Showing posts sorted by relevance for query business acumen. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query business acumen. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, September 12, 2008

The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"


2008

"New Selling" and its application to Copier Sales

I was reading a blog regarding selling and noticed some interesting information - from the post by Jonathan Farrington, The Sales Corporation:

"...various studies suggest that getting one salesperson in front of one customer now costs $1000 - this cost has trebled since 1983. As a consequence professional salespeople have to be more effective than ever to justify the investment in a face-to-face effort..."

and...

"...Customer Focus Creates Competitive Advantage

  • The one-term that sets top performers apart - customer focus
  • Outstanding sales results depend on:
    - The ability to think from the customer’s point of view
    - Understanding the customer’s agenda, buying cycle, and best interests
  • Beyond a superficial reading of immediate customer needs, salespeople must gain a deeper understanding of both the buyer’s long-term goals and the overall business climate
  • At the heart of customer, focus is the art of listening constructively - the best salespeople are masters at capturing information
  • Customer focus means taking the customer seriously - today the salesperson who clings to the product orientation of a decade ago is losing ground
  • As client companies branch into new markets and unfamiliar territories, they are demanding unique, flexible solutions from their vendors - customized to support specific goals
  • Another myth that can be exploded is that whilst customers value flexibility, being too flexible can undermine the sales relationship. On the whole, salespeople imagine that customers value a vendor’s responsiveness above all. However recent research shows that their primary concern is reliability.
In summary, in order to maintain customer focus, the best salespeople become facilitators, creating a partnership that extends the selling relationship within the customer’s company. The motivation to achieve this should be strong - it costs five times as much to attract and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one!..."
-----
I think of the changes happening right now in our industry, and how everyone has started to "talk the talk" about being a different type of technical, selling professional.

I have often mentioned the ability of successful salespeople to be Partners with clients, to constantly develop Business Acumen, and to learn to Empathize with customers.

So it is nice to read an affirmation of my thoughts - from somebody in sales, but completely outside of our industry:

  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy and Disconnect
Partnership -

The "Partnership" mentality is a mature set of beliefs anchored in "...To Do No Harm...".

You're are in front of the prospect to Help them - you must find where they need you and if they are willing to accept your help.

And as an example, if you are in there to "..Do No Harm.." why would you "gouge them" on pricing, why would you make them sign into a 60 month, "captive", on-sided agreement? Why would you twist your client into a solution which only addresses the surface issue of "price"?

A real Partner is never an Enabler

We don't need to watch Dr. Phil to know this - if you are in a position comfortable enough to tell your client they are wrong, then you have the beginning of a partnership. If after you tell the client he/she is wrong, they take your advice, your partnership is built on solid ground.

Don't Enable Your Prospect to Make the Same Mistakes, over and over...

Business Acumen -

This is not product knowledge. This is not feature and benefit. This is not easy. This will take time.

Business Acumen is ALL of the above and oh so much more.

In a nutshell, business acumen can be obtained through the observation and study of everything "around" your solution - That is, the study of the cause and effect of your position, proposals, and projects - over time.

This knowledge is uniquely yours.

Yours to take with you into every appointment and in every conversation.

Think about this: your view and your opinions based on the history of your "installs" and implementations and proposals - is yours alone. Not your companies, your clients, your manager, or your peers - all you.

If you have installed just ONE idea - the outcomes and ramifications of this one project, seen through your eyes, are an example for you to use in every single 'new' opportunity. And each new opportunity, not just installation, is a chance to learn more about business than from any book ever written.

Empathy and Disconnect -

These two words diametrically oppose - but the tight rope must be walked.

Empathy - Good salespeople can put themselves into their client's "shoes"; see things the way their client does. In order to do this effectively, one needs to become "one" with the prospects' business, his world, from his angle - and not through the prism of product or service. One needs to see the prospects world without "commission" or quota issues hanging over one's head. And to do this effectively, the Selling Professional needs to become disconnected from the outcome of the sale...

Disconnect - Difficult, but not impossible. First off, what do I mean by disconnect?

Disconnect, in this sense, is the ability to cut away your emotional connection to the success of the "sale".

More specifically, disconnection from the success of the sale, from the selling professional's view, is what I am talking about. But this is NOT being uncaring or aloof or unconcerned - a tightrope.

Perhaps disconnect is a strong word, maybe "compartmentalization" would be better.

Once the emotional factor is put aside, we can deal with the client in terms of what "makes sense" for both him and me, instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, at the end of the month.

In conclusion, common sense usually prevails and over-complication of simple rules typically dilutes the results. If you focus on these three issues:

  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy & Disconnect
You will be well on your way to success.

Learn more, here.

Click to email me.



Thursday, July 29, 2021

Turn Knowledge into Wisdom, Close More Deals



Business Acumen for Sales - The Course Work

For decades, at least since the 70's, sales reps have been posing their products as "solutions to problems".  From Wiki:
"Frank Watts developed the sales process dubbed "solution selling" in 1975. Watts perfected his method at Wang Laboratories. He began teaching solution selling as an independent consultant in 1982."

This was big through the '80s, 90's and still stands today.  Yet, "Solution sales" has become little more than a slogan.  Closer to the truth, "Solution Sales: As long as the solution is my product or services." 

Don't get me wrong, solution selling was a great advancement in the field of B2B sales.  Solution selling is foundational in professional selling.  Billions of dollars have traded hands based on this approach.  Anything I promote rests on the shoulders of people greater than I.

Evolution happens.  I believe an enhancement to solution selling is Business Acumen Selling. (BAS)

BAS is not about working leads through the selling cycle, understanding your leasing strategies, building good cases and presentations.  It does not refer to a salesperson's ability to demonstrate a device or piece of software nor does BAS have anything to do with how well you update the CRM or forecast the next 90 days.

Business Acumen for Selling is: 

  1. Understanding - Recognizing the business model your prospects work within, understanding if you have and exactly where your place in their model resides, and the impact of your presence.  
  2. Comparative Analysis - Consistently acquiring knowledge, building acumen across commercial industries, vertical markets, and niches, and utilizing that knowledge.
  3. Deep Conversations - Conveying your understanding of the existing environment and articulating your value within their ecosystem.

Most seasoned professionals have a sense of BAS honed through years of fieldwork and thousands of appointments.   My goal is to formalize and shorten the timeline required to learn and apply BAS; especially for the new sales representative.

Our courses are designed to give selling professionals the tools necessary to gain knowledge, distill knowledge into acumen and articulate both an understanding of prospects' environment and the impact of adding the sales reps offering into the client's business model.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Business Acumen - Another Contribution from Leopard David Ramos. "The World of Selling"

4/24/2011
By Dave Ramos

I was listening to this consultant/trainer speak at a national show this past week and he made the statement “The world of selling hasn’t changed much in recent years.” Then he continued to dole out the same old tired advice, instructions, and stupid clichés that were taught decades ago…at least the guy is consistent (see, I always spin it in the positive).

The only problem with his philosophy is that those teachings are the reasons, that today, so many salespeople more than ever are struggling to survive.

Here is what I know. The world of business, in general, has changed DRAMATICALLY. Yet for whatever reason, one area of business that has been remarkably stagnant and continues to fiercely resist change is sales.


Make 2011 about your personal development in your sales profession. Leave the stale, crusty, techniques of the past behind. Focus on effective techniques and self-education that will truly have an impact on your career. Focus on building and expanding your business network. If the CIO is your target in the MS or MPS world, then you should understand the network CIOs live in and connect wherever you can.

  1. CIO’s team – cultivate relationships inside the circle. Learn who their staff is and learn to leverage contacts one level removed.
  2. CIO’s peers – they are trusted more than any other source of information. References and referrals count. Learn how to ask for them and leverage them.
  3. Also other relationships they might have with trusted supplier partners, consultants, etc...

Next, learn to do some research people. Did you know the #2 annoyance of technology buyers is reps showing up unprepared for meetings? Un-freaking-believable!!! You mean to tell me we go through all this effort to get a meeting then show up unprepared?! Here is a basic checklist that I use to test sales reps on their accounts prior to them engaging a prospect or client on an appointment.

  1. Who is the account’s CEO, president or owner? Who are the key contacts by department?
  2. What is the company’s highest priority goal or objective?
  3. What is their mission/ vision/core values?
  4. What is their key product or service?
  5. Who is their toughest competitor?
  6. What is the biggest problem they face in their industry?
  7. Is there pending legislation that will affect their industry?
  8. What is their greatest strength?
  9. What is their strategy: a) Low-Cost b) Differentiation c) Niche Player?
  10. Who is their largest customer?

Lastly, develop some business acumen. Business acumen can be described as an understanding of how a business works and what it takes to make it profitable. It is about comprehending topics such as amortization, assets, balance sheets, book value, cash flow, fixed assets, liquidity, margin and return on assets, to name just a few.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Reading business publications and watch specific business channels can provide current information about business trends, markets, or economic factors affecting various businesses and industries.
  2. Join a professional networking organization (there it is again, networking, sorry cold call lovers!) and association dedicated to sharing business information with their members can offer networking events, conferences, and seminars.
  3. Attending evening or weekend courses focusing on business topics can build one’s knowledge on matters such as understanding financial statements and P&L (Profit & Loss), cash generation, or revenue growth.
  4. Finding a mentor with a strong business understanding is a great way to learn how businesses operate. The mentor can be a co-worker, a former boss, or someone who is a member of the same professional association that you joined to do NETWORKING.

In today’s fast-moving world, we may face some of the same challenges, but the answers are constantly changing. If you do not continue your learning curve and have an open mind to alternative ideas and approaches, you will be left behind. Those who continually adapt are better at getting ahead, while those who insist on clinging to their old, “right” answers will become obsolete.


About the author: David Ramos is a sales operations consultant for Strategy Development, an industry management consulting and advance sales training firm providing sales, sales management, service & MPS information.  He also instructs a selling skills workshop called “Sell With Success”. You can reach him at ramos@strategydevelopment.com.



Click to email me. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Who Helps You Reduce Costs? Copier sales people, managed IT folks, or Advisors?

Who will give you a leg up?


"You will never print another document ever again.”

I know you still have printers and copiers. But I know you’re not printing or copying like you had three years ago. If you’ve made business process optimization an initiative, then you know what I mean. I’ve also found that companies with no ‘green’ or digitization plan, have naturally reduced print. Some telling me, ‘we just don’t print anymore’. I also know players like Xerox, Ricoh, and Lexmark are experiencing great consolidation, and paper plants have shuttered across country. Indeed, from the WSJ, 1/2018-

"One of Xerox’s problems is that it has been broken into two pieces. A year ago, Conduent Inc. (NYSE: CNDT) was spun out. It describes itself as a “business process services” company, which makes it more of a consultancy than a seller of hardware. Xerox retained the hardware business, which sells products that may have been useful to businesses a decade ago but are no longer.”

Customers around the world, are organically reducing devices, copies and prints needed to conduct business- this has been going on for years. For companies like Xerox and Ricoh, whose primary revenue stream is generated with each sheet of marked paper, this is a formidable challenge. And like every shrinking industry before it, the copier niche is not going quietly into the night. For those of you left looking for a copier, it might the best time to work your provider for better pricing - just wait until the 25th of the month - everyone is scrambling and competing for a slice of a shrinking pie.

In the face of this turbulence, photocopier manufacturers and independent dealers are responding in one of three ways -

1. Selling themselves as a "document consultant” and trusted advisor, promising to help you manage your decreased reliance on print.
2. Selling to a larger dealer or manufacturer in an effort to cash out and retire.
3. Shifting away from copiers and printers to markets like IT services, water or energy management.

As you explore new ways to eliminate cost, you may fall within one of these stages:

1. You’ve implemented cost reduction program successfully and want to expand
2. You’ve implemented a failed program
3. You have no visibility into total costs

In each case, starting a study, correcting a misaligned program or continuing to reduce costs, you have three sources of partners:

1. IT providers(including your internal IT)- primarily supporting IT infrastructure
2. Copier/Print supplier & MpS Providers - hardware and software vendor within the copier/printer industry either through direct or indirect channels
3. Professional IT advisors - organizations who derive revenue through sharing subject matter expertise and managing change

No matter who you choose to partner, you should consider three important aspects of each:

* Agenda vs. intent
* Knowledge vs. Wisdom
* Neutrality vs. Bias

Let’s take a look at each:

IT Provider -

Agenda: To support organizational technology infrastructure
Intent: To transform with as little negative impact to end user environment

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification’ knowledge.
Wisdom: Experience and a varied history of supporting IT infrastructure in different types of organizations may give rise to wisdom or business acumen, but this is rare.

Neutrality: Not very. Comfortable with manufacturers they have a history with; CISCO, IBM, DELL and HP, etc.
Bias: To what’s been proven in the past or passes a proof-of-concept.

Copier/Printer supplier -

Agenda: to move opportunities to a close and their intent is to sell more devices/clicks.
Intent: Transform with as little negative impact to end user environment.

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification/machine’ knowledge. May posses basic scanning and onboard application knowledge.
Wisdom: Very little business acumen. Fresh sales professionals lack experience in varied customer, business models. Seasoned profess

Neutrality: Claimed yet impossible, therefore a lie.
Bias: Toward a solution that include's hardware sold.

Professional Advisor -

Agenda: Help client achieve business goals.
Intent: Establish an ongoing relationship.

Knowledge: Business acumen and technical prowess beyond the scope of the project.
Wisdom: Experience over time with many environments and business models.

Neutrality: Completely neutral and open to continuous evaluation of new solutions.
Bias: Toward a solution that supports the client business goals.

Conclusion -

Economic pressures on providers of equipment is severe. Machines are becoming more self-sufficient and easier to manage remotely, business requirements are changing from paper flow to digital flow. Even if your printing less than 500 images a week, you are a prime prospect for the remaining copier vendors - your company is guaranteed to be on some copier rep’s cold call list. There is no shortage of cost reducing value propositions, white papers and marketing material.

Continuously reducing costs associated with output is an internal function - asking teams of folks motivated to sell more devices to help you reduce the number of devices is counter intuitive - a provider with show rooms full of equipment pitching themselves as an “agnostic, trusted advisor” is disingenuous.

So who do you turn to? There are a thousand copier dealerships, hundreds of MSP’s and maybe a dozen proven, reliable and seasoned advisors. Of course, if you can find a good advisor, with an open calendar, I recommend engaging - but the odds are forever in the copier companies favor - it is simply math.

Here’s a quick recommendation:

If you currently support 1-20 devices, copier dealer and MSP
If you currently support 50-100 devices, MSP with Advisor
If you currently support over 100 devices, exclusively work with an Advisor who manages an optimized portfolio of suppliers and software providers.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Decade of #TheDeathofTheCopier: Really?




Long ago, a decade seemed like forever; "1999" a far off party and 2001 so distant, it was science fiction.

When I was young, I couldn't imagine where'd I be beyond 2008.  Today, decades fade away, "like tears in the rain..."

Ten revolutions around the Sun
120 Months
521.4 Weeks
3,650 Days
87,000 Hours

At it's peak, The Death of the Copier was coveted; worth stealing. Not for the plain talk, but for the audience.

In 2008, we were busy back-slapping and congratulating ourselves for selling machines like popcorn.  The future was bright; it was never going to end.
  • Ikon was a huge channel of 'independent' dealers.
  • Xerox was like Kleenex.
  • Ricoh and Canon punched it out for second and third position.
  • HP was on the edge with Edgeline.
  • The rest of the pack was just that, a pack.
Back then, few were 'blogging' about copiers. Out here on the inter-webs, nobody was talking about workflow, managed print services, IT, or business acumen.  Newsletters, magazines and trade shows were the vehicles of delivery.

On this 10th year anniversary, I've travelled back to the future, re-visiting stories of the love, toner, blood and tragedy that is DOTC.


I've dug up a few nuggets:

From a DOTC post, "Top 12 of 2008":

"5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking"."-  2008.

I talked about Managed Print Services, how copier reps won't naturally progress into the niche, how real MpS requires IT and copier knowledge and something called Business Acumen.  It was like speaking Latin.

The second post, February, 2008: Managed Print Services - That "Hot, New, Thing..."


"A copier sales person does not directly translate into a MPS specialist.

Nor does an IT Services sales person translate into a MPS Specialist. It takes both IT experience and copier experience and a great deal of general, C-level, business experience. 


That holy grail of Professional Selling, "Business Acumen" . Someone with the "Big Picture" insight and manage the details of a solution."

Honestly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's been ten years and we're still struggling to find managed print nirvana.


We still sell copiers.

 How about this one from 2011.  Inspired by the movie Jerry McGuire -

"MPS isn't the end-all, it isn't the only reason to exist - it never has been. Still, with everybody getting in and as many as 50% failing, what now?

With all the OEM's defining MPS ... and reclassifying direct accounts, how can we continue?

Touch More.

More Human Touch. Less PowerPoint. No WebEx meetings, toss the 50 slide business summaries. Instead, press the flesh. Draw on a napkin.

Do that thing we do as sales professionals, look him in the eye and say "thank you, what more can we do, today?"

"Oddest, most unexpected thing..."

Success and change aren't always a result of design. Innovation encroaches from another direction; from the left as we look right, from behind as we look ahead.  Few ever see it coming.

So it is today. As some deny the paperless revolution is near, companies like Alaska Air outfit their 1,400 pilots with iPads.  Apple is making the text book obsolete and banks accept pictures of checks for deposit. Your kids, don't call each other anymore, they use their thumbs.

From social media to MpS, everything is new and unpredicted - there are no experts - the world moves faster than ever before. No benchmarks, no 'metrics', no comparison, no rules.

Waiting for the revolution? Its already here.

"The Me I always wanted to be" - Trust

Trust. It is a big word and one the first MPS Conference keynote speaker attempted to rally behind stating, 


"..Trust is something this industry has got to reclaim."

He is new. He doesn't understand to reclaim something, one must have first possessed it.

"I had lost the ability to bullshit, ..."

Our journey continues.

The path less bumpy when we build partnerships. Partnerships easier to forge over a foundation of truth. Can you be true?

Can you lose the ability to bullshit? If not to your prospects, at least with yourself. Or are you just another shark in a suit?

Can you see the entire ecosystem?

How about instead of optimizing a smidgen of hardware and some toner, you envision Optimizing Everything.

That's right, everything. Managed Optimization Services.


"That's how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there."

Good Stuff.

What have WE, learned over the past ten years?
  1. The Copier is nearly gone
  2. Old ways die-hard
  3. Situations rarely change, people do
My nostalgic jaunt inspired me to seek out memories from the pioneers of the copier-industry social media world.

Before Twitter.  Before Instaglam. Before LI took off...there was Ken Stewart, Nathan Dube, Jim Lyons and Art Post.

I asked them for a tidbit of reflection:

From Ken Stewart -

Wow, it's been that long?!?  What I've learned:
  1. Trust God more
  2. Forgive mankind often
  3. Relish the little things
  4. Let people be accountable to their actions
  5. Just because the folks in the hot tub look like their having a blast, they're secrets are hiding under the bubbles!
Nathan Dube -

Things I have learned:
  1. Don’t trust hype
  2. Disruptive technologies sometimes aren’t and those that are, often take time to produce real change
  3. If the paperless office is coming, I am not seeing it much/at all in New England across most verticals
  4. Story telling is the best way to market
  5. Everybody hates there printer eventually
  6. The future of marketing IMO lies in gamification and interactive content that is more about entertainment than the product you are trying to sell.
Jim Lyons -

Can't remember EXACTLY how Greg and I became friends, but as what seemed like the only two bloggers in the industry back then it was inevitable we'd become friends as well as colleagues. 

A particular fond memory is when Greg had accepted an invitation to the Lyra Conference (Symposium) - where I'd gone from client to contributor. 

Greg and I had been in touch quite a bit but had never met face-to-face and several of the team (including Photizo folks in attendance, though this was before the merger) were excited to meet Mr. Death of the Copier. As we anticipated his arrival I remember enthusing that this was a very much needed "young guy" we were welcoming into the fold!!!

Art Post

Nothing stays the same, change is constant.
There is nothing new in sales even thou there are thousands of sales guru's on LinkedIn promoting their success when they haven't sold shit in years.

There are many stubborn copier manufacturers that refuse to exit the channel. No one copies anymore.

I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end of the roll, the faster it goes.

Thanks guys, for reading DOTC and staying true.

Personally:
  1. 2008, I was married and living in the mountains of Southern California.  5,000 feet above sea level, an hour from the beach - "...things that have comforted me, I drive away..."
  2. Since 2008, I've moved from SoCali to Charlotte to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin - "...this place that is my home, I cannot stay..."
  3. Over 10 years, I've seen small businesses grow and flourish.  I've met the best of the best and the worst of the worst - "...I come and stand at every door..."
  4. I've Failed - "...If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me..."
  5. I've Succeeded - "...I always leave with less than I had before..."
  6. I've become an expert at Starting Over - "...tell me, can you ask for anything more..."
Over the long haul, I've seen the extinction of the typewriter, witnessed the evaporation of the mini and mainframe and bobbed along the turbulent manual-to-PC-to-network-to-internet-to-cloud waters.

I am fortunate to have a place to express.  I'm blessed to be able to write what I would read and humbled others find something, interesting and possibly entertaining.

10 Years. How about you?

On what field did you stand?  Today, do you still stand?  Where will you be in 2028?






Two, three, four

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?
If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-legged dog making his way down the street?
If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me
Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door

Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and wheat?
If you've ever seen that scarecrow then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze?
If you've ever seen a one-armed man then you've seen me

Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door
Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

These things that have comforted me, I drive away
This place that is my home I cannot stay
My only faith's in the broken bones and bruises I display
Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free?
If you've ever seen a one-legged man then you've seen me

Thursday, March 7, 2019

#SolutionSelling is Dead



“Business acumen” (BA) selling is what your prospects want today.

You’ve heard them all:

“Tell a story.”
“Use LinkedIn.”
“Sell the sizzle.”
“Sell our solutions.”
“Cold calling works.”
“It’s a numbers game.”
“Put that coffee down.”
“Email follow-up works.”
“Sell on social networks.”
“Research your prospects.”
“Reach the decision maker.”
“Present like a professional.”
“Increase your efforts by 10.”
“Become the trusted advisor.”
“Develop your personal brand.”
“Learn how to demo your devices.”
“Enhance the customer experience.”
“Probe for weaknesses, confirm, trial close, handle objections and present our solution.”

It’s all standard sales jargon — beware the cliché.

As a new copier rep, you’ll be forced to endure hours of being taught every selling technique ever created. You may find them new, but these schemes are timeless; repeated through the eons. And that is the problem. These standards are not nostalgic or even proven — they are old-fashioned. Prospects today learn product details without attending manufacturer-sponsored classes. The basic elements of a sale remain the same: We exchange value for value given. This will never change. What has transformed is the volume of relevant information available to your prospects.

Sure, to be successful you’ve got to understand your product. But viewing your clients’ businesses holistically and effectively communicating your real-world understanding of them is the way forward. The future is business acumen selling.

This is a high-end concept, and it becomes more relevant every day. As prospects gain knowledge, the typical sales person degrades in value.

So don’t be typical.

Knowing good business practices, basic operational procedures and... read the rest here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Why Are Copier Dealers Demanding Staff Return to the Office?


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.

 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Business Acumen and Professional Selling


Here it is. 

After years of talking about it, we now have the opportunity to do what we said we would be never did...

"Business Acumen and Professional Selling", I believe is the next stage in sales - inside and outside of the imaging niche. 

Customers and prospects demand and deserve more. They want more than data, knowledge, experience, and wisdom. Join us for a riveting conversation around this subject and start your journey.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Death of Printers: I've Been Saying It For Over a Year - HP Will Not Be Selling Printers

In an article by Jon Fortt, at Brainstorm Tech, HP's Bruce Dahlgren illustrates a future without printers; without printer sales people.

Indeed, Jon's article, title, "The death of a (printer) salesman" is ominous.

If not a bit cosmic.

I had a conversation the other day with an MPS Visionary who is starting to think that not only is MPS changing the copier channel, it is changing the Selling Model - Wow.

As sited here on DOTC, the shift has been underway from copier sales to more Business Acumen ever since MPS got "hot".

Here is the article, enjoy.

The death of a (printer) salesman
Posted by Jon Fortt, senior writer
March 30, 2010 7:00 AM

"In the near future, most big businesses won't actually buy printers. The shocker: HP is looking forward to that.


Enterprise printers aren't going away. But soon, most big companies will pay for the output, not the box. Photo: HP.

Bruce Dahlgren's job at Hewlett-Packard is to sell printers to big customers. Well, sort of. During a recent huddle in a conference room at Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, he was talking about what will happen when big customers stop actually buying printers.

Sound unthinkable? It’s not. Rather than purchase equipment that gets old and breaks down, these days a growing number of companies would rather let someone else own and manage the office copiers and printers — make sure they’re up-to-date, stocked with supplies and arranged in the most efficient way — and instead just pay for the work the equipment does. The model is called managed print services, and it’s all the rage.

In fact, it’s a big part of the reason Dahlgren is at HP (HPQ) in the first place.

Soon after HP CEO Mark Hurd arrived at the company five years ago, he recognized that the vaunted imaging and printing group wasn’t doing a great job with large businesses. Part of the problem: IPG executives were used to marketing to consumers, and lacked deep experience in enterprise sales.

Vyomesh Joshi, the printing group’s executive vice president, once told me that it was humbling, but he realized he needed Hurd's help to turn things around.

In a controversial move, Hurd brought in Dahlgren, a former colleague at NCR (NCR), to lead the enterprise printing business and spearhead managed print services. (Because of a legal dustup with previous employer Lexmark (LXK) regarding a non-compete agreement, he had to take some time overseeing Europe before settling into the role.) Since then, Dahlgren has been scrapping with the likes of Xerox (XRX) for share in the market.

So far the services business has grown to the point where HP manages 19 billion pages per year. The total value of all managed print services contracts stands at about $5.5 billion. Revenues have recently gotten large enough that HP executives review it separately from the other printing operations.

A race to print money

The spoils of the managed print services war should be considerable. Photizo Group, a research firm, estimates that by 2013 it will more than double into a $60 billion global market, and more than half of all enterprise printing devices will be under a services contract. Dahlgren says that today, only about a third of HP’s enterprise customers have begun using managed print services at all, and another third are evaluating it. “So I don’t shy away from a $1 million contract,” Dahlgren says. “Because I know that once we get in there, this thing really expands.”

In this environment, the company that locks up the most market share could eventually wield decisive influence over which enterprise printer and copier brands thrive. If HP wins, it gets to eat a big piece of Xerox’s business. If Xerox wins, it gets to do the same to HP.

So it makes sense for the printing giants to jockey for market share grab now, especially since businesses don’t want to buy equipment anyway and companies like HP can promise coveted cost savings from switching to the services model. But what happens when that stage is over, and investors still want profit growth in the imaging and printing segment?

Dahlgren has an idea of how it might work. He offers a customer as an example: HP had begun managing most printers and copiers for a hospital when someone noticed that the station for printing the hospital’s ID wristbands was located right near the admissions station. That would make it possible to print each patient’s picture, in color, right on the wristband.

Not only would it make it easier for hospital staff to check them, it would add a valuable layer of security. And in the print services contract, HP can charge more for the new wristband-printing service — similar to the way the cable company charges more for premium channels. Says Dahlgren: “Wouldn’t it be cool — we’re not there yet — but wouldn’t it be cool if when a doctor printed out a patient’s information, there was actually a picture there?”

It would be cool. And apparently profitable for HP, too."
----------------

Click to email me.





Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Dawn of The New Selling Professional - MpS Leads The Way - Sales X.X

Not Sales 2.0 - I call it 
"Sales X.X"

2011

“Business Acumen” is a cool way to say, “been there, done that…got three year’s financials to prove it” – I admit, it is a big word, does it scare you?

From Merriam-Webster:

Acumen: keenness and depth of perception, discernment, or discrimination especially in practical matters.

Practical Matters.

Lots of sales people don’t think they have acumen, or that there is some special process that goes with acquiring the skill of discernment. Worse, some employers don’t believe their employees possess keenness – more than a few sales managers feel their sales people lack depth of perception.

You know I’m right. You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, we’ve all been there.

What to do?

Stand back, there is something going on here, something new; The New Age of Selling. It has nothing to do with the Mayan calendar although "The New Age" calls upon the collective selling skills of the past 25,000 years.

Woah, heavy.

I know it’s difficult to see, but the current economic “Charlie Foxtrot” will someday be in our rear view mirror. When the recovery does start, for real, the new selling professional will lead the way. I believe that our industry, our sales people, in the trenches, will be examples of success, role models.

The New Way demands more from you, the Selling Professional:
  1. Expertise – be an expert in something, anything
  2. Collaboration – be open to working with everyone, yesterday’s rivals could be today’s partner
  3. Engagement/Intent  – work with your clients, partners, peers at a deeper level, with High Intent
  4. Growth – thrive on change, bring change, be the agent for change
The New Way also exists in a new environment, a business context that has never existed:
  1. Information is everywhere Content and data is universal and will permeate
  2. Power is shifting down – from the OEMs to the cube farms, personal power is increasing
  3. Technology is mundane – your refrigerator will talk with your toaster
  4. “Citizen Mobil” – brick and mortar is dead. Smart phones, tablets, wireless and G4 networks, you, your clients and clients’ family and kids are processing business everywhere. Think Cold Calls from the beach.
Eight simple observations.

Still, you will need to know Strategic Selling, VITO, closing techniques, prospecting, how to marshal resources on your team, monitor your funnel and manage your manager. You still can’t be afraid to pick up the phone.

You must correctly present and follow up – build trust. This may be new, but you still need to handle your shit. The basics – I won’t say ‘blocking and tackling’ – I loathe clichés, but I just did, didn’t I?

The times are different and personal acumen is more relevant, you are much more relevant, and in context.

One more thing:  There are No Academic Experts.  We're making this up as we go - and because this is all new, dynamic, changing every 30 days, formal, teaching experts are simply rehashing history - not projecting

The New Selling, not Sales 2.0 or 3.1, let’s call it, Sales X dot XX - “Sales X.Xx"

Acumen, again. MpS Purity, again. Intent, again.

Just ideas on a screen - but ideas are bullet proof...

Sell on.



Click to email me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Managed print Services : 2008

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up.

2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it.

If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed.

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease.

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process.

And this is as good as it gets: “Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the CM8060...it prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..."

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer?

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. I found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets.

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof.

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers.

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people.

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today.

It should be fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greg's Top 12 Events of 2008 - Managed Print Services, Edgeline and Napa

from 2008...

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up. 

 2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

 2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it. If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed. 

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease. 

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. 

This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process. 

And this is as good as it gets: 

“Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the CM8060...it prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..." 

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care 

Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer? 

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. 

I've  found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets. 

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof. 

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people. 

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today. 

 It should be fun.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

013: "MpS in a Box", "Managed Services in a Box" and other Silly Things Marketing Comes up With


We can call this out, because we've been part of the movement.

I saw another services-in-a-box marketing statement the other day.  They were advertising a webinar about something or other - managed services in a box.

It struck me, weren't we just complaining about the commoditization of MpS?  Wasn't it a couple of years ago, when we started to see "MPS in a Box" offerings? And once we put ourselves in a box, are we not off to see our maker or worse, a commodity?

Why do we do this ?

Like you, we've been spoon fed the "...in a box..." value proposition time and time again.

From the word "solution" to the phrase "Professional Services", unique approaches to unique problems do not easily translate into predictable ROI.  So they box, barcode and ship creating commission gates forcing us to attach the latest software sku to our boxes in order to collect the pittance.

Think I'm wrong?  How many faxservers, DocSends or ECopy did you sell?  Without a copier?

Here's the deal - we in the field do not place our expertise in a box.  We are unique as individuals and when we discuss opportunities with clients, our uniqueness shines through.

The only people who want to place expertise and acumen in a box are those who manufacture the box.  What are they making in those plants, anyway?

  • Are they assembling business solutions? No.
  • Are they putting together answers to complex business problems? Not really.
  • Are the container ships unloading Workflow or Process Optimization? Nope.
  • How about Business Acumen?  Oh heck no.
What leaves their shores and hits our docks is a box - glass, plastic and tin - that's all.  As long as the factories kick out machines, machine based quotas will continue down stream into the trenches - from the manufacturer, to the branch/dealer, to the sales manager, down to you my good friend.  Scrub your MIF, churn n burn, and call it ALL managed services in a box.

"On the first of the month we sell solutions, after the 15th, we sell boxes..."- Ikon, 2005ish.

Remember when "think outside of the box" was the mantra of the day?  What fools we were back then, buying into the whole think differently mind set which was only true as long as our different thinking on the 1st of the month brought in more boxes by the 28th.  Fact is, back then, we could of attached George Forman grills to our copiers and people would have signed 68 month leases anyway.

It just didn't matter.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New to #Copier Sales? What’s Going on In Your New Industry?



You’re hearing a great deal about “disruption” in the copier niche — but it’s actually turbulence, not disruption. A cursory look back through our history reveals that manufacturers digesting competitors and dealers coagulating together is the normal state of affairs. Whether Ricoh/Lanier, Ikon, Ricoh/Ikon, Canon/Océ, Global, Xerox/Global, HP/Samsung, Staples/DEX, Flex, Pulse, POA, Gorden Flesch, Marco or dozens more, acquisitions and mergers occur what seems almost daily. The rate has accelerated but the process has been the same. Like galactic space, the expansion and contraction is eternal.

Today, every dealer is looking for a way to deal with a declining industry by offering new services, or through merger or acquisition, and when it comes to attracting outside funding or merger candidates, the window is closing.

And that’s OK; it is the way of things.

Here are some ideas for a newbie to copier sales:

“Ignorance is bliss”

I’m not recommending you shove your head in the sand and ignore the reality that is the copier industry circa 2019 — we are ALL experiencing external pressures on our everyday lives. Focusing on what we can influence, like cold calls and presentations, has always been the best approach. Go about your routines and keep an ear to the ground. Establish a network of contacts inside and outside the industry and always be improving your personal business acumen. If you are working for a family-owned dealership but are not in the family, keep your options open.

“Business as usual”

Staff reductions and reduced real-estate footprints are frequent. Smaller dealers are being gobbled up by bigger organizations every day. Still, the standard press release after a merger or acquisition relates something along the lines of, “We look forward to offering our clients exceptional service during this transition,” which is a true statement. But looking back in time, it’s easy to find examples of mergers and acquisitions initially removing redundant functions, then ultimately reducing costs through staff write-downs; it is a consistent formula.

Concentrate on your 30-day cycle — that’s the best thing to do. Keep the sales coming in, and maintain your personal standing. But don’t stop there. Build out your LinkedIn presence and be more than just a lurker.

Contribute on social media without being a sycophant, and crystalize your personal brand, not your current employer.

“Will I have a job 12 months from now?”

In copier sales there is a magical milestone: to see if you can make it through the first 12 months of your copier sales career. So make it through. Sell stuff while learning your business processes and client digital transformation experiences. Work with your...

Read the rest, here.

Friday, October 19, 2018

New to Copier Sales: Workflow Diagrams


"Workflow, that hot, new thing in the New Managed print Services." It's deja vu all over again.

The latest thing in MpS, not necessarily the newest thing, is "Workflow". You should be picking up  more chatter about workflow - you may even hear, "if you don't get into workflow, your dealership will die..." (Insert grain of salt, here.)

No doubt 2013 will see a BIG push of "workflow solutions": workflow software from providers  & workflow consultations from...consultants.

What does this all mean? What impact will this movement have upon the imaging industry, if at all?  Is this more hype, like color, digital, connected and MpS?  Weren't we just evangelizing "managed network services"? (there is no such thing in the IT world, BTW)

For me, workflow/BPO has always been part of managed print services - part of the evolution, inevitable as the "p" in Managed print Services fades.

As we did so many years ago learning the ways of MpS, let's start with the basics: a standard, run of the mill, definition of 'workflow' -

"Workflow is a term used to describe the tasks, procedural steps, organizations or people involved, required input and output information, and tools needed for each step in a business process." - SearchCIO

Notice this does not specifically, or exclusively, refer to production printing workflow - Job submission can be represented as a workflow, but it is NOT the only example of workflow.

To some, the idea of defining how one does their job and daily business functions, may sound complicated. Throw in the notion that workflow is usually expressed in the form of flow-charts, and the concept seems even more unreachable.

But it's not all that difficult to figure out.

All one does is determine how a process is completed, document the observed steps, and investigate bottle necks.  As a matter of fact, if you've been selling copiers or printers or even MpS for any amount of time, I'm guessing you've embarked on the beginnings of workflow.

Let's take a look at an example, a purchase requisition (yawwwwwn). The following chart reflects a very basic process from requisition to purchase order:


This is a pretty straight-forward flow with no deviation. Notice how the arrows suggest a motion or flow from one rectangle to the next.  All flowchart shapes carry specific meaning - rectangles are processes, diamonds decision points and so on.

Of course, workflow diagrams can become pretty complex and detailed.  Below is a workflow chart for a system relating to data entry.



You can imagine how detailed a workflow diagram can get.

For me, it was always easier to jot down a quick workflow on the clipboard, binder or today, on the tablet.

Here is an illustration of the decision process involved in installing a DCA, outlined on the Pad:
It makes sense to me so converting to Visio is a snap:

Approximate time to create, 12 minutes.
This isn't rocket surgery, scratching out drawings is just the beginning.  Apply your business acumen, a little software and professional consultation into the equation, ultimately exchanging your knowledge for value.

How do you develop the ability to recommend and provide workflow systems to your existing MpS clients?   Is it too much to get into?  Can be. One thing is for sure, this isn't "hype" or "noise" -  those who say so, do not get it - fain attention, then go back to work.

Welcome to the beginnings of Workflow. You won't get this stuff at the Monday morning sales meeting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who is The World's Best Managed Print Services...in the World



I love the phrase, "It ain't bragging if its true..." - my high school football coach used it often.
I've noticed a trend over the past few months in our little niche: Robo-Boasting.

Self-promotion is great.  I get that and if you're proud of your MpS, I say get that story out there.  But don't do it through a robotic channel.

Bragging -

So many software, OEMs, dealers, toner pirates, distributors, consultants and analysts either claim to be or report to know the best Managed Print Services something-or-other.  The twitter-feed is chock-full of MPS robo-brags and self-promotion, it is blinding.  Observed from the outside it looks like one huge Love-fest. (I was going to use 'circle-jerk' but that might seem offensive)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"No Rules Managed Print Services" - Who Do You Think You Are?

2011 -

The Mafia, does not exist. Never has, except for in the movies.

The "Illuminati" is another example of propaganda and marketing. Fear motivates, just ask Little Red Riding Hood.



The Free Masons, Skull and Bones, Templars, The Thule Society, The Black Hand, and my personal favorite, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, these groups, these societies, whether real or imagined, were formed to fill a vacuum.

And nature abhors a vacuum.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

#SalesDifferentiation: What Makes You, You?


Another theme in the recent "sales revolution" is "differentiation".

I remember back in the olden days of sales, whenever a trainer would ask a new sales rep, "What makes your company different from your competitors?" undoubtably, the newbie would spit out, "My company has me as your sales person.  The biggest difference between my company and my competitors is Me!"

Back then, this response was a major Fail.

Irony -

Today, building your personal brand is more important than building your employer's brand.  Today, when you become an "expert in your field" YOU add value to your employer.

So, if every other sales rep become more authentic, more serving, and less speeds and feeds oriented, one day, everyone will still be saying the same thing in the same manner.

For the ultimate diversification, I go back to acquiring Business Acumen.  Acumen cannot be commoditized - your specific history, the path you've traveled while acquiring knowledge is yours and yours alone.

Do this:

  1. Learn from all your prospects
  2. Read general business books
  3. Study impact of technology on your dealership
If you haven't started acquiring knowledge, get to it,  today.