Friday, February 29, 2008


Highlands, NJ, March 01, 2008 --(PR.COM)-- The Print4Pay Hotel: The Imaging Professional’s Resource Center, and the leading provider of information for the copier sales professional has announced Neal Petermann as Moderator for the KonicaMinolta Message Board.

“We’re excited about having Neal on board. Neal brings 13 years of sales experience to the site along with having been Major Account Rep, Sales Manager, District Manager for various companies like Minolta Business Solutions, and Oce. Neal is positioned with McShane’s Business Solutions in Direct Sales, notes Art Post, founder and CEO.

“Now all KonicaMinolta Copier Sales Professional can communicate with their own Message Board in a secure environment where they can share information with other successful KonicaMinolta professionals from all over the world!”

Post emphasizes that the message boards that allow Print4Pay Hotel members to share knowledge ultimately add value to the customer-dealer relationship, and that more knowledgeable sales professionals have a direct impact on the dealerships they serve as well as the products they service. “This is a rapidly changing industry that’s becoming increasingly complex as manufacturer’s introduce more solutions that integrate with a customer’s network,” says Post.

The Print4Pay Hotel (, which debuted in 2001, provides extensive imaging product information—both on the Ricoh Family Group products, KonicaMinolta, Canon & Kyocera products—and serves as a forum for imaging industry personnel to share knowledge. In addition to the message boards, the site provides its members with the latest press releases, industry links, industry blog, competitive price quotes, industry news, and classified ads as well as photos and articles related to selling more solutions. The site currently has more than 1,600 members and averages 1,000 page views per day.

Although most members are from the U.S., the site also serves members from 90 other countries.

The Print4Pay Hotel was envisioned as a means for imaging industry professionals to satisfy their “Need for Knowledge.” The site, , allows digital imaging specialists to share information and find answers quickly. It’s also a place where imaging professionals can store their knowledge, search their knowledge, and share their inspirations, ideas and passion for the industry.

To learn more about the Print 4 Pay Hotel, visit

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

That Time of Year for Me with AIIM/OnDemand

For those who know me, this time of year is very hectic for me. I have a son who pitches for a DII College Program in New Jersey. This is his final year playing college baseball and hopefully his future may have more baseball in store for him.

I just arrived back in town from Myrtle Beach, SC (watching baseball) and in ten days I'll be off to Fort Meyers, FL for eight days (watching baseball), plus I still have prospect, research and close sales like the rest of us. After Fort Meyers the season will be in full swing with four games a week, traveling across a tri-state area.

My plans for this year also included another trip to the AIIM/OnDemand Show in Boston next week. Alas with just taking off a few days and then going to Fort Meyers, I am bagging the trip to Boston this year. This year will be the first year that I'll miss the show in eight years! Who the heck wants to be in Boston the first week of March anyway? Last years show was so, so according to vendors and the timing could not have been worse having the AIIM/On Demand a week after the ITEX 2008 in Las Vegas. At least ITEX got it right and picked a warm climate and a destination that is worth the time. Not that Boston is not a great town, however in March....., you can still get quite a powerful noreaster than can run up the coast!

I have some material that I'll be blogging on soon and will post soon!

Good Selling!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Copier Sales "Email or Not to Email"

Was a topic of discussion on the RFG (Ricoh family Group) P4P Hotel Message Boards awhile ago. I thought I would repost the string of threads for your reading pleasure.

(from P4P member in Kentucky) Does anyone have any success at cold calling by email? I've seen some Kyocera dealers that send specials out to schools in a mass email. I'm contemplating sending out our state contract pricing to all the schools in our territory, since they will be looking for equipment in June & July.

(from P4P member in Indiana) my first reaction is, what will it hurt? I likely don't need to tell you this, but like every other form of prospecting the follow up is the key. Your return will grow by double with follow up.

(from P4P member in Tennesse) [QUOTE]Originally posted by Neal:my first reaction is, what will it hurt?QUOTE]Unsolicited Commercial Email? Be careful how you do this. Why limit it to schools? Why not everyone? Not just businesses... people need Office equipment at home too... I just think this lumps you in with all those dealers we always bad mouth who fax over a pricelist and the customer picks their machine and the rep mails them the paperwork and the machine shows up the next week with a manual.

(from P4P member in Kentucky) Those are the folks you like to bad mouth, and I too. But with this, I already know most of the schools I will be sending them to, but have not had a chance to send to their email. Since most of the time when you show up, they do not have time to see you, and can't give you a time to come back, but when you do get to see them, they are sitting in front of the computer looking at email. I have tried sending the Ricoh email templates, but with no success. If I can get some to take a further look, then it will be worth the time. Closing a deal in front of the customer ensures a long lasting relationship. Email is just a marketing tool to get you to the next step.

(from P4P member in Wisconsin) Suggest that you think very carefully about this before proceeding. Because of the quantity it sounds like you are considering sending, you have some things you need to work out first.e-mail is under very close scrutiny right now because of spam laws and general public skepticism. Believe it or not, there is a rise in the use of printed direct mail right now because of the complexities of using e-mail.If you are going to proceed, suggest that you.

1) discuss this first with your IT administrator so he/she can manage your company's resources AND make sure you don't risk getting your e-mail domain blacklisted as a spammer.

2) finetune your database as precisely as possible. If your list is large, you may have to follow the CAN-SPAM laws, including providing and adhering to opt-out options.

3) finetune your message to the max possible. One idea only.

4) consider using a broadcast e-mail program or service. Examples: Worldcast or Komunik.5) you have roughly one second before the recipient hits the delete key. Make it worth their while to read your message. Make it about them instead of about you (personal). Consider education as your purpose.

6) remember that once you are marked as a junk sender, you won't get a second chance."...but when you do get to see them, they are sitting in front of the computer looking at email. ." - They are looking at e-mail that they WANTED to receive. They've already deleted the junk and spam that just takes up their time. Think about how you handle the e-mail you receive and proceed accordingly.

(from P4P member in NJ) Yeah, I agree! Emailing is tough and you do not want to turn someone off before you turn them on! I email to my current database of current customers and those who have stated that they want to recieve my mail. I do not attempt anymore broadcast emails, I would rather stop in person or make the traditional phone call. The best is to knock on the door if you can or just keep pounding them with direct mail, sooner or later they will call.

(from P4P member in Tennesse) has some great points. I agree with them all. Of course the best way to handle bulk emails is to discuss it in person with your contacts, getting their permission to email them. Then as member from Wisconsin said, make the email something they would want to read. One of the best sales reps I ever worked with was a master at this. He would set up seminars where we would teach local schools and churches how to use Color as a tool to reach their target market. Oh and it just so happened that we were printing on Ricoh devices... "Oh you'd like to do the same at your location? well, let me get you some information then."

The P4P offers a home for all industry wide reps to converse, share and voice our opinions.

Good Selling!

Selling Copiers "Testimonial Letters"

Clients are more skeptical than ever. How do you win the sale when your potenital cleint knows nothing about you or excellent benefits that your systems provide?

About eight months ago, I lost a sale for a wide format system. I lost because the customer was buying on price only, and of course I did not have the lowest price. Well, the other day I received a phone call from the customer asking me if I could come in and give him training on the wide format system that he leased. At first I thought that I'd tell him I told you so and then thought that I'd tell him that I'm not interested, and then I decided what the heck I'll do it as long as I get a substantial fee for my time. We agreed on a price and I conducted the training as promised and the cleint paid as promised. When we finished I asked him for a referral/testimonial letter, the cleint stated that they would do this and send it to me. A few days later I had my letter and it was a great one! The cleint basically stated that they should have bought the wide format system from me, and was sorry that they opted to buy on the "best price". They also stated that they had called in the original vendor for training (Direct Branch) and then another dealer and that both of them failed. The letter went on to state how well they were training and now they could fully reap the benefits of the system that they had purchased.

Just as we always ask for the appointment, ask for the order, we also need to always ask for a testimonial letter from our cleints. You can never have enough of these letters, you never know who is going to know who when you present them. A good time to present can be when you submit your proposal, have one or two copies ready to go.

What makes up a good testimonial letter? I use this acronym QULKY. Q is for quantified results, U is for unique or creative selling proposition, L is for loyalty and future business and Y is for you. You is the most important, how you responded or thank you for your contribution to our needs.

When was the last time you stopped in and the customer told you they are enthralled with a certain feature and they don't understand how they ever did business without it. I've heard it many times and this should be your que to ask for a letter, you can also ask for a letter after the system has been installed. Ask and you shall receive.

Along with good selling skills, testimonial letters need to be a part of your every day sales life. Remember. new accounts know nothing about YOU and nothing about the skills and knowledge that YOU bring to the table.

Good Selling!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Copier Sales "Top Ten Rules" for New Copier Sales People

The information posted below was compiled from members from the Ricoh Family Group Print4Pay Hotel.
We asked what are the top ten rules that new reps need to go by in order to be successful.
This is a short list of what you need to do, we also have the full document "Top Ten Rules for New Sales People" available for FREE when you join the P4P Hotel.
The full document is 14 pages in length and is an excellent resource for everyone. If you would like the full document all you have to do is register for any of our P4P Message Boards and we will send you the document.

  1. Never stop prospecting for new accounts!

  2. Network with friends, family and join a network group.

  3. Ask the right questions.

  4. Be prepared!

  5. Seven Touches!

  6. Product knowledge!

  7. Prospect by day and quote by night!

  8. Keep a positive attitude!

  9. Dress for success!

  10. Register for the P4P Hotel Message Boards and share information!

Your road to success starts here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Copier Sales "Lowering The Cost"

Just a quick note on this, when negotiating with a customer and if I have to use a "drop close", meaning, "If I save you an additional one thousand dollars can I get the order today?"

Most customers choose to lease the equipment, and with this type of close you need to take the amount of discount and divide by the term of the lease. ie: $1,000 divided by 60 months equals $16.66 per month, from there deduct this amount off of the monthly price that was quoted. Do not take this off of the purchase price. You have agreed to save the customer one thousand dollars and you have done so.

Here's another example. Price for the system is $20,000 with a rate factor of .0195, thus the payments are $373.34. When you minus off the $8.33, the new lease cost is $381.67 and will create a new sale price of $19,145.64. If you had taken a thousand dollars off of the $20,000 you would have lost the $145.64 on the transaction.

Remember that when selling payments, you are saving them a $1,000 over the term of the lease. You also have to be specific in how you state it, once you say that you are selling the system for a $1,000 less then you must go with that, however if you use the close that you will save then "x" amount of dollars if they buy today then you can use the formula I outlined above.

Good Selling!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gelsprinter, Inkjet, Bubblejet, it's all Liquid Ink!

"The color-printing industry is estimated to be worth over $300bn worldwide, and LIQUID INK technology will continue to eat into this market by taking over from traditional, laser printing. Liquid Ink is environmentally friendly, uses relatively cheap components, and does not require expensive manufacturing facilities."

I read this a few months ago and it really hit home that Liquid ink technology will eventually take over laser print technology in the corporate and home office. Not sure if it will be in selling career, however I'm sure it will be the norm in 10-20 years from now.

With toner (plastic resin) being derived from fossil fuels and energy costs soaring; it's pretty much a no brainer that liquid ink will be the technology of the future. Which do we have more of oil or water? Along with which is cheaper?

So, where will that leave office equipment dealers in the future? Liquid ink means no more consumable items such as photo drums, cleaning blades, and developer and fuser kits? Consumable items are the life blood of Office Equipment Dealers. Planned obsolescence is the rule of law. Office Equipment Dealers make their profit from pages printed or copied, more pages equal more profit. When the industry does change to all ink, what happens to Office Equipment Dealers, will they be able to compete when the ink is sold on the internet at prices lower than they can buy from their manufacturer?

Today’s Multifunctional machines are 5 times as reliable as their analog predecessors. Liquid Ink systems are more reliable than ever. Will clients still take Maintenance Agreements or Cost per Page Plans if the systems only breakdown a few times a year? Could Liquid Ink based High Volume Multifunctional systems put many dealers out of business?

All these questions are yet to be answered, we must all keep in mind that these systems are manufactured to use supplies. Ink and toner is where the real profits are.

"Every organization must prepare for the total abandonment of everything it does". Peter Drucker