Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Managed Print Services Another DOTC Leopard - ReDux - Jennifer Shutwell. How to Steal MPS Clients

It's a re-intro and a re-post of her original article back in January, 2011.

Anything worth reading is worth reading again and again.

Jennifer is one those deeply profound veterans - she approaches MPS from the FM/Production arena.

Comfortable with enterprise level selling, Jennifer can maneuver the high halls of the Fortune 500.

She is an accomplished student of human behavior, easily applies her knowledge in the business world and shares with the MPS Ecosystem at large.

She is speaking at the 2011 Global MPS Conference in Orlando, on how to Steal an MPS Client.


Stealing an MPS Client:  Sales 101

Assuming we’re all selling MPS with similar bells and whistles, let’s forget about what comes in a box. With trends swinging back towards vendor lock-in vs. best of breed, I'm only suggesting for a moment to forget that what comes in a box means anything.

With all forms of MPS, the juice is in the HOW. How does your MPS work? Better yet, how does your competitor's MPS not work? Have you ever lost an MPS client? Ouch. Now think of the last time you won an MPS client. Yeah, that feels better. One more...think about the last MPS client you stole from a competitor.

How does that feel? Yeeeaaah, me too.

How’d you do it?

Do you know what tipped the client your way?

How long did you pursue the client?

Do you remember your first contact?

Did you perform a thorough MPS assessment or walk-around for freeeeeee?

How many times did with the client? Countless? More than a handful I'm sure.

Let’s go deeper into one of my favorites.

In this scenario, we're stealing the client from the competition. That means the client has already bought into a form of MPS. Chances are their MPS implementation of "...managing resources and processes associated with creating, moving, saving, and presenting information in the form of documents" has grown...and grown weak.

One of the growing opportunities in MPS sales are existing MPS clients. Every day increases the chance the client is being oversold simply due to pressures to sell more. On top of being oversold, many MPS clients are neglected and "hands-free" unless it's broken. My point for the steal is this: basic MPS, thinning manpower, automation, and overselling combined creates a perfect MPS stealing storm.

Do you know who is calling, meeting, knowing and working with your auto-mated MPS client's right this minute?

I am, he is, she is, don’t be don’t even know we're there.

So...DO you know the existing MPS clients in your marketplace? If so, where are they in their contract? What rating does the client give your competitor on a scale of 1, 2, 3...see why I named this Sales 101?

Post MPS install, the clock is ticking. How long is it before the client sees the your competitor as gouging, out-dated and "vampire-ware" instead of a partner?
What happens then? Your competitor is NFL (not for long) and you are positioned and ready.

There are MPS clients in every marketplace willing and able to change partners. Are you prepared to slide open their easily parted doors? Are you seeding and feeding the departments and management teams with what you do best in MPS?

There are many nuances about winning, retaining and stealing MPS clients. The obvious is knowing the client through multiple avenues while building relationships. Whether starting from the bottom up or top down, KNOW the client inside and out.

Outside: Peruse and know their, company/industry trends, published articles, regulations, networking events, strategic objectives, reports, subscribe and follow them on social networking tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, and Blogger.

Inside: Go there. Don't be afraid. Find "one", and don't say I'll "TRY", say "I'll Do". Create a minimum of 7 face-to-face meetings within 90-120 days to kick things off. Collaborate. Share.

The goal is to do something freakin' new for them already. Soothe their ink/toner on paper pain. Guide them to resist the urge to "Hit" print in color and then stuff paper in 7 different places for just in case.

When the timing is right, listen, hold still, and wait for it...there it is (smile). Now guide them towards nullifying their existing contract.

For Pure eyes only...when you have the perfect one, stay awake all night working on how to perform your MPS better. Yep. That means do not sleep, and work for 24 hours straight. Be dedicated and innovative. Create how you and your team will be connected and inside periodically throughout the term of the contract. The client will sense your dedication before you even walk in the door. They'll hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes. Then they'll ask YOU to begin contract negotiations.

The all-nighter thing is a secret. Shhhh. That is where the MPS juice lives. Those of us who pull all nighter's are a special breed. We are advocates and guardians of MPS and of our client's enterprise-wide MPS strategy. There's one more thing about that, but...nevermind, maybe another time.

Enjoy...and good stealing.

Click to email me. 


  1. From the recruiting field to the sales field, this is classic stuff! Nothing fancy to add and nothing quippy to say (that you haven't already quipped).

    It's just listening, and then asking...

  2. How’d you do it?

    Dropped off info packet for IT guy.
    Did about 6 follow up calls until I was able to reach him.

    Do you know what tipped the client your way?

    A fix it or replace it Guarantee on all machines (within normal lifespan) and no need to buy new equipment.

    How long did you pursue the client?

    about 3 months.

    Do you remember your first contact?


    Did you perform a thorough MPS assessment or walk-around for freeeeeee?


    How many times did with the client? Countless? More than a handful I'm sure.

    5 times.

  3. I've only ever lost one client to MPS and I just "Stole" them back one year later.....the first oportunity the customer had based on the language of the contract.

    To "Steal" them back all I did was explain to the customer early on what the MPS vendor's strategy would be to replace the customer's perfectly good equipment with tneir Xbox equipment. I also explained to the customer that it would be impossible for the MPS vendor to properly maintain the existing fleet of equipment in a timely manner because they were not an authorized dealer for the products. I explained that the vendor would not have proper access to tech support, service manuals and parts beyond the most basic items.

    Sure enough my predictions all came true. Every last one of them.

    I followed up a month before their MPS contract was set to renew and sure enough the customer was fed up with "MPS".

    I now have a large medical facility to use as a powerful referance against this major MPS provider if I ever cross their path or any other similar program again.

    Just like anything else in life its best to under-promise and over-deliver. That is the key to the "Death of MPS".

  4. Thanks for reading and your comment Ken!

    Hi Nathan,
    Thanks for reading and your comments. You surprised me by answering the ?'s...rock on and good selling in 2011.

    Anonymous Reader,
    Thank you for reading and your comment. I like the under-promising and over-delivering.

    Overall, I wrote this with the client in mind. I hope it's good food for thought for all as we raise the bar with the entire MPS ecosystem. As a matter of fact, I found one today...Game On!