Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New to Copier Sales? What Are You, Nuts?

“When I grow up, I want to sell copiers and printers,” said nobody, ever.

"If two years ago you told me I would be selling copiers, I would have slugged you in the head,” said new reps everywhere.

An aunt to her nephew over Thanksgiving dinner: “What do you do for a living now that you’ve graduated, Johnny?”

“I help companies manage and reduce the costs associated with documents!”

“Oh. You sell copiers. That’s nice. Could you pass the potatoes?"

For those of you who have been in the business for more than a couple of years, you may find the above statements apropos, if not a bit painful. I wanted to be an astronaut once, but the closest thing I’ve gotten to Star Trek is my iPad. I do know the seven steps of the xerographic process, however, so I’ve got that going for me.

Regardless, let’s say you’re a fresh-out-of-school, new copier sales representative. Perhaps you’ve taken a sales class in college, worked retail over the summer, or your friends and family tell you, “You’re such a people person, you should be in sales." Congratulations, you are more than qualified.

As a newbie, your target market is going to be what we love to call “down the street” copier sales. Everybody starts here; many stay. Down the street (DTS) selling is just that; your prospects are located up and down the street and, like the Fuller Brush man, you’re expected to prospect to these small businesses — funeral homes, real estate offices, insurance agents, auto dealers and shops, HVAC, construction, electrical subcontractors, trucking companies, churches and the ever popular print-for-pay businesses.

But the best way to approach this segment is not through a precise email campaign, massive research or a cute social media program. The proven method is a combination of door-knocking and over-the-phone cold calling. That’s it. It’s hard work, no doubt, and the first step in the journey to major and strategic accounts management.

Here’s how these DTS accounts behave:

Read the rest, here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Today's 3D Printers are Like the Apple IIe of 1987

A recent article on America’s dying industries on the website 24/7 Wall St. included industries such as “curtain and linen mills,” “formal wear and costume rental” and “professional employer organizations.” To perhaps no one’s surprise it also included industries including “bookstores and news dealers,” “newspaper publishers,” “other publishers” and, coming in last on the list, “office supplies, except paper, manufacturing.”

Following on to the last item, the site goes on to explain, “Office supplies manufacturing is one of many industries in the United States negatively affected by the increasing digitization of the workplace ... The increasing ability to store documents and other data virtually has rendered fax machines and photocopiers less necessary and reduced demand for office supplies manufacturing. Employment in the industry has fallen by 42.1 percent since 2007, among the most of any sector.”

Tell us something we don’t know.

The search for new revenue streams continues.  Read the rest, here.