Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ricoh Convergence 2012 Update!

When Ricoh Americas holds a dealer event like Convergence, it's usually something special.  The Convergence theme was born a few years ago in an attempt to merge the Savin, Ricoh, Gestetner and Lanier Dealers all into one dealer meeting.  Before the Convergence dealer meeting each brand has it's own dealer meetings.  I can see why Ricoh made the move to one dealer meeting for all dealers, savings.... and one unified message.  

Before the Ricoh Convergence Dealers meetings the Ricoh Dealers meetings were called Vision.  I can remember many excellent Vision & Convergence Meetings. Tops on my list was San Diego and one Vision Meeting that was held in Orlando at the Disney's Contemporary Resort.  Since 1998 I've been with Century Office Products and most years as long as I hit my quotas I was off to the meetings with the owners of the company. 

When hard times struck in 08 and 09 I was not there. 2009 saw Century under new ownership and since then I've only attended one meeting last year in 2011 (I paid my way to go). More importantly, I do want to stress that these dealer meetings are awesome and a lot can be learned from the seminars, workshops, exhibitors and networking with other MFP dealers and sales people.  I'm also concerned that more salespeople aren't asked to attend the meetings by the dealer owners. Taking a break from the day to day drudgery of sales and attending an event such as Convergence can enlighten, and invigorate sales people so that when they are back in the field they are excited, knowledgeable, and feel that the dealership is committed to their success. Hell, I'd jump at the chance again even if I had to foot the bill.

This years Converegence may not go as well as planned, numerous changes with the top execuvtives in the last year are giving many dealers an. uneasy feeling. Rumors are flying that after the Ricoh Convergence Dealer meeting there will be another round of layoffs for Ricoh. Ricoh also seems to be struggling with an identity crisis when it comes to Managed Document Services.  Just maybe there's some good news, the Ikon brand has disappeared, there's now one unified culture and Ricoh has started the transition to a business services model.

This year I'll be sitting out, I was not invited and felt that I shouldn't have to ask if I can go. No big deal!  However, as the Print4Pay Hotel continues to grow our membership we will have Print4Pay Hotel members at Convergence 2012.  These guys and gals will be giving our Print4Pay Hotel members updates through the Print4Pay Hotel forums. 
Unlike last year when I wrote many blogs about Ricoh products after Convergence, the Convergence of 2012 will only have media coverage from people who never sold a copier, never went through the sales process, never had to prospect, never had rejection, never lost to competition and never had to rely on commissions to pay the bills.  So, I ask you how can they communicate the value proposition of a piece of hardware, software or solution?  We all know the answer right?  I'll be attending the Info 360 and Print On Demand Show in NYC (member of the press) continue to sell Ricoh hardware, software and solutions until the bitter end.

-Good Selling=-

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