Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sales Reps(Copier): Pie Is Not Sexxy



This account is a based on a true Story.  The names and locations are changed to protect the ignorant.
------

The sharp dressed, well seasoned sales manager sauntered in five minutes late. He's read somewhere, that a strong entry is important when motivating the troops and this month's sales figures are in need of some heavy stimulation.

"Allright ladies, " he starts, ignoring the fact that only two of the 18 sales people in the room are female, "as you know, this is the last week of the month.  You've all committed to numbers that none of you have delivered.  Not one."
Initiate spontaneous, mutual sphincter contractions.
"I want you to bring these all in, " now he's pointing to the weathered white-board.  The ghost of Glengarry Glen Ross floats above the congregation.

"Mike!" he snaps, referring to the newest member.

"I've got some coupons from the pie shop down the street,  I want you to take a pie out to Johnston-Michaels Construction and hand deliver that pie.  I want you to take a lease with you. A completed lease.  I want you to wait in the lobby until you place said pie into the hands of Gary Johnston himself. And while he's holding his pie, tell him to sign your lease. Don't ask, tell. Get the signature, " and in his best Alec Baldwin imitation he utters, "GET THEM TO SIGN ON THE LINE WHICH IS DOTTED.  Everyone loves pie."

Standing there, the word "pie" hangs like a last second three pointer, "the rest of you, get your coupons and start delivering pies." The 'supreme motivator' exits leaving 17 desperate (copier) sales people in silence.

And so begins another mad dash toward 'month-end' duplicated in varying degrees, 12 times a year, coast to coast.

This story has two morals:

1. The 1980's are over
2. Beware the sales rep bearing pie

1980's Sales Techniques -

Studies show, before deciding to purchase, a customer has looked at 18 websites on the subject. By the time a prospect decides to talk with a sales rep (vs. selling professional) he is 60% through the sales funnel - he's practically made up his mind.

This is how most B2B decisions are made in the year 2014. Back in 1980, 'educating the prospect' meant convincing him your service was the best - the only source for information about your product was you!  Not anymore.  All those 'techniques' are on the wrong side of history - cold calling, pitch books, assumptive close - prospects can see this coming a mile away.

Warm Apple Pie -

Back in the day, we would FedEx a C-Level(VITO) a baby shoe with a cute letter explaining how his company and ours would 'make a great pair'.  I know, I know...but it worked, believe it or not.  Today, instead of shoes, some companies a sending remote control cars, without the controller.
Cute.  Would you, or any prospect, make a buying decision based on such a trivial 'gift'?
"Johnston-Michaels Construction" considered the gift-pie in their decision making process.  The owner accepted said pie and signed with my client instead of the bringer of baked goods. (That part is true.)

###

Over the past few months, I've accompanied one of our client's MPS rep on several calls.  We pre-call plan, strategize, run assessments, price, create proposals (now templates) and present to the prospect.

Each opportunity we've worked together has closed.

Every.  Single. One. If you want some help, reach out to me.

Click to email me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

#AppL & #IBM: Keep Em Separated?

8/2014
"...IBM and Apple sittin in a tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G...first comes love, then comes marriage, then little Siri-Watson in a baby carriage..."
The last #APPLE announcement was revealing in terms of technology because of the A7 chipset and the deal with Beats.  The upcoming #APPL announcement this September , has much in store, here are just a few:
  1. New iPHONE 6
  2. The A8
  3. New wearable(s)
  4. Yosemite 
  5. IBM

iPhone 6
By now, we know the new iphone is always awesome. This time, the new phone will set extend Apple's lead in the market, all others will begin to look old-fashioned.  The timing is right for upgrades but some who bought the 5 last year will be slamming phones on Ebay looking to replace with a 6.

Why?  The new processor.


Y O S E M I T E
The buzz and anticipation around the op-sys roll out would be enough of an accomplishment for any major, technology company.  Imagine how happy #MSFT and all those Windows users would be if their OS were 50% of what Apple brings.  Yosemite is going to set the bar so high, others will get nosebleeds contemplating the dire situation.

Why?

Yosemite will blow the doors off of every other operating system - EVER.

I've seen things - the square mouse that was DOS 4.0, the smooth, out of this world, not ready for prime-time, pre-emptive multitasking OS/2 from IBM and the shear marketing and social goliath called Windows 3.0(1).

When I look at all the Mac OS/X, the actual operational tasks melt into the background - which is exactly what you and I want.  Thoughtless operation.  Support me, no matter how many applications I open.  Don't make me learn about .TMP files and wait 20 minutes for my machine to start up.

Why in  the world do any of us know what the phrase, "blue screen of death" pertains too?  Why should I know this?

I want to be able to share my current app on my MacBookPro, iPad and iPhone automatically -handing off to each device as needed. Impossible? No. El Capitan? Yes.

I want to answer my phone on my MBPro - madness? Half Dome? Yes.

You know what else, I'd like the same op-sys on all my devices...jus saying.  Craziness? Well, yes and coming.

The transparency between apps and platforms, dare I say the "non-fragmented", congruent approach of Yosemite is one of the biggest shifts in technology, ever.  As with most Apple products, the device or operating system does not try to dictate our personal workflow - it pairs up and works with me.
Why do I need to tell Windows I don't want to upgrade in the middle of every Powerpoint presentation?

WeAReAbLeS

Healthkit, iWatch, whatever...love them or hate them, #Apple is about to crack the seal on the atrocious healthcare system.

How about I get to keep all my health records, secured in my iPhone?  And how about instead of going in for tests, or scans, my watch is monitoring all that 7x24, data ready to be shared when I want with whomever I want?

Yeah, that's coming.

GUESS Who's Coming to Dinner? IBM.

The very first rivalry in the personal technology realm was between IBM and Apple - it was more  of a feud, really.  If you wanted to add up numbers and create DBII applications(what?!!), you owned a PC.  A 'clone' if you couldn't afford an IBM Model 70.  On the other hand, if you considered yourself 'artsy' or academic, a MAC was your status symbol.

Back then, it seem the two would never meet.

It's different now.

The last two powerhouses standing are getting together; soon the accounting firms,  engineering companies and manufactures will all be sporting "iSomethings".  CRM's,  materials planners and project managers will be flicking charts all over the place, from iPAD to AppleTV, to the iMACs in accounting.

This is transactional communications transforming into BI - is a another vista, waiting out there for everyone.  But that is for another set of blogs.

Wow.

FLASHBACK BOOK SAMPLE: "The Things We Think And Do Not Say. The Future of Our Business..."

"I began writing what's known as a Mission Statement...Fewer Clients, Less Money..."

During the 2011 MPS Conference, at the end of the MPS Expert Panel session titled, The Best MPS Program, I gave a little bit of what I like to call, the Jerry MaGuire Experience.

Some of these panels end up being all 'doom and gloom'. You know, people get to say "I did it this way, so you should too" and "change or die", "the sky is falling".

Ken was wrapping up, the urge was there, I couldn't help it.

I wanted - no,  I felt, words were needed. Good words, positive energy let out for the world.

I have no idea if anybody heard what I said or if anyone remembers - and that's okay.  It was about the moment, a chance criss cross of time and place.

An opportunity like that doesn't come along very often. I seized it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DOTC Leopard & MPSA MPS Leadership Winner, Kevin DeYoung, @QualPath

first aired, 5/19/11

Kevin 'burned the ships in the bay' a few years back, jumping headlong into MPS.

I have had many lively conversations with Kevin.

He is an MPS Evangelist, an MPS Purist, a true believer and his team at QualPath deserve the MPSA Leadership Award.

We here at DOTC are honored to have Kevin contribute as a guest writer, joining the 'Spotted ranks'.

Enjoy.

Three Reasons Your Web Site Should Lead With Your Blog

I've been traveling cyber-land since the days of 1200 baud, BBS, and the MiRC was the only IM in the world. One thing I've seen again and again is how something is popular one moment then thirty seconds later, drab and mundane.  The connected world builds loves obsolescence especially with advertising/marketing.

Because of the internet, gone are the days when a Yellow Page ad or 12 year old billboard out front attracted customers.  Today, for now, its all about 'social media', 'keywords' and 'SEO Experts'.

I know, I know - you've listened to all the pundits (moi aussi) tell you to take those copier pics off and stop pitching logo's.  Great. Your clients don't care about logo's or brand names.

Boomers and Managed (print) Services


The Last Gap Generation - Friday, June 28, 2013 Walters & Shutwell

If you remember back to the '60's - riots, Viet Nam, Presidential and political assassinations, hippies at Woodstock, the Beatles, Stones, the Peace movement and a vaguely remembered issue called the, "The Generation Gap".

This Gap referred to the difference between younger generations and their elders. Back then, teenagers regarded their parents' established social norms outdated and restrictive - many rebelled:


At Transform 2013, I attended Terrie Campbell's presentation, "GenY's Idiosyncrasies - Can your Business Survive Them?"  She has an acute understanding of the inner workings between the different generations within the business environment.

Here is your rendering of the Baby Boomer demographic:

  • Born post WWII – early 1960’s
  • Believes personal face-to-face interaction as highest level of service
  • Will likely exit the workplace by 2021; significant experiential knowledge will leave with them
  • Typically a contrarian point of view on the long-term viability of technology which they interpret to suggest human knowledge and skills become less valuable than a “computer”
  • Will oppose change with a vengeance if they are asked to work differently
  • Transacts limited personal business on line
"Typically a contrarian point of view on the long-term viability of technology which they interpret to suggest human knowledge and skills become less valuable than a “computer” - Boomer
And here are the characteristics of the Millenials, Gen “Y”:

  • Prefer the use of digital information and technology
  • Will represent more than 50% of the workforce in less than three years
  • Very team oriented with less focus on personal recognition
  • Defining the use of text, chat and social media as primary communication medium
  • Transacts all personal business on line and sees immediate accessibility and ability to self- serve as highest level of service
  • First generation to have internet since kindergarten
Mind the GAP, eh?

One specific and alleged challenge revolves around knowledge transfer.  It's thought by some, since these two segments don't communicate, the collective Boomer knowledge base will be lost forever.

The Boomers believe it is the Millennials who need or want the knowledge that they, the Boomers, have between their ears.  They think their way of conducting business, administering quotas, designing cold call campaigns and generally motivating through pay, is the only way to get things done.

And they worry the Millennials don't get it.

Think about it: How will the Millennials know how to answer emails?

Will they learn proper email etiquette? - this worries the Boomers...
If Millennials believe in the 'we all deserve a trophy' philosophy, what impact will competitive quota's and contests have on productivity? - "...the foundations of business will crumble...", the Boomers exclaim...

There's more:  If the two generations aren't talking, how will these youngins know how to evade responsibility or shift blame to a co-worker?  How will these young bucks learn the art of ejecting tens of thousands of employees?  Who will tell the generation after them, "Greed...is good", "Always be closing..." or "Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers..."??  

 The real burning question nobody wants to ask is:

    "Who says Millennials should act or think like Boomers, anyway?"
More importantly, SHOULD any generation feel compelled to follow in the Boomers shadow?

How is it Boomers feel so entitled?

Boomer-Relevancy has slipped the surly bonds - The Andy Griffith age has passed.   Why care what they know when their experience and wisdom got us in the situations we're in today?  Indeed, how much can a Millennial, who is connected 24/7, learn from someone who reads his/her news 8 hours after it happens? Can a Boomer sales manager answer any specific question around selling as quickly as Google?

The Boomers may be the last paper-generation.  Not because they all saved millions of trees; they are the last generation comfortable in consuming information at a snail's pace.

How Do Millennials figure into Print?

The gap we're observing could not be more illustrated than by the difference in how one generation uses paper and the other does not.  One generation believes paper is like stone, the other, if they even consider it at all, feels print is too slow.

Don't get me wrong, elders of every civilization possess a collective wisdom - but that's nothing compared to having access to all the wisdom of all the generations of all current and past civilizations, a few thumb-strokes away.  I exaggerate, but you get the idea - how important can it be to pass on the art of buggy-whip manufacturing, when we all use Skype, WebEx, etc.?  Does anybody still use Morse code or program in Fortran?

The 60's generation gap is not all that far from the current Boomer/Millennial void - one generation is raring to go the other worried about going away - each think they know it all, both are wrong.

Another similarity is music - these guys aren't Janis Joplin, but the generational angst is just as thick.

"Thank you for feeding us years of lies 
Thank you for the wars you left us to fight 
Thank you for the world you ruined overnight 
But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine..."




Special note:

I mentioned the 'age of Andy Griffith' as being past...this is a temporary event.  Human to human communication is the root of growth and evolution.  The point here is entitlement.  One generation is not "greater" than any other and all generations end up like the previous, only slightly enhanced.

But in the end, it's the personal contact that fuels innovation and propels us along.  Paper, glass, internet and quantum physics, these advancements will all lead us back to us.

How Millennial Are You?  Take this survey and find out.   Care to know more?  Check this.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

According to lore, there are Seven Deadly Sins.  I’ll leave it up to you to agree or disagree; believe or not.  

Whatever, here’s the list of Seven:

- Pride
- Lust
- Sloth
- Greed
- Wrath
- Envy
- Gluttony

It’s easy to see all seven playing out in managed print services.  Today, let’s consider the mother of all MPS sins – an excessive belief in one’s own abilities: Pride.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Copier Sales People: Three Tips to Selling Managed Services


It isn't that difficult...to sell managed services.  As a matter of fact, selling managed services is a lot easier than convincing a 'board of elders' to lease your new color device...with saddle stitch, no less!

First things first,  if your leadership is so wrapped up in themselves they think

A) copiers will be around forever or
B) Managed services is akin to adding a duplexer or fax board

- keep your resume up to date.

Unless you're in some backwater market where they still lease copiers for 72 months, hardware sales are about to fall of a cliff (slight exaggeration).  Maybe your guys don't see it coming - its already here, so the sooner you get your personal act together about services, not hardware, the better.

Just between you and I, there are hundreds of hints and tips around selling managed services.  In the end, the advice is nothing more than a shuffle of what you've already been told.

But I bet there isn't ONE training course, consultant or "MNS" expert (please, for all that is holy, do not say "MNS" in front of a CIO...) who will mention any one of these three tips:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Managed Print Services vs. Managed Services Providers


A Day at #CompTIA: 8/2014


It was billed as the "great debate."

On one side, "Managed Service Providers(MSP's) Should Get into Managed Print Services", on the other, "MSPs Shouldn't Bother." I didn’t get the hype - maybe because I’ve done it from front and behind - saved an MpS practice inside a VAR/MSP and created an MSP within a copier dealer.

Still I was intrigued...

From the imaging side, I believe if you can create and run a profitable MpS practice, you can handle an MSP.
I thought to myself, "Maybe there was something to this…perhaps the MSPs in the room DO want to learn more about MpS and are thinking about getting into the realm." I started to pay attention.
From the IT side, I’ve felt adding printers to a screen in your NOC is no big deal; I’ve done it, you can too. Indeed, in the beginning, I wrote about how we on this side should beware the possible invasion of our little niche by all those independent VARs.

It didn’t happen that way, did it?

Why So Crowded?

Based on the number of people in the room, it was apparent others were interested in this subject. For a managed print services meeting at a computer convention, there were more people than I had anticipated. I thought to myself, "Maybe there was something to this. Perhaps MSPs want to learn more about MpS and are thinking about getting into the realm."

WRONG. DEAD WRONG.

"...a Konica technician asked my customer how they were handling IT..." with a waive of his hand he dismissed a meager attempt to take HIS customer. 
The debate attracted a cadre of MSPs more to support their MSP leader, less to explore the possibilities. Like every VAR/IT/MSP/ITOEM I’ve ever talked with about managed print services, their mind was made up. Anything to do with printing "is below them” and getting into MPS would be “a step backward”.

Yes, those are quotes and here are some other talk tracks uttered by the MSP dude:
"Not going to add to my already full plate of vendors…"
"The market is not that big…"
"My customers are reducing print, why would I get into a diminishing market…"
"I don't like printers. Should I be selling huge systems or filling a 'toner quota' - thanks HP…"
Have you ever been to an event or party and at some point, realize you're not in the right place.  Sure, you've received an invitation, but you feel completely outside the discourse.  Not because the conversation is over your head, more due to a crystallized moment in time when you can clearly see everyone else off on their own voyage - apart from you.

Well, that's the flavor of epiphany I experienced - that and a bit of deja vu.

These IT guys just do not like printers and think copier folks can't compete with their real computer expertise.  One MSP mentioned how "...a Konica technician asked my customer how they were handling IT..." with a waive of his hand he dismissed a meager attempt to take HIS customer.

"How drole..."

They do not respect printers and the people who derive a living from this industry.  If you think about it deeply, you know what I say is true.  Seasoned MPS reps are numb to IT people talking down to us but it is there...always has been.

I am done trying evangalizing to the IT community about managed print services for three, basic reasons:

1. They are too prideful (snobs)
2. Print is declining
3. The IT/VAR/MSP niche will decline FASTER than office print
Call Great America, today or buy out one of the smaller MSPs in your neighborhood.Today. Now. Stop fooling around. This is one of those cases that supports the, "go out and sell it now, we'll figure the rest out tomorrow."
Pride goeth before...

Sure, there will be a few VARs/IT/MSP organizations who dabble in MPS if HP takes the deal and the paper, but for the most part, they are not going to deploy an ‘engineer’ into the field to clear a jam. This is a cost and emotional issue.

Going, going...

Dave Ramos, a colleague and friend, presented interesting findings about print decline, sighting one of our favorite slides from International Paper and linking the latest paper plant closing in Alabama. A4 paper is in such decline IP had to close a plant whose primary output was 8x11 - this one location supplied 8% of office sized paper.

They've Got Their Own Kettle of Fish...

Here's the big reason - the IT world is going through a much bigger transformation then we are. The 'cloud' represents a move away from hardware - Zero Client and IAAS both support the realization that organizations DO NOT NEED HARDWARE-CENTRIC VALUE ADD. Today's IT providers are blind to this and in no position to adapt. The biggest shift is going to be elimination and evacuation. For example, their talking about 'moving to a service based' business model with 'recurring revenue streams' as though they've just heard of it.

Don't expect to see copier techs badged up by your local MSP anytime soon. Their not coming to the MPS party.  Just like retail computer stores dissolved overnight, so too, will your trusty down the street VAR/MSP.

Bottom Line...

What about you, the copier dealer, the toner supplier and the printer organization? Think of it this way, managed print services manages the decline in print, managed services helps customers manage down their dependence on local servers, software, hardware and the people(local) who provide value-add.

Now is the time to get into managed services - low barrier of entry and distracted fragmented competitors. Don't over study. Forget about heavy evaluation.

Call Great America, today or buy out one of the smaller MSPs in your neighborhood.

Today. Now. Stop fooling around. This is one of those cases that supports the, "go out and sell it now, we'll figure the rest out tomorrow."

One more thing...

Forget about getting all your reps trained on "IT Services", like its different from managed print services - well, I should say, the offering is different, but the approach is similar.  There are too many managed services sales experts who have never sold, proposed or closed a complex, all inclusive engagement.

The outsiders from the IT realm coming into the copier world don't get us, they've hired the wrong 'advisors' to help them grow their share of our wallet and some are increasing their value for the next round of VC or prospective buyer.

Go out there and learn it the best way - in front of prospects.

Your reps don't need some other guy's super-secret-sauce and you shouldn't measure yourself against somebody else's benchmarks

Get out there and solve.

If you need help, reach out to me.


Revenge Of The Nerds (Bobby C Sound TV remix) from Bobby C Sound TV on Vimeo.

It's funny, no?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

$HPQ: With All This 'Good' News, Is it Time To Sell IPG?


IPG no longer exists, yet "Printing" is report separately at $5.5B, in Q3. YTY growth has been dropping steadily all year, and operating income hangs in around 18%.

Meg mentioned "managed print services" more often than most of the other reports and referred to a change in the "go to market strategy".

$HPQ reports strong movement forward as a company, although the print business, especially supplies, is off.

Is it time to sell the print business?  Have any idea what the multiplier would be for IPG?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

$HPQ InkJet vs Toner - Five Reasons You're Hearing so Much



The concept of inkjet printing originated in the 19th century, and the technology was first developed in the early 1950s. Starting in the late 1970s inkjet printers that could reproduce digital images generated by computers were developed, by Epson,Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Canon. - Wikipedia.

The best marketing dollars are spent inviting 'analysts' to an event, feed them caviar, fillet, and tell them how important they are.  Lo and behold, a fountain of cool-aid drinking marketing content disguised as 'fact' splashes across websites and the industry's remaining print media. No blame, its just the way of things.

Nice ROI.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The $HPQ Way : Destroy All Channels Except One

8/14/14
"My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!"
I've talked about HP Instant Ink before  -

"This is the plan; make printing so cheap the act of printing is as thoughtless as watching TV.

Friends, I give you one possible timeline in the Future of MpS - self imposed irrelevancy. Rejoice and make mirth for the sun shall shine on our faces forever!

So be it.

Just because the Motley Fool thinks this is a bad idea, doesn't mean it won't work(mopier). We all know how innovative HP can be (TouchPad) and their commitment to customers (2007, product delivered to the highest volume accounts only), employees(25,000 layoffs) and suppliers (thousands of cancelled laser engine orders to Canon) is beyond comparison (pale)." - GRW

Well here we are, not even a year later and HP is brining its brand of MpS to the SMB  - without you.


Death of the Copier: The Return


"Why in the hell would you come back?"  

Truth is, I never left.  The bigger truth is that the book is launching and I figured it would be nice to get the word out here where it all started.

A funny thing happened on the way to "blogdom" - I started re-reading entries from six years ago and THEY STILL MADE SENSE!

What seemed like a few years, was nothing more than a blink of the eye.  Whats more, the cast of characters hasn't changed - except for sons-of-old-guys returning home with marketing degrees - I see all the same faces, ideas and ways.

Sad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Death of the Copier: The Book is Here




It is official - at least in the E*Book version.  Death of the Copier, the Book is available on Amazon and iBooks as well as other places(SmashWords) and the print version is days away - just in time for the holiday season!

Unavailable on Google Play.

Not only are my words and ideas presented but the best and brightest in our industry contribute great insights.

Forward by Ed Crowley,  Founder and CEO of the worlds premier, managed print services consultancy shares views and insights about managed print services and beyond.

AfterwordMike Stramaglio, President and CEO of MWAi, a forward thinking, gentleman of industry, talks about the future and a dramatic generational change ushered in by the imaging industry.

Introduction by Robert Newry, past Managing Director of Newfield IT, a cutting edge, visionary of stellar proportions, introduces the section about assessments and tools.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Death of the Copier, the book...

Available soon  - Amazon, and a few Smashwords sites online - iBooks, Nook, in process.

I don not think I am putting on Google Play, on account Google is the new anti-christ, big-brother, establishment type organization that wants to build replicants and keep us all in their Cloud...after we die...spooky.

Friday, August 1, 2014

"Someday comes back..."

"...everything dies, baby thats a fact, maybe everything that dies, someday comes back. Put your makeup on, put your hair up pretty and meet tonight in Atlantic City..."





Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last
Night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready
For a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state
And the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and
The gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

[Chorus]
Everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty and
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City