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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Ugly Truth: Selling is not an Artform - It's an Algorithm

"Selling is an Art" is A Lie.

In the world of sales, there's a pervasive narrative that "Selling is an Art." This perspective is often championed by sales management and trainers, painting a romanticized picture of the sales profession. But why is this narrative so prevalent, and what purpose does it serve?

At its core, the idea of selling as an art form is a motivational tool. By elevating the act of selling to the status of artistry, sales management and trainers aim to instill a sense of pride, purpose, and self-worth in salespeople. The underlying message was clear: you're not just pushing a product or service; you're crafting a masterpiece, engaging in a dance of persuasion, and creating a unique experience for the customer.

However, there's a darker side to the story, there always is. 

Framing selling as an art, is suggests that you possess a unique, almost mystical skill set that sets you apart from others. This leads to your inflated sense of self-importance, making you believe you hold a special place in the corporate hierarchy and the sales realm. In reality, you are a victim of a strategic move to keep you motivated, driven, and, most importantly, loyal to the company.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

AI Will Replace Millions of Sales Professionals: "Anyone Telling You Different, Is Selling Something"*

Sidebar: AI will first eliminate Purchasing Agents.

Greg's Words:

One day, much sooner than you can imagine, your past prospects will incorporate an AI Agent to help them, "...optimize their existing business processes and workflows..."

One day, much sooner than you can imagine, your past prospects will build their own "...trusted advisor..."

One day, much sooner than you can imagine, your prospects will revel in experiencing sales without ever speaking to or meeting with You.

One day, much sooner than you can imagine, organizations that build technology solutions, hardware, software, consulting and advisory services will incorporate an AI Agent to communicate and manage, "...the customer experience and selling journey..."

One day, much sooner than you can imagine, providers of IT and Office Technology will have a team of AI Selling Professionals who work 24/7, never get sick, never get emotional, and exceed quota, every single month.  

Over time, quotas will go the way of the typewriter.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Opinion Piece: Toshiba's Private Turnaround - A Desperate Lifeline or a Calculated Strategy?

In the ever-evolving world of business, companies rise and fall, adapt or perish. Toshiba's recent decision to go private, backed by a whopping $13.5 billion deal, has sent ripples across the industry. But is this a strategic move or a last-ditch effort to salvage the sinking ship?

"Toshiba said Thursday that a $13.5 billion tender offer to take the company private ended successfully," reports the Wall Street Journal. On the surface, this might seem like a triumphant moment, a new chapter for the Japanese conglomerate. But delve deeper, and the waters are murkier.
"...major step toward a new future with a new shareholder..."
Toshiba's recent history is a testament to its struggles. An accounting scandal in 2015, the bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, in 2017, and increasing pressure from overseas investors have all contributed to its tumultuous journey. As ABC News aptly puts it, "A leading brand behind rice cookers, TVs, laptops and other products once symbolic of Japan’s technological prowess, Toshiba had billed the takeover led by the consortium of Japanese banks and major companies, known as Japan Industrial Partners, as its last chance for a turnaround."

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Born to Run the Digital Highway: Springsteen's Musical Shifts Reflect Our Office Tech Evolution

Darkness was my first album.  I bought it thinking it contained the song "Born to Run".    I was wrong and it was so very right. 

Today it Bruce's birthday.  He turns 74.

I've listened to him since 1978.

Darkness on the Edge of Town, to a kid living just outside Detroit, witness to the fall of the big V8 and the rise the Japanese automotive industry.

Jimmy Carter, Oil Embargo, and the "Great Blizzard of '78".  Yeah, there were blizzards back then and we didn't have ABS, or all wheel drive and somehow we made it out alive.

Regardless, time changes everything especially the view.

Bruce is 74.  His political beliefs are typically skewed left, because of the entertainment commands it so.

It doesn't matter. 

Travel with me and Wendy as she bemoans the parallel paths of Office Technology and Bruce Springsteen from 1978 to today.


In the dimly lit corner of a New York bar, Wendy sat, a glass of whiskey in hand, reflecting on the ever-evolving world of music and technology. The raspy voice of Bruce Springsteen echoed in the background, singing tales of blue-collar struggles and the American dream. 

Wendy, always one to appreciate the art of storytelling, couldn't help but draw parallels between Springsteen's musical journey and the technological transformation of the modern office.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Crossroads: The Future of Managed Print Services

The Managed Print Services (MPS) industry is at a pivotal moment, facing the need to evolve from a hardware-centric model to a more holistic, software-driven approach. A recent article from The Office Tech Tap delves into this transformation. 

Companies like MyQ are pioneering this shift, offering cloud-based platforms that integrate with existing IT infrastructures. The industry is also grappling with a disconnect between IT decision-makers and office workers regarding the future of print. 

MyQ’s Digital Workplace Assistant is a shining example of this evolution, going beyond mere printing to offer advanced scanning workflows and secure cloud-based document storage. Adding another layer to this complex landscape is the growing emphasis on sustainability. 

The choices made by the MPS industry today will undoubtedly shape its future. Will it hold onto its hardware-centric past or embrace a software-driven future? The article offers valuable insights into these pressing questions.

Deep dive, here.

New to Copier Sales: Your Future in This Industry

Copier Sales: Where Destiny Prints Your Success Story

In my more than three-decades-long odyssey through the world of office technology — from the copier to Novell servers, from sleek tablets to behemoth mainframes — I’ve rubbed shoulders with presidents, mingled with the C-suite, and tipped a few bourbons with dealer/owners. Yet, in this crazy mix of personalities and titles, I have never encountered a single soul who woke up one day and said, “I want to sell copiers for the rest of my life.” 

Yet here we are, an industry of resilience and problem solvers.

I wonder, how is this possible? For the newly minted copier rep, what can you expect from the niche as you progress along your personal selling journey?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Inside Toshiba's Historic Shift: The $13.5 Billion Private Turnaround Journey

From Tech Titan to Private Pioneer: Toshiba's Bold New Blueprint

In a significant move that marks the end of an era for one of Japan's most iconic conglomerates, Toshiba Corp. shareholders have given the green light to a $13.5 billion deal that will see the company go private. This decision brings to a close years of uncertainty and turmoil for the Japanese industrial giant.

A consortium led by Tokyo-based private-equity firm Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) spearheaded the successful tender offer. With nearly 80% of shareholders in agreement, the deal underscores the broad support for Toshiba's new direction. The company, which has been a staple on the Tokyo Stock Exchange for over seven decades, is expected to delist in the coming weeks, with a purchase price set at 4,620 yen ($31) per share.

The journey to this pivotal moment has been fraught with challenges. Toshiba's recent history is marred by a series of setbacks, including a sprawling accounting scandal in 2015 that shook investor confidence. The company's U.S. nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, filed for bankruptcy in 2017, adding to its woes. These events, coupled with increasing pressure from overseas investors, made privatization an attractive option for the conglomerate.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

After the Mic Drops: What They're Really Saying When You Exit Stage Left

The Opening Act: You Think You Killed It, But Did You?

So, you've just wrapped up your latest sales pitch. You're feeling like a rockstar, right? You think you've nailed every slide, every pause for dramatic effect, every handshake. But let's get real for a second. What do you think they're saying about you after you've left the building—or clicked that "Leave Meeting" button? Trust me, it's not always applause and roses.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Futile Writers' Strike: Why AI Will Soon Replace All Writers

The Writers' Strike is a last-ditch effort in a losing battle. The rise of AI like ChatGPT signals the inevitable replacement of human writers.

In a dimly lit café, a group of writers huddled around their laptops, sipping on lattes and discussing the latest updates on the Writers' Strike. They spoke passionately about the need for better pay, job security, and recognition for their craft. They believed that their skills were irreplaceable, a unique blend of creativity and intellect that no machine could ever replicate

But as they debated and planned their next moves, little did they know that the world around them was already shifting in ways that would soon make their efforts seem almost quaint.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

What is "Time Curation"?

The future of productivity is being redefined by Generative AI, according to a recent article from The Office Tech Tap. 

The focus is shifting from mere task completion to "time curation," a concept that aims to unlock human potential by removing time as the bottleneck to innovation. 

Companies like Otter AI and Adept AI are pushing the boundaries, offering solutions that not only automate mundane tasks but also offload cognitive burdens. 

A McKinsey study reveals that generative AI has accelerated automation by over a decade, giving time back to employees for more creative and strategic endeavors. The democratization of AI technology is making these benefits accessible to the 5.4 billion people connected to the internet, opening up massive potential for disruptive innovation. 

Generative AI is not just a tool; it's a partner in redefining what productivity means in the 21st century.

Read more, here.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

From Paper Pushers to Tech Titans: The Copier's Evolution

In the ever-evolving business landscape, the traditional office copier is undergoing a radical transformation. No longer just a machine for duplicating documents, it's becoming an integral part of modern business solutions. As The Office Tech Tap aptly puts it, copier salespeople are at a pivotal crossroads, needing to deepen their understanding of today's business challenges.

Modern print management platforms are the game-changers, emphasizing both efficiency and sustainability. As @Toshiba mentions, “Print management software can help businesses stay true to their environmental commitments while also maintaining efficient and effective work processes.” These platforms are not just about streamlining print environments; they're about championing eco-friendly practices.

But there's more. 

The rise of workflow automation, as highlighted by @DocuWare, ensures a consistent and predictable information flow, transforming business processes from invoice approvals to recruitment.

As you know, the copier salesperson of today is not just selling a product but a comprehensive solution.

You're not just paper pushers; you are modern-day office heroes, adept at solving more than just paper jams.

More, here.

Friday, September 15, 2023

The $14 Billion Gamble: Toshiba's Largest Shareholder Rolls the Dice with JIP

When it comes to billion-dollar takeovers, Effissimo Capital Management says, "Deal me in.

In a move that could potentially redefine the landscape of Japan's technology sector, Effissimo Capital Management, Toshiba's largest shareholder, has decided to tender its 9.9% stake in a $14 billion takeover offer by Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). 

This decision, revealed on September 15, 2023, has sent ripples through the business community, increasing the odds of the takeover bid succeeding and putting Toshiba back in domestic hands after years of tussles with overseas activist shareholders.

The Oracle of Omaha Hits the "Delete" Button on HP: What's the Deal?

The Oracle of Omaha,
Warren Buffett, has just made a move that's got Wall Street buzzing and your office printer trembling in fear.

So, what's the scoop? Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has just offloaded a whopping 5.5 million shares of HP Inc., the company that made the printer sitting in your office right now. 

The investment was only made last year, and even after this sale, Berkshire still holds a significant 12% stake in HP. The stock took a little dip, selling for $27.80 in the first trading session after the news broke.

Now, why should you care? Well, when Buffett makes a move, it's like the Pope speaking Latin—people listen. The guy's got a Midas touch when it comes to investments, and many are wondering if this is a sign of things to come for HP and maybe even the tech sector.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

MyQ: The Vanguard of Modern Print Management

Press 'Ctrl+P' for Progress: MyQ is Your Shortcut to Smarter Print Management

In a digital-first world, it's easy to forget the importance of reliable, efficient printing. But let's be real: the need for hard copies isn't disappearing anytime soon. That's where MyQ comes in, revolutionizing the way we think about print management by making it smarter, more secure, and eco-friendly.

Monday, September 11, 2023

911 - 22 Years. I've played this video on 9/11 since 2010. 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, most 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, the 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?

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Greg Walters, Incorporated