Monday, April 29, 2013

7 Way to Help You Cold Call for Copiers and MPS Prospects

This is the third time I've revised this blog, the original was posted almost three years ago, the last update was two years ago and just today I added some new content for cold calling. ENJOY!

Some of us enjoy it and most of us would rather have a bad day at the office instead of doing this. 

It’s the COLD CALL, I like to call it GOLD CALLING!  It's usually the day from hell or the day to find some GOLDEN accounts. If you've been doing it as long as I have, you've had success and have found some of your best accounts this way!

I must say the most daunting task is to open a door where you can’t see what is on the other side, will there be rejection or jubilation! Most times it will be rejection. Get use to it, its part of the job and comes with the territory. Attitude, Attitude and more tude will help you overcome the rejection and plow ahead. You always must keep in mind that you are there to give them a better solution or a better way of doing things, and if they are not interested then that’s their loss!

What, I hate most is a NO SOLICITING sign on the door. Full speed ahead right? You may want to think twice about this and send the owner or CEO a fedex letter or package. That will get their attention.
Here are a few tips to get you going.

Tip: If someone won't provide you with a business card, get out your phone and take a picture of the company name on the business directory.

Make Quality Cold Calls

New Ricoh MPC8002 & MPC6502 Sneak Peek

On April 25th Ricoh Japan launched the much anticipated launch of their new high speed color MFP. For those of us in the states, we've been waiting along time for the refresh of the current MPC6501 and MPC7501. 

I've been told that the system will not launch in the US until the current inventory of MPC6501's and 7501's have been depleted.  I can hope that this will happen sooner rather than later since we are so far behind the curve of technology with the old systems.

So, what's new?  I've been told (rumor) that the new MPC 8002 and MPC6502 is a new clean sheet design.  What I'll do is post some of the specs for the new systems, because at this point that's about all I know.

COPY Features

Maximum Print Size through by-pass:  13x19 
Memory: 2.5GB
Paper Trays Maximum Thickness: 256 gsm
By-Pass Maximum Thickness: 300 gsm
Duplex Maximum Thickness:  256 gsm
Scan Resolution: 600x600
Print Resolution: 1200dpi x 4800 dpi
First Copy Black Time for MPC8002: 4.8 seconds/Color 6.4 seconds
First Copy Black Time for MPC6502: 6.4 seconds/Color 7.5 seconds
MPC 8002 Speed: 80 letter size pages per minute
MPC 6502 Speed: 65 letter size pages per minute

PRINT Features

Sunday, April 28, 2013

MFP Solutions Top Ten Copier & MFP Blogs for April 2013

Last month I posted "MPF Solutions Top Ten Copier and MFP Blogs for March 2013 and I made a mental note of one particular Blog I wrote titled 10 Awesome Tips for a Great MFP/Copier Demo.

I wrote this Blog in August of 2012, last month there were 856 reads, this month increased to 956 reads for the month.  Total reads since August now stands at a little over 9,000 reads!!! All I can say is thank you. I did post a follow up Demo Blog titled The "Art" of the Copier & MFP Demo which I thought was better, but who am I to argue with over 9,000 reads. Thank you!!!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Top Ten Copier and MFP Proposals for April 2013

Well, if you tuned into lasts months Top Ten Copier and MFP Proposals for March 2013. I stated that April 2013 business was going to be marginal at best, and that was the case. But, I have over $230K in the pipeline and it's time to make things happen.

On another note, we'll be moving the MFP Solutions Blog to a new site.  I'll be able to condense all three sites into one site. The main objective is to save me time and to bring some of my ideas to the masses.

One more important item, each week I'll be writing a Premium Blog, thus the only way you'll be able to read this is to subscribe to a Premium Print4Pay Hotel membership.  The annual subscription will be $99 per year, however if you elect to take a Lifetime Premium Membership the cost is only $299 until July 1st, after July 1st the cost for the Lifetime Premium Membership will be $499. If you'd like please go here to access your Lifetime membership (since we made our announcement last week, we've had ten new Lifetime Members.

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

Why Are Copy Machines Always Such a Pain?

"We’ve all had the experience.  You’re pushing a deadline, your anxiety is high, you need to make a few copies and get to a meeting ASAP.  There is no time to spare.
Everything is ticking along fine, coming together nicely, until you get to the copier.  It jams.  A light comes on.  It’s out of toner.  It’s out of paper.  A light is blinking and it won’t budge.  You open and close a few drawers.  You pop the front panel.  You peer around the back.  You switch it off and on.  Nothing happens.  Time is running out.  You’re screwed.  The copy machine has defeated you again".

I can't even remember where I picked this up, but it was in my google alerts and thought it would be a good topic about copier karma.

What comes around goes around, and I'm thinking this may be a case of Copier Karma coming back to haunt the people the in the office.  Some may ask how do you get Copier Karma, for those of us in the industry it's simple, the copier salesperson put a hex on the copier before we delivered it to you!

Yup there are those of us that have that ability to put a curse on your copier, and we do it for a good reason.  Here's a few tips

Tuesday, A Day in the Week of Selling Copiers

Tough week, today was the end of the month and I had booked five appointments with my first appointment at 7:30AM (really did I need the deal that bad?).  Up at 6AM, back to bed at 6:05AM, finally up at em for 6:15AM. Made my way downstairs to walk the dog, and watch the sky turning orange over the ocean t the east.

Made my first appointment at 7:32AM,  knocked on the door (cause it was locked and thought what a way to start the day), 45 seconds later the owner came to the door and we proceeded to write the order for a small MPC305SPF.  As of a few days ago I was hoping to get the wide format system (CW2200SP) and the smaller color system, however the customer wanted to wait a few months on the wide format since they are in a seasonal business and the year just started for them.  I also made sure that I mentioned that we could offer a seasonal lease on the wide format system.  I left with a promise that I would follow up before the end of the new month about the wide format system.

Into the car and I realized I left my cell phone at home, a quick 25 minute ride north along the ocean and I was home to get my phone.  Powered up the laptop and made sure I made some updates in my CRM software. I had a tele conference appointment for 8:45AM and went over the specifics for a rather large secure print proposal that I'm still working on.  After 30 minutes

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Memjet, Preton Saver Offering New MFP & MPS Solutions

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about Memjet's new C6010 ink color printer with their waterfall ink head technology.  The Memjet C6010 color printer's claim to fame is an out put speed of 60 pages per minute with full bleed for letter size paper, the ability for the dealer to control the aftermarket for the ink and the excellent margins on that are available for the ink and the hardware.

I had the chance to speak with Kim Beswick with Memjet the other day.  Kim spoke about the dealers ability to control your ink supplies. The dealer(s) would be able to buy new or send used cartridges to Parts Now for a refill @ a 30% discount.  Dealers also would be able to refill their own cartridges @ a 50% discount and Memjet would supply the dealers with a free refill systems. Dealers would be able to buy ink in one liter bags.

Control is good, especially with aftermarket supplies. One of the points I outlined in the previous Memjet blog was the thought that wouldn't it be awesome if the Memjet C6010 had technology to allow dealers to bill the end users for the amount of ink that they used.  This would be similar to Xerox's tiered billing or Kyotier billing. Having this type of billing system would allow dealers to bill for just black, and tiered cost per page billing for the amount of color ink that was used. At the time when I wrote the blog there was no such technology available until......

Preton made an announcement on March 17th

Print4Pay Hotel to Launch New Social Media Site for Imaging Professionals

June 1st is right around the corner. When the clock strikes Midnight on June 1st we'll be turning on a new web platform that will combine the end users forums, the secure forums, and the MFP solutions Blog. 

If you're a Print4Pay Hotel member you'll be grandfathered in to the new site, there is nothing you need to do.  The new site will be somewhat similar to facebook and linked in, where you can add your own picture, your own bio, add clips, add documents, download documents, add video and subscribe to threads and see what's trending in our industry.  We'll still have the forums, however in order to post or read a thread you'll need to be registered and as always I will maintain who gets approved and who does not. For those of you that had to bookmark four different sites, they will now all be combined into one site.

We've posted a link for the beta site on the Print4Pay Hotel forums, if you get the time check out the beta site and please email me if you have any suggestions. 

Moving to the new site will save me time, I'll only have to administer one site for updates and changes.  This will then allow me more time to develop new features, new utilities  and services that will provide outstanding value to our members. 

To date the Print4Pay Hotel has over 2,600 registered members from around the world. Our Print4Pay Hotel forums has over 50,000 threads related to the office equipment industry, and the Print4Pay Hotel generates more than 220,000 page views per month.

-=Good Selling=-

How Do You Feel About the Copier Industry?

How Do You Feel About the Copier Industry? This is the title of a recent thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums that was posted a little more than a month a go.  I thought I would share some of the comments from our members.  If you'd like to read the entire threads please go here and register for a free membership.

I still believe there are many more pages to capture. I'm not thrilled with the shrinking margins, however I gotten used to picking my battles and knowing when I can make GP and when I can't. I think our industry needs to be more creative with new products also..... Member from NJ

We have one dealer in our territory with the sell at all cost mentality, low ball service, low ball the sale just to get the deal..... Member from WI

I'm in favor of a contraction of the industry as a whole.... Member from NJ

Anyway it seems you have to work harder and harder every year, I'm not opposed to working hard but will be interesting to see when the industry bottoms out. Member from New Zealand

Society does not seem to be producing people who want to be in outside sales or think that they can earn an income other than by sitting behind a computer..... Member from Canada

I think it is easy (30 years of thinking a warped way) but when you get a

Does Brother Corporation Have it's Sights Set for Another Acquisition?

I was stunned when I read the report that Brother Corporation has signed an agreement to purchase certain assets of their document imaging division. The purchase agreement is to include document scanners. image capture software and technical services.  The price, mere 210 million US dollars. I wasn't stunned by the sale because I had heard and read that Kodak was shopping the document imaging business for quite sometime. The stunned part was that Brother Corporation was the buyer.

What were Ricoh, Kyocera, Xerox, Canon, Toshiba and KonicaMinolta thinking? Recently I had an opportunity to provide 20-30 production scanners to a large firm with over 3,000 employees. I was in with Fujitsu and had Kodak as the competition. I knew that Kodak was shopping the business and made sure I the prospect knew.

When you think about what types of companies need high production scanners you can only think that they would be some of the largest

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Copier Stream of Payments Calculator

Over time I became pretty adept at calculating how many payments were left when I needed to trade up a competitors copy machine/MFP's that were leased.  Problem is I would scribble the start date, today's date, and then figure out how many payments the has made to date.  I also then had to calculate the monthly payment times the remaining stream of payments, and then add a return fee.

After years of making a mistake every now and then I moved to calculating the remaining payments in my pricing worksheet (which is a document that can be downloaded on the Print 4Pay Hotel forums).  All was well and good, but I was still having issues with the start date, today's date, when we delivered new equipment. Plain and simple is was a cluster$%^#.

The other day, I decided to do something about it.  I developed my own "Copier Stream of Payments Calculator.  All you need to do is input the start date, today's date and the amount of the monthly payment and the rest if the information is calculated for you with the remaining number of payments, and the total for the remaining stream of payments and return fees.

Usually this file is reserved for Premium Print4Pay Hotel members, however if you register here and include a note in the BIO field stating "send me the Copier Stream of Payments Calculator", I will email that to you for free.  I showed it to a few reps already and all have stated it's a real time saver and awesome to use in the field.

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, A Day in the Life of a Copier Salesperson

FYI, this was something I posted about 4 years ago, this was just one Monday that I wrote about.  Seems it was the same time of the year, since the METS we're doing their home opener.

Monday???.....Everyone knows that a great copier sales person week starts late Sunday, because they called it quits early Friday!

With that in mind, Sunday night is geared to getting these type jobs accomplished.
  • Answering emails that came in late Friday
  • Preparing any quotes or orders needed on Monday
  • Researching items needed to quote early in the week on Monday or Tuesday
  • Checking your calendar to make sure there are no conflicting appointments
  • Going through your account list to see if there any viable upgrades coming soon
  • Rewriting your list of things to do
Whew, after all of that is done, it's MONDAY, yea!!! Time to make some sales YEA!!

The dreaded drive to the office, for someone like me, a late owl, I always find myself in a rush on Monday morning. Can you believe my wife picks out here clothes the night before? Well, not me, I'm a man and can figure that out in an instant, so off I go to work with two different color socks. Stop for coffee, and off to drive 33 miles which will take almost 90 minutes in order to get there by 8:00AM.

I'm at the office, get the laptop, get my presentation binder,

Copiers and MFP's "Charge for Scans or Not to Charge for Scans"

Charging for Scans is an ongoing discussion on the Print4Pay Hotel members. I believe the industry as a whole needs to start charging for scans especially with page volumes migrated downward. Ask yourself "why are we giving it away for FREE"!

It seems most dealers do not have a scan charge policy and those that do only implement it after they've realized that the scan volume is higher than the copy and print volume. Replacing parts in the document feeder is not costly, however the labor is, especially if you are out there once a month for document feeder issues and or replacing preventative maintenance parts for the document feeder. Check your page volumes, are they up or down?

So, what should be the cost for scanning or the "click charges", should it be based on a cps (cost per scan) with a minimum and overage every month, or should there be a annual cost with overages? I see it in the street everyday, more customers are wanting to scan to reduce their printed or copied page volumes. They are emailing, and LAN faxing more scanned documents. Problem is most of us are not capturing the revenue stream.

Would it be outrageous to charge a customer .015 per scan for a minimum of 1,000 scans per month ($15.00) with the overage at .008. Most of us have had the mindset that scanning should be less expensive the cost per page charge, and why is that? Just because someone said so. Scanning contracts could and should include parts, labor, training, reconnecting scan2email and scan2folder issues. Heck, we're getting those calls now under the cost per page contracts and doing them anyway.

I think the main issue is that most dealers and or Direct Branches have no clue how many scans are being made, and the ones who do are afraid that charging for every scan may chase business away. Ask yourself, where can you get a 50ppm color scanner with scan2email, scan2folder, 100 page document feeder and the capability of scanning 11x17. A quick search on the Internet produced no scanners with these capabilities!

We are solving a business problem for our customers, the problem is the cost of printing a page. The average document gets copied 19 times! *That's the problem, being copied 19 times! *source: Coopers & Lybrand

So, why can't we charge .01 or .015 per page to have the document scanned? Some will say well they can just get a desktop scanned and scan all they want, true they can however, most of these devices are TWAIN devices, most are not as fast as MFP's, and most can't be integrated for scan2email, scan2folder and third party software scanning solutions, also how many of these devices would they need? At 5,000 scans a month a customer would spend $50 - $75 per month, I'm sure the savings far out weighs copying the document 19 times and then migrating the document where they need to go.

Charging for Scans needs to happen in our industry now, or we run the risk of putting our selves out of business as paper becomes a less accepted means of communication.

-=Good Selling=-

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Japanese Printer Companies in WWII

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, 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 an American bombing raids.

To read more

-=Good Selling=-

How to Close More MFP & MPS Sales

The other day I read and article by Tom Callinan titled "Close More Sales" on The Week in Imaging.   I found the article enjoyable and a good read, in closing the article Tom presented this paragraph.

How do you actually close more sales? That’s easy; uncovering a solid business case by asking great questions, listening attentively, and focusing on moving the sale forward with every meeting. The best closers are those that spend their time to uncover specific issues their product or service will alleviate, and understands the precise value of addressing those issues before they ever move to their proof source. After you’ve uncovered a quantifiable business case and you’ve proven that your product or service can address that business case closing will be as easy as “It seems like it make sense to move forward with the (your product or service) acquisition/installation, doesn’t it?”

I agree with everything above, what I don't agree is that this will help you close more sales, it will help you close a sale.  For those of us in the business long enough we know that WE CAN'T close every opportunity.  There will be those appointments where you can be the best listener, you can ask great questions, you can uncover those specific issues, but you're just not going to get that deal for whatever the reason may be.  It could be price, value, a cousin pops up who is in the business, a neighbor is a friend of the CFO who has a guy, the list goes on and on.

The key to closing more sales is to have a bounty of opportunities and follow what Jim pointed out with every appointment. Let me put it this way, if your quota is 60K per month, you need three times that in opportunities that may close that month. That's $180K worth of potential business every month, if you don't have three times you quota in the monthly pipeline you won't close more sales.

This month alone I had two opportunities that went by the way side, one I lost and that opportunity was over $70k and the other was put on the back burner for a few months and that opp was $42K.   That's $112K lost, fortunately I still have another $60K that still may be able to close this month.

Many reps especially new reps will have a few good months or a few good quarters and then they'll relax, thus the activity will drop (which includes calls, emails, mailers, stop ins). When the activity drops then so does the opportunities. 

My belief is that you need to generate 3-5 opportunities each week to close more sales, we'll lose a lot of them but we'll also take our fair share also.

If you'd like to read more on this and become a member of the Print4Pay Hotel. We have more than 2,300 registered members from around the world that share sales information and tips on a daily basis. Registration is free and the forums are secure for members of our industry.

-=Good Selling=

How Well Do You Know Your Print Drivers?

It seems that I don't know them as good as I thought I did.  But where do we find the time?  PCL5, PCL6, PS, Universal drivers, I can't stand it! 

Just the other day I had a demonstration with one of our devices and I was asked about color balance, and it could be controller from the print driver.  I'll admit it's been awhile since I went through all of the feature of the Ricoh print drivers.  My response was "I'm pretty sure there is", and with that I checked the PCL5, PCL5c, Universal Driver. Mini PCL Driver and the Postscript driver. I found nothing on all of the those drivers.  Two weeks later while preparing for another demonstration I found what I was looking for, the color balance feature was hidden by a slider that I did not see in the PCL5c driver. 

I learned a lesson the hard way and thus

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Network Setup of Print & Scan Drivers "Who Pays" ?

From time to time we'll post some polls on the Print4Pay Hotel forums.  One poll from last year asked "Who pays for Network Setup of Print & Scan Drivers?

Here's how our Print4Pay Hotel members responded:

21% My company includes it @ no extra charge.

25% My company charges me back per device.

7% My company charges me back and has a flat rate for multiple units.

7% The customer pays for all print and scan drivers to be loaded.

39% I setup the print and scan drivers and do not charge the customer.

Why is it that sales people are wasting time setting up print and scan drivers? Is it because the dealership does not have the resources to accomplish this? Or, could it be that the dealership charges their sales people too much to have an SE on site. I think our time is much better spent selling than loading print and scan drivers. It should also be included in a sales persons base price.

-=Good Selling=-

A Few Reasons for Enabling Secure Printing

Lurking in the shadows of your office is a disgruntled employee, he or she has already interviewed for other sales jobs and last week accepted a sales job at a competitor. But this sneaky son of bitch negotiated that he or she can't start for another 30 days. 

Why is that?

Or how about this one, you printed out an account list to work or some additional support documents for accounts you went to the printer and the prints were not there. Where did they go, did they ever print?

Most likely someone has stolen that printed data, account list or intellectual property. In the above case it was the person who is making plans to leave the company and in the mean time is gathering information on as many accounts as possible from as many reps or managers as possible.

Let's not stop there, this employee may also be picking up invoices or information that has personal or business credit card information. 

Everyone has put up such a fuss over the securing their

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Desktop Copier or MFP for Industrial Environment?

Here's another interesting thread that I found on the forums.  This company had purchased a small brother MFP to only find out that the system died in about six months because of the environment that the system was placed in. 

The industrial environment is a Rock Quarry!!  OMG, besides a concrete factory I couldn't think of a worse place to have a copier.  This particular user was asking for direction to what type of system he might be able to get that would give better performance.

Here's my reply:

Rock quarry = very bad environment for any MFP. The Brother that you bought is considered a "throw away" system. Years ago I placed several units at a cement factory equally as bad as the rock quarry or maybe worse. You need to step up to an office system machine take a look here.

All laser based MFP copiers use heat and pressure to fuse the toner on the paper, thus when the system is on, the system is always

Friday, April 5, 2013

End of MFP Copier Lease Equals Balloon Payment?

As I was checking through my alerts tonight, I came across and interesting topic on a web forum. The topic "Ricoh End Of Lease Issues" was posted by an IT Administrator.  His biggest beef was the fact that a Ricoh salesperson had stated that they could not just return the (currently leased) MFPs back to Ricoh; there will be a substantial payment to do so. Even with the contract concluded, and no interest in keeping the machines.

It seems to me that the administrators frustration is the large balloon payment, and they were not getting any help from anyone with Ricoh to give them an itemized breakdown of the costs associated with the balloon payment.

Now, it's not uncommon that most people who sign copier leases do not read the lease, and when they do it's usually too late (meaning after the lease has expired). Thus I thought I would post a thread to help them understand a Fair Market Value Lease and why there maybe a balloon payment. In this case I think the balloon payment could be extra payments because the lease is in an auto renewal. In any case here's  the response I wrote:

FMV (Fair Market Value): There is also an evergreen clause in all copier leases, meaning you need to contact the leasing company within "x" amount of time prior to the expiration of the lease to notify them of your intention to either buy the systems or return them. If you do not