Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins...Copier Salesman


This post first appeared on DOTC, January 2009 and is the DOCT book.  This is a truncated version, get the rest, in the book.

Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike.

I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud.



Upon further research, all good bloggers do this, research that is, the story of Pirate Mike unfolds.

I will not steal his thunder. Instead I recommend you read his post here, then go to his site - all of four posts - I am sure with the eyes of the world upon him, he will blog with the best of them...

I have copied, edited slightly, and pasted his post here on my site.

Enjoy:
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The qualifications of a copier salesman…

I have uncovered or become aware of some odd understandings relative to work over the last couple of months. I am not sure really sure how to articulate them, but what I can do is describe them to you and you can figure them out for yourself.

The idea of 7 deadly sins is not spoken of in the bible directly but was used in early Christian teachings to illuminate the idea that man was prone to sin. Catholic teaching broke sin into 2 classifications, venial and mortal sin. The 7 deadly sins are capital or mortal sins.

Listed in the same order used by both Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, and later by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows: luxuria (extravagance, later lust), gula (gluttony), avaritia (greed), acedia (sloth), ira (wrath), invidia (envy), and superbia (pride).1

Every day I walk a simple path.

I talk to people and listen to their problems. After considering the causes and effects of their situation I ask them questions to probe into what they have done to fix their problems and how that effected their situation.

I pay close attention to the things that bother them the most and try to get them to prioritize their problems and find out what they are willing to do to fix or remove the problems. I identify the people involved in the problem and the people that are affected by it. I try to assess how much the problem costs them in both hard and soft costs.

Once I get a picture of who is involved and the process that they go through to solve their problems, I get an idea if this is something that they want to fix now or in the future.

At the end of the day I have to sit with myself and put together a plan of action and present it to the people that are responsible to fix the problem. If they buy into what I have put down they agree and act, if not they disagree we discuss it further. If we cannot come to an agreement we both go our separate ways and they continue with the situation that they have as it was before I came along.

This is the life of a document management equipment and services professional.

We are sometimes referred to as the "copier guy." I am sure that in this day and age we should be called the "copier person," as the gender reference is quite unnecessary. In this game either sex has the same opportunity to participate in the 7 deadly sins that are so profound in this industry.

When I talk about being a corporate pirate most laugh and think I am joking or exaggerating the situation but if you could be a fly on the wall in our building and the many buildings just like ours you would not sleep at night.

Ok, that is probably an exaggeration, but it would shock you and in many cases disgust you. After almost 5 years in this industry many things make me feel ashamed of the people I work with and for.

I have said that your success with a company like mine as a customer is dependent on your connection to it. If your rep is not good, neither will be your experience with the company they work for. Manufacturers and dealers of office equipment and document management services work on a very basal level. And in many cases the parent company or distribution organization is quite evil by nature. Your only hope is to have a buffer "rep" to keep you whole in the experience, or at least minimize the beating (both financial and emotional) you will take from it.

I most of the time try to overlook how others act and the underlying tones that are so prevalent in my business. I try very hard to balance myself and offer solutions to problems and charge people a equitable price somewhere between the extremes that are going to be presented by my counterparts. I also try to the an expert in the areas of topic so that I bring value and am not making money without earning it and putting in the work needed to earn the business for the long term.

I was privy to a conversation which displayed the ugliness that is so frequently seen that makes even the most native business person wary of people in our industry. When dragged into the conversation I was a presented a scenario and asked a question. I answered, "oh that is greedy you can't do that well I mean you can but you will be exposed and the customer will hate you for life."

Everyone looked at me like I was a Martian speaking Swahili.

I for a brief moment remembered why I consider leaving this business almost daily. The sad thing is it is the culture that has been fostered for many generations of salespeople and managers and is not needed at all.

You could almost say the 7 deadly sins are the 7 needed qualities of a "copier salesperson."

Companies interview perspective employees and make sure that they have ample quantities of each of the 7 deadly sins and forgo any real qualifications.

My first boss said, "Michael even a monkey can do this job." He further illustrated, "I could tape a lease to the back of a blind dog, kick him out of the building and eventually he would come back with it signed." He would later prove himself correct and become wildly successful as a salesman, sales manager and then a branch manager for a fortune 1000 company.

So let's for fun look into the world of a copier salesperson just briefly and examine the qualifications first hand shall we.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 1

Latin: luxuria (extravagance, later lust)

In copier sales an effective sales manager will show a young salesperson how to drive their desires for things which of themselves are not evil but to excess are lustful. Whether it is sex, money, power, control if you are still breathing surely you don't have enough of any of them.

A good copier salesperson will never be satisfied, and will always be disappointed with how much they sell, how much they make (see greed), how quickly they get promoted, how long their vacation is. A great copier salesperson will stop at nothing to further their lust of all things corporate.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 2

Latin: gula (gluttony)

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See the rest, get the book.


1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins
Posted by Pirate Mike at 1:41 AM

Mike's Blog



See also:

The Death of the Copier Sales Person - The Return

Damn The Torpedoes, Fire Your Customers!

Are Customers Smarter Now?

The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"

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