Friday, February 5, 2021

New to Copier Sales – Virtual Buyers



For all the content generated about virtual sales over the last year, it seems few are teaching companies how to make a purchasing decision in this new realm. 

 For decades, the “art” of selling has been taught to thousands of salespeople. Every company, from real estate, computer hardware, and software to luxury submersibles and automobiles incorporates some level of sales training. But other than learning spreadsheets and comparing pricing, few have put together a standard approach to purchasing in the virtual reality. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New To Sales: Virtual Selling is The Queen’s Gambit



...For everything that is common between then and now, here are a few of the most profound differences between 2007 and today: 

Life is more online – The online life is ubiquitous. There is no longer “virtual selling”; it is simply selling. 

Physical cues are no longer viable – It is difficult to get a “read” from your prospect, and projecting confidence and professionalism require more than a suit and tie. 

Less formal – Work from home means kids and pets can interrupt your meeting and that is OK. In a strange way, virtual selling allows us to be more human. 

Ad hoc – You can move from the phone to a video demo or needs assessment in minutes. “Do you have...

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Future of Our Business – This is the Way



In February 2020, COVID-19 crept into the United States, bringing with it lockdowns and work from home; the mood was cautious yet a bit giddy. Months later, the business landscape had shifted underneath us like never before and the copy and printing industry was getting kicked in the shins, gut-punched and was taking uppercuts to the jaw. What was before COVID — shrinking volumes, lower unit sales and layoffs — moved five to 10 years into the future in just two quarters. Some say the overall rate of change was 15 years in 30 days.

Today, print volumes are facing unbearable contractions in recurring monthly volume. Sure, the gears of sales are slowly grinding forward, helping some businesses hang on – but nothing like 2019, let alone 1999. Indeed, like a bad memory, “price” is the biggest obstacle and “transactional” sales are the norm — and those are words nobody in this industry likes to hear. 

Some dealers have jumped on the personal protection equipment bandwagon. While not a bad stopgap approach, it’s not a long-term solution. Hope for things getting back to normal is fading. 

 What is “normalcy”? It refers to the return of a status quo, and if there is anything the past 10 years have shown us, the status quo is a slow death. Yesterday’s ideas restrict growth and innovation. Still, some believe in a return to normalcy in copier and printer usage. This is not going to happen. 

We are entering a variance of the “long tail” period.  Demand approaches, but never reaches, zero. A smaller set of providers can sell on the curve to a smaller set of customers at a profit.  

 It goes without saying that predicting anything nowadays is nearly impossible.  But here are my prognostications based on the last eight months.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

New to Copier Sales: Selling Remotely



Face-to-face selling has always been a business foundation, but COVID-19 is forcing us to do many things differently. This means more phone work, more social media posts, more web meetings, and less face-to-face contact. While most believe that one day we will again conduct meetings around the same table in the same room, today and for the foreseeable future, we will be selling virtually. 

I believe the line between “virtual” and “in real life” starts bold, yet over time, fades to gray and finally disappears. Virtual reality becomes reality, virtual meetings become meetings, and one day, virtual sales will just be sales. 

So it’s a good idea to start incorporating selling through a camera as a component of your overall sales approach. Just as much as posting on LinkedIn, emailing approach letters, and cold calling, virtual selling is now part and parcel of the contemporary selling realm, and it has some benefits. 

Here are three: 

More prospects per day. This is simple math. 

Read the rest, here.

Monday, November 2, 2020

#Covid19 - The Basics of Being Human


I had thought, not long ago, the world was changing so quickly there couldn't possibly any real 'experts'. I also once believed that living the "work from anywhere life" was meant a minority of the workforce.  Although since 2009, against the dogma and constructs of the corporate rule,  I've been evangelizing the move out of the cube.

But Covid19 changed things and introduced a couple oxymorons:

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Carpet Baggers, #Grifters, and Mr. World - #TheDeathOfTheCopier Industry

"... in this modern age, attention is worship."

It's finally come. #Influencers are nothing but shills. Shills for their masters and useful idiots for LinkedIN. 

It is common knowledge, most industry awards are given to corporate sponsors with the largest marketing budget or a member of the 'boys club'.  Consulting studies and surveys cost money to perform and panning a client is a risky business.  So you'll find quadrants and favorable reviews align with client lists and sponsorships - it's a great big echo chamber; circle jerk.
 
Our industry has been death-spiraling since 2009 and had its share of snake oil salesmen, grifters, and film flam men. There are fewer today, but the remaining are experts in falsehoods, chicanery, and hyperbole. And lying.