Sunday, December 30, 2012

Managing Print Costs for Wide Format Ink Plotters

Over the weekend I took the time to finish one of my spreadsheets that enables us (Print4Pay Hotel members) to identify the cost per square foot for HP inkjet plotters.  Let me tell you this was no easy task.  Why in the world is there no information from HP that states how many mililiters of black ink is used to print one square foot for a CAD drawing?  Every time I searched the HP web site for additional information about cost per page for Designjet plotters I was stymied by a notice that stated there was no information.

I was able to find a few documents that related to color use, but nothing related to CAD drawings.  Each HP plotter cartridge tells us how much ink is in the cartridge, but you'll never use all of the ink due to evaporation, ink head cleaning/purging and some residual ink left in the cartridge.  For example one cartridge has 69ml (mililiters) of ink.  Thus I was curious as to how much ink is a mililiter.   A mililiter measure to be one thousandth of a liter.  I know liters because that's because most of the soda bottles are now measured in liters, but how about a mililiter?  Is that less than a shot glass, more than a tablespoon? I found this handy document that tells us 1ml is also equal to 1cc, 2.5 ml is equal to a half of teaspoon, 5ml is a teaspoon, and 30ml equal two tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce.  Ok, I get it so the HP cartridge that hold 69 mililiters of ink is equal to a little more than 2 ounces.  Since the cartridge resells for $69, the price per mililiter is $1.00.

As I stated the key was to

Happy New Year & Welcome Home!

I can't see how this video of military families being reconnected only has 192 views!  Please use your social media skills (twitter, facebbook, linkedin, email, etc.) to sent this to everyone on your list.  Keep America Strong & Happy New Year!


Happy New Year America 2013

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

15 Critical Questions for Selling Wide Format in the AEC Market

I can't remember who I was speaking to, might have been my new sales manager, yup I think it was, and we were having a conversation about print/copy volumes.  I brought out two points where I don't believe print volume will decrease, one is with the Production Print market and the other is with the AEC (Architects, Engineers and Construction.  I agreed that while pages may decrease with the multifunctional print devices (copiers, printers, fax), I do not believe they will decrease with CAD drawings.  There's just too much going on with those documents and while you might be able to read a document or view an invoice with a tablet, you really need that piece of paper (blueprint/blackline) laid out in front of you to see the whole picture of the big plan.

Back in 1998 I got my first introduction to wide format analog systems with Ricoh.  In the late nineties it was still an analog market.  On any given day you could find and AEC account with an ink plotter, a diazo copier and an analog wide format copier.  In 2003 or 2004 Ricoh intro'd the 240W which was the first digital wide format MFP with a small footprint and under $15k that would scan, print, copy, collate, reduce, and enlarge.  

The Ricoh 240W was an immediate hit, almost everyone wanted one, and we couldn't keep the bad boys in stock.  I'll admit during the year or so I was an order taker, and I was not ashamed of that. After the first year though, we as sales people had to dig deeper to get the additional 240W sales. One of the most effective ways was to conduct and ROI (return on investment) analysis of the the potential customers wide format print devices.  ROI selling is usually a slam dunk, here it is in black & white you're paying this month to run these devices with maintenance, supplies, service, parts etc.

Years ago I put together a spreadsheet for wide format devices, in this spreadsheet I had the cost per page for inkjet plotters, print heads, plot paper, vellum, translucent bond, toner, developer, pm kits. I broke it all down to a cost per page.  From there I developed three different spreadsheets to help with different types of analytics.

From this spreadsheet, I was able to ask one key question that would determine whether I would be able to offer the client an immediate ROI (and make a decent GP) on the existing way they were using their equipment.   To say the least it worked and is still working today, the spreadsheet is my holy grail for wide format selling. 

What's changed in wide format in the last ten years?  

Not that much,  6 page a minute systems now sell for the price of 4 page a minute systems, printing and scanning requires no additional software and in North America Xerox has left the market.  Yeah, one other item, there is now a plethora of ink jet CAD wide format printers out there.  Which also means there's a huge potential for upgrades to the less expensive toner based wide format MFP's.  Like most crappy little ink jet printers business users/owners have no clue to the actual per page cost of these wide format ink plotters.  That's where my spreadsheet comes in, with one question I can tell you if they are a potential prospect or not. After a short 15 minute meeting I can tell them how much I can save them with migrating to a toner based LED wide format system! 

It's not about waiting for the customer to call you and ask "how much for this system"?, it's about you getting a little deeper with the account and asking. "how much is all of this costing you"?  

I always told my son, there are no short cuts in life and that's true. However there are some short cuts in sales, and for $19.95 you can download my "ROI wide format spreadsheet". Trust me,  this is really nice spreadsheet with comments, tips, paper pricing, some consumables and the "15 right questions to ask". 

Click here for Buy it Now, or you can join our Premium P4P Hotel Membership and you'll be able to download it for free along with the rest of our awesome documents. Anyone who downloads the document or becomes a Premium Member will also be entitled to a walk through of the document (if needed).

-=Good Selling=-

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Marines Christmas


Ricoh A3 Color Envelope Printer by...

There's been a lot of threads on the Print4Pay Hotel forums about the Xante Impressia which is powered by the Ricoh SP831DN print engine. I posted a few blogs in reference to the Ricoh SP831DN printer and my first blog about a "Print Shop in a Box" in 2007 . Which can be found here and here.

I learned many years ago that you don't have to buy the expensive offerings from companies like Xante, in fact you can build your own envelope press by purchasing an envelope feeder and an output conveyor.  In one of my accounts we installed an Ricoh Color  printer A4 version and added four paper trays and for under $4,500 we had an impressive A4 color envelope printer.

I ran across this video the other day in reference to the Impressia and thought our readers could take a look at the latest and greatest in color technology.  If you're interested in the Ricoh version then send me an email to art@p4photel.com

-=Good Selling=-


Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Great Voice Activated Copier Prank

It's always fun to have a laugh with the office copier.  In this you tube video, a prankster makes up an official looking document that states the existing copier was upgraded to voice activation and the legacy keys have been disabled, thus you need to give the copier "verbal commands", which makes a whole lot of fun when the copier does not react.

A traditional prank around our office on the newbie reps is to give them a lead for the local zoo (we make it look real official though), type in what system they are interested in the phone number and the name of the contact person. The contact person is either Mr. Gee Raft or Mrs. Eli Fant.  It's a dam riot in the office and we have a lot of fun with it.

See the video on the side for some additional laughs.

14 Reasons to Lease Office Equipment (Printers & Copiers)

It's always good to review the basics, and to remember the basics when explaining equipment leasing to a client that is new to leasing office equipment. It's also not a bad idea to keep this in your portfolio!

1. Why Lease?
Leasing provides your customer with the use of the equipment for an agreed-upon monthly payment for a fixed term.

2. Tax Benefits:
Your customer can deduct their monthly lease payment as an operating expense. Leasing also helps them avoid the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) by reducing their AMT tax liability.

3. Flexibility:
Your customer can structure payments to fit their budget.

4. 100% Cost Coverage:
You can include “soft” costs such as shipping, software and installation right in the lease.

5. Technology Changes:
In three years the technology can and will change for the better. By leasing your customer will be forced to look at the new technology and see how it helps your customers business

6. Conservation of Capital:
If your money is not tied up in equipment costs, they are free to spend it on other items such as inventory, advertising or personnel.

7. Easier Cash Flow Forecasting:
Fixed monthly payments help your customer budget money into the future.

8. Fixed Payments:
They can lock-in payments now... and avoid the risk of inflation in the future.

9. Preserves Credit:
Leasing doesn't tie up your customers line of credit. So you have more capital at your disposal
when you need it!

10. Longer Terms:
Many banks only lend money short-term, usually 12 to 36 months. But leasing lets your customer extend your term up to 72 months!



11. Purchase or Renewal Options:
At the end of your lease, they may choose to purchase your equipment, upgrade to
new equipment or continue to lease at substantial savings. Of course you do not want them to renew but you can write a service contract and keep them until they are ready.

12. Insurance: Have your customer show proof of insurance at the lease signing or with the first bill and save them $5-$50 each month. However, if your customer is in a flood prone area then they need to take the insurance because the insurance will cover flood damage as I've noted on the print4pay hotel forums. Most BOP policies do not cover flood!

13. Service…Include it in Lease?
There are many opinions on this however there are a few things to consider. At 36 months, which is basically interest free it will not cost any extra to put the monthly service cost in the lease. At 48 or 60 it can cost the customer. Separate yourself from the competition and break it out on a separate Cost per Copy Agreement. If you still include service in lease be very confident on the anticipated volume.

14. Return on Investment or (ROI):
Do a cost analysis including current machine capabilities, current CPC, supplies on printers, current lease, productivity & options they can have. Do they ever go to Kinko’s or Staples for copies? Show the customer a little savings and they will give you the key to the executive
washroom. If the cost is more stress productivity and keeping people in the office/desks and the new features and benefits.

-=Good Selling=-

Top 20 "MFP Solution Blogs" for 2012

So another year is at hand, last year our MFP Solutions Blog was averaging 14-15,000 page views per month.  This year thanx to all of our readers we've increased to 19-20,000 page views per month! Your comments, emails and page views are appreciated and for all of you P4P'ers out there I've got some special enhancements to the Print4Pay Hotel forums planned for 2013.

These Blogs garnered the most page views in 2012, if you haven't read them, please take the time to check out the links. (not in any order)


10 Awesome Tips for a Great MFP/Copier Demo (4,100 views)
Ricoh MPC4502 Series MFP Review (3,755 views)
The Death of The Direct Copier Channel? (2,912 views)
Copier & MFP Industry in Turmoil... the Final Five! (2,832 views)
Top 5  (#2) Solutions/Products at BTA East Grand Slam Event (1,524 views)
WTF, Memjet Partners with Fuji/Xerox, Canon/Oce  (1,392 views)
Selling Copiers & MFP's "Color Cost Page for 2 Cents" (1,326 views)
Top 19 Old Copier Manufacturers that FADED Away! (1,243 views)
Ricoh  "Where's the ICE"? (1,138 views)
KYOTIER Hybrid Color 3-tier Cost Per Page Pricing tool (1,051 views)
MFP Wars "The Final 5 Prophecy" Sharp is... (1,034 views)
Ricoh MP 301SPF Review (1,997 views)
Document Management can be a strange word for Copier Reps (1,936 views)
10 Phone Cold Calling Tips for Copiers & MFP's (1,908 views)
Oce is to CBS as Ikon is to RBS. True or not True (1,848 views)
Ricoh Americas is now Soliciting Dealer Accounts? (1,837 views)
Top 7 Solutions @ Transform 2012 Conference "Intellinetics @ #1  (1,801 views)
5 Tips for newbie Copier MFP Sales Reps (1,794 views)
Top 7 Solutions @ Transform 2012 ESP @ #3 (1,888 views)
Copiers & MFP's "The Hidden Cost of Staples" (1,654 views)

-=Good Selling=-

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Top Ten MFP Copier Industry Predictions for 2013

2012 a not so good year for the MFP copier industry or a good year for the MFP copier industry.  

I'm thinking that most will answer a not so good year at least for the industry as a whole. I guess the biggest question that will need to be answered in 2013 is related to Sharp.  Will Sharp continue as it once was, or will they be forced to sell off divisions to remain in business.  Lately there's been a little good news with the investment from Qualcom. 

Another question is how many more dealers will make the jump to managed services and will managed services live up the hype?  Anyone you slice it I can see that 2013 will be another year of change in an industry that is in turmoil.

Last year we posted this blog Top Ten MFP & Copier Predictions for 2012, and it seems we got a few of these right such as: 
  • Kodak files for Bankruptcy or is bought
  • Ricoh USA finally comes clean and announces that Ricoh Corp USA is headquarter is Malvern, PA
  • Managed Print Services...the hype continues
  • Xerox announces additional layoffs in the US
  • USA MFP Copier manufacturer sees the introduction of the first A4 Segment 5 MFP (Lexmark MX812 & there was also an announcement of an HP 70ppm color A4 device for 2013)
5 out of 10 is not so bad since some of the predictions are off the wall and meant to be lighthearted. 

Without further ado listed below is our Top Ten MFP Predictions for 2013

Oki & Ricoh "My Top Choices for Print Shop in a Box"


The print4pay market, some will say it is one of the hardest accounts to break into and others will say they are the easiest to breakdown the walls and establish long term relationships.

As B2C color improves, along with improved thick stock media ability, there are a few color printers that I'll refer to as a "Print Shop in Box". You might ask what's a print shop in a box, I got this saying from a printer in New Jersey that referred to his color printer as a "Print Shop in a Box" and the term has stuck with me. That printer was referring to the quality of color, the ability to handle many different types of media (envelopes too), and the ruggedness to run 60K, 70K or more worth of prints per month!

When I look at some color laser printers that would fit the mold of the "Print Shop in a Box", the Oki PRO920WT, Oki pro511DW and the Ricoh C831DN have what it takes.  I'm thinking we'll see many additional "niche" type printers as the demand for office printed page declines.

We'll take a brief look at the Oki pro511DW. Imagine this a color A3 LED printer that will print full color labels with variable data from a roll of media (3 inch core) ! I love the concept, have never seen one, but wish I was able to sell some of  these.

Here's a quick run down with specs:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

5 Tips to Reach the Decision Maker


Tired of the prospect not returned your calls?

Tired of getting the gate keeper?

To some this means that the prospect is not interested! To others (seasoned veterans) this means that the prospect is very busy and has not found the time to return your call. Use this to your advantage!!

There's a couple of techniques you can use, one of my favorites with a customer that I've already met is below.


1)  The next time you get the dreaded voice mail, leave them this message. Hi this is Mr. So & So with XYD company, I tried to reach you on several occasions, I am going to be in your area next week. What I'd like to do is to stop by at 1PM on Wednesday the 4th (you set the date) to meet with you, if this is not convenient for you, please call me at (phone number), other wise I'll see you then.

Ricoh Color SPC831DN "Top Ten Features"

In last weeks blog on the Ricoh SP831DN we focused on hardware specs, this week we'll tell you more about some of the awesome print features that come with the Ricoh SP831DN Color Printer.

Printer driver features is not something you can learn from reading the brochure, nor when you are looking the printer up on line to review pricing. Most end users and sales people ignore the awesome printer driver features and options that are included with laser printers. Thus a customer could purchase a laser printer and never be aware of the advanced printer driver features/functionality that are available, and some of these features are capable of improving business process and cutting costs.

Top Ricoh SP831DN Printer Driver Features:

  1. Black Over Print: Black over print is available to enhance the quality of  text and black images  printed on colored backgrounds. Think of it this way, the color image is printed first and then the black text and graphics is printed last, thus this will prevent blurred text or haloing with the final rendering.
  2. CMYK Simulation Profile: When using the Ricoh Postscript 3 driver, you can turn on US Offset Print CMYK Simulation Profile which enables a color profile that closely reproduces colors that are used with ink based commercial offset printing in the US. Even though this feature will simulate SWOP (Simulated Web Offset Printing) it is genuine SWOP an is not supported.  When I've used this feature with other print devices I've found that it gives you an additional way to reproduce or come close to the colors of your choice.

Why Buy or Lease from an Authorized Copier Dealer


Many years ago you could only buy copy machines from Authorized Dealers. An Authorized Dealer is usually a privately owned company that is local to your geographic area. That has changed and most copier manufacturers now have direct branches. A Direct Branch is owned by the manufacturer and may or may not be local to your geographic area.

For many years the debate has raged who should I buy from. Too me it plain and simple, you should buy from the company or the sales person that you trust, that has the best support, and the best people.

Local Authorized Dealers can have more that one brand to offer and they can choose which copier/mfp or software solution is best for you.  Typically Manufacturers Direct branches will only offer their brand or their software solution and it just might not be the best fit for you. You can think of it like buying car insurance you can go to the agent that reps for Prudential, Allstate and Farmers and they can find the right insurance solution for you.  The same is true for the Authorized local Copier Dealer, most have two or three brands that they sell, support and service.

Typically you should ask these 8 questions from your sales person.

  1. Ask the sales person how long they have worked with their current company. A sales person who has less than 2 years experience may not have the resources nor the knowledge to meet your needs.

Natural Born Salesperson

One of my first jobs was that of a paper boy when I was growing up in Jersey.  I'm thinking I started my first paper route at 13 and finally ended somewhere at 15.  At a young age I had to collect money, work for tips and also face complaints. Thinking back the best part of the job was that I was able to hop on my bike pedal about 2 miles to my first customer. It gave me freedom, I was on my own and I learned to interact with good people and rude people at a young age.

Somewhere in the age of 18 (in the seventies) or so, I took my first real sales job (kinda) selling Kirby vacuum cleaners.  All in the course of one day I and others were trained on the features, advantages and benefits. The manager made demo'd the Kirby as the state of the art in technology for vacuum cleaners, and I was impressed.  At the end of the day he told us that in order to stay with Kirby we were to take a demonstrator home with us and sell a minimum of 3 Kirby's to our family members at a price of over $300 each.  Three hundred bucks in the seventies....was a lot of money. I bought my first car for $150, to the say the least the last thing I wanted to do was squeeze  my parents for $300 bucks, I didn't take the demonstrator home and pretty much didn't go back.

I'm sure we've all had an experience or two in our sales careers like the ones I had.  To tell you all the truth the last thing job I ever wanted was to be a salesperson, and look out that panned out.  At 23 years old I backed in to copier sales in the eighties. Prior to the copier sales I was trained for a good 12 weeks to be a copier technician. At the end of the 12 weeks I got my first copier tech gig and in three months I was brought for a review. The review kinda went like this,

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ricoh SPC831DN Print Shop in a Box "The Reveal"

A few years ago when Ricoh introduced the Ricoh SPC811DN, I dubbed that printer as a "print shop in a box".

Funny that Xante is now using the same line with the their new color laser envelope press named IMPRESSA which happens to be OEM'd by Ricoh.  I'm guessing Xante may be ending the relationship with Okidata?  If that's the case I can see why, I've seen two placements of Xante's Illumina (Okidata engine) and both print shops abandoned the systems because they couldn't find a reliable service organization to service the product properly. Enough on Xante.

I fell in love with the first generation model which was the Ricoh C811DN and then the second gen which was the Ricoh C821DN and I'm thinking the Ricoh C831DN will be the color laser printer of choice where users need excellent quality, variety of media than can be used, reliability and backed by a powerful dealer service network.

Actually there are two models to choose from, the SPC830DN (45 page per minute print speed) and the SPC831DM (55 page per minute print speed).  To keep this simple we're going to concentrate on the specs for the Ricoh SPC831DN.

The Specs at a Glance:

What if Your Copier Copier Could Talk?

I thought that a few years ago it was either Sharp or Toshiba that had launched or was going to launch a copy machine that  would give the end user audible instructions on how to remove a paper jam or walk them through a series of prompts to solve an issue  I did a quick google search however I couldn't find anything.

But, what if you're copier could talk or at least pass a snide comment every now and then?  Thus I put together some of my favorites that I'd like to hear, if you've got others please post them in the comments section. We could have a lot of fun with this!

Here's a few:

1. Could you please get your butt off of me!

2. Everyone step away, whadda think I am, the water cooler!

3. Go ahead, kick me again and I'll send a virus to everyone in your LDAP directory!

4. Hello Cutie!

5. Hey You El Cheapo, how about give me the real stuff instead of this crappy generic toner!

6. I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so!

7. I really, really hope when you came outta there you washed your hands before you touch me!

8. Of course I'm jammed! You may want to think about reading the manual ONE TIME!!

9. I'm not feeling that well today and I will be taking the day off!

10. Psst! You the technician, can you convince the owners to let me retire!

Please if you've got some good ones, please post them in the comment section!

-=Good Selling=-

Top Ten Copier Proposals for November 2012

In my last blog I spoke about a recent sale that I secured and after the sale I was able to get a copy of the quote.

Each month on the Print4Pay Hotel forums we'll upload "Pricing on the Street" quotes, these quotes are certified as accurate since the pricing information is emailed to us from other Print4Pay Hotel members in the field.

We'll also receive and upload quotes and proposals from other Print4Pay Hotel members and these quotes will be "the proposal or quote" that was emailed to the end user.

Each month I'll list those proposals/quotes and "Pricing on the Street" here with the associated links.  You need to be a Premium Member in order to download the documents.  So without further ado here's the top quotes from November 2012.  Enjoy!


-=Good Selling=-

Take Advantage of Recent Copier Proposals & Knockout the Competitor

For those of you that read my blog often, I don't want to sound like a broken record with why I believe it's a good thing to review proposals see street pricing from other dealers, and direct branches.

Let me take a recent A4 sale that I secured.  The account was an incumbent, and excellent service and support was issued through out the last three years. However, this account (small account) always wants to check pricing (think of all the time they would save if they did not get additional quotes and focused on their core business) from other vendors.  After many phone calls and a visit to the account I was able to keep the business for another three years.  But this time, I asked for copies of the quotes that he had received from other vendors. Some people tend to be a little wishy washy about this and not give them to you and then others will hand them over without a second thought.  Believe it or not I still get a rush when a customer gives me the quotes from the other vendors. Hey, if you're really in this business to stay you need to see all of the quotes and proposals you can even if they are not from a direct competitor.  There's a lot to learn from each and every one of them.

For example, I noticed on my competitors proposal these points:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Office Equipment Leasing "Who's Stealing the Cheese"

Ethical or Unethical?

Some companies use em and some don't. For those of you who are new to the business, I'll try to make some sense of the "padded" lease rates. "Padding" means to increase the lease rate factor from what the leasing companies published rate is. Meaning, the leasing company will provide the Direct Branch or Dealer with a rate factor of .0276 for a 36 month fair market value lease, thus a $10,000 piece of equipment would cost $276.00 per month to lease. Dollar amount times rate factor equals cost per month.

Now, here comes the sneaky part (geez, I hope I do not get phone calls from attorneys with pointy sticks!). The Direct Branch or Dealer will raise the rates to the reps, such as the rate going from .0276 (36 month FMV) to .0289 (36 month FMV), thus a $10,000 piece of equipment will now cost the customer $289.00 per month. The Direct Branch or the Dealer will then "back out" the rate. Meaning,  take the payment and divide by the real rate factor (.0276) which will then equal the total dollar amount that is paid to the dealer by the leasing company. In this case the dealer would receive $10,471.01 or an increased revenue of $471.01 by "padding" the rate! In some instances

Ricoh SP8300DN Spec Review "the reveal"

I ask you, when was the last time you hugged your printer? Odds are you haven't just because there's not much too like about laser printers these days.  You know the ones, they have the low purchase price and a very high cost per page for the consumable items.

Lately many manufacturers have lowered their toner cost to lure you in, yet they forget to tell you about the other consumables items that are needed (the manufacturer treats these as parts), fuser, maintenance kits, transfer kit, drum, etc.. So, there's not much to like about these systems especially when you want to print some volume.

At this time Ricoh offers three A3 (printers that will print 11x17 size document), the SP 6330N (35 pages per minute), the SP8300N (50 pages per minute) and the SP9100DN (75 pages per minute).

One Awesome Sales Experience from the Seventies

Is it just me or does every Thanksgiving always bring back memories from times gone by?

Today while running errands I remembered a few of my first introductions into sales, at the time I didn't think it was anything more than doing my job.

While working at Green Farms produce company in Iselin, NJ in the mid seventies I distinctly remember waiting on one of our wholesale accounts.  One day I was waiting on Larry and he asked for something like 40 bags of corn.  In order to get the corn, I had to go to the reefer and unload them by hand and put them on a pallet.  When I was done getting the forty bags of corn, Larry pulled off the top bag tore it open and then pulled out 6 or so ears of corn.  He then ripped off the husk and stated "What are you trying to do, this corn is all dried out, I don't want this crap, go get Sonny (Sonny was my boss and the owner)".  Larry was pissed (but Larry was playing his own game) and I thought, dam this all I needed that I know had to get Sonny involved. 

I told Sonny how mad Larry was and

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sharp "Reading Between the Lines" Part 2

Sharp Update!!

Intel may take a 30 billion yen investment in Sharp by the end of the month, the 30 billion yen is less than 10% of what Sharp expects to lose this year.

There was also a report that Qualcom may also do something in the near future.

In another report Ming the Merciless aka Terry Guo is providing a personal guarantee for HonHai to move forward with the purchase of Sharp's 10th gen LCD plant. It's reported for about 19 billion yen. Keep in mind that Sharp is expected to lose 450 billion yen this year. Thus that's 5.6 billion US dollars!

Money from Intel and Hon Hai is only 49 billion yen. That's a mere 10% of the expected losses for this year.

Another report states that Sharp will raise production at it's Kameyama No. 2 plant to near 100%, this plant produces the IGZO screens for Apple's Ipad tablet.

Sharp is banking on IGZO as the revival of it's fortunes.

The Sharp debacle has now many months under it's legs since a Nikkei Analyst stated that "Sharp May Sell it's Copier Business"

There are those of us in the copier industry that believe that the rhetoric from Sharp USA is correct and others that believe that the silence from Sharp Corp JP may tell the true story.  I try to read every press release to try and make sense of what Sharp Corp will do with their copier business unit.  On one hand I believe it is a valuable resource to them, however on the other hand I see how deep they are with the likes of Apple,  and their IGZO displays. Those of us in the industry know that the herd of copier manufacturers needs to be culled, the industry as a whole will be stronger if Sharp decides to get out of the copier/mfp business.

I think Sharp needs to pull the plug and get out while the getting is good, page volumes don't look good for the future, while screens for tablets, mini tablets, and phones will continue to expand.  So, why why hold on to a business unit that may wither away in the near future.  The likes of Kyocera, and Toshiba are probably chomping at the bit to swallow the existing Sharp dealers, Sharp direct and their base.

What would you do if you were Sharp Corp?

-=Good Selling=-

Saturday, November 17, 2012

To Ricoh "What I Want for Christmas in 2013"

In Nova Scotia, during the twelve days of Christmas small groups of belsnicklers, or masked mummers, appear in neighborhoods, ringing bells, making noise, seeking candy or other treats. The hosts may try to guess who the mummers are and if they guess right the mummer removes his or her disguise and stops making rude noises and actions. Children may be quizzed by the mummers on their behavior if they say they have been good they are rewarded with candy. Thanx to Santas Net.

This will be the third year I've written a blog about "What I Want for Christmas".  If you'd like to read the others follow the links To Ricoh "What I Want for Christmas in 2011" and To Ricoh "What I Want for Christmas in 2012"

Here's my list for Ricoh this year:

  • 60-90 page per minute A4 MFP's Color or Black
  • 4 PPM Toner based Wide Format MFP with Color Scan for the USA market (You gave this to Australia and Europe buy not the Americas)
  • Hi Speed Network Scan Station that will scan at 100 image per minute plus along with a 200 page document feeder and the ability to scan2email, scan2folder and scan2cloud (I really want this one the most)
  • Wide Format Inkjet MFP that will Color Print/Color Scan and Color Copy
  • A4 Color Envelope Press with Color Matching
  • A3 Color Envelope Press with Color Matching (Dam, you gave this to Xante but not me!)
  • A Full Size Color Screen for the MPC305 and MPC301 (If you can get me this, could you get me a real good pair of glasses so I can see the screen on these models)
  • How about anything with the memjet print engine (before Xerox and Toshiba brings theirs to market)
  • You promised me ICE (Integrated Cloud Environment) last year, can you bring this to me this year?
  • MFPs that will have standard scan2OCR, scan2print and create search able pdf's (everyone else has these, why not me).
If you'd like to anything to the list, please do so in the comment section!

-=Good Selling=-

Selling Copiers & MFP's "Running With the Big Dogs"

What's the Golden Rule when selling office equipment? Know your competition or least what they are quoting.

Ever notice every time you walk the dog that he or she stops at every tree or fire hydrant, ever wonder what they're doing?

They are checkin out the competition. Who's who, whose doing what and where ya been! Amazing that they can find all of that out in a few whiffs of hydrant!

Well, we as sales people need to know the competition as well, what they're up to, what's their current maintenance pricing, leasing rates (did you know you can figure out the lease rate by backing out the payment), special promo's, or just how they are positioning themselves with the customer.  I just had a quote given to me a few days ago and there was some good value statements that I'll migrate to my quotes and proposals, so by being able to read the quotes and proposals from the competition you may be able to tweak your proposal and borrow from others!

Here's some threads I've uploaded to the P4PHotel Message Boards, click the links and you'll be brought to the page.

Canon IRC 2030 Proposal
Competitive KonicaMinolta proposal vs Toshiba
Canon imageRUNNER Advance 6065 proposal
Canon imageRunner Advance C7065
Konicaminolta bizhub25 proposal
"Pricing on the Street" Ricoh MPC4502

The Print4Pay Hotel includes boards for Ricoh Family Group, Kyocera, KonicaMinolta, Sharp, Toshiba, Canon, Muratec and Xerox.

-=Good Selling=-

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Awesome Tips for Leasing Office Equipment

With 32 years selling office equipment, I've seen many ups and downs in the economy. Each uptick and downturn presents unique issues for all of our clients.

When the economy is booming, you'll have clients that could outgrow the systems you leased to them last year and they still have 2-5 years left on the lease. When the economy is struggling you'll get calls from clients who are struggling to make their lease payments, what they leased a year or 18 months ago is now a burden because they don't have the work and can't keep up with the payments.

So, what are we to do?

In the past I've had calls from clients who are having a rough go of it, in particular one account who leased equipment two years for an office they closed a few months ago. Now they have two sets of identical equipment and struggling to keep up with payments. I was called in to see if there was any way I could reduce the payments either with upgrading and buying out the old equipment. The bad news I have to give to the customer is that I couldn't do anything with either of their leases. Both of them are only two years into a 60 month lease and both have optional buyouts attached.

Just the other day, I noticed that one of my clients was coming close to the end of a 36 month lease. We spoke about the end of lease options but then informed me that he was not financially in a position to lease (that tells me that they may have entered into a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy), thus he asked for the purchase price of the system. I was more than happy to help, I received the buyout and it was a whopping 40% of the purchase price based on a 39 month term.  Really? Why do leasing companies need to do this......I'd be more than happy to say that the leasing company is Everbank (so buyer beware).  I then told my customer to call the leasing company and negotiate with them and always keep in mind that they don't want the equipment back.  You always have the edge over the leasing company, they may not act like you do, however when push comes to shove they don't want it!


Keep in mind that when I present a proposal, I give my clients the option of how long they wish to lease and the type of buy-out option at the end of the term. Most customers will opt for the lowest payment, meaning they go for a 60 month term and the option to buy at the end of term.

Here's some points to consider when explaining the leasing options:

1. Always try to get the customer to commit to the shortest term possible that will meet their financial needs.
2. Explain the advantages and the disadvantages of a Fair Market Value Lease and a $1.00 purchase option lease.
3. Explain the how the equipment needs to be returned if they enter into a Fair Market Value Lease.
4. Explain the additional charges such as insurance and documentation fees.
5. Read the lease yourself, if you're not comfortable with the contract, don't give it to the customer to sign.

Getting back to my client, where they have the extra equipment and they need to lower their payments. My only idea is to have them call the leasing company and see if the leasing company will start a new lease for them. It means that would have to resign for 4 or 5 years, however they would get what they need in order to make ends meet (lower payments). On the other hand I'm not even sure if leasing companies will do this.

BTW, if you really need a top notch leasing company that will cater towards the dealer and the customer I recommend LCA leasing. They are not the biggest (which is a good thing), however dealer and customer support is out of this world!

Art Post

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Japanese Printer Companies during World War II "Part One"

I've always been fascinated with the history of companies, as to when they first opened, what they manufactured and how they came to prominence in their market place. Okidata has a long history of manufacturing and there is some awesome information on the history of Okidata in the links I provided at the end of this blog. In particular I was interested in what Japanese printer companies manufactured during World War II. Yes, I borrowed some of the information from the history of OKI, but also put together some quick facts about Okidata during the war years. Please enjoy.

Before OKI data was known as OKI data, it was Oki Electric Works and before that Miekosha. Kibataro Oki founded the company in 1881. By 1890 Oki Electric Works had earned an excellent reputation as a communication equipment manufacturer that specialized in telephone receivers.

After December of 1941 civilian communications dropped off and Oki Electric Works devoted most of its efforts to the war effort. Oki Electric Works then relied on orders from the Japanese Imperial Navy and Army to produce field telephones, ammunition, aeronautical radios, and hydrophones. In 1938 Oki Electric Works acquired a site in the Shiba Takahama section of Tokyo, here they were to build their Takahama plant. The plant was finished in 1941 and concentrated manufacturing wireless telegraph equipment, sonar, ammunition, and fuses for the Japanese Imperial Navy. In 1944 Oki was designated by the Munitions Company Act as a “munitions company”, which allowed the Military to take control of the factories and also allowed the government to intervene in personal matters.

March 10, 1945 saw 50 young students and women killed in a bombing raid, they had been held up in an air raid shelter in the Meijiza Theater. When World War II ended in 1945, Oki had 20 plants and nearly 23,000 employees even though its Shibaura, Maebashi and Otsuka Plants had been completed destroyed in American bombing raids.

To read more http://www.oki.com/en/profile/history/120y.html
http://www.oki.com/en/profile/history/pdf/OkiHe3.pdf

-=Good Selling=-

Looking for MFP & Copier Leads in All The Right Places

I've borrowed a few lines from a blog I did about three years ago in reference to finding leads and then updated with a few new ones for everyone. 

Have you ever heard of the "three foot rule"?  It means that whenever you get within three feet of someone you should be talk solutions/MFP's or even how do you do this or that.  It sounds kind of lame, but you need to sneak it in somewhere.  I could have the worst week, month or even quarter however I always look at it that I never know what tomorrow will bring me, it's inevitable that continued prospecting will always generate new opportunities that you were not counting on.

Over the years, I found leads I've generated opportunities because I always ask myself how did they print this or make it look this way.  Here are 5 opportunities that came my way over the years.

1) The first one was a paper store; I had to buy specialty paper to run some print samples for a client. As I was making my purchase, the clerk printed a sales order/sales receipt on a dot matrix printer with pre-printed three part carbon less paper.

It clicked; I asked the clerk why do you print these like this? He just gave me a dumb look and stated "cause that's the way the boss does it", okay I thought. I then asked for the owners name and the best time to contact him. Done, it's a lead and a solutions lead at that. Pre-printed carbon less forms can run as high as .25 cents each or higher. Now it's just a case of finding out how many forms are printed each and every month to make a viable ROI presentation.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sharp "Reading between the Lines"

Sharp Action is the title of a thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.  Just today I had the chance to check out the threads from Print4Pay Hotel members.

The thread was started by GMAN (we all know GMAN is good for some juicy news) that BIG News is coming for Sharp Dealers and consider yourself warned!  I love a good rumor just as good as everyone else if not more.  I PM'd (private message) GMAN through the forums and all I'm going to day is "that is it not Sharp's Promotional Plus Pricing".

The one thing that I love about the Print4Pay Hotel forums is that you can "read between the lines" meaning when it comes to Sharp USA I can understand where they are coming from and why they are so aggressive in the US marketplace now.  But the "reading between the lines" comes from other Print4Pay Hotel members that are speculating or hearing someone else on another level.

Vince McHugh writes his own blog at The Connected Copier, if you're following his blog and mine about Sharp and the comments then I believe you are being kept up to date with the recent events of Sharp Corporation.  Every since a Nikkei analyst stated that "Sharp MAY sell it copier division", Sharp USA has been on the defensive, so much so that they've signed some 15 new dealers, instituted a new Promotional Plus pricing program and even had the Chairman of Sharp's Dealer Advisory Council tell Vince that he should stick to selling copiers, this is his statement "I recommend that you focus on your business".  So, here's a Sharp Dealer Owner that is trying to set the record straight because he heard from "Sharp Corporation's top factory executive and Member of the Board that they shared plans for a profitable B2B business".  I agree, that top exec needs to say the right thing and do everything he can to keep the factories running, stating anything else would just keep adding fuel to the fire.

Here's some of the comments from the forums:

Polek & Polek Donates Supplies for Hurricane Sandy Relief

I live at the Jersey Shore in a small town known as Highlands. It's called Highlands because the eastern area has a high bluff (I live on the bluff), but most of the population of Highlands is located at sea level on Sandy Hook Bay.

Highlands was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, most of the town was without power for two weeks and the main section of Highlands had a surge of water anywhere from 6-15 feet.  Most of the homes in Highlands were flooded with sea water and everyone was evacuated in the low lying areas.

While I was without power I was helping with the relief effort at my church. Our town was in dire need of clothes, cleaning products, food, blankets and just the everyday items that you need to survive. 

I was able to post a message on linkedin that we were in need of those items, early this week I had a call from Polek & Polek they are one of my accounts that is a sponsor of the Print4Pay Hotel forums.  They informed me that they wanted to help and asked what was needed.

When I got home from work yesterday, there were nine giant boxes on my front porch with cleaning supplies, batteries, personal hygiene supplies and new clothes!  Today, I delivered all of the supplies to the church.

I'd like to personally thank the employees and owners of Polek & Polek for donating these much needed supplies to our small town.  The donation is greatly appreciated and tells me a lot about the character of the employees and owners of Polek & Polek.

Kudos to Polek & Polek for their generous donation.



-=Good Selling=-

Ricoh Americas is now Soliciting Dealer Accounts?

WTF, was my first reaction when my wife told me she received a letter from Ricoh Americas Corporation at the church where she works. I then asked my wife are you sure it was from Ricoh, she stated that she would bring me home a copy of the letter.  Yesterday she bought the letter home and sure enough it was from Ricoh Americas Corp. 

This letter raised a few questions:

1) How did Ricoh know that my church has a new Ricoh Copier?

2) Where did they get that information from?

3) Is this going to happen with all of my accounts?

So, I'm thinking this through trying to figure out where Ricoh got the data from, I thought it couldn't be Aficio League because we black out the customer name and address on the invoice and we don't give them the customer name.  Ok, so I remembered that I used NCPG (national church buying group) pricing for this account. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

10 Awesome Tips to Keep Your Best Sales Producers

Seems to me like this would be just the opposite of "10 Tips on How to Lose Your Top Sales Producers"   blog I wrote....., well, not entirely.

1.  Don't lie to them, if you do and you're found out to be a liar, the rep will have no respect for you or your company.
2.  Double and triple check commissions to make sure they are correct, who knows maybe you'll find and error in your favor and you didn't see in on the first pass.
3. Check and approve the commission form before the new system or service is installed, this way if there is a discrepancy it can be resolved before the pay period or the install.  This will also help the sales person too see exactly what they are getting paid and they can then "count" x amount of funds in order to pay their bills.  Side Note:  Over the years I've been amazed at the amount of people who think our commission money is extra money, mad money or our slush fund.  Get a grip people we use our commission money to pay or bills and support our family.

10 Tips to Get Your Leased Copier replaced post Hurricance Sandy

The recent aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has left many copiers and office equipment underwater or damaged to the point that the systems can't be repaired. 

Most leasing companies offer insurance for these type  of castastrohic events.  So with the help of Great America Leasing, we've put together some good points to follow to place a claim so you can get your copier or office equipment replaced or repaired.

If you are paying insurance on your copier with your lease payment:

  • Call your leasing company and ask for a "claims  information document" , your leasing company may call it something else but at least tell them you need some type of claim form.
  • You will need to know where you need to submit the claim form, while you're on the phone with the leasing company make sure you ask.
  • Take pictures of the copier and or office equipment.
  • If you can turn the system on (which I do not recommend if the system was under water or is wet), you want to see if you can get a meter read from the unit. Getting a meter read is NOT required.
  • Submit your claim form and a representative from the insurance company (note most leasing companies use 3rd party insurance companies) will be in contact to discuss if the unit is repairable or needs to be replaced.
  • Continue to make your monthly payments to the leasing company until the claim has been resolved.
If you are going to submit to your Business Property Insurance:

  • You will need to start a claim with your insurance agent.
  • Take pictures of the copier or office equipment.
  • Call your leasing company and ask for a buyout quote to submit to your agent.
  • The isurance agent will need to work with you to determine if the copier or office equipment will be repaired or replaced.
  • Continue to make your monthly payments to the leasing company until the claim has been resolved.
As with all insurance claims you want to have proper paper/communication trail, make copies of the forms, make sure you write down who you spoke to (first and last name), along with the date and time that you spoke to them.

Now, if you're in New Jersey and you need to replace a copier in New Jersey, please give me a call 732.977.1211 or email me art@p4photel.com and I can assist in the claims process and help with the aquisition of a new system.

_=Good Selling=-

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Comes Home to NJ



Sandy the wind is howling' over Atlantic City tonight Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this forth of July Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast so shiny so sharp As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers along the shoreChasin' all them silly girls Sandy the aurora is risin' beh ind us The pier lights our carnival life forever Love me tonight for I may never see you againHey Sandy girl Now the greasers they tramp the streets or get busted for trying to sleep on the beach all night Them boys in their spiked high heels ah Sandy their skins are so white And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades bangin' them pleasure machines Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they promise to unsnap their jeans And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag I got on it last night and my shirt got caught And that Joey kept me spinnin' I didn't think I'd ever get off Oh Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us The pier lights our carnival life on the water Runnin' down the beach at night with my boss's daughter Well he ain't my boss no more Sandy Sandy the angels have lost their desire for us I spoke to 'em just last night and they said they won't set themselves on fire for us anymore Every summer when the weather gets hot they ride that road down from heaven on their Harleys they come and they go And you can see 'em dressed like stars in all the cheap little seashore bars parked making love with their babies out on the Kokomo Well the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they doThis boardwalk life for me is through You kmow you ought to quit this scene tooSandy the aurora's rising behind us The pier lights out carnival life forever Oh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever

Why Copier Manufacturers Need to More Involved w/ Social Media

So you think just because you're using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace that this is your social media campaign?  Most copier manufacturers seem to tout the latest press releases, product releases, green issues, contests or some off the wall little no facts.    If this is your benchmark for a social media presence then you need to take a step back and understand that most manufacturers are missing the boat with web forums.

There are tens of thousands of forums, maybe more.  We run a web forum titled the Print4Pay Hotel, site is dedicated to those of us in the imaging industry. It is a secure forum and you need to register in order to view and post messages.  There are also many non secure forums, these are forums that allows end users to read the messages (threads, posts, replies) but in order to post a message you may need to become a member.  In these forums members/users will ask questions or carry on conversations through the forum, the web forum is an easy way to find out what a product can do or can't do. Many users feel more comfortable talking about a product or service in a third party secure forum.

Let's look at this hypothetical situation, some company bought a XYZ color production system and to date they are not happy with with the system due to print quality not being what they expected.  They've had numerous service calls and still the same result.  As an end user what else can you do?  A lot of end users are turning to web forums where they can find additional information, in the color print production this would be Print Planet (there are others, however I follow this one). Once on the forums the end user can read what others have posted in reference to the same unit, and they may be able to get a workaround or help from another user that has the same system.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Was Ricoh USA in fact absorbed by IKON?




 
We're going to take you way back to December 2nd of 2007 when I posted this poll Print4Pay Hotel forums Who is Going to Acquire Who in 08! .

The Print4Pay Hotel forums is for anyone who is in the office equipment business, we have over 2,000 registered global members. We share infomation and news in a secure format via our forums. To date we have almost 40,000 threads related to the industry.  I like to call it the wiki notes  of the copier industry for the last ten years.

On with the poll question.

Who is going to Buy Who in 2009:
 
The results were:
18%   for Ricoh to buy Ikon
18%   for Canon to buy Ikon
55%   for HP to buy Ikon
0%    for Ricoh to buy Danka
2%    for Canon to buy Danka
0%    for HP to buy Danka

Plus these two threads:

Could the writing be on the wall???Always give a second look at a company when they start to buy back their own stock!  IKON Office Solutions (NYSE: IKN) 23% HIGHER; announced that its Board of Directors has approved the repurchase of $500 million of its common stock. IKON intends to repurchase up to $295 million of its common stock through a modified "Dutch Auction" self-tender offer at a price of not less than $13 per share or more than $15 per share (posted by yours truly).


Friday, October 26, 2012

Sharp Corp's Swan SONG "We did it Our Way"

A Print4Pay Hotel sing along!  A classic, just use the lyrics below!


And now, the end is near
And so we face the final curtain
My dealers, We'll say it clear
Did we make our last MFP, of which we're not certain
We spanned a century of business
We manufactured copiers, tv's and fax machines
And more, much more than this, we messed it up our way

Regrets, we've had a few
But then again, many more to mention
We did what we had to do to try and save our business
We planned each charted course, each careful step along this last year
And more, much more than this, We did it our way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When we bit off more than we could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
We screwed it up and accepted a bank bailout
We faced it all and we stood tall and did it our way

We copied, we faxed and printed
We've had our time, our share of losing
As the debt draws near, you'll find us boozing
To think we did all that
And may we say, not in a great way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, we are Sharp, we did it our way"

For what is Sharp? is sincerity and creativity
If not ourself, then we have naught
We made some aweful choices and suffered some terrible losses
The record shows we took blows and we did our way!

Yes, it was our way

This is intended for entertainment, have fun with it!

-=Good Selling=-

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There is No End in Site for Sharp "Part Deux"

Look at that a new Sharp picture for the Blog
Today......Reuters reports that Sharp Corporation may lose 5 US Billion Dollars in the first half of it's fiscal year.  Reuters went on the report that the loss was due to restructuring and valuation losses on inventory. I'm not an accountant and I can't tell you what valuation losses mean.

The report also stated that the 5 US Billion dollar amount is double what Sharp had projected in August of 2012. It was also stated that Sharp is looking to generating and operating profit for the time period from October to March. 

During lunch to day I had the chance to catch up with fellow blogger Vince McHugh,  we were discussing how can Sharp get themselves out of the hole with their massive debt.  Plus what company in their right mind would want to buy manufacturing divisions of Sharp that are losing money? 

In the news tonight the economic climate seems to worsening in Europe, the US dollar is still losing ground to the Japanese yen, and yet Sharp Corporation debt is staggering!  Now, I'm sure they have a plan if everything goes according to plan, but over the last five years it seems that nothing goes according to plan.  Just as the US might start eeking out a decent GDP, Europe may be sliding deeper into a recession.

I posted a response on Vince's Blog the other day when the Sharp discussion came up.  It's plain and simple:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Top Ten Copier Proposals from September 2012

The Print4Pay Hotel forums had a banner month for September of 2012.  In total there were 20 copier/MFP proposals that were uploaded the our Proposals/Document Library forum.

Sometimes we'll get quotes/proposal documents from the field that are emailed (we upload those to the site) and at other times we'll get emailed pricing that a Print4Pay Hotel member saw, with these we then create a document that can be downloaded called "Pricing on the Street" . These documents will have the purchase price, the lease price, the maintenance cost, the overages, where the pricing came from (state) and what accessories were included. We also have a promotion that allows a member to email two proposals and he or she will get a FREE Premium Membership.

Seeing the proposals from others is just part of the learning experience, I still enjoy seeing proposals from other sales people, some are quite good and some really stink!  However, I'll admit that I will borrow ideas and layout of proposals I like.  Let's face it I'm selling just like you and really how many times do we get to meet the DM these days.  Maybe 70% of the time, so I need to put my best foot forward with a proposal that will capture someones interest and make it stand out from the crowd.  Seeing all of these proposals enables me to stay current with the competition and deliver a professional proposal that is on point.

Proposals and "Pricing on the Street" from September 2012:

"Pricing on the Street" for MBM 307A Folder

"Pricing on the Street" for Ricoh Color SPC431dn

Konicaminolta bizhub25 proposal

lanier LD140C proposal

"Pricing on the Street" for Ricoh W3601

canon C2020 proposal

"pricing on the street" for Sharp MX-M453N

"pricing on the street" for Kyocera 4500i

canon 4051_4045_8095_7105 proposal

Canon imageRunner Advance C7065

If you'd like to see more proposals and quotes or would like to be a member, click here for a Premium Membership and get unlimited access to all of the forums, quotes, proposals, rfp's and documents or you could be a Basic Member (free, no access to quotes, rfp's proposals, and documents) become a Basic Member of the only site for copier and mps sales professionals in the world. To date we have over 2,300 registered members, 402 followers on twitter and more than 1,100 contacts on linked in.

-=Good Selling=-

Muratec MFX-2590 Spec Review "Gotta Get Me One of These"

This will be somewhat of a cut and paste from a previous blog I did labeled "The Hottest Little MFP from Texas".  A few weeks ago I attended the BTA East Grand Slam event in White Plains, NY.  I recommend dealers and sales people find a way to get to these events in your area, they are awesome, plus you get to win stuff. Dang, I even won stuff!

Muratec America showed the MFX-2590, to tell you the truth it's been some time since I got hyped about an A4 MFP (by the way maybe we can change the MFP to MFC since it is a Multifunctional Copier), but the MFX-2590 had some of the features that I've been asking for, it's like Muratec America must have been reading my mind or probably just reading the MFP Solutions blog.

In the previous blog, I spoke about the over sized large color screen, scan2print, scantag, and the single pass dual scan document feeder.  Yup, I was impressed.  But there are many other features that I didn't blog about. So with out further ado, I'd like to go through some of these for everyone.

 
Printing Highlights:
  • Standard Duplex Print (two sided printing), with the average cost of a sheet of paper now approaching a penny a sheet, two sided printing can cut your paper costs by up to 50%.
  • Secure Print will hold the document in the MFX-2590's memory and allows you to go the device and enter a pin code to release your document, will keep prying eyes away from our P & L's
  • Print documents that are stored on a USB drive, this is a great feature to have. Think about this, a salesperson comes into your office, and needs to print a presentation or a document, are you really going to let them on your network?  The USB drive allows for visitors to print from their USB drive without logging on to your network.
  • Optional bar code printing, years ago in order to print bar codes you needed to invest in dedicated printing hardware.  Look around you'll see bar codes all over from hospitals, mail rooms, grocery stores and manufacturing plants. The need to print bar codes is an essential need in most companies.
  • Copy and Print on Demand, the MFX-2590 allows you to copy or print documents to the MFX-2590's hard drive. Once on the drive you have a digital library of those much needed documents. No more scouring the PC or the filing cabinet to find those docs, leave them on the MFX-2590 for easy access.  This feature will also lower your print costs due to the fact that when a document is printed from the PC/Workstation it is usually printed to a local printer. These local (network) printers have a high cost per page, thus printing then from MFX-2590 will lower costs!
Scanning Highlights:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

10 Tips on How to Lose Your Top Sales Producers

Do you need to get rid of your top producers or maybe you're looking for them to find a new home with a competitor.

Just follow these 10 Tips:

1)  Don't update your demo room with the latest and greatest MFP's, some owners and managers will say, "aw we never do that many demonstrations anyway, why should we have the extra expense?".  I'll state that if you're not updating your demo fleet then your competitor is, plus how can you test new features, print samples and demonstrate the system?

2) Don't fix pricing errors in your price books: It's commission time and surprise surprise you told the rep there's a mistake, adjusted the commissions however you never revised the pricing. Funny, you had the time to correct the commissions but not the price book.

3) Make sure you don't give out the sales persons commission statement until a day before or a day after commissions are paid, thus if there is a mistake you can get another 30 days to make it up.

4) Don't invest in a lead generation program/lease UCC service or do any marketing to your existing clients. It takes money to make money, you need to invest, funny everyone wants new business but no one wants to pay for it.

5) Ignore emails from your sales reps, all they do is complain anyway right?

6) Don't update your price books for new models until you get a call or email from your sales people.

7) Don't offer them any advanced sales training and new product training.

8) Don't ever offer up any empathy for your sales team and rightly so who cares about them they're just sales people.

9) Don't ever give them a raise in salary (for a job well done) like you you with the rest of your employees. 

10) Don't follow through an Incentive Trip that you announced for your Top Producers.

In sales we (sales people) understand that the grass MAY not always be greener on the other side of the hill, however sales people will and can put up with many deficiencies and I believe it's because we make mistakes also and we understand more than anyone that it is not a perfect world.  The problem with sales people making mistakes is that they pay for their mistakes and hopefully we will not make the same mistake twice. 

I'm sure there are many principals that are so removed from the sales process that they really have no clue what transpires on a day to day basis. If a rep is consistently making points about the process, then he or she is then labeled as a complainer. On the other hand those points that the rep is making may not be making it up the chain of command, thus everyone believes there is a perfect process.  Many reps will just say nothing at all, and then just turn in a resignation. In most cases your sales producers are trying to help fix deficiencies in your process.

Your top sales producers want to to do well, they want to overachieve, they want to make more for themselves and their families for a better way of life.  Just maybe those "C" people at the top need to take a step back and engage with their sales people, and ask them, what it is the good the bad and the ugly.

-=Good Selling=-