Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Copier Dealership Gone BAD!!

I gonna try and keep this short. Visited a new account, could not get them for hardware since they just contracted for a new copier, however they stated they were unhappy with that dealer and already moved forward with another dealer because "we have a special relationship with bankone leasing and we can eliminate the old lease", hmmmmm, sounded hokie to me, but I was able to book them for a network service appointment because they were looking for a new IT provider.

Two weeks later, myself and our IT SE are there for the network appointment. On first glance I saw the new Savin copier, and I thought, gee guess all is well and we went in for the network meeting. I handed off to my IT SE and he did most of the talking, we then needed to make a copy of an inventory sheet of the PC's and what the customers issues. Off I went to the Savin, when I arrived, I was thinking to myself, dam, I should have made the stop two weeks prior and I would have gotten this nice 65ppm color device instead of the other dealer.

So, I put the originals on the finisher and I ran my hand across the finisher as to say "nice machine" (I gotta stop that), but something felt wrong... I looked at the model number and it was a Savin 6045 (odd), my suspicions were up, so I then checked the meter. Well the meter read 300 color and like 500 black. Ok, somethings still not right, I opened the front panel to check inside and low and behold on the inside of the door was the graphic instructions on how to install toner and remove a paper jam. One thing though, the instructions were "yellowed", %$#% I thought, this dam thing is used and they set the meter back to zero (rotten bastards), so I did another check on the document feeder just to see if the unit may have been refurbished/used/cleaned, thus the reason to turn back the meter. The inside of the document feeder was dirty, thus the machine was probably PM'd and cleaned.

When I went back to the administrator I question her on the system. "Do you know you received a used system"? She hesitated and then stated that they never discussed whether the systems (you means there's more than one) were to be new or used, they just needed a different solution. Ok, by her look when I stated the "used" question I think she very surprised.

So, I left well enough alone, later we went downstairs to look at additional pc's and there was the other copier. I went and checked that one also. That meter had been reset, and it was also used.

Later we were back upstairs and I noticed another copier, however it was being used as a fax (Ricoh 201SPF with SAvin label), so I asked why the separate machine for the fax, why couldn't they just put the fax option in the new color system? I was then told that they had called and the machine couldn't be configured with a fax option and they would have to add this other system. Alright I thought, you really got taken.

So, here's my beef, if the systems were suppose to be used then why would the dealer reset the meters to zero? In my eyes there's no need for that unless you are truly buying or leasing a "refurbished system". There's no way these systems were refurbished.

My gut feeling is that they (dealer) saw an opportunity and exploited the customer. let's face it NO ONE, can eliminate a lease that is three months old, unless you build it into the price. In this case they probably started with new pricing for a 65ppm color and 50ppm black and then went to used units to cover the amount on the old lease. Thus, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the lease they signed does not state the equipment is USED.

But, what a shame it is that something like this happens in our industry, I know the dealer who did this, not personally but know of them (would never work for them). Plus, the account is a church.

As the Administrator stated that "they never discussed new or used". I'm thinking she's covering her own ass, but why the dealer turn the meters back to zero unless they are hiding or misrepresenting something!!!


-=Good Selling=-

Monday, June 27, 2011

"What I Like About" Leasing MFP's & Copiers

In the previous blog, I had a response from a reader that he could not find anything on the Print4Pay Hotel forums in reference to a Bakers Dozen lease.

Back in the Eighties I got hooked up with one of the best leasing reps in the business, he taught me the in's and out's of leasing and I haven't forgotten them. Kudos to Dennis G, at the time he was working for Hertz Commercial Leasing (HCL), and pretty much every couple of months he would pay a visit to our office to teach us on how to sell leasing. Dennis is now with LCA (Lease Corporation of America) and I highly recommend him and his company.

Today’s reps are handed rate sheets and shown how to figure out a payment and how to write the lease and that's about it! You know..., that’s BS, there's so much you can learn from qualified veterans like Dennis and others. Such as the Bakers Dozen lease, which was very popular in the late Eighties and early Nineties. I mention the Bakers Dozen lease in the office every once in awhile and all I get is "whoa, what's that", you mean there's other types of leases other than FMV (Fair Market Value) and a 60 month term? Sad but true, there's not many dealerships of leasing companies that teach leasing to their new reps and even keep up with the old reps.

Here's the Bakers Dozen for you:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1,000 Ways to Increase MFP Sales

Really, did I say 1,000 Ways to Increase MFP Sales.  Yup indeed I did.  Over at the Print4Pay Hotel forums there are over 100,000 threads related to MFP's from the top sales people in the world.  The Print4Pay Hotel forum was founded back in 2002 and to date we have over 2,300 registered members from around the world!

Now, I didn't say that I had them categorized in a list, however if I did, I'd be getting BIG BUCKS for them. The idea of the forums is for sales people to share information that will help them close additional sales. Let's face it, I've been a down the street rep for 31 years and I still don't have all the answers and even though I work for a large dealer we still don't have all of the answers alss.  However, on the Print4Pay Hotel forums there are expert reps that are willing to help and share information with others.  Let's say that I need  help with a fiery question, I know that I'm not an expert and there are very few resources I can turn to from the dealership that I work for. Realistically some of the answers you get back from the manufacturers don't make a bit of sense either.  This is when I turn to the forums to post the question or questions and in turn can get the responses I'm looking for or get some real world advise as to what will work, will not work or someone else has found a creative workaround!

So, I'm gonna list a few of them here and I urge you to follow this link to be a Print4Pay Hotel member, btw, it's FREE, no charge, nada, all we ask is that you register with correct info and none of the BS info like Mickey Mouse, or 908.555.1211 for a bs phone number. I personally approve every member to make sure we have people in the industry on the forums and not end users. On to....1,000 Ways to Increase MFP Sales!

1. You gotta give it time and stay in the industry for more than three years, this will allow you to upgrade existing accounts.

2. You gotta make at least 100-200 touches per week. A touch can be anything from an email, a phone call, a drop in, or a meeting, the sales will come believe me!

3. You gotta eat, sleep and breath the industry! It will show when you meet with clients and discuss hardware or software solutions.

4. Be creative, think out of the box for hardware and software solutions, just because the customer wants a (5) 45 ppm systems does not mean those are the right systems.

5. Eat, sleep and breath ROI, nothin is finer that being able to save a customer money and be able to place hardware and software solutions without increasing their costs (matter of fact we have ROI spread sheets posted on the forums).

6. Stop with the 60 month leases!! Sell the shorter term and SELL the finance savings, proposing 36 month leases will have you back in the door in the 30 months instead of 44 months!

7.  How about this one, the customer does not want to lease for 36 months, wanted to buy, however they don't have the funds to BUY now! Well suggest a bakers dozen lease (more on this in the forums)

8. - 1,000 That's all I'm gonna give you here, go to the forums get registered, log in and I'm sure you'll find at least 1,000 Ways to Increase MFP Sales.

Print4Pay Hotel Registration

-=Good Selling=-

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Want My....I Want My..... SMART MFP

MTV, the Eighties, what a special place in time for some of us!  So, where am I going with this??  Not really sure yet, however I wanted to give end users a little more insight on today's MFP's (Multifunctional Products/Printers).

Years ago we called them copy machines,  of course they were used to make copies, about ten to twelve years ago we saw the transformation of copy machines (analog) to digital copiers.  The only difference was that the manufacturers had the technology to convert the scanned page to a digital format and then use a laser beam to write the image to the photo conductor (drum).  The old copiers (analog) that were unreliable, service intensive and the butt of office jokes was transformed into reliable hi speed copiers that could scan and print from the network. 

So, a few years back, digital copiers took another leap forward with the ability to add software cards (Java) that would allow the digital copiers to become work flow and information hubs in the office.  This next generation is what I call a SMART MFP, pretty much they are designed to work with software that will enhance productivity and increase efficiencies in the office. 

Today's SMART MFP's will allow users to scan documents as scan2word, scan2excel, scan2ftp, scan2url, scan2sharepoint, scan2folder, scan2drive and process them as search able pdf's, editable pdfs, index, and OCR and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I could probably bore you to tears with all of the applications that are available today.

What I see in the field is that most end users still treat the MFP as a commodity, clients looking to buy on price instead of buying on savings . Let me elaborate on the savings, the savings would come from saving countless hours of handling and managing a paper based work flow. If you can cut 10-20 hours a month of labor, that's a big savings. How about if you could cut 5 hours of labor per month per employee?  It can be done with today's SMART MFPs.

If I were an end user I'd want my MFP to process all of those mundane tasks related with the handling of paper. I'd also want my MFP to tell me who is printing what (files) and how many along with having restrictions of what files they can and can't print. If I were using forms, I'd like to be able to have my MFP print onto  NCR paper and auto staple these forms so I don't have to buy them from a print shop.  While I'm at it, why can't I have a virtual (cloud) fax numbers for all of my employees do they can send and received faxes from the PC's without wasting time going to and from the MFP. 

Good news is that everything I mentioned above can be done with SMART MFP's.

-=Good Selling=

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baseball, Sales & MFP's "What Do We Have in Common"?

Right, nine days later my Summer College baseball team on a 5 game winning streak, so what started at 0-6 went to 5-6. However in game 12, found us down 1-0 after 7 innings.   In the top of the 8th we busted out for three runs and took the lead 3-1.  I stayed put with my pitcher because he was getting ground balls and we were making the plays.  The the other team gets a hit, a walk, and we then proceed to make three errors in a row and allow them to tie the game. Our record is now 5-7, guess you figured out how that one ended up.

Errors are a part of the game and no team or player is perfect, it they where there would be no sense in the playing the game, right?

So, this is all to true with sales, everything is going along smooth until, oops, what the heck just happened?  Sales errors can come from talking too much, not listening enough, not knowing your product, publishing the wrong price on a proposal,  or you erred in a certain speed or feature or just trying to bs your way out of a direct question.

The nice thing about errors is that in most cases you can make up for them as long as you're upfront with your customer. Hey, it's a mistake and mistakes are made. You won't see me yelling at my guys during the game for making errors.  But, I will talk to them at the end of the game and tell them that the error was due to a mental mistake, maybe it was not enough concentration, not knowing what the speed the runners have, and not knowing the situation can all lead to mistakes on and off the field.

Over the years, and especially the last couple of years I find my self double and triple checking features, speeds, options, what an MFP can and can't do and also what can and can't be done with the embedded software or third party solutions.  I'm doing my home work and making sure that when we're ready to move forward with an order or a presentation that I won't make the error that could cost us the sale or the game.

The saying is that the game of baseball is 20% skills and 80% mental, dumb ass you gotta think when you're on the field. How true with sales, you gotta think, plan ahead, have what if scenarios.  When you're at the top of your game, it's smooth sailing ahead, when you're making mistakes or making the errors it's a long game or a very rough sales cycle.

So, after all my years I find myself spending more time dotting the i's, crossing the t's to make sure I'm not gonna screw it up in the ninth.  Still, every now and then I find a way to screw something up!!!

BTW, here's neat stuff I never know about "Take Me Out To the Ball Game".

Hope you enjoyed this!

-=Good Selling=-

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Copier & Multifunctional Print4Pay Hotel Notes 6/11/2011

My apologies for not posting as many blogs,  it's been very busy with selling and baseball.  My summer Collegiate Baseball Team is now 0-6, not a good way to start the season, however we have only one place to go and that's up!

The baseball season is very long and it's not all about winning, it's about having the right attitude, playing the game the right way, working hard to improve your skills, working with a team, and trying to out think the other player (hitter or pitcher) and the other team. I follow the three D's of Baseball which are Desire, Dedication and Determination, believe it or not these three core values can take you through life to be the best at any sports and can help you through your selling career also.

Desire to be the best and a true professional in what you do.
Dedication to the industry or the sport. Eat, sleep and breath everything you do.
Determination to get back on your feet and never ever give up, out work everyone else and you'll be in a winner in whatever you do!

So for all our Print4Pay Hotel Members and Members to be, here's some links of our latest and greatest threads. Check out the new beta portal here.

Recent Document Uploads:
HP new MFPs M4555 & CM4540 MFP
"The Final Frontier in Cost Control"
"Pricing on the Street" for Canon iR6065
"Pricing on the Street" for KonicaMinolta BizHub 751
"Pricing on the Street" for Xerox 5775PT
"Pricing on the Street" for Canon iR6075
"Pricing on the Street" for Konica Minolta BizHub 950
Sharp 4101n street price and service cpc

There's many more, just the latest from today!

Leads, RFP's RFQ's:
Arizona town needs copiers
Request for Proposal - Black and White Copier/Printer
Copier lease & purchase in Mid Atlantic USA
RFP for 3 Print Production Units in Richmond
RFP for two color systems in Canada
Many more of these also!!!

Recent Interesting Threads from P4P'ers:
Rumor has it.....
Intro Letters that have been successful
Interesting Take Over by Xerox...

MFP's & Cost Per Page Agreements

MFP Cloud Threads:
UDOCX in hybrid environments
Print email from the cloud (Video)
Generic advantages and differences of UDOCX house installs

These are just some samples of the threads from this week alone!! The Print4Pay has over 2,300 world wide members that are dedicated Imaging Professionals. Take a trip here (registration link, don't worry man, it's FREE) and become a part of the largest social group of Imaging Professionals in the work and the opportunity to discuss solutions, best practices, rumors, and make new friends in the industry (it's nice to have a secure forum that's not out there for the public, eh?)

-=Good Selling=-

Art Post
"One of the Top 40 Most Influential People in the Imaging Business"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Selling Copiers and MFP Solutions

Times could not be better for reps that are in tune with technology solutions.  "How can you improve my work flow or efficiencies? is NOT a question we hear from our clients in the field.  Most Copier/MFP reps are selling boxes, selling price and are on gross revenue plans. 

There are many opportunities with third party providers to improve your customers work flow with paper and make then more efficient.  Over the years I've found that if I can offer a solution that enables a company to increase their efficiencies then most likely I'm going to be at the top of the pack when a decision is going to be made.  In most cases I'm the only one with this type of offering and that pretty much secures the order.  Selling a copier is not about speeds and feeds but more about how was document created, who created it, what happens with the document after it's been created, who else handles this documents are just a few of the probing questions.

Solutions that I like to focus on are ones that will have an immediate impact on ROI (return on investment).  I like Fenestrae UDOCX Cloud solution because if I find a user that is using MS share point we can give them a cloud based serverless solution for scanning. Now, not everyone is using sharepoint however UDOCX also has a cloud fax solution.  This is fax modem is needed in the MFP, plus you can have multiple cloud fax numbers.  This gives me the opportunity to know out the competition and also allows me to offer multiple cloud fax numbers at a low cost.

Another is Stethos,  I recently came across this solution that will enable customers to print their own forms on NCR paper. Basically the software will manipulate the print stream and allow for the printer to pull un collated NCR paper from each paper draw and then staple!  This is big too.....a basic two part pre printed form can cost as much as 25 cents each, do the math it's a home run and you can offer an immediate ROI to the customer.

Speaking about solutions brings me to Ricoh's new equill tablet, not to be confused with all of the other tablets on the market today. Ricoh's equill is designed to improve work flow and is basically replacing paper on the tablet.  Great for sales orders, insurance docs, medical forms, service tickets and much more.  This should be an awesome talk topic when in any account!

It's late I'm done, hope this helps!!

-=Good Selling=-