Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Stink as a Salesperson

I really didn't want to use "I Suck as a Salesperson" in the title, so I'll use it here. Even though I had a OK month when it comes to revenue, it seemed that every sale or opportunity I touched had issues.

Personally, I had too much on my plate, February had me at 22 or 23 opportunities that could close, most of them came down the wire and a lot of them rolled to March.  In January of this year I asked for a higher quota to push my self.

I found the opportunities,  however with so many open opportunities I was overwhelmed and fell short of hitting quota by about 3K.  The good thing, I should have a super March, the bad thing, poor planning on my part on some of the deals and just not enough time in the day. Gee, if I only had another me! Yeah and I forgot I took two vacation days in a short month, that didn't help either.

Selling Days

Moving into March, I'll also be short on selling days due to our Presidents Club Trip. I will lose 22% of my selling days this month.  How many of you actually look at the calendar every month and count how many selling days you have?   I have the selling days mapped out for each month of the year in advance and it helps with knowing when we have a longer and shorter sales cycle.

What Will I Do Different This Month?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Next Generation of Smart Copiers has arrived!

The next generation of smart MFP's has arrived.  Back in June of 2009 and I wrote a blog titled "I Want My...I Want My.....Smart MFP.  Just a few years ago we were ecstatic that Smart Copiers were now capable of saving businesses countless hours of time for scanning document.  The statement I hear of lot of this year is "do more for less".

The Hot features a few years ago was scan2ocr (will scan a paper based document and drop in back into a word doc), searchable .pdf (will scan a paper based document and turn it into a searchable .pdf), scan2MS365 and MS Sharepoint (via UDOCX) and the standard features for scan2email and scan2folder.

Document Management Software

Today's Smart Copiers/MFP can now hold the keys to kingdom for productivity in today's modern office.  Smart Copiers can now scan2 document management archival systems, many of your document management software providers are now developing connectors for the Copier/MFP.  Basically this means that you'll be able to scan documents to nested folders directly to your document management system, and it doesn't stop there with some document management connectors that are designed for the likes of Sharp and Toshiba you'll be able to access that document from the Copier/MFP and the print the document from the Copier/MFP.  If you're looking for Document Management Software check out Doculex and Intellinetics.


Scan2box, Scan2googledrive, Scan2dropbox are just a few of the really awesome cloud solutions that are available now from different manufacturers.  


In the near future we're going to see the potential for hundreds of apps that can be run from the MFP, thus the potential to improve business process with MFPs will be enormous.  Some little know apps are available right now for your ipad, iphone and ipod.  Ricoh Innovations has a couple of apps that allow you to use your smart phone as a scanner and then also run OCR of that document. Yeah, the technology is in it's infancy but I can't wait for some of this technology to mature.

-=Good Selling=-

Who's Afraid of Memjet "Follow Up" Q & A

Last week I posted Who's Afraid of Memjet "Part Duex". I was able to see a demonstration of the of the mew Memjet C6010 printer at the BTA Winter Break in Orlando.  I had a few questions about the product and pricing but was not able to secure that information while I was at the show.

In the mean time I sent an email to Kim Beswick of Memjet with those questions in hand. 

Hi Art – here are quick answers to your questions – I’m in meetings all day tomorrow but will do my best to respond quickly if you have others.
what was the MSRP again and the estimated cost per page?  
The MSRP for the C6010 printer is $1299.  We are only distributing through select MPS/dealers – so this price is a bit of a list price that very few buyers will have access to.  We expect the device to be sold typically below the MSRP.
CPP is difficult to estimate.  I know this is going to sound a bit crazy but I expect Color CPP’s to be between 3-10c and black to be 1.5-2c.  We have variable pricing to dealers for ink tanks based on whether the ink tank is brand new, refilled with new ink via an authorized centralized process, refilled with new ink by the dealer themselves (again via an authorized process). 
The combination of variable pricing and different pricing strategies at the dealer level, and the fact that we are not overly distributed, will together create a lot of variety in terms of Color CPP (i.e. street prices quoted to customers).  We don’t have  public Memjet.com reference price for ink, nor are we selling through big box stores or national online outlets like CDW.  So dealers can price low (i.e. to win an aggressive bid, or shift less profitable monochrome pages to color) or they can price for the margin % or $’s they need, or they can price at the same price as the A3 click charge (all in) or ??? 
All in all more color pages = more profit to dealers.  We are excited about that.

Also do you have software that will do a tiered billing process like the Xerox colorqube or the new kyocera devices.  
Not yet.  This is an area of interest and exploration right now.  In the end we likely won’t have a pricing program like Xerox.  But what we want to do is track different types of pages – and give the dealers the data to manage an account in the same way – based on different prices for different types of pages.
Thanks Art –

Here' the original link for Who's Afraid of Memjet.
-=Good Selling=-

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Selling MPS & MFP's "What Do Customers Want"?

Thought I would share this thread from the forums with everyone. It's an excellent read and from a retired copier guy and an awesome Print4Pay Hotel member!  Thanx, Chuck!

Art, quite a few years ago I copied from this site one of the most profound things that I had read about Customer Service. I've tried to search your archives with no luck so I'll re-type it here and if can find the source to attribute please post since it is not my intellectual property. Here goes . . .


For years businesses have struggled to answer that question. Along the way slogans and discussions have come and gone - about customer satisfaction versus loyalty, selling outcomes and solutions versus products and services and technical processes versus interpersonal skills. Too often they missed the point. Research shows that independent of industry, geography, product or service, customers consistently report that they value four qualities in the services they receive:

SEAMLESS SERVICE: The ability to manage service factors that are invisible to the customer. Although customers want the benefit of all services an organization may offer, they don't want to be exposed to the details of behind-the-scenes operations. Nor do they want to deal with several individuals on the same issue. They expect frontline staff to coordinate everything for them.

TRUSTWORTHY SERVICE: The ability to provide what was promised - dependably and accurately. Customers want to feel they are in capable hands; that promises and commitments will be kept. They want things to be correct the first time, but if something goes wrong they expect quick, thorough recovery.

ATTENTIVE SERVICE: The ability to provide caring and individual attention to customers, recognizing both their human ans business needs. This quality, considered the most important by customers, is derived from the desire to be recognized quickly, politely and with respect.

RESOURCEFUL SERVICE: The ability to provide prompt service and creative solution. Customers like a fast, flexible approach to the service interaction. If needed, they expect prompt and creative problem solving in the service recovery.

Each person, every day is responsible for delivering stellar service experiences. At each interaction the customer is shaping an opinion of you and the organization. By integrating the four STAR Qualities into attitudes and behaviors, you will provide meaningful and memorable experiences that will build customer loyalty.

(emphasis added)

That my friend is what you did and why you are the success that you are. Now that I am retired I continue to use these Customer Service tenets in my daily life. Thanks.

=-=Good Selling=-

Top Ten Copier and MFP Proposals for January 2013

Nothing stunning this month from the proposals that were uploaded to the Print4Pay Hotel forums last month. What I am seeing though is a slight rise in cost per page in down the street business. We'll have to see if this is a new normal.

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 January 2013.  Enjoy!
-=Good Selling=-

Who's Afraid of Memjet "Part Duex"

This past weekend I was at the BTA Winter Break in Orlando.  While the education sessions are awesome I especially enjoy meeting with the 30 plus vendors being able to see what's new and different.

Back in June of 2009 I penned "Who's Afraid of Memjet".  Last year there were major announcements from Drupa from the likes of Toshiba, Fuji/Xerox, and Canon/Oce that all of them had purchased a license to incorporate the Memjets Waterfall print head technology. Toshiba to use it in MFP's, Canon/Oce developed a device called "Project Velocity" for an Oce branded wide format and then Fuji/Xerox will integrate the Memjet Water print head technology for wide format also. It was interesting that one of the comments on the blog was "this can't be good news for KIP".

While at the BTA Winter Break event I was able see the new Memjet C6010 printer.  What I saw was stunning, amazing and a marvel of color ink technology.  Sixty pages per minute, or 1 page per second of 100% coverage on letter size paper (this puppy can also print legal) with full bleed!! As soon as the print exited the printer the ink was dry, no jams, no bands in the color.  I saw prints that were done with coated inkjet paper (stunning) and also bond paper (typical matt type image).  I was more impressed though with the high capacity ink, black will hold 100ml, while the CMY will hold 50ml each.  Base on "normal office printing" the black ink will yield 4,600 pages, cyan is good for 7,500 pages, yellow cranks in at 5,050 pages and magenta trails with 4,830 pages.

I did ask the retail price on this system, however I forgot (arrgghh), but I was told that we'll see a memjet MFP in the 2nd quarter of this year.  Cost per page, and ink is the life blood of profit for Dealers and Memjet was keen to inform me that the ink tanks are designed for authorized refill.

My Thoughts

Commissions for Clicks "Is .002 Per Page To Much to Ask For"?

In a recent article from Lou Slawetsky of Industry Analysts titled "Your Reps are Starving; PART 2", Lou made mention that the going rate for commissions for clicks seems to be .002 per page.  Lou did not elaborate about color pages so I can only assume that he was referencing black pages.  I would tend to think that color clicks should pay a higher click rate.

Black Pages

So, how much is .002, I know, I know, well I think I know, however I though I would double check my math skills and .002 is two thousands of one cent. Seems pretty pitiful right?  One black maintenance and supply agreement for 10,000 page per month would generate $20 per month in commissions for the rep.  So, lets look try and find the average per page cost of a black maintenance agreement.  Now depending on your market, I'm sure the averages will vary, but lets take .01 as the average if you're a down the street rep.  Based on the .002 commission this would be 20% (geesh I hope I doing this right) .01 * 20% = .002.  What I'm trying to get a it what would be the commission rate for color pages.

Color Pages

We can now talk about color pages, in the down the street model (500-1,500 color pages per month) what would be the average color cost per page, according to a poll we had on the print4pay hotel forums that average would be about

Document Management Software Drives Additional Click Revenue!

While at the BTA Winter Break event in Orlando I paid a visit to the Docuware booth.  I've been aware of Docuware for sometime, never had the chance to use their solution, but wanted to see if they had anything that was unique and special with Document Management and MFP's.

I was able to speak with Mary Williams who is the Marketing Communications Manager for Docuware, and she told me about a new feature with Docuware that would enable an MFP user to scan the Docuware archive from the MFP, select that document and then print that document from the MFP!

Whoa, I thought that was an awesome feature. I was not aware that this technology was available.  I asked Mary for some additional information on this.  Today I received the document which is titled "CONNECT to Toshiba Version 2", the first line of the document states Turn your Toshiba MFP into a portal to Docuware.

Here's a quick couple of paragraphs from that document.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photizo Transform 2013 "Why You Need to be There"

Last year I was able to attend the Transform 2012 Global event in Orlando.  This year Transform 2013 date is May 6th-9th in Phoenix, Arizona.

Whether your focus is  Managed Print Services,  Managed Network, Mobile Print, VAR, or the traditional MFP/MFP dealer we're all focused on bringing new products, adding new revenue streams and services to our clients and prospects. The Photizo Transform event  allows for us to network with others and educate ourselves through the many educational speakers that will speak at this years event.

You may ask yourself "what's in it for me", it's the practical education from expert speakers that will enable your company to enable that  next new revenue stream, the ability to network with your peers, share ideas and inspirations.

I can tell you that I was impressed with last years event so much so that I made a commitment to attend the 2013 event come hell or high water.  What I like best about the event is that you're not getting the same old line of BS from the manufacturers shows.  I've attended two events this year that had keynote speakers from two major imaging manufacturers and both told the same dam story about a services led industry, the only difference from the two was their accents.  Manufacturer shows push their own agendas, thus attending a Photizo Transform show is  refreshing to hear from speakers that have no skin in the game when it comes to your business.

We all know our industry in changing rapidly, and some pundits claim that we'll have more change in the next 4-5 years than we've had in the last 25 years.

I'll be there and hope to see you there.

-=Good Selling=-

Top 5 Picks from BTA Winter Break "Muratec MFX-3530 Reveal"

With the Northeast be crippled with a snowstorm, I was able to stay in sunny Orlando for an additional day after the BTA Winter Break.

This weekend Office Equipment Dealers flocked to the BTA Winter Break in Orlando for a two day event.  I'd like to thank BTA Southeast for the awesome event they produced. 

At every event I look for a new product or a new software or a service that will spark my interest.  One of these products is the new Muratec MFX-3530 A4 MFP. 

The new MFX-3530 is the flagship of Muratec's A4 MFP devices.  But instead of just writing down the specs of this new MFP, I'd like to point out some of the features that make the MFX-3530 your go to device when competing against other MFP's from the likes of Xerox, Canon, Sharp, Toshiba and Kyocera.

First on my list is the importance of PCL5 printer driver.  It was not until about a year ago that I realized how important it is to have the PCL5 print driver. This is going to be plain and simple,  if your MFP supports PCL5 then you have the ability to add third party solutions like Typehaus, which will give you the ability to create electronic forms.  Some of the other A4 competitors do not offer a pcl5 driver for their systems.

Second on my list is the scanning speed of the Muratec MFX-3530, 40 pages per minute at 300dpi in color.  Many of the other competitors A4 devices state their scan speeds at 200 dpi.  Since scanning is playing an important role in the office now. I will state the scan speed of the system before ever mentioning the print speed.

Third is the 80 pages DADF document feeder that will scan two sided documents in a single pass.  Prospects like this feature because they are always wary of their originals getting jammed or destroyed.

The four item I'd like to point out is ScanTag which allows users to

Friday, February 8, 2013

BTA Winter Break 2013 Reveal

Day one is over and thank you for that!

It all started for me last night wondering if my flight out of Newark, NJ was going to be cancelled due to the snowpocalypse that hit the northeast today. My flight was delayed for about 45 minutes and I arrived in sunny and warm Orlando about 11AM.  A quick ride to the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and then another ride to Rosen Centre Hotel placed me there is time to catch the keynote speaker.

Our keynote speaker was Martin Brodigan CEO of Ricoh Americas.  Martin spoke for about 45 minutes about a services led approach that our industry has a whole needs to embrace.   A couple of interesting points that Martin pointed out where:

Where the Industry is Going:

  • The affect is greater than first predicted, with the firms new "Tablet Demand & Disruption" survey showing that corporate printing has declined by 16% due to both tablet adoption and company measures to curtail printing (Morgan Stanley).
A recent survey of 700 US tablet users reveals 46% now print less and 41% argued that printing less was a "main benefit: of tablet adoption.

  • The worldwide mobile worker population is set to increase to 1.19 billion in 2013, accounting for 34.9% of the workforce. The U.S. will remain the most highly concentrated market for mobile workers with 75% of the workforce being mobile for 2013 (IDC)
  • The average mobile worker carries 3.5 devices (Forbes)
  • Employers are now actively promoting the expansion of their mobile workforce and technology is enabling continuous communication with outside employees outside of the office (Telework Coalition)
Martin also made mention that they (Ricoh) had not seen a decline of 16% in printing.  He also went on to point out that partners like Ricoh were responding by offering programs to dealers like the Ricoh CHAMPS program that would allow dealers to go wider and deeper in their existing accounts with business process solutions. Martin then took the time to answer questions from BTA members.

The BTA format is actually pretty awesome,  BTA members, and sponsors are all in the same room which allows BTA members easy access after every break to go and meet with the sponsors of the show.  The education sessions are maybe 1 hour tops and then a 30 minute break, so there is more than enough time over the two day event to network with other members, and to follow up with any business that needs to be addressed.

I was impressed with the amount of dealers that were not from the Southeast, I'm guessing that there were others that thought a trip to Florida in February is not a bad idea.

Over the next few days, I'll be blogging about the top 5 solutions or products from the BTA sponsors that caught my attention.    BTW, if you're not a BTA member, well....you should be. BTA does an excellent job with these events as well as their support for on going education programs for dealers.

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, February 4, 2013

MFP & MPS Sales Tips "Distance Yourself from The Pack"

Whew! I must say that the last fifteen years selling for a Ricoh Dealership has been interesting.

When I first started with my dealership back in 1998, Ricoh has just purchased Savin and Savin purchased Gestetner or something like that.

It was a heck of a lot easier to Copier and Managed Print Services in the past.

Now with some many providers for MFP and Managed Print Services there was a need to "Distance Myself from The Pack".

In essence there was a tremendous need to "Distance Myself from the Pack".

So, how do you make yourself different from the other MFP Copier Sales reps. Well, one of the first things I did was to give myself a NEW title. The title that I came up with was

Sunday, February 3, 2013

BTA Winter Break " Office Dealer Retreat to Orlando"

The Business Technology Association's (BTA) Southeast district will host it's annual Winter Break event at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando on February 8th and 9th of this year.

This will be my second BTA district event and I'm looking forward to getting the heck out of New Jersey for a few days and enjoy some decent weather.  Registration starts at Noon on the 8th and at 1PM Martin Brodigan CEO of Ricoh Americas Corp will kick off the even with the keynote presentation.

I'm a big fan of these events, and not just for the networking with other dealers and vendors. I'll also get the chance to sit in on 5 Educational Sessions.

Presenters for this event will be John Hamilton, President of Service Strategies Corp and lead a presentation for "Why is Service Quality Difficult to Manage?

Doug Johnson, Senior VP of Supplies Network will speak about "MPS Operational Excellence-The Key to MPS Profitability"

Milton Bartley, President & CEO of Image Quest will enlighten us with "adapting Leadership to Capitalize with Managed Services"

Sally Brause, Director of Human Resources Consulting of Great America Financial Services will present "You Be the Judge: How Would You Resolve These Challenging Human Resources Issues?"

In addition we'll also be captivated with Greg Walters and Jennifer Shutwell of Walters & Shutwell for "Parlaying MPS & Mobility".

The event will end at 6PM on Satuday and there is also an evening event for the BTA members.  Keep in mind that you don't have to be a BTA member in order to attend, yes it will cost a few extra dollars however it is money well spent.  BTA is your Association that supports Dealer initiatives, education, legal services and much more.  I recommend you take a trip here to learn more about the event and more about how BTA can help your Dealership.

-=Good Selling=-

When Was the Last Time You Named your Printer or Copier?

"Can anyone come up with a fun and creative name for a Canon copier/printer? It's my job to name it since the office just got a new one the other day and I'm the new work study employee. All the other ones were named by previous work studies and were good like a leased Canon was Lisa Canon...since they leased a Canon. Thanks!"

Whoa, this was a thread I picked up the other day in my google alerts for a yahoo forum.  After 32 years in the industry, WTF,  I now find out that office workers actually give a name to the copier?

I have to admit that the old name for the Canon for Lisa Canon was pretty creative! Of course everyone could use the Lisa for Ricoh, Xerox, KonicaMinolta and the rest. So, I thought I would try my hand at thinking up some names for copiers.

Here we go ( I took these names that were popular in the Victorian Era:

Hope Xerox (hoping it works all the time)
Lottie Ricoh (we make a lot of copies)
Lulu Kyocera (our copier is a loser)
Benedict Arnold Toshiba (the copier never works right)
Dick KonicaMinolta (our copier sucks)
Nimrod Sharp (odd name for an odd copier)
Owen Savin (we owe a lot of money on this copier)
Pleasant Muratec (we like our copier)
Zebulon Xerox (it's our prized copier)
Newton Ricoh (we just got it)
August Kyocera (the month the new copier was purchased)
Merlin Toshiba (our system is amazing)
Avis KonicaMinolta (we're only leasing this system for a short time)
Beaton Sharp (we beat on this system all the time)
Charity Savin (a hand me down)
Eustace Muratec (our system is useless)
Faithful Xerox (always works well)
Hercules Ricoh (our system is a workhorse)
Marmaduke Kyocera (our system is huge)
Patience Toshiba (it'll work just give it time)
Postumus KonicaMinolta (our last copier died unexpectadly)
Temperance Sharp (sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't)
Thurstan Savin (our system is always going through toner so fast)
Wy Muratec (why did we ever get this system)

I'm done, my favorites would be Hope, Benedict Arnold, Dick, Owen, Avis, Charity and Marmaduke.  But maybe we can name copiers and printers after rock stars right, these copiers and printers keep the wheels turning at the office everyday and with out them the paper process does start.  Think about Bruce, Billy, Mick, Ringo, Frank (I'm aging myself), and another thought might be to name them after songs like Sweet Home Alabama, Stairway to Heaven, Under My Thumb, Wild Horses.  

So, the next time I sell a copier, I will ask the new owner what name they would like to use for their new copier or printer, and I'm sure I'll get one of those strange New Jersey looks and be escorted to the door. Hey!  If you've got any really cool names drop them here in the response section!!

-=Good Selling=-

The Harder I Work the Luckier I Get (in sales)

I've had this article around for awhile and it was picked up by a few major magazines in the industry, thought I would re-post it for all and I updated additional info to make the numbers current.

Is a saying I heard over and over former Dealer Owner (Jack Carrol), after I tell him about an amazing sale. He had actually quoted Samuel Goldwyn.

Good ole fashioned hard work, meaning working at least eight hours every day, working on proposals before or after prime time cold calling time (whether on the phone or in person), coupled with the expression... THAT THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, has made my sales career in copiers highly successful.

I sell down the street, no major accounts, and no key account list, just a territory that borders the Atlantic Ocean up to the Raritan River and down to the trout laden Manasquan River in New Jersey (USA). I sell Ricoh products (the finest products in the world), the MFP's, fax, duplicators, wide format, software and whatever else I can learn that will help a customer reduce costs. Many times I have been able to place a new piece of equipment that will help client increase productivity while not increasing their existing payments. All you have to do is ask, most potential clients will allow you to do a cost analysis for them.

Here’s how I do it!

When speaking about replacing multiple pieces of equipment, let’s say a

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Green" Printing with "Eric the Office Worker"

So, you just bought a shiny new Color "Green" MFP. You know the system, your salesperson touted the "Green" features such as default auto off, default power save mode, default duplex copying, the small carbon foot print, scan2email, scan2folder, scan2UDOCX, scan2dropbox, and of course it was the end of  the month special deal just for you!

So, what good is all of this if you can't control printing?

Did you know that the average employee prints 34 pages a day and 17% of those pages are never used?

Do you think that "Eric the Office Worker" knows the cost per page of every MFP and printer in the office? What stops "Eric the Office Worker" from printing a 100 page color report to an ink jet printer (that can have a per page cost as high as 60 cents a page), all just because he didn't want to walk to the Color MFP or workgroup printer that prints at .08 cents per page.

The idea of "Eric the Office Worker" not taking the short walk just cost your company

Friday, February 1, 2013

Checking In & Out at The Print4Pay Hotel

This was an article written by Scott Cullen (Scott also operates The Week in Imaging) back in 04, I've  updated some of the numbers such as total members, membership demographics, page views and a few other items to keep it current. (Art)

By: Scott Cullen

When one checks into the Print4Pay Hotel it’s the guests who receive tips, not the staff. The Print4Pay Hotel: The Imaging Professional's Resource Center is a Website (www.p4photel.org) and message board focused on providing extensive imaging product information to resellers as well as a forum for imaging industry personnel to share knowledge. Although most members work for different dealerships, virtually all sell and service the RicohLanierSavin, Sharp, Canon, KonicaMinolta, Toshiba, Muratec, Okidata, Lexmark, Xerox  and Kyocera family print devices.

The site also contains an impressive collection of documents, price quotes, competitive proposals, self help documents, RFP's, and brochures on various manufacturers office equipment. Art Post, CEO of the Print4Pay Hotel and Docusultant with Century Office Products in Edison, NJ, is the architect behind the Print4Pay Hotel. The site allows digital imaging specialists to share information and find answers quickly, says Post. It's also a place where imaging professionals can store their knowledge, search their knowledge, and share their inspirations, ideas and passion for the industry.

Launched twelve years ago on a MSN community, Post eventually switched to his