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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.

Read the rest, here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Seven Standards for 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, that 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; a circle jerk.
Our industry has been death-spiraling since 2009 and had its share of snake oil salesmen, grifters, and film flam men. There is fewer today, but the remaining are experts in falsehoods, chicanery, and hyperbole. And lying. 

New to Copier Sales: The No. 1 Characteristic You Must Own to Thrive Post COVID-19

For decades, salespeople have been told to sell strategically, become a consultant and trusted advisors, and stand with the prospect, establishing a bond and building rapport. 

We were told to ask open-ended questions and probe to find the pain — and once the pain is agreed upon, monetize and magnify that pain. We’re guiding the prospect through the sales cycle, we were told – if by “guiding,” you mean prodding, cajoling, removing obstacles, and ultimately getting money to move from your prospect’s pocket into yours. 

Those were the days. Back in 2019, prospects began to walk the sales journey solo, at their pace. Some studies show prospects completing 80% of the decision-making process without a “salesperson/trusted advisor/consultant/solutionist.” Salespeople are no longer the keepers of information. Indeed, product knowledge is blasé. 

Today, in the era of COVID-19, it is easier than ever to purchase solutions without a selling professional’s assistance – we do not hold dominion over information. We can no longer be a walking, talking spec sheet. 

So how do we proceed? 

Face-to-face meetings are a rarity, fear, uncertainty, and doubt are the norm and the internet...

Read the rest, here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

I Have Seen The Future of the Copier Industry and It's Name is New York City

You know I've been saying it since 2008.

You may also know that I've been called everything from a 'traitor'  to 'firebrand' - nobody was predicting the ultimate demise of the copier back in 2009. Few were writing about copiers, printers, toner, sales, document management, the copier industry, or its culture.

Indeed, the industry survived the early shift from paper to digital and a global financial crisis - how could it not survive for another 20 years.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the office of 2019 WILL NEVER COME BACK.

Look to New York City.  

"...walk anywhere and you see local's almost impossible to survive..." 

- IAC's Barry Diller.

Barry Diller runs Vimeo, Expedia, Angie, HomeAdvisor & Match, so he knows a bit about technology.

His observations so far are sound, then he says this - 

"...long term from home is not have to be in an environment with other people to be productive...that is not going to change..."

He added, "...the concept of work from home does not work..."

Okay, then.  

What else would you expect to hear from someone investing $250 million in developing an off-shore park on the Hudson River?  He was scheduled to open it in 2021.  It's going to be difficult to recoup a $250 million investment when nobody works in the city.  

So he's encouraging everybody to the cubes.

Those workers are not coming back.  Companies are not going to pay for office space they do not need.  The age of the office is fading as employees stream to the countryside.

New York City wants to get Broadway back up and running.  But Broadway may follow the masses to the suburbs. Why? Because that's where the audience lives and works.

Museums?  To the countryside.  Great restaurants downtown?  Nope, not anymore. Moving to the 'Burbs.

How do I know this?  I am watching it happen right here in little old Wisconsin. It's in Boston, Philly, LA, and Detroit.

The Millennials, their predecessors, and contemporaries are moving away from their corner offices, cube farms, mid-morning Starbucks runs, thirty-minute smoke breaks, and smart-looking digs.
Remember Detroit?  Back in the '80s, the D was a "9 to 5" town; the Yuppies commuted (a forty-five-minute drive) to work each day.  They ate lunch at fancy restaurants and grabbed a coffee from the corner fu-fu place.

At 5:30, the mad rush out of the city was on - gotta leave before dark.  Sure, people went to nice restaurants downtown for special events, but their car was always at risk of being stolen. 
That was in the '80s - have you seen the crime rate in NYC, Boston, or Portland today?  

It is worse.

Add to this, health. Establishing good safety protocols may take years to form and implement.  When given a choice, few will want to work with a mask on, take the elevator with only 4 people on board, be scanned every day, and run the risk of getting sick. 

Cleaning up the crime is going to take a decade - Batman does not exist(yet).  

By the time these troubles are cleared up, nobody will want to go back and nobody will demand that we sit in the same room.

No more. 

And don't count on those gloves, thermometers, floor stickers, facemasks, and facemask detector sales lasting beyond 2021.  

Oh, and managed services? The shelf-life of the helpdesk and Anti-virus is about 5 years.

The new normal includes empty office buildings and no "pivoted" copier manufacturers.

Get out now. 

Jump to a different bell curve.

#Social Media Algorithms: "To Serve Man"

It had been my little 'project' to 'make LinkedIN the next AoL' - basically because of all the high-brow, LI police and such. But - it appears LI is different. 

Each SMedia platform uses algorithms to determine what appears on your timeline. 

How pure do you believe your news feed to be?

In the beginning, Google utilized algorithms to help us find relevant information based on OUR INPUT into the realm - the algorithm served the user.  

Monday, September 14, 2020

New to Copier Sales: Cold Calling Post COVID-19 is More of the Same

There is great pressure in the sales realm no matter what you’re selling. But for those of us in the imaging industry, the stress is exacerbated. Our volumes were dropping before COVID-19, consolidation was a daily occurrence, and layoffs happened almost every month. COVID-19 kicked all that into high gear, accelerating the transformation in a most turbulent way. 

Today the talk about town is working from home, the death of the office, and surviving the next month. Few meetings are centered on new copiers and toner supply management. When the world presents chaos and uncertainty, returning to our core values and foundational skill set is both rational and confidence building. 

Back to the basics like blocking and tackling, throwing, catching and batting, dribbling, jump shots and layups — for the selling professional it’s more like clear messaging, open-ended questions, relevant talk tracks, and phone calls. 

That’s right. Cold phone calls. Chills run down your spine, don’t they? 

Fear not – there are volumes of books on coaching, dozens of techniques, and hours of seminars chock full of advice and wisdom. 

 Unfortunately,... Read the Rest, here.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Day After: 9/12

All planes forced to land. No Planes in the Sky. First time. Blue.


Friday, September 11, 2020

911, 2020 - 19 Years.


It seems incredible to me, that I was around during the most transformative 30 years in our history - from the 20th to the 21st century, the attacks on the Towers and Covid19.

If you haven't been to Freedom Tower, I recommend you do.  Stunning.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Channel Revolution Nobody is Talking About

"If you keep staring at the sun, you won’t see
What you have become, this can't be
Everything you thought it was
Blinded by the thought of us, so
Give me a chance, I will
Fuck up again, I warned
You in advance

But you just keep on starin' at the sun”

The End of the Beginning -

There is a revolution afoot few recognize or acknowledge.  This event will obliterate every business model in our channel. Most of corporate America, the Fortune 1000, have decided to keep employees working from home, they’ve canceled yearly company get-togethers and will not be sending anyone to shows or conventions.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Are You Considering Managed Services ? - What You Should Know and What your Service Provider Should Know

Today, July, 2020, I replaced each mention of "MPS" and "managed print services" with "Managed IT Services", just to see if the content would still be relevant.

What do you think?


Managed Services is still being defined - or is it?

I am a firm believer in "the best advice is the advice you ask for...", please don't give me any advice - unless I ask.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

New to Copier Sales: Four Tips on Selling During COVID-19

2020 has been a rough one, but if you’re reading this you’re still in the business – in the fight.

Schools, bars, buses, trains, planes, manufacturers, retail shops, and even copier businesses are frozen in time. The fear created by COVID-19 has paralyzed everyone. We’ve all gone from thinking five years in advance to crossing our fingers and looking 60 days ahead.

The landscape has completely changed. Your newly learned skills: phone work, value proposition, bond and rapport, open-ended questioning, presentation, and demonstration talent are not nearly as important as your resolve.

And forget product knowledge. Speeds and feed, for now, are irrelevant.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Fourth of July, 2020 in Wisconsin

Kids in a pickup with water many laws broken.

The Fourth of July, 2020: 
  1. Attended an unsanctioned, non-corporate sponsored, 'illegal' 4th of July parade - kids on bicycles. The most patriotic 4th of July, ever. 
  2. Witnessed fireworks across the landscape - both illegal and certified. DID NOT SEE MORE THAN 5 MASKS. 
  3. Had a 'passionate' discussion regarding Columbus and statues with a collegiate sophomore. Yes. I went exactly as you think it did.
The Parade -

While sanctioned riots roll over the country, the cancel-culture wimps have cancelled most 4th of July events including parades.

It was a secret.  As the days of Paul Revere, times and locations spread via word of mouth, "There might be a parade at 11AM, pass it along."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Why Are Copier Dealers Demanding Staff Return to the Office?

June 2020

The past few months, paid ‘experts’ yelled “change or die”.  It’s been a broken record for decades.  In the end, no matter how loud and often these pundits shout, “You are not changing!”, you HAVE changed – you ARE changed.  It is inevitable – everyone and everything transforms. 

Instructing us to change is nostalgic.


Today, in the turbulence that is Covid19 are the ways of 2019 still viable? Your customers have changed.  They now wish for fewer face to face meetings, prefer working with an existing relationship, and no longer consider “remote” a dirty word.  Many companies are moving to a remote working relationship with employees.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

#ArcDrive Easily Work From Anywhere

Make the move from paper to digital. 

#ArcDrive is affordable management and workflow processing. #ArcDrive is an affordable appliance that combines workflow, document capture, supply, and user management. Improve your accounts payable, accounts receivable processes, and enhance customer service. 

Convert paper into searchable digital documents and keep them at your fingertips - in the office or your family room. 
  • Do you still have piles of paper everywhere? 
  • Did Covid19 reveal challenges in your current workflow processes? 
  • Wondering why document management solutions are so expensive? 

We designed #ArcDrive to be affordable, easy to use on a familiar platform, without confusing conversations about clouds, and complicated software. 

Reach out to me to schedule a time to talk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Covid19 Illusion: IV Manifest NightMare

May 13, Wisconsin was released from Covid19 lock-down and just like that, the virus disappeared. 

Not really.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Covid19 Illusion: III

How mad would you be if you found out that shutting down the country was the correct tactic executed at the correct time but delaying the removal of lockdown(s) was not based on reality?

Would you be mad enough to 'peacefully protest'?

'They' said there would be a spike when we opened the polls and voted in person - it did not happen.

'They' said if we didn't maintain 'six feet' distance - indeed, 'they' sent cops out to backyard parties, unapproved haircuts, dangerous playdates, hooligan sports activities and small businesses trying to stay afloat - this was just in Oconomowoc.  

Again, 'they' predicted a spike and again, no spike was had.

'They' squawked and whined after the supreme court ruled 'No Mas' - and again exclaimed 'the spike! the spike!' Nope.

'They' shamed everyone with ears but no mask. "If you don't wear a mask, you're killing everyone around you. SHAME."  Guess what?  No spike.

State Fair, Summerfest, Germanfest, Beer gardens, bandshell - all canceled because of the spike(s) that never were.

Fear is the motivator...

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Covid19 Illusion: II

Tell me what you see? 

Is there 'science' on this graph? 

Tell me how this is wrong? Tell me how the complete lack of social distancing since re-opening has caused a spike? 

 And then tell me why there are still lockdowns. Tell me again why we destroyed the greatest economy in history? Tell me why we can't throw the switch. Tell me why most of the casualties occurred in Democrat-run states. 

Tell me again why a barber in Michigan lost his license. Tell me again why they arrested a hairdresser in Texas. Tell me again why millions were spent on an unused hospital at the fairgrounds, why both hospital ships, after being rushed into service, left without utilizing more than 10% capacity?

While you're at it, tell me why Summerfest & The State Fair are canceled. 

Tell me again why so many tattle-tales in Lake Country turned our Police Officers into hall monitors. I EXPECTED to see a jump in Covid19 - Lake Geneva was PACKED with both 'Sconi's and IllinoisMe people. But... 

Maybe the spike is there, buried under statistics. 

Maybe the spike will happen in Oct & Nov. Either way, it sure is quiet out here on the interwebs...

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Covid19 Illusion

Wisconsin opened up completely May 13. 

Fifteen minutes after the announcement, bars filled up, and the CDC 'rules' became recommendations. A day before, local PD's were enforcing 'social distancing' as "Karen" after "Karen" felt the need to snitch on neighbors. 

The next morning, it was like Covid19 never happened. 

Some predicted doom. Others were not so sure. Regardless, Wisconsin ended up being the nation's Petri dish; either the Covid scare was overblown, or the entire state was going to end up with Corona Virus. 

What if...what if all the experts are wrong or simply exaggerated. More accurately, what if certain politicians took advantage of a crisis? What if locking down, destroying the economy, & creating a huge social class dependent on a central government was simply the result of a leveraged opportunity? 

 - everything has changed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

What Did You Buy During the LockDown?

Create your own user feedback survey

Monday, May 4, 2020

New to Copier Sales: How to Write a Blog or Article

You’ve heard it before: “You’ve got to create content.” Your LinkedIn feed is probably littered with all sorts of influencers pitching their personal branding and content generation classes.

Distinguishing yourself through content is undeniably effective, but how? Adding one more task to your selling process is daunting. But writing about how you’ve helped others is a great way to project expertise and build credibility. Above all, writing can be a catharsis.

That’s the trick to good content — write for yourself, to yourself. There are two basic audiences: those in the industry — coworkers, vendors, and the like, and those on the other side of the table — prospects, and customers. Talking with either audience requires relevant ideas, subject matter and empathy. Put yourself in their shoes. For example, if you recently had a great prospecting or cold-calling experience, tell the story. The odds are good that not only will your peers find it interesting, your prospects will as well. Remember, they sell things too.

So what is the process? How can you create content easily and quickly? Authors each have their own manner of writing and without getting too detailed, I’ve put together a suggested list of activities and steps:

Subject: Determine what interests you. It is much easier to write about something you enjoy and weaving in relevant lessons as a metaphor.

Outline: A simple list...

Read the Rest, Here.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Greg Walters - On The Radio Talking Bourbon

I was on the radio.

No really. Somebody, somewhere, somehow, was impressed enough to risk putting me in front of a mic and letting me talk - about BOURBON no less.

And bands.  And Oconomowoc, Wi.

The times were fun.

Monday, April 13, 2020

#Sales - How to Write an Article.

Cute! And so innocent.

Everyone is telling you to 'create content', get out on LinkedIN, build your brand, on and on.

It's easy to do, you just "...sit at the keyboard and bleed..."

I've been writing blogs and articles since 2008 - for Xerox, Ricoh, most of the industry journals and The Death Of The Copier. From LA to Orlando to Sydney to Tokyo.

There is no magic, but I've learned a thing or two and I'd like to share a bit with you:

After the Virus: How to Design and Implement Your Wuhan Recovery Plan

Innocent Enough?

For the first time in history, the economies of the world have been ground to a halt.

We've never been here before and nobody knows exactly what is in the future. The "new world of work", "the new economy", "the new way of selling", "the new way of buying" is upon us, but there are NO TEMPLATES.

There are no EXPERTS.

Your peers and colleagues have decades of experience. If we could share our expertise, building a recovery plan will be easier.

That's exactly what we are proposing. This Zoom session will be a local and collaborative discussion around recovering from the Covid19 economic impact.

How are you going to plan for recovering in the following areas:

Friday, April 3, 2020

#WorkingFromHome Survey

Create your own user feedback survey

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Remote Working and Home Schooling...

I wonder how everyone is going to feel when parents discover home school is actually better than classroom driven social agendas?

At home, you can truly be any gender you want, even ‘binary’ without fear of persecution. Parents can teach sex as something two people, a man and a woman (not that there’s anything wrong that) do together. Mom can tell stories about the Revolutionary War, The family can Watch Saving Private Ryan and the talk about it AROUND the dinner table.

Aunt Beru can come over and teach gun safety.

I Will Raise This...

Sunday, March 15, 2020

#ArcDrive - rSX Takes on Ransomware

Ransomware is attacking you, your kids, your parents, your company and your clients.

I am not making this up...

“Ransomware Attacks Double in 2019…” – McAFee
“Ransomware costs businesses more than $75 billion per year.” – Datto
“75% of companies infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection…” – Sophos

But what is the standard approach?  Defend against infection, and back-up completely.  Once a ransomware strikes, it is all about recovery and remediation - all good and prudent but not very proactive, wouldn't you agree?  This means your daily back-up must be impeccable - when was the last time you tested your recovery plan?  Is BDR just another acronym?

Regardless, the statistics tell another story - average ransom demand went for $48,000.00 to $133,000. (Source: Sophos).  The average number of days impacted by ransomware is 16.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

New to Copier Sales: How to Sell Solutions

What, exactly is a solution? According to Merriam-Webster, it is “an action or process of solving a problem” Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

In the land of copier sales, duplexing (the ability to place images on both sides of a sheet of paper) was once considered a solution. Indeed, the times were much simpler.

Today, the phrase “solution selling” is as old as the hills — some say obsolete. But as with most opinions, it depends on who you ask and how you define solutions. Solutions are less about the “how” and more about the result, but when selling hardware, we tend to get caught up in the how. We talk about how long we’ve been in business, how toner is applied to paper, how much more can be saved with our lease and how fast our device spits out paper.

All true, but excruciatingly boring and out of date.

Friday, March 13, 2020

#ArcDrive - rSX Anti-Ransomware PRESS RELEASE

March 12, 2020

Contact Greg Walters
262-370-4193 or

Oconomowoc Technology Team Brings the Most Innovative and Secure Anti-Ransomware Protection to the Copier Industry with ArcDrive - rSX.

Oconomowoc, Wi. – Greg Walters, Inc. announces a new ransomware defense system embedded on all ArcDrive systems.

“Ransomware Attacks Double in 2019…” – McAFee
“Ransomware costs businesses more than $75 billion per year.” – Datto
“75% of companies infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection…” – Sophos

“Ransomware is a threat to all of us, but for small and medium-sized companies, a ransomware attack is especially gruesome as it can destroy the business”, says Greg Walters, President, Greg Walters, Inc., “this is why Team ArcDrive is releasing ArcDrive - rSX.”

Most anti-ransomware programs rely on back-up files and remediation, ArcDrive - rSX takes a more aggressive posture.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Communist Red China & #Lexmark

Chinese and American

"State Governments' Failure to Scrutinize the Purchase of Lenovo and Lexmark Equipment Jeopardizes Data Security"

A report released from embargo on February 24, 2020, "Stealing From States: China's Power Play in IT Contracts" unearths scathing facts around Lexmark, the US military, Communist Red China, and state/federal contracts.

Lexmark doesn't want you reading the report - and for good reason.  You will be shocked to learn the degree to which Lexmark has been challenged in the past over security issues, and why being connected to or owned by a Chinese company is worthy of high concern. For instance, in 2016 the Chinese Communist Party passed the China Internet Security Law. This law requires any company headquartered in China, to keep data in-country and allow Chinese authorities to 'spot-check' on the data at any time.

"A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report."

So much for data security.

Monday, February 10, 2020

New to Copier Sales: B2B People Still Use Email. No, Really. They Do.

Instant message and chat are some of the most common modes of communication today. It’s true. Back in the old days, we had a phone, the Yellow Pages and the U.S. Postal Service to reach out to prospects. Sending out around 10 letters a week, each letter was typed on a typewriter and mailed. When we graduated to PCs and laser printers, we doubled our letters per week to 20! And for important prospects, we would FedEx an approach letter.

When we sent out a bulk mailing — which was hundreds of pieces — a good response rate was 1%, with an almost incalculable close rate. Today, with the proper software, marketing departments reach thousands of email boxes an hour and achieve a “click-through” rate of 3%.

Unfortunately, the saturation of marketing email has led many to either ignore their inbox or become experts at filtering out spam. Yet, everyone the rest here.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New to Copier Sales: How to Conduct a Meeting

If there is one constant in the copier world, it is the long, unending string of meetings you’ll attend, plan and conduct.

More than once I’ve heard it said: “If our company could sell meetings, we’d never run out.”

As experienced as we all are with attending and conducting meetings, it amazes me how often customer-facing get-togethers are unguided and formless.

I’m not sure why more time isn’t given to instruction on basic meeting structure and etiquette.

As a new copier rep, you’re expected to conduct sales appointments and closing meetings. All meetings have unique goals and objectives, and your dealership may have a standard meeting format. I’ve been on the receiving end of many copier, document management and managed print services sales presentations, and all have the same the broad structure of introduction(s), discussion, proposal, then close.

But the same structure doesn’t necessarily equal the same quality. The following...

Read the rest here.

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated