18th.  On the 19th I'll start the Easter celebration and on Monday it's off to Vegas for ITEX 2019 along with meeting my new brother!

We put the effort in every day and we can only hope that all of the hard work gets us to where we want or need to be at the end of the month. Thus, I knew that if I didn't put the extra time in this month I would put up a stinker (sales month). Stinkers are not an option, but they can happen.

After received multiple orders over the last few days I'm just about where I want to be with two days left. Do I celebrate now, yes you're damn straight I do.  One of my ways to celebrate is to put on some of my favorite music. One song in particular does it for me.

Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra is my fav!  It's upbeat, live and the lyrics scream with the life of a sales person. If you're not familiar with Mr. Blue Sky it was recently the opening song for the opening scene for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. This is where the cute and cool little Groot does his happy dance.  At times I will imitate Groot and do my own happy dance.

I'm sure everyone has that kind of song, and if you don't I urge you to find one, make it your own and use it when things are slamming.  Hey, maybe if things aren't slamming it use is as a pick me up, motivator, whatever floats your boat.

Check out these cool lyrics from Mr. Blue Sky

Morning! Today's forecast calls for blue skies

The sun is shining in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It's stopped raining, everybody's in the play
And don’t you know, it's a beautiful new day, hey
Running down the Avenue
See how the sun shines brightly
In the city, on the streets where once was pity
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today, hey

Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long, so long
Where did we go wrong?
Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long, so long
Where did we go wrong?

Hey, you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, Mr. Blue Sky's up there waiting
And today is the day we've waited for

Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long, so long
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there, Mr. Blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around, see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Hey there, Mr. Blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around, see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Mister Blue Sky
Mister Blue Sky
Mister Blue Sky-yiy

Mr. Blue, you did it right
But soon comes Mr. Night
Creeping over, now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind, I'll remember you this
I'll remember you this way

Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long, so long
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there, Mr. Blue (sky)
We’re so pleased to be with you (sky)
Look around, see what you do (blue)
Everybody smiles at you

It's awesome, especially the verse of "on the streets where there was once pity", how often can we relate to that in our sales life?  But, now Mr. Blue Sky is here and it's the day we've waited for. We're always making things happen to get to the days that we're waiting for.  

See, our sales life is lived in days, weeks and months. We are measured in those days, weeks and months. In most cases we're only as good as our last month, our last quarter or year. Our life is more about what have you done for me lately!

Get your Groot on take the time to treat yourself, and you'll feel refreshed and read to start the grin all over again.

Here's the video. GOOD SELLING!

Invest in Yourself and Get Outstanding Sales Results

First, I'd like to give kudos to the person on Linkedin who made mention of "investing" in yourself.  Can't remember who it was and it might have been Earl Everson. Earl, if it was you thanx for giving me the idea to write about "investing in your sales career". If it wasn't you, I'll have to make sure that I thank that person.

Okay, first, I'm not much for doing video's. I like video's but don't enjoy seeing my-self in them. Does anyone else feel that way?  I guess I just like to write.

Do you invest in your in yourself for to further your sales career? 

Investing in yourself can come in many flavors. Purchasing sales books, hiring a sales coach (something I never did, nor did I want to, guess I'm hard headed), purchasing software, new notebook, set up a home office, the list goes on and on.  One of the biggest investments you can make is on how to spend your time wisely. I recently caught a tip on Linkedin that every thing you do should be calendared. Setting a time for each task, whether it's 5 minutes, or 30 minutes will help you stay on track.

Through out the years I've never shied away from investing in something that will help me get better at what I do I love to do.  One of my recent purchases is with the Perfect Copier Quoting tool. This cool program will help me save tremendous amounts of time for the proposal/quoting process.  It's just something I did lately to help my self. I'm hoping it will give me additional time to prospect, because you can never ever stop prospecting.

What have you done to help yourself?

I'm amazed at how many sales people in our industry don't make the investments that can lead them to the top of sales success. The opportunities are out there and a small monthly investment of only one hundred bucks a per month or less can be the difference of always being at or above quota. 

  • When was the last time you attending and industry event?
  • When was the last time you wrote some type of content?
  • When was the last time you used Linkedin to increase your connections?
  • When was the last time you posted something on Linkedin?
  • Why don't you have a client email list and send them educational content each week or each month?
  • When was the last time you sent a client a thank you note for that recent order?
  • When was the last time you gave a shout out for one of your favorite clients on Linkedin?
  • When was the last time you asked a client for referrals?

Most of the above questions only involve your time, why not take some time before or after work hours to invest in your sales career?

Constant Contact

Did you know that you can get a free 60 day trial for Constant Contact?  After the first 60 days the cost is only twenty bucks a month for 1-500 email addresses.  Think, it's only 75 cents or so a day! If you ask, Constant Contact will actually do your first template for FREE. I've been using that same template for five years now. Once a week I send more than 2,000 emails to our Print4Pay Hotel members.  Once a month I send to 30 of my top Stratix accounts. These are the accounts that I need to stay in front of.  Out of sight equals out of mind!

Linkedin Pulse

It's free!  A place to write and share you blogs on Linkedin. I know at least six people that write a blog each week on Linkedin. Not me, because I do it here, but all of these peeps have kept at it week in and week out.  Those peeps are now very successful an have developed some outstanding number of followers an connection.  What's the key?  Commitment, week in week out, set aside the time and don't stop after three months. It's a long term commitment, but after 12 months you'll probably gain thousands of connections and followers.


Getting more and more popular ever day. Still not sure if video is for me, but I've been toying with the idea.  Check out Earl Everson, Larry Levine, or Dale Dupree they've all made the time commitment and dedication to "keep on posting" (ah, that should me my line). Each one of them has thousand if not ten thousand connections. It's not easy, but what the heck in this life is easy?

You Owe it to Yourself

Why am I in sales? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I certainly have and the answers keep coming back the same.

  • I love helping clients
  • I enjoy solving problems
  • I enjoy making what I want when I want
  • I'm in control of my own finances

Make the investments whether it's time, a product, a book, a coach, a trip, software, it will be worth it's weight in GOLD.

-=Good Selling=-

My Top Secret for Sales Success

If you're on Linkedin as much as I am, then you'll see dozens if not hundreds of people willing to entertain you with thier top secrets for sales success. 

One such linkedin thread yesterday inspired me to write about those top sales secrets.

I've been selling for copiers for almost forty years and another 2 for years with other sales positions. Over those years I can't remember one secret that I read from a so called sales guru that impacted my sales career. Yes, there have been some good tips but no secrets.

Becoming successful is the time and effort you put into to it. It also helps to have the desire, determination and dedication to succeed every day. The Three DDD's of selling is desire, determination and dedication.

Here's my top secret for sales success.


There's no golden goose, no Midas touch, and no holy grail that will give you that immediate boost to sales success.

To be successful you'll need be a :

Work your ass off, that's right nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You'll need to put in mega hours if you want to be the best at what you do.  Ours is not a 9-5 job, rather it's working your tail off and putting the time in to be the best at what you do.

Never ever stop prospecting. Once you're in sales everywhere you go and everyone that you meet could present prospecting opportunities.  Even driving the highway can present you with new prospects. Spotting a company that you never knew existed or just reading commercial vehicles with thier corporate lettering can create opportunities.

Educate yourself, become the guru of your industry. Read your brochures, read your operators manuals, read your product guides and when you've finished all of them read them again. Know your products features, be able to tell your client the advantage of having that feature, then explain how your client will benefit from those features. FAB (features, advantages and benefits)

Put in your own words how one or many features of your product can improve the way they do business or how that feature can save time or reduce costs.

Be creative, just because everyone else did it that way doesn't mean you have to. It's okay to be different, people like different. Ask yourself, if I was a gatekeeper what would get my attention or why would I pass on the information you handed off to the powers to be. Then go out it try those methods, change them up and see what works best.

Become an excellent listener, it took me a long time to figure this out. For years I would do all the talking and push what I thought was right for the client. It wasn't until I became a better listener that I realized the clients would tell me what they wanted, how they wanted it and when they wanted it.

Keep in mind that if you're not working hard then someone else is going to ot work you!

-=Good Selling=-

BTW, there is nothing new in sales

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=-

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=-