Friday, May 30, 2008

Selling Copiers "Ricoh Family Group Salespeople"

Have you ever heard the term "Buyers are Liars"? If you can't trust your customer who can you trust? Well, first thought is you can trust other sales people who are in the same industry as you. But, how do you find these fellow salespeople or better yet, how can you communicate with them?

There is a place on the web called the P4PHotel. The P4P Hotel was started in 2003 for Ricoh Family Group Salespeople to share product knowledge, competitive pricing, marketing ideas, solutions and collaborate with your peers in the industry. The P4P hotel (Ricoh Family Group) now has over 1,100 members from all over the world. The site averages 120,000 hits a month, along with and average of 100 members logging on every day. Since its inception, the message boards have over 20,000 posts pertaining to the copier industry. As one member stated"it's a time line in the copier industry".

The P4P Hotel added dedicated message boards for KonicaMinolta, Canon, and Kyocera just about a year ago. Personally, I have gained so much knowledge from others over the years that I am convinced that Ricoh Family Group salespeople are the most knowledgeable in the industry because of the the P4P Hotel.

I invite everyone to become a member and log onto their prospective manufacturers boards, and help share the knowledge. If you're in the business for the long haul, it's the only place to got!

Good Selling

-=Art Post-=

Friday, May 23, 2008

Selling Copiers "Bring Back the Good Ole Days"

Selling Copiers “The Good Ole Days”

Pac Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong were cool and everyone had to wear Raybans, Nike Sneakers and Members Only jackets. In 1982 I sold my first copier, I had started as a technician and I was fantastic at taking developer units apart to perform PM’s. My only problem was I could never put them back together so they would work right. Thus my career in selling copiers started.

Looking back I believe the first copier I ever sold was a Minolta 310, moving platen, 1-99 copies, one paper tray (letter & legal) and an exit tray! I can also remember selling a few used Minolta 101’s early on (liquid plain paper).

A typical day was to get into the office early, wait I forgot one of the pre-requisites of selling copiers, you had to own a station wagon or a hatchback in order to delivery and demo the copiers. Yep, I was the delivery guy, the pick up guy, the loaner guy and brought copiers out for demonstrations! Well back to the typical day, I worked at a very small Minolta dealership, I arrived early and by about 9:30AM I would then start calling potential clients to setup demonstrations for copiers, typically you would call for appointments in the AM and try to do the demo in the after noon.

When telemarketing, we always had our fair share of “I’m not interested” and they would hang up on you. Well, being young and foolish, I called those people back and told them how polite they were and then hung up on them!! I must say that we able to set 10 appointments a week for demonstrations, out of those ten I may have sold one or two, not great however for a young guy it paid the bills.

There were those days when you were sick and tired of making the phone calls, you could pack a demo machine in the car and then knock on doors all day long. There were no emails to answer, no advanced training, heck we had two or three models and all they did was make copies! What a wonderful life! I must admit the thrill of knocking on client’s door, speaking to the right person and then being able to give a demonstration all in the same day was nirvana! The only thing that could top that was bring back a check and leaving the copier at their office! Yes, we sold many copiers that way.

I can also remember some funky brands of copiers such as Apeco, Royfax, Yorktown, Rex Rotary (this one hung on a wall) 3M VQC’s , SCM and of course Xerox. The Japanese were just starting to make inroads in the copier business at then. I can remember a customer telling me once that he was looking at a Ricoh, then Ricoh was a joke and we always responded with “What’s a Ricoh”? My how times have changed.

Let’s see over the years I have been kicked out of offices, had a customer once drop off a machine and smashed it on the ground at my office (bet you the leasing company liked that), had the hatchback open on the car while I was driving, the copier and the gurney went onto the highway and then into a patch of sticker bushes, dropped a machine and cart in downtown Princeton (not a good day), and then walked in on a lady who was nude sunbathing in her back yard (I had the wrong address for the demo).

Back then we had time to sell, nowadays our time is spent answering emails, trying to keep up on 30 different models of copier, 10 models of laser printers, fax machines, scanners, third party solutions software, manufacturers solution software, forecast sheets, delivery forms, Return Goods Forms, co-coordinating delivery, installations, training (I use to be able to train in 15 minutes, now its more like and hour or longer) helping customers with print, scan and fax issues. Lets not forget about the 5 calls a week in reference to how can I do this with my machine or why won’t it so this!

Technology stinks bring back The Eighties!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Copier Sales People "Selling Color Wide Format"

Tired of selling Digital Copiers, tired of the competition, pricing and bs that comes with it. Look no further! Paradigm Imagings EIS Supra was just awarded a BERTL's BEST Award!

Besides having almost no competition in the market place the EIS Supra is a Color Multifunctional Wide Format system that will Scan, Print & Copy in color! Margins are good and the competition is minimal at best. If you're currently selling monochrome wide format you must get into the end of the business, there are lots of opportunities for all us! Tell em P4P Hotel sent you.

Costa Mesa, CA - May 14, 2008 - Paradigm Imaging Group, a leading supplier of large-format scanning, printing and document archiving solutions, announced today that they have received the coveted BERTL’s BEST Award for the EIS Supra, awarded in the category of BEST Value for Price MFP Color Wide Format System.

BERTL analysts review current product lines and new product introductions to identify the select group of devices and software that stand apart from the others. BERTL’s BEST covers the entire digital imaging and document management arena. Earlier this year the EIS Supra was awarded the BERTL Four Star rating based on its versatility, ease-of use, and its use of best-of-breed components. BERTL recommends the EIS Supra for the facility management, CAD/GIS and reprographics markets.

“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from BERTL and will continue to offer innovative, versatile and technically sophisticated solutions while providing our customers, with the highest level of service,” says Randy Geesman, President of Paradigm Imaging Group.


For over 15 years BERTL Inc. has been the primary source for objective, independent product evaluation reports and comparative analyses on digital imaging devices and workflow solutions. Covering more than 5,000 products from all major manufacturers, BERTL publishes the world's most extensive and diverse library of evaluation reports on copiers, printers, MFPs, production and workgroup scanners, wide format devices, fax machines and color production equipment devices. For more information about BERTL visit

About Paradigm Imaging Group

Paradigm Imaging Group is a large format solutions provider whose expertise extends from scanning and printing products to imaging systems integration, software development and product distribution. Paradigm counts among its clients, companies in reprographics, architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing, as well as numerous public agencies at all levels of government. Since 1989, Paradigm has grown to become a leading provider of large format scanning and printing solutions

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Samsung Deals another Blow to MFP Giants (Ricoh, Canon, KonicaMinolta)

You here it from me over and over, A4 devices are the way to go!

Samsung has launched their 6555N Multifunctional System, a 55 page per minute device that incorporates a 7" LCD display, 1200x1200 dpi, max paper capacity of 3,240 sheets. The system will color scan out of the box along with an FCOT of 5 seconds, a FPOT of 8 seconds and a max monthly volume rating of 250,000 pages per month. Optional sorter/stapler, fax module and three additional paper trays are available. Get this, the MSRP is $3,995!!

First glimpse tells me that this system is based on the 6354n (45ppm) device, Samsung has changed from older the mono 7" screen to a color 7" screen and beefed the speed from 45 pages per minute to 55 pages per minute. From the picture it seems like the document feeder may have been changed also, not sure, I'll have to wait until I see one of these bad boys.

No 11x17 capability, but who the heck needs 11x17 anymore! Personally, I think the MSRP is two low. It should be more like $6,995, thus allowing dealers and salespeople the opportunity to upgrade older A3 devices to SCX-6555N. I have a few 6345N's in the field generating an average of 8,000 pages per month and no reported problems.

What's next for Sammy a 75ppm device, maybe 85ppm, are all of the A3 devices made by the likes of Ricoh, Canon, Fuji Xerox, KonicaMinolta overpriced? It all depends on if you need 11x17 to print copy or scan.

Realizing, that the cost per page of the SCX-6555N is twice that of a 55ppm A3 device. The SCX-6555N still has a home in the SMB market place especially if the user is average 10,000 pages per month. At a cost per page of .016 the SCX-6555N will have a total cost of ownership of $13,995 with out any options. Take a similar A3 device that has an MSRP of $20,000 and a consumable cost (based on 600,000 pages) of $5,100, thsu we have a TCO of $25,100. That's a HUGE difference. Some will argue that the 55ppm A3 devices will last longer and have a larger paper supply, and I might agree, however I could buy three of the SCX-6555N's and still be under the $25,100.

What I'd really like to see is the likes of Ricoh, Canon, KonicaMinolta, Fuji Xerox to wake up and smell the coffee! We don't have to bring to market A4 devices with a very low MSRP, we can bring them in higher and we can sell the reliability, quality and a lower cost per page. Currently we are producing 55ppm A3 devices with cost per pages under a penny, why o why can't we do this with an A4 device!! Come on people Wake UP!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Software Storm, the MFP, and Document Management

I'd like to introduce Russ Hetzberg of PSIGEN Software Inc, as our Guest Blogger for May 2008.

The last few years have seen rapid growth in the type and quantity of software for MFPs. At the base of everything inside the MFP is the embedded real time operating system that runs on the processors. Above this you may find Java and/or .NET development platforms, interfaces to network file systems, network authentication technology, recognition technology, security technology, web servers, I/O management subsystems, and more.

All of this ‘platform enabling’ technology is enticing to independent software vendors, who have quickly added document management, print management, fax management, and more to the list of MFP software solution alternatives. These solutions deploy a variety of different architectures, from fully embedded within the MFP, to partly embedded and partly external, to fully external. The solution architecture can impact infrastructure issues as diverse as MFP performance, network security, and network bandwidth utilization.

With all of these new choices, MFP customers may feel that clear thinking about MFP software solution architecture is akin to determining the mix of software stack required for production Linux and/or Windows servers on the company network. The relevant question is how to help customers get an effective deployment in place, for a target application such as document management, in an increasingly complex software solutions landscape.

Good document management deployments for MFPs start with an accurate understanding of requirements. Adding a basic document capture and retrieval system to the printing/copying/faxing services of a few MFP devices can be easy enough. An unattended capture application can process scans received at a network folder, convert images to PDF with hidden text, and then leverage the full text OCR results to deliver retrieval using free desktop search tools. More complex document management installations may address requirements like multiple document types, capture workflow, document separation, document indexing, document quality/image pre-processing, and migration to content management systems.

The software storm for the MFP is a good thing. It has helped turn the MFP into a strategic platform for document management. And this is making the art of solution selling the key to success in this marketplace.

Russ Hertzberg has over 20 years of increasingly responsible experience with established technology providers (IBM, Novell, Scantron) and small cap/startup firms (NetSoft, PSIGEN Software, Inc). Russ has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Brown University. He also completed the Executive Program in Management at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ode to the Copier Repairman

I can't take credit for this, this was reposted on the Print4PayHotels Ricoh Family Group Message Boards today. It is a good read. Enjoy!

An Ode to the Copier Repairman Of all the heroes great and small;comes he, the most unsung of all.

You've seen him before, you know him well;

he comes to do battle with the copier from Hell.

He steps through your door, a glaze in his eye,a tool kit in hand, and toner on his tie.

The problems, oh yes, he's seen them all, this week;the jams, the rattles, the chortles, the squeaks.

The customer tells him "It's broke, see, right there!"As slowly he pulls out what's left of his hair."Okay," says he, "I'll have it fixed in a snap!

"The office manager replies, "It's a piece of crap!

"The insults bounce off, he's heard them before;

The same stale old wisecracks, a million times more.

He opens a panel, flips a lever, turns a screw;

Meanwhile the damn thing takes a leak on his shoe.

The consummate professional he's trained to be;but respect?

Hell, he gets less than Rodney D.

The copies are streaked, too light, or too dark;

the last time it was serviced was on Noah's Ark.

He's got it running, now, cleared the jams, stopped the drips,removed from its insides seven pounds of paper clips.

His hands are shredded, and he's covered with grime;

some wiseguy walks by, "Didja fix it this time?"

He smiles as he cleans the covers and mirrors,tries his best to ignore people's insults and sneers;

takes some comfort in knowing five 0' clock's getting close.

Of filth, slime, and insults, he's had his daily dose.

So when your copier hiccups, and threatens to die,Please be kind to your Repairman, with toner on his tie.