Sunday, November 10, 2019

New to Copier Sales: What is Document Management?



By now you know a copier is more than a copier — and a connected copier is capable of doing so much more.

In the early days, copiers simply copied. Output was the name of the game — that was it! Today our machines capture, ingest and scan almost as much — and in some cases more — than they produce. For you, the new copier rep, this may seem obvious. Document management has represented the future of the industry for over two decades.

Document management is a big subject, and I’ll try to explain it in general terms to help you understand the overall landscape. If your dealer has an application for document management, you will be trained in some manner on how to use and sell that specific solution.

The business world runs on paper. That is to say, organizations communicate within and outside the company via many channels, but paper is the most common. When paper was the primary mode of communication, files were duplicated, memos printed and distributed, and everyone had a physical mailbox or letter tray. Letters were dropped in real mailboxes with important documents sent “next-day.” For bigger companies, the mail pouch was used for interoffice communications.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

New to Copier Sales: How to Conduct an Assessment



The assessment is a foundational piece of the sales process and all dealers, resellers, manufacturers have a method, even if it is ad-hoc. I am not suggesting you substitute my outline below for your dealer’s approach; I’m simply relaying some of the steps I’ve seen performed by successful selling professionals around the globe.

Needs assessment versus sales assessment

There are two broad types of assessments: An assessment determining solution requirements and an assessment geared to reveal the likelihood of a sale.

Asking the church secretary how they create, print and distribute the weekly church bulletin is an example of a requirements assessment. Asking what steps a small manufacturing company went through when determining their most recent capital expenditure is an example of determining how best to fit into your prospect’s decision process.

The art of the sale is intertwining requirements and decision process questions in your assessment.

Deep dive or cursory?

Some assessments require 30 days of data collection. For the new, hungry copier rep, a 30-day extension of the sales cycle is difficult to swallow. Unfortunately, this is the way of the world. Dealers prefer to have as much historical usage data as possible in order to secure a profitable engagement. Sometimes, though, when looking at a fleet of 10 or so devices, reviewing invoices and a quick walk-through is sufficient to drive a financial leverage point.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

911 - 18 Years Later



For as long as I can remember, I've played this video on 9/11.  Super Bowl 2002, months after the attack, our country was numb and jumpy.


Well before self-loathing Americans started calling our movements in the middle-east "invasion" and "occupation", patriotism was on every street corner.

I remember that night; I remember seeing it live.  I can't tell you the football teams playing, but I can say it was one of the deepest, moving TV moments, ever.

U2 - that Irish rock band, stood on the world stage, honoring the greatest country on earth and her fallen citizens.  Names float to the sky, as the rousing "Where the Streets Have No Name" beats on.  The song, second of the half-time set,  was written about a place without class stigma, where the distinction between religions and income is no more; a World Without Sin?

Bono ends the tune exposing the Stars and Stripes - Triumph.

Here we are, 15 years later - The Twin Towers, replaced by that defiant Freedom Tower, slip deeper into the fog with each passing 911.  The threat remains the same, if not more pronounced.

Do you honestly feel safer now than you did that faithful day of empty skies, September 12, 2001?

Day of cogitation: What have we learned?

On this day of reflection, consider not only the ones who've helped you see who you are, but remember the hearts you've "imprinted"; son's, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends, lovers and ex-lovers, customers and co-workers.

Be gratified knowing you've changed somebody's life for the better - we all have.

Take time to remember those on the 98th floor, at 8:47 AM, sipping a Starbucks, considering a sales forecast or the regret of not saying "I love you, I always will..." on that morning, 14 years ago.

"I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name..."

I recommend going to YouTube and watch, the stupid #NFL won't let it be viewed anywhere else.  What a world we have become.



Monday, September 9, 2019

The Next Level in Selling: "The Converged".


"The convergence of human and machine, the biological and mechanical, is the result of a confluence of innovation, technology and social flows destined from the beginning. This motion is unstoppable. Unstoppable. In addition to the high-thinking, man/machine convergence, we’re starting to see the impact of all things converging.

Consider the way connectivity, manufacturing, software development, business, society and, yes, even managed print have converged into a borderless, almost transparent solution."
I postulated this idea back in 2013 over at the Imaging Channel, https://www.theimagingchannel.com/are-we-experiencing-a-convergence-or-the-convergence/ .

Indeed, these ideals have made #ArcDrive a reality.

Today, I'm promoting the idea of "The Converged Professional. (CP)

Who is a CP?

What one person on your team can talk about hardware, workflow, solutions, accounts receivables, inventory control, sales promotion, the paper to digital journey, networking, branding, human resources, cost analysis, contract negotiations, return on investment, with prospects and clients?

Who remains relevant after the sale?
Who can present cross-silo recommendations with cost and benefit analysis?
Who can identify with ALL facets of a client's business including an beyond the services the professional represents?
Who registers the cultural impacts of applied technology?

Is this person an SME? No.
Is this person a technocrat? No.
Is he or she a 'generalist'? Negative.
Is he or she bionic? Sorry, no.


The Converged Professional is well versed in multiple business languages - they know the difference between MRPI and MRPII. They understand a worthy, new solution is always a shock to the existing system/ status quo and have ideas based on experience how to best manage change.
The ‘Converged…’ are cross-silo-experienced based.

Consider managed print services.

For most, MPS is a service to help better manage print supplies and service - all billed on a contractual, per use, agreement. Period. Sometimes “fleet optimization" is a stated goal - yet simple means selling devices.

On the other hand, a Converged Professional recognizes the cultural impact of ‘managing supplies’ and identifies roadblocks to efficiency.

The ‘Converged’ has no problem diagraming the present and new accounts receivable workflow - on the back of a napkin, without consulting the ‘systems engineer’ back in the office.

The Converged, articulate marketing and business benefits to both end-users and C-level influencers.
The Converged manages a project in broad strokes, relinquishing the details to more qualified professionals.

Converged are focused, yet not victims of tunnel vision.

The Converged connect the lights in the night sky revealing a constellation of business efficiency; virtuosos, orchestrating timeless works of art.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Team #ArcDrive to be at BTA Grand Slam, New York City as guests of InkCycle.




In what can only be described as the greatest personal appearance in the history of mankind, the folks who bring you #ArcDrive will be attending the Grand Slam event in New York city. That’s right, live and in person.

See the latest #ArcDrive devices. Wonder at the marvel that is #ArcDrive - RTS. Be amazed and stupefied as our crack team of workflow experts demonstrate how #ArcDrive - SCN and #ArcDrive - SX solve real-world problems for you and your SMB clients. Revel in the simple sophistication that is the #ArcDrive managed print services platform.

Talk with the creator of #ArcDrive as he shares his vision of the industry, OEMs, software conglomerates, the death of the copier, the rise of managed services and why ‘edge’ and ‘fog’ computing and the IoT is the future.

Caution: You will not find ‘booth-babes’, raffles, pens, beer-coozies, #ArcDrive frisbees, stress balls or swag of any type - I doubt we’ll even dole out ‘slicks’. Just relevant conversations and low-pressure, attraction-selling.

Be ready to join the #ArcDriveMovement.

Questions?

 Email us at interested@thearcdrive.com

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New to Copier Sales: Who Do You Read?

 

I remember one of the first MPS training sessions I sat in on, back in 2007. It was conducted by Steven Power. He admitted to taking his “how to sell copiers” material and molding the curriculum into “how to sell MPS.” Truthfully— and to his credit — the class could have been applied to ANY industry and type of B2B sales.

Which is why I paid attention and remember it to this day.

Since then, I’ve been a party to hundreds of different sales classes, seminars, and symposiums.