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.

Friday, September 17, 2021

New to Copier Sales: How to Use Your Sales Training

Everyone’s gone through sales training.

As a new copier rep, you’re going to be trained in the ways of selling, according to your new employer. 

To be certain, there are thousands of sales training classes, courses, programs, and coaches in the ecosystem. Selling has been happening since the dawn of time and people have been teaching others how to sell for just as long. There is no lack of generic and professional selling curriculum – some may argue there is too much. 

Your employer’s sales training program has been either developed in-house, outsourced to a training company, or a combination of both. 

It is your duty to understand their “proven” process, learn how they expect you to sell, and do so in the field. It is your personal responsibility to improve yourself with this training. 

My recommendation is to think of the corporate program as a base, or platform for growth – not the end-all of your experiential sales journey. The point of sales training is to help you sell. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Conversations with Your Prospects: Is Your Sales Approach Missing the Mark?

Article first published February 2019, here.

My name is Greg Walters and I’ve worked in the technology sector since 1988. I've sold and configured and installed networks, accounting software, servers, PCs, laptops, manufacturing systems, corporate identity programs, copiers, EDM, BPO, Scan/Fax/Print, managed print, and IT services. 

Since 2007, I’ve helped providers build managed print practices, more importantly, I’ve assisted corporations (your prospects) design, build, and implement self-managed MPS programs. I’ve been shoulder to shoulder with my clients (your prospects), in Canon, Ricoh, Lexmark, HP, Staples, Xerox, and dealer MPS presentations. I’ve seen the best manufacturers have to offer and helped my clients choose the right partner. I’ve also been privy to the conversations and critiques from clients after each vendor presentation – I’ve heard some pretty enlightening things.

Whatever category the dealership falls into – copier, MPS, Managed IT—and whether the job title reads account representative or Vice President of Sales, these mistakes were made by the most seasoned MPS representatives. And prospects of all sizes from all corners of the globe have expressed these same feelings over and over again.

Monday, August 2, 2021

New to Copier Sales: Experiential Selling

The plan was that, once COVID-19 receded, employees would return to the office, their printers, copiers, coffee machines, and cubicles.

But will they print? Will they copy? Will they return to habits of the past? It really doesn’t matter.  Print will happen and your clients are exploring cost-reducing processes and offerings – managed print services can be your vehicle for higher revenues.

Selling MPS and copiers is nothing new.  There are thousands of articles and dozens of tools in the market designed to help you find prospects, build a total cost of operation, generate proposals, and close deals.

I’m not going to regurgitate facts and processes a decade old.  However, in the new way of selling that is post-COVID-19, I point out one important view: now is the time to expand from transactional selling to experiential selling.

This is a big shift, and it starts between your ears.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Cuomo Begs for Return to the Cube-Farms

#BackToTheCube movement has nothing to do with culture, productivity, or promotions - those excuses are red herrings. 

Supporting what I've been saying for weeks, the Governor himself proves my point, 

"Remember, we have to get people back and we have to get people back in volume. If you were to see a 15% decline of people coming back to New York City, that would have a devastating impact on the commercial market,” Cuomo said. “We need people coming back,” he reiterated later on. “Say to your workforce, ‘By Labor Day, everyone is back in the office.’” “We need that volume to support the restaurants and the shops, the services,” Cuomo continued. “It’s not just about your business. It’s about all the spinoff effect *affect* (my correction) economic activity that your workers bring to the surrounding community.” 

"Workers" = field hands 
"Volume" = taxes 

It's even worse. 

Not only do city officials worry, but middle and upper management are either oblivious to or terrified by the possibility of pure #WFH strategies. Consider this: when folks were sent home and told to work from home, we did this with little or no direction from HQ. 

Granted, this had never been done before so there were no chapters on "Work from home" in the corporate handbook, so we had to make it up on our own as individual 'workers'.   Productivity skyrocketed. The businesses that remained open, thrived. Office work, from H/R, Marketing, and accounting continued. All this WITHOUT BEING MANAGED. 

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.