Saturday, July 28, 2012

My 5 Step BOX Approach for MFP Prospecting

I think this sometime this year; I’ll be starting my 34th year in the copier business. If we want to be technical I guess you could say that I’m now selling imaging hardware and solutions.
Over those years I’ve seen many sales people, managers, DSM’s and owners come and go.  I guess at this point in my career I can state that I’m one of the constants in the industry and I’ll be working in this industry in some fashion until I retire, or get hit by a bus.

At this point in my career I’ve seen the good times in the industry, there’s been quite a few of those and some bad times.  Never, ever have I seen a period of time where more business owners are either buying systems, opting for $1 out leases, accepting an automatic lease renewal or suffering without dated technology.  A CEO once told me that he doesn’t invest in people he invests in technology. I forgot the CEO’s name however I do remember that he ran one of the largest chemical factories in New Jersey at one time. For many years I used his statement as one of my value added statements and in most cases the statement hit the mark and helped me close sales. Over the last four years and I might even push for 5 years the economy has had a direct effect on my sales efforts.

In the last three years I’ve seen two sales managers and nine sales reps come and go at our dealership.  One rep has been able to make it past two years and from my perspective he looks like he will do well in the industry. 

As I was driving to my second appointment today I had some thoughts as to why I’ve been successful through the good times and bad times.  What made me different from all of those reps that never stayed in the industry?  My wife tells me that I’m gluten for rejection, but she also stated that I have an awesome work ethic.  I’m in agreement on the work ethic, but I think the real reason is the enjoyment I get when someone orders from me, along with the fact that I can make extra money whenever I want. 

Which brings me to
another quote from an owner of a dealership I worked for, he loved to quote this “the harder you work the luckier you get”. I know it’s not luck that comes into play however working harder means you are prospected more. You don’t work harder on writing orders, nor do you work harder on driving from one account to the other, you don’t working harder on researching solutions. It’s plain and simple if you work hard on prospecting you will have opportunities that will make you engage all of the other activities in your sales process.

Is there a right way and wrong way to prospect?  Some say they’d rather do a lot of walk in cold calls (I use to be like this), others will do a combination of phone cold calls and walk in cold calls. I think after 33 years in the business I’ve finally gotten it right. Very rarely will I made walk in cold calls, I will stick to the phones which allows me to call more accounts than I could ever walk in on.  But, I‘ll use my five step BOX approach to try and get to Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Here's the first one, the others are posted on the Print4Pay Hotel forums click here (if you are registered), if you are not registered click here (don't worry it's free) and you'll have access to the forums.

#1.  In order to be successful I need to average at least 150 calls per week, and that’s not easy for me since I also have to take calls from existing customers, and answer emails.  At the minimum 50% of these should be spent looking for net new accounts. The other calls are for follow ups with existing customers.

-=Good Selling=-

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