The Quest for $200K

The Quest for $200K "When I bit off more than I could chew"

I thought that I would borrow a line from "My Way" that was sung by Frank Sinatra.  Many of the lyrics pretty much summed up with many of my thoughts during my Quest for $200K. 

It's Tuesday evening and the day after Christmas.  Today marked the end of selling days for 2017 for me and the rest of the sales gang at Stratix. The morning ride to the office produced zero traffic,  and zero hand gestures that I was number one.

On November 22nd which was the day before Thanksgiving, I set a goal for reaching $200K in sales in for the next twenty-one business days.  I'm a firm believer in setting goals for sales people. First  start out with smaller goals and then work yourself up to larger goals.  When you attain those smaller goals, you then have that feeling of accomplishment.   It's the old saying of "one down and two to go".  Once you've finished one, you're right up there to complete the next goal, then the next and before you know it you've reached that pinnacle that you aimed for.  

"And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way"

From last Wednesday until Friday I was able to close every opportunity that I thought would close.  Those opportunities that I had marked fifty percent pretty much stayed true to the percentage that I anointed them . I moved at least $30K of opportunities to January.  

There was one opportunity could have put me over the hump.  That was the opportunity that I had mentioned for two light production devices.  That opportunity came in at a little over $50k.  Last week and the week before I wrote about the need for some concessions that I needed in order to close the opportunity.  On Friday of last week, I called that account and reached the DM's voice mail.  Rather that leaving a voice mail, I opted to send a text wishing the DM a Merry Christmas.  While driving home Friday evening I checked my phone lo and behold I had a call from the DM, and just then my battery gave out on my phone.  Later that evening I had finally charged my phone,  there was no message left for me nor was there a response to my text.  Since I didn't have what I needed I was happy with the text that I had sent wishing the DM and family a Merry Christmas.  

"Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do , I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way"

Looking back, I had no additional information to share with the DM. I did not have what I needed and I had used my close card in our last  meeting.  That close offered that "if we could do these two requests would you place your order right away?"  I had the yes from the DM, however I was not able to get what I needed in a timely fashion.  Many years ago I wrote about "conditions",  for me that means no matter what you do or offer up the outcome is going to be the same.  It's just something that you can't change when you want it to change. Yeah I know, sounds kinda crazy, but what's not crazy about the world that we live in?

"Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
And through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way"

I text'd that DM today, offered to meet some time this week for lunch.  I just checked my phone and there hasn't been a reply yet. Hey, it's the day after Christmas, and I'm understand that many took the day off today.

Where did I finish?

Well, I can tell you that it's another year of not hitting the goal that I wanted.  With the $20K that I had banked right before Thanksgiving, I was able to bank another $78K.  Well short of my Quest for $200K.  Device count was about 14 and I believe I wrote eight orders for the $78k.

"I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

Looking on the brighter side, I still have the opportunity for the two light production devices for $50K, another opportunity for $70K and the roll overs for another $30K for January.  So, maybe, just maybe January won't be one of my worst months of the year.

"For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
The right to say the things he feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!"

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Don't Stop Me Now"

Another day spent in the office, kinda felt like I was running for political office with all of the phone calls, emails, and answering objections.

After processing an order in the AM, I was in follow up mode for a few hours. Some opportunities received emails, some received texts and some received phone calls. I learned along time ago that there many clients have a preferred way of communications.  Texting, Inmail, email, and phone calls helped in nailing down another two opportunities in the sales column.  I think I'm down to waiting on paper work for three orders now, with the one large order for $48K still out there.  That client and I did have an email exchange today and if I was a betting man, naw, I'm not saying nothing. Just hoping this comes through tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll add everything up to see where I'm at with what's booked and what's still out there. Still waiting for my VEEP to see if he can help with the other $50K opportunity out there.  I guess the only saving grace is that our end year falls on the 26th of the month.  On Friday, I'm going to have the make the call to that prospect and offer up a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and then become a good listener.

Every night before I fall asleep I find myself adding up the revenue numbers in my head.  Try doing that a few times with your eyes closed and you'll find out it makes an excellent sleeping aid.

Tomorrow, it's off to one account to pick up a lease, then back to the office to process two orders.  Will then follow up on the $48k opportunity to see if the paper work is ready.  If so, it's back on the road again, I'm not going to wait for an email of the docs. I need to go pick them up.  In addition I have two planned stops at some 50/50 opportunities. Ya never know, if you don't ask you don't get.

You know what....., I love doing what I'm doing!

Yes, there are days and weeks when I'm that grumpy ornery SOB when I'm not hitting numbers.  But,  what people don't understand is that I expect more out of myself.  I know my market and it's  one that's filled with every direct manufacturers branch, two mega dealers, many smaller dealers (with principals dumping boxes for next to nothing) and a Global dealer.  At times I wish I was selling in a tertiary market (for me that's anything west of the Delaware River) with maybe two or three dealers (who wants to be a wishy washy order taker). But, I'm not and I believe that has made me more creative in meeting a clients needs and wants over the years. 

Is selling any fun when there is no competition? 

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "The Harder You Work the Luckier You Get"

Rather than waste an hour of time driving to the office, I opted to work from the home office today.  Time really does fly when you have no interruptions.

It was kind of a bummer today when I learned that I could not move two opportunities to the close this month.  I didn't lose them, but both DM's were packing in for the year and both stated that January is now a better option.  I thought ok, I need to some opportunities for January anyway.  Historically January  is one of my worst months of the year. That's due to that the fact that I've told my clients that I want their business to close this month. I'm not ashamed of that, rather pretty proud that I can put that out their and then listen for the objections. 

Good golly, I spent hours with a net new account and finally got the verbal to move forward with an order for an A3 color printer. Not a big order, not a big GP, but I'm happy that it's just about done.  Docs went out tonight and I'll get them sometime tomorrow.  I was also chasing an A3 color MFP all day with emails back and forth.  It was about 5PM and I hadn't  heard back from the client, thus it was time to send a text. Within a few minutes I had the reply text I was looking for.  The text contained the picture of the existing copiers location, I wanted to see that since we were replacing an A4 color with an A3 color (who says you can't upgrade A4 color to A3 color?). 

Want to hear something funny?  The picture of the existing A4 color device was on the floor! I was like WTF?  From the pic there was more than enough space. A few minutes later the DM and I were on the phone and I had the second verbal of the day.  Docs tomorrow.

I had a bout a half a dozen phone calls and many emails that were focused on moving more of those opportunities closer to closing.  Besides the picture of the copier on the floor, nothing really jumped out.

Tomorrow I need to nail down two opportunities that have stated we'll order this week (one is the $48K order). I contacted both on Monday and played the "let the ball travel" for today.  I'll also be processing at least three orders.

I've got four business days left, and that means there's till twenty percent of the month left.  Can't wait!!! 

The title of the blog, "The Harder You Work The Luckier You Get" is one of my favorite lines for sales.  If you work hard, nose to the grindstone, good things happen. It's not luck, it's just a numbers game.  Never ever stop prospecting.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "There's Still 25% of the Month Left"

Some will look at a glass of water as half empty, others will see that the glass if half full.  Both observations are correct, however one portrays pessimism and the other portrays optimism.  I could look at the remaining week of selling days as 75% of the month is gone, or there's still 25% of the month left (woohoo). I prefer to choose that I still have 25% of the month left.  Never been a quitter and now is not the time to start.

Last week, by now most of last week is a blur. I don't have my CRM in front of me to give you that blow by blow description of what happened.  What I can tell is that I'm swamped with writing orders, proposals and following up with opportunities.

I didn't have the chance to write last Wednesday nights blog because I opted to write a blog to Ricoh titled. "What I Want from Ricoh in 2017". I've been writing these to Ricoh for the last right or nine years and it's a blog that I really enjoy writing.  Thursday night was shot also since I attended our annual Holiday Party at Stratix Systems in Wyomissing, PA.  It was a three hour ride there and would have been a three hour ride home, but I opted to stay over night.  Friday morning I left the Inn at Reading and drove across the street to our Corporate office.   I had to work on completing a couple of proposals that I wanted to get out before noon. 

I had a 2PM appointment scheduled in Mercer County and to tell you the truth I had to reschedule because someone at the Holiday Event was pouring heavy with the Patron.  I left the Corporate office about 11AM and made my way back to the home office so I could finish the day.

Last week I was fortunate to receive two referrals from existing accounts.  By late Friday I had the order docs for a 25ppm A3 device for about $6k.  In addition I was able to get a demo color A3 printer delivered for a demo from another referral.  After I complete this blog, I'll be working on that proposal that I need for Thursday of this week.  That's right, I had another verbal for a black A3 50ppm device late Friday also.  That was one of those proposals that I knocked out at the Corporate office in the AM. 

Today was filled with processing and order, developing docs for another order for an A3 color MFP, and developing another quote for another client that called me today.  It's been busy and I need to keep it that way.

Here's a recent tally:

  • Picking up docs this week for a 48K order, not sure what day yet, my contact was out most of last week
  • Processed order for $6k
  • Processing another order for $7k tomorrow
  • Picking up docs for $8k order later this week (looks like Wednesday)
  • Call back close scheduled for Thursday (not sure of the revenue yet)
  • Waiting to hear from VEEP about approval for a $50K order this week
  • Have $27.5K in the bank of the $200k Quest

All of this is coming from memory. I counted up everything out there for the last week and I'm seeing a max of $144K.  That's if everything goes right, which is a stretch, but you never know.  Tomorrow's another day and I'll be in the office hitting the phone again to see what I can close and what I can move forward.

-=Good Selling=

The Quest for $200K "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"

A great quote from the great orator and statesmen Ben Franklin.  As I stated in yesterdays blog, today was all about prepping for four appointments tomorrow.  

Back in the eighties,  copier sales people relied on their knowledge, demo skills and leading the client to the path of making a decision for buying or leasing that copy machine.  But, before the demonstration, we outlined what the clients needs were for each device.  For example the client required these features:

  • stapling
  • the ability to zoom reduction or enlargement to one tenth of one percent
  • Excellent quality for pictures and knock outs
  • Easy access for clearing mis-feeds

We then re-clarified these features with a question similar to this.  Mr. or Mrs. Demo, just to make sure I've got it correct your needs for a new copier are stapling, reduction & enlargement to one tenth of one percent, excellent quality and easy access to clear mis-feeds, is that correct?   Mr. or Mrs. Demo would answer that's right.

We would then offer up something like this, "If our copier meets all of our needs during the demo will it be possible to place your order with the completion of the demonstration?'  In most cases this will bring out an objection with that objection being price, because we have not discussed the pricing of the system yet.  The discussion would continue and sooner later pricing would be agreed by both parties.

It was then the time for the demonstration.  We never ever demonstrated every feature, we honed in on what the clients needs were and demonstrated that the copier would perform all of the actions.  Every time we showed a feature, we would then ask for a "yes" or agreement that the feature was acceptable.  One of the lines I remembered is to show the DM the copy and then to tell the DM to look at the a's, the e's and the o's.  Can you see how the small spaces are not filled in, isn't that excellent copy quality? You see what I'm getting at right?

It was more or less leading them down a path of saying "yes we need that or like that"  for every feature in order to get the final yes for the order.  Very rarely would you get a series of yes's and then get an objection or a no at the end. It was crucial to identify the clients needs, wants and pricing.

The reason for writing all of this is because most of use don't do or can't do demonstrations anymore.  Today, we need to lead the prospects down a verbal & visual path of what the copier can do for them.  Most clients today, want to reduce their costs, a few here and there may need to stop outsourcing wide format printing or scanning, others may have an old device on it's last legs.  It's our job to educate them on how our equipment can reduce there costs or improve productivity. 

Thus, my day was spent reviewing each of my clients needs. Most want to reduce costs. I then develop a series of spreadsheets or ppt's that will lead the client to a series of yes's.  Sales people today need to be able to paint a picture of the future and what happens when their product or service is in their office.

One of my other clients has a desperate need for capturing meter reads for each department and then automating the billing portion.  Much time was spent here creating those visuals which could paint the picture of the future once they were using the software

Prepping for those four accounts took almost the entire day. I also sent emails, received emails, did a few follow ups, and scheduled an appointment for Friday.

As to my possible production deal from yesterday, that was were I needed some concessions.  Well, let me not say anything at all at this point in time.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Luck is for Rabbits"

Go ahead, ask me what I did on Friday of last week. For the life of me, I can't remember. I know that I worked,  just can't pin point what I did. 

Wait, wait, it's coming to me.  One of my to do items was the appointment I had in Shrewsbury for the two production systems.  This was the same client that I had scheduled earlier in the week but had to reschedule.  After a few back and forth texts with the client, we finally touched base about 4PM. My client expressed that he was on it way home and needed to get ready for the impeding snow storm. Yup, calling for 4-8 inches in New Jersey.  We both agreed that we would reschedule for Monday since we both had work to do at home to be ready for the snow.

The great snow storm was a fizzle, lucky if we got two inches from snow that fell for almost twelve hours.  Saturday, snow storm, I thought wow that can be a great day to do some research with my CRM.  Putting in a few hours of research and emails can get me a head start for next week.  Alas, my plan of digging into the CRM was dashed when I received a letter from the State of New Jersey (Department of Health). 

The letter had data I had been waiting for sixty years.  There it was, hanging out in the mail box just waiting to be opened.  There was a chance that the information I was in search of could be redacted.  Frak, I need to need to open that letter and at least I can get that information that my twin brother wanted for many years. 

That letter contained my unofficial birth certificate with the names of our birth parents. My name was listed as "A", I thought what the frak is "A", it then dawned on me that I was baby "A" and my twin brother was baby "B".  Anyway, after receiving that letter I spent most of the day searching on the internet for clues to learn more about my birth parents.

Wow, kinda glad, I got that out there.  I know we want to know about copiers, right?

Today, I only had one scheduled appointment and that was for the two production units.  I was in touch with the client via text about 8AM and we scheduled to meet about 3PM today.

The earlier part of my day was spent contacting most of my open opportunities and scheduling closing appointments and visits. I was able set four appointments for Wednesday, all of them closing appointments.  In addition I created a closing visit for another opportunity that I had visited on Friday.

It's now coming to me as to what I did on Friday! 

On Friday I had schedule five stops in, but before I went to them I stopped at a local bakery and bought 5 trays of cookies. Everyone loves cookies, right! Call or stop for a reason was the name of the game.  My reason for stopping in was just to deliver cookies and nothing else.  Turns out I was able to get a few minutes with two the decision makers.  I found that I lost a deal and not to the competition, the time was just not right for the client. Another client was on the edge and that's the one client that I scheduled another stop in for Wednesday of this week.

I thought, what can I offer that to the client that would help this client order on Wednesday?  What's going to give the client the best bang for the buck?  I decided that it was going to be the "no interest lease to own", coupled with a one year maintenance agreement and the opportunity to use Section 179 before the end of the year.  After about 30 minutes I developed the program flyer with all of the value points. It's a stretch, but I need to make things happen.

Ah, the last appointment of the day. I'd love to get into the details, however I know that I have competitors that read this blog. Let's put it this way, I can write the order this month if I can get two concessions from management.  I think there's a good chance to get these, but I want to get the approval on my side first for this $45k deal.

BTW, while I was leaving the office today, one of my peeps stated "Good Luck", I replied with "Luck is for Rabbits".

Tomorrow?  Just another phone day and prepping for Wednesday's appointments.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch"

Having a 10AM appointment allowed me to work from this morning.  Typical home work day includes coffee and a trip upstairs to the office.  First things first is to check out any overnight threads on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.  My next move is to check on my gmail for google alerts that I've set and then my work email.  Once all of that is completed, I'll go to Linkedin and view my wall for threads, always on the lookout to strike up a conversation, like a thread, comment, share or post a thread of my own.

I had one last document that I needed to create before I was off for my 10AM appointment with the seven MFP placements.  Our meeting went almost two hours, we nailed down the specifics and logistics of the order.  Doc's were left for signatures and I'm hoping to have them in a few days.  That really takes some of the pressure off, well somewhat because no deal is done unless you have the signed docs and the equipment is delivered. I learned a long time ago and got very embarrassed in front of other sales people when you count your chickens before they are hatched.  This order is close, it's not done and I'm not jinxing my self by counting it.  

Years ago on a mid-summer Friday I had booked an appointment with one of my existing accounts. The existing wide format device was at the end of the lease, we went over the specs and my client placed an order.  It's Friday, I had all of the signed docs and that was the end of the day for me.  On Monday I had a call from my lease administrator that the leasing company wanted some additional information from the DM.  I called my DM and the receptionist told me that our DM had died over the weekend!  I was like, WHAT?  I felt so bad for his family since he was in his late forties.  It was horrible. 

Nothing counts until the device is delivered, paid for or the delivery and acceptance is complete! 

My next item of business was to get back to my office so I could plan tomorrow and make additional calls.  I also needed to follow up with the client I was at yesterday,  in all of the confusion with the grand opening I did not schedule a follow up appointment. I needed to get that done asap before Holiday mode sets in. I was able to schedule that appointment for next week.

Tomorrow (30 minutes from now), is scheduled for 2 appointments and 3 stop ins. My appointment late in the day is for a $41K opportunity.  I'm hoping to drive a few smaller MFP's tomorrow with the stop in's and hungry to get to my last appointment of the day.

Right now, I pulling up a little short with the opportunities. Two of them are going to roll to January and I'm thinking a few others might go that way also.

So, when the going gets tough, the tough get going right?  I've still got more than 50% of the month left, but every day close to Christmas means those opportunities shrink. 

For next week I've got some appointments set, however on the drive home I was thinking maybe it's time to drive some cold calls.  Twenty to twenty-five ,at be the order of the day. Not sure how these old legs will hold up, but you have to try and can't give you.  You never give up!

-=Good Selling=-

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=-

The Quest for $200K "So High So Low"

Let me tell you, the highs, the lows, the ups and the downs can downright kill you in this business. 

Today was a planned day for the office to prospect and move stuff forward.  Today, was also the day that I was to get my old twenty pound notebook replaced with one of those lightweight varieties.  Needless to say I was looking forward to getting to office.  

On the way to the office I made three stops at net new businesses that were on the way.  All three stops did not have any thing to offer for immediate relief of my revenue quote for the month.  Two may be 2018 prospects and the third company was so rude that they can keep on doing business with whatever vendor.  Would never want them as a client.

Eventually,  I made it to the office, but sue to technical difficulties I was not able to access my twenty pounder notebook nor the new notebook.  I was presented with my new notebook just around lunch time. I immediately got to work to make sure I had access to DropBox, loaded up my Snag-It software and I was ready to roll.

I managed about 15 calls, 7 emails, 2 in-mails and probably answered another 15 incoming emails. Not a productive day.

My goal of seven appointments for the day didn't pan out. All I was able to get was ONE. Arrggh, but I also had to prep for my 10AM appointment tomorrow that has a revenue gauge of about $44k.  Prepping means that I not only go with all of the data that I need, but I've also prepared the closing docs.  One set of docs already filled out with highlighted areas for signatures and one blank set of documents in case there's a change.  I'm going in assuming the order and will keep moving forward unless the client stops me.

While driving home, I received a call from my 10AM, he can' meet tomorrow, but can meet on Friday AM.  Which is fine by me since Friday was kinda open anyway. In addition, I have a $48K revenue opp on Thursday AM of this week.  The extra time in the AM will get me to prep for Thursday AM.

Funny, sometimes you can just tell how things are going to go, it's that sales intuition that you acquire after many years of doing this.  Never would I have guessed that I would be doing these to appointments on back to back days.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Let The Ball Travel"

As of right now I don't have a title for this blog, at least not yet. I didn't post a blog for Friday night of last week because I needed the time to wind down when I arrived home.   Friday night was spent uploading and redacting a crap load of copier proposals that were sent to me over the last few days.  Thanks to everyone that sent those in!

It seems that each week gives me an opportunity to work from home one day.  Friday was one of those days. My time Friday was spent prepping for Monday and placing a few calls, emails and inmails (linked).  Friday was my day to "let the ball come to me".  Another phase is to "let the ball travel", each one of these are baseball terms.  What each ones means is for the batter to be patient and wait that extra second. I use "let ball travel", when I need to back off a bit from the constant follow up calls.  Thus, here and there I'll take a day and see what comes to me.

My goal for Monday (with two appointments) was to schedule a minimum of 5 appointments.  With most of them being closing appointments. 

At 4PM, I had acquired six appointments and three of those were closing appointments.  I took a line from Hacksaw Ridge movie and thought, let me get one more.  That's it, just one more appointment. Within a few dials I had my seventh appointment scheduled and now had four closing appointments in the book. Those four appointments clock in with $100K revenue.  I'm guessing by the end of the week, I'll have a good idea if I'll be able to make the $200K.  It's still a long shot, but good things come to those that work hard, or the harder you work the luckier you get.

Tomorrow?  No appointments scheduled, another day of making calls, and scouting the CRM for creating additional opportunities. My goal is to schedule seven appointments for tomorrow.

One of my scheduling practices is to use Monday, Tuesday and the half of the day on Wednesday to prospect and schedule appointments for Thursday and Friday only.  I use Wednesday afternoon for those can't see me on Thursday or Friday.  It's worked well over the years.  In general clients seem less stressed during the last part of the week and more inclined to make a decision.  There's no science here, just an observation over all these years of selling.

For me, tomorrow and Wednesday are critical days to book additional appointments for this week and schedule for next Thursday and Friday. By the time the 18th rolls around, all I want to be working on is closing up any outstanding opportunities.

There it is, I just inserted the title, "let the ball travel". 

Section 179, I mentioned it at least three times today in phone calls. Section 179 is real, no business wants to pay more taxes than they have too. If you're not bringing it up, then you're competition is.  Upward and onward to Tuesday!

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Insisting that the world keeps turning our way"

"Insisting that the world keep turning our way" was taking from a song made famous by Willie Nelson, "On The Road Again".  While traveling the road all day today, I was thinking what would be the theme for the blog tonight. I settled with On the Road Again.  Something told me to read the lyrics and that's when I settled on, "insisting that the world keep turning our way". 

The lyric "Insisting that the world keep turning our way" resonated with me because when salespeople are on the road we're making things happen, and when we make things happen, we are insisting that the world (sales) keeps turning our way. 

I had a 9AM scheduled for some production gear, however that got pushed back to 10AM.  I had scheduled my Fiery guru to meet me at the account so that we could review the clients current workflow and make recommendations with additional fiery options that would save our client some time. 

I'm no Fiery expert but was so glad that I brought along my guru.  What I thought would be a one hour meeting turned into almost three hours.  A lot was learned, much time was saved and I moved this opportunity to the final stage where we can present our proposal.

Since I was more than two hours late for my next stop I was not sure if my DM was going to be there or not.  Even thought this was just a short visit for a pick up of a wrongly shipped item, I wanted to make sure this opp also moved to the final stage.  I was in luck, my DM was there, we chatted for maybe five minutes and I secure the appointment for next week to present.

Moving right along,  my next stop was to help a quasi net new account.  This client had "found" a wide format mfp with our name tag on the device. We did perform some service during the summer, however when I called the client a few days ago they were having some issues with printing.  I offered to lend my expertise and give them some time with going over the print drivers.  It's what we do, we help, we educate, we give up our time, and that's what relationship building is all about.  We're not looking for anything in return.

K, I still had two more stops I had to do for the day.  I grabbed a quick lunch, checked my email and was surprised to listen to a voice mail from one of favorite IT guys.  A couple of years ago the company he worked for closed shop here in NJ. I had tried to reach him a few times, but was never able to connect with him.

I called, we had a short chat and it turns out he is with another company and they are in the need for a color MFP.  He asked if I had some time today, I told him I had another stop but could see him about 3PM. 

Ninety minutes, that's how long our meeting took. I may be able to help him and I may not.  I'm going to find that out in a few minutes after I finish this blog. What I can say, is that if I can't help now, I will be able to help with something pretty large in 2018.

While I did not take an order today, I did move two of the opps for December to the final stage. In addition, I may have developed another opp for this month and definitely developed an large opp for December. 

You never know what the tomorrows will bring as long as you keep on hustling.

Tomorrow, it's an 8AM stop in with doughnuts and coffee!

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Another Day Another Dollar"

I left off yesterdays blog by stating, you never know what tomorrow will bring you as long as you're hustling. You just have to keep at it, and never give up. 

There have been many times in my career when I've contemplating giving up, and then I consider the alternative which is being a loser.  I hate to lose, there is no excuse for losing, however I also understand that losing brings you closer to winning.  That's why I never give up!

I was in the office and ready to work by 7:15AM.  I did my daily task of reviewing my Linkedin wall, which also consisting of sharing, liking and giving congrats to contacts for anniversary's and birthdays.  I believe it's an important part of being socially active and hoping that you can pull some leads. 

By 8AM I was prepping for my 9AM tele-conference with an existing account to review annual volumes and move one of my opps closer to closing.  We finally connected about 9:30AM and ended somewhere about 10:30AM.  When finished,  I felt that we had moved this forward to scheduling the appointment to review the TCO and submit order docs.  Eighteen selling days left, and it's going to move very quickly from here on in.

I was back at work with my CRM, looking to fill in an appointment spot for tomorrow.  I've got a full day with five stops and will probably be in the field all day and then early AM on Friday.  My plan is to get back to office in the late AM on Friday to follow up on all outstanding opportunities.

After lunch I had scheduled a stop in with a net new account which was somewhat close to the office.  Turns out I was never to this office park and my GPS took me to a gate that was key access only.  What do good sales people do, they make things happen!  I parked the car and pretty much walked the entire park until I found that account. I logged almost 5,000 steps there and back to the car. Like I stated this was just a stop in, but the potential is there for a net new purchase or lease this month.

Arrived back at the office somewhere about 2:30PM, made a few more calls, picked up an appointment for next week with an existing account (added $10 to my December opps).  I then spent some time on my opps and looking at some of the projections for order that I think can be closed this month.  Adding up the numbers I was coming up with $147K, with many opps that were wishy washy.  Wishy washy doesn't cut it for moving them closer to closing.  Wish whasy means that you need to do some additional prospecting to add to the pipeline.

I get it, while I'm out tomorrow, I'll be looking to cherry pick some cold calls and see what I can make happen.

Just one other item or rant that I'd like to put out there. I had the chance to speak with a dealer principal last week, it was more of a hey how ya doing and what's new.  Not sure how we got to the topic, but we found ourselves talking about the increase of "sales consultants" that seems to have flooded Linkedin lately.  More to come on this in another blog.

BTW, I did process an order for $8.5K.  Another day another dollar.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Murphy's Law"

See, it's not only you, all of us can have a bad day, a week or dare I say a month!

It all started last yesterday afternoon when I had a pretty decent failure with my brakes on the way home yesterday.  I was able to nurse my car to my mechanics with out any incidents. Whew!

When I woke, I felt like I was Murphy from "Z Nation", and wondering if our cat had parked it's fat ass on my head during the overnight.  After an hour or so I climbed the stairs to my home office and made sure I alerted my 9AM appointment that I wouldn't be there. Twenty minutes later I had an email from the office asking where I was.  Oh no, there was an 8:30AM meeting that I forgot about.  What a day today is going to be!

Then the flood of emails that never stopped.  I was able to take care of every email, only made maybe sales ten calls, five emails, and three inmails (Linkedin). 

I did receive a lead from my jerseyplotters web site for a high end wide format.  Although I  was able to make contact, I felt like I was chasing my tail trying to nail down that appointment. After thinking about it I spent way too much time on this opportunity and was not able to move it forward.  We'll see what tomorrow brings with this. 

But, I was excited that my site had generated another wide format lead in as many days.  Yesterday, I gave a lead for a wide format MFP to a Premium Print4Pay Hotel member in York, PA.  I guess the effort of writing content is finally paying off.  Thus, I wrote two additional blogs today for that site.

I'm a firm believer that content is King and pull marketing can work much better that push marketing. 

"Pull marketing is the science of attracting leads and sales rather than applying more work-heavy traditional ‘push’ marketing approaches. In an increasingly tough marketplace, pull marketing is overtaking push marketing as the most effective way to drive business."

The rest of the day was spent following up with outstanding opportunities. I was able to secure the paperwork for about $8.5K today, and will process that probably late tonight, because I need every minute of tomorrow to make up for today. 

One of the other action items was to crunch some numbers for a color production device, get that to my Veep and have a strategy session at some point this week.

Ok, yeah, bad day, however I did get my car back and you know what's so great about this business?  You just never know what tomorrow will bring you as long as you keep hustling.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "No Sandbagging for Me"

Wide-eyed and bushy tailed I was not this AM.  I was just thankful that I didn't have to wake up to temps in the twenties, forties I can handle. 

Some wonders cease to amaze me, my drive to office only took me the better part of an hour! Thus, one of the reasons that I love living in New Jersey.

At 7:30 AM I was ready for work, the world would be ready for me, today I would hit all of my goals by noon and I would have more than enough time to do a few in-person cold calls! 

Did you ever have one of those days where it seemed like it took forever to do some simple tasks?  That's kind of how my day when.

My first fifteen minutes of the day was spent on Linkedin.  There I cruised through my wall, like a few posts, shared a few threads and made sure that I wished nine or ten of my contacts a happy birthday.  Note to self, the more contacts you acquire on Linkedin means your wall of threads just keeps getting longer and longer.

I had a few items that had to be done today, one was to process a hold over order from last week. I had thought about sandbagging that order but thought it would be best to get it in today so I could focus on other action items on my list.  In addition, I needed to reach out to my Fiery Guru too schedule an appointment later this week with an existing client.  Done, scheduled appointment with my Guru and the client for later in the week.

Write the order for the MP 6700SP that I had a verbal on the other day and send that off to the client.  Usually, I will not email docs, pricing or proposals, but in this case, the client has some severe pain and needs to act quickly.

Sometime in the late morning, our CRM either crashed or stalled. I then opted to take a trip to our local WAWA and grab a bite to eat.

After lunch, I was in full prospecting mode and needed to clean up some calls from last week.  I was able to develop a small op for a color A3 device.  This client had asked me to send her the info, I stated I'm not allowed and mentioned that I could drop off and we could do a quick review?  I then slotted that client in for Thursday AM.  After slotting that client in I scheduled a drop in for 8 AM on Friday morning,  that prospect needs a new device, but is only there in the early AM.  I'll bring the doughnuts and the coffee and we'll have a closing party!

One of my other prospects also wanted to see a demonstration for a color production system. That was a little bit of a cluster ****, since I had to schedule the CEC, schedule my Fiery Guru and then schedule the prospect. All of the back and forth with different parties took quite a bit of time.  Finally had everyone on the same page and now just waiting to hear from the prospect.

At 4 PM, I had scheduled a drop/off stop-in for a net new client for a color product. While on my way to the account, which was also on my way home, my beautiful 2005 Pontiac thought it would be a fantastic time to develop braking issues!  My mechanic is in the same town as the prospect thus, I finished up the last ten miles of the trip pumping the brakes, leaving a lot of distance and not going over 25 miles an hour.  Yes, many, many Jersey drivers told me I was number 1!

Had the wife pick me up at the mechanics, then did my drop/off in-person. My contact was not available, thus I left the media and finished up my day.

-=Good Selling=-

The Quest for $200K "Prospecting is Good Medicine"

Yes, it's Thanksgiving here in the United States and yes, after eating my fill of turkey, mashed potato's, cranberry's, stuffing, turnips and small piece of cherry pie, I felt the need to get back to work.

Many years ago, when I would bring in an awesome order, my former dealer principal would state, "the harder you work, the luckier you get".  That statement is so true!

Today, I had a text from a friend to go fishing this Saturday on a head boat about of Belmar. Now, I like fishing, I like eating fish, however I promised my-self that I would put in a couple of hours on Saturday to send about twenty emails to prospects and existing clients to get a leg up on next week.  Thus, I'm opting out of the fishing trip.

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Yesterday was one of those interesting days of the year.  The day before Thanksgiving can be boom or bust. However, one thing I can tell you, is that everyone you will speak to is in a good mood.  Thus it's a great day to make the some calls, right.

I spent the first couple hours of the day reviewing all of my opportunities and making notes (yes, I use an old fashioned pad of paper that lists every opportunity, the revenue and the percentage of close, it's good for me since it's right there on my desk for a quick look when needed) about the next step for each one. 

It was then off to my CRM to cherry pick who I was going to call today.  My goal was for twenty calls, five emails and five Linkedin researches. 

By The Numbers

I ended up with twenty-one calls, five emails, two Linkedin researches and added one client to my constant contact email list.  That's good, but what's even better is how the numbers panned out.  Three appointments (one net new), and from one of the emails I had a response from an existing client that wanted to move forward with a wide format device.  Yay!, this order was not even in my pipeline for the end of the year.  I'll finish this up on Monday.  Hey, the harder you work the luckier you get!


I also found three opportunities, one account for both black and color, and another for color.  These opportunities were not immediate but can be labeled as 2018 business.

Oh, one other item that was pretty neat. All of my calls to existing clients was to wish that person and their family a Great Thanksgiving.  That was it, no mention of copiers or any thing else unless they asked.  Two appointments off of those calls.

Yeah, I was very happy with the results.  My method of madness till the end of the week will be to outwork and out hustle everyone else.  Because if you're not working hard then your competitor is.

-=Good Selling=-