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CONTENTS Volume 20 • No. 11
FEATURE ARTICLES 10
Millennial Mindset Anticipating the impact of the changing workforce
COURTS & CAPITOLS 3-D Printing Is it the next dealer opportunity?
by Robert C. Goldberg BTA General Counsel
by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
Certain dealer opportunities require a significant investment and, likewise, offer attractive returns. 3-D printing is one of those opportunities. A typical dealership has all of the components in place to launch these products, requiring only inventory, training and parts to get going.
Currently, the office technology industry is in the midst of its latest transition — and it is a big one. One does not have to look any further than the newest generation to enter the workforce to see how impactful, over time, this transition will be on the industry.
Page Revenues Waning But, take heart, new revenue streams are waxing by Bob Sostilio Sostilio & Associates International
SELLING SOLUTIONS Selling & Baseball Help your players get into a scoring position
by Larry Breed Precision Hiring & Development
To survive, dealers have to evaluate and adopt other sources of growing revenue. Dealerships are no longer just selling hardware. Instead, it is service, technical support and implementation of scalable programs that provide value to accounts and recurring revenues to dealerships.
New-Hire Training Role-playing is an important part of the process by Melissa D. Whitaker Melissa Whitaker International
There are several aspects of baseball that I believe are similar to selling. As we enter the second quarter of 2014, there is still plenty of time to end the year with a winning season if you have a proper strategy, marketing plan, resources and coaches who can help your players get off the bench and into scoring position.
Open Houses A great way to build strong customer relationships
by Troy Harrison SalesForce Solutions
Are your new salespeople looking dazed and confused? If so, consider this question: How are you preparing them to be successful and hit the ground running? Role-playing is crucial when training your new hires. Lack of training and role-playing customer questions and scenarios are costly.
Empowering Dealers Kyocera hosts annual dealer meeting, April 15-17 by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
Highlighting its commitment to empowering dealers, emphasizing its focus on its “total document solutions” business initiative and announcing several new products, KYOCERA Document Solutions America hosted its FY15 Pan-American Dealer Meeting on April 15-17 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev.
An event for customers, like an open house or a customer appreciation party, can be a great way to build stronger customer relationships and employee morale. For a successful customer event to happen, two types of “wins” must be “designed in” prior to the event.
D E PA R T M E N T S Business Technology Association
• BTA Highlights
Executive Director’s Page
BTA President’s Message
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S PAGE
Social Media Usage Integral to Success
hile preparing the cover story for this issue of Office Technology, I asked interviewees to comment on the rise of social media as a means to connect with current and prospective customers. While social media appears to be the preferred means of communication among Millennials, it is frequently used by every generation in the workforce. Although space did not allow me to address the topic of social media in the cover story, it is an important component of the office technology industry transition that is now underway. Following are a few comments on the topic shared by the interviewees. I believe you will find them of interest. Randy Dazo, InfoTrends: n “Obviously, we have Facebook and Twitter, the social media giants of today, but there are now other social media options, such as Instagram, that some in the newest generation to enter the workforce are embracing; Facebook is not necessarily the way they communicate anymore. Today, there are a lot of new avenues that we have to be in touch with and continue to examine.” n “The whole social media space and understanding the new generations are areas we definitely need to focus on and embrace. If we don’t, there are going to be other competitors out there that will steamroll over us.” Matthew Vied, Lexmark: n “How do you leverage social media to drive incremental business? We are all trying to figure that out. But the big thing companies have to realize is they can say as much as they want to on social media, but if they do not have the digital customers following them, they are speaking to no
one. So, a big priority is to have a strategy for gaining additional followers. Otherwise, you are speaking to an ‘empty room.’” Phil Boatman, Lexmark: n “If a customer has a tremendous experience and tweets it, that can spread quickly. But, what if the customer has a bad experience or just has a moment of frustration and tweets something negative? What if that comment ‘goes viral,’ so to speak? In these cases, you need to rectify that by all means necessary as quickly as possible. This may include asking for some positive tweets from existing customers.” Terrie Campbell, Ricoh: n “Those who have a Millennial mindset do not want to be sold to; they want to be spoken to and dialogued with as part of the process. If you think about that from a dealer perspective, you realize that when a dealership is not in dialogue with prospects, it is potentially not seen as a viable option. I see a lot of dealers moving in this direction. They understand this intuitively. It is as simple as having a social media management system.” n “When you are in online dialogue with customers, you have to be in the conversation. Someone has to be watching that social media page and responding. If you are still planning on all of your messages going out with feet on the street, then your investments are heavy with people walking out the door as opposed to people sitting and managing chat windows or social media. I don’t think there has been a good transition yet to recognizing the importance of an investment in centralized selling personnel, who are ready and able to respond to inquiries from customers coming in through search engines, social media or a desire to chat. I don’t see a lot of dealers who have recognized this.” n — Brent Hoskins
Executive Director/BTA Editor/Office Technology Brent Hoskins email@example.com (816) 303-4040 Associate Editor Elizabeth Marvel firstname.lastname@example.org (816) 303-4060 Contributing Writers Larry Breed, Precision Hiring & Development www.precisionhiring.com Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel Business Technology Association Troy Harrison, SalesForce Solutions www.troyharrison.com Bob Sostilio, Sostilio & Associates International Melissa D. Whitaker, Melissa Whitaker International www.melissawhitakerintl.com
Business Technology Association 12411 Wornall Road Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 941-3100 www.bta.org Member Services: (800) 505-2821 BTA Legal Hotline: (800) 869-6688 Valerie Briseno Membership Marketing Manager email@example.com Mary Hopkins Database Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org Teresa Leerar Bookkeeper email@example.com Brian Smith Membership Sales Representative firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Credits: Blend Images, Image Source, iStockphoto. Cover created by Bruce Quade, Brand X Studio. ©2014 by the Business Technology Association. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published material. However, the publisher assumes no liability for errors in articles nor are opinions expressed necessarily those of the publisher.
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BTA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 2013-2014 Board of Directors
BTA’s ProFinance 2.0 Slated for June 11-12
re you looking to improve the financial performance of your dealership? If so, BTA’s ProFinance 2.0 workshop can help. The workshop’s content was recently updated to include the new industry model, which covers more than 30 key benchmarks, including benchmarks for managed print services (MPS). ProFinance 2.0 attendees will learn proven sales and service plans, effective management bonus programs and critical organizational strategies. ProFinance 2.0 instructors John Hey and Todd Johnson of Strategic Business Associates (SBA; www.strategicbusinessassoc. com) have more than 25 years of experience in the industry, from building some of the largest dealerships in North America and from advising many of the most successful companies in the industry. Hey, founder of SBA, began his career in 1973 at the former D.C. Hey Co. He became president and owner of the company in 1985 and was responsible for growing the business from $5 million to more than $170 million in sales with more than 1,250 employees. In that time, Hey completed more than 12 acquisitions. Johnson is the newest instructor for ProFinance, taking over for John Hanson after his retirement. He joined SBA in 2010. Previously, Johnson held various positions at Global Imaging Systems Inc. (GIS) for 13 years, ending his time there as senior vice president of acquisitions. He was involved in all 80-plus acquisitions made during his tenure. Prior to GIS, Johnson worked as an industry consultant. Since the workshop’s inception in 2000, 535 people (some of whom have attended the workshop multiple times), have attended ProFinance. A sampling of comments
from previous attendees: n “I have attended ProFinance several times since 2001, most recently in 2011. The model has helped us move from 3 percent profitability to more than 13 percent within two years, and has assisted us in keeping the profitability up, even when markets were down. The industry has changed and the ProFinance model has kept up with these changes, which shows the understanding they have of the industry. I trust their insights.” — Robert Golowenski, Summit Business Systems, Edmond, Okla. n “We should have made the commitment to invest in this class years ago. It’s more than a financial model; it’s a framework for continual improvement. I’m excited to put this to use.” — Gary Thomas, Thomas Office Machines, Muncie, Ind. n “It was very helpful to hear the struggles and experiences of other companies in our industry. John also had so many great ideas and strategies on growing our business. Everything was outlined really well in the course material and the course provided great leadership as to what next steps we should take for growth.” — Mallory Lopez, Barlop Inc., Miami, Fla. The next ProFinance 2.0 workshop will be held June 11-12, 2014, at BTA member dealership Southwest Office Systems Inc. in Euless, Texas, a Dallas suburb. BTA would like to thank Vince and Buddy Puente for hosting the workshop at their dealership. BTA member tuition is $1,395, and members may use their $250 discount coupon received with membership toward the workshop fee. In addition, those who previously attended ProFinance can attend ProFinance 2.0 at a 50-percent discount to receive a refresher course and the new model. For more information or to register, visit www.bta.org/ProFinance. n — Todd J. Fitzsimons
President Todd J. Fitzsimons Automated Business Solutions DBA Network Imaging 122 Spring St., Ste. B3 Southington, CT 06489 email@example.com President-Elect Ron Hulett U.S. Business Systems Inc. 3221 Southview Drive Elkhart, IN 46514 firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President Dave Quint Advanced Systems Inc. 2945 Airport Blvd. P.O. Box 57 Waterloo, IA 50704 email@example.com BTA East Rob Richardson Allied Document Solutions & Services Inc. 200 Church St. Swedesboro, NJ 08085 firstname.lastname@example.org BTA Mid-America Dan Castaneda International Copy Machine Center 1515 Lee Trevino, Ste. EE El Paso, TX 79936 email@example.com BTA Southeast Linda Hayes Purcell’s Business Products 222 E. 1st St. Campbellsville, KY 42718 firstname.lastname@example.org BTA West Mike Ehlers Yost Business Systems 685 E. Anderson Idaho Falls, ID 83401 email@example.com Ex-Officio/Immediate Past President Terry Chapman Business Electronics Corp. 219 Oxmoor Circle, P.O. Box 531066 Birmingham, AL 35253 firstname.lastname@example.org Ex-Officio/General Counsel Robert C. Goldberg Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg LLC 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 2100 Chicago, IL 60606 email@example.com
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Millennial Mindset Anticipating the impact of the changing workforce by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
n the early years, the manual typewriter was state-of-the-art office technology. Later there were electric typewriters, calculators, analog copiers and fax machines. Ultimately, digital MFPs emerged along with the associated software-based solutions. There was also the transition from monochrome to color. More recently, mobile devices have arrived on the scene. Although there have been a number of transitions in office technology through the years, the primary focus has essentially remained unchanged. That is, whatever the technology, the focus has always been on providing workers a means to produce, duplicate, disseminate, store, retrieve and consume documents and information. The office technology dealerships that have endured through the years are those that successfully transitioned to the technology of the day. Currently, the office technology industry is in the midst of the latest transition — and it is a big one. It is a transition that is not only being driven by advancements in technology, but also by changes in the workforce itself. One does not have to look any further than the newest generation to enter the workforce to see how impactful, over time, this transition will be on the industry. Randy Dazo, senior director of solutions and services for the Office Group of the market research firm InfoTrends, cites a sobering number — the 77 million Americans in Generation Y (also known as Millennials). These are individuals born between 1977 and 1995; today’s 19- to 37-year-olds. As members of Generation Y claim a greater percentage of the workforce, Dazo says, “they could potentially transform it.” Certainly, Millennials are already contributing to the continued decline in the number of printed pages. “Our forecasts indicate significant page-volume declines over time,”
Dazo says. “We must continue to focus on and understand that the generational shifts we are seeing are hard facts; they are happening.” Dazo says printing trends within higher education provide an indication of what lies ahead as graduates enter the workforce. “We have spoken to people in the print centers of several different universities,” he explains. “There is definitely less printing going on. Print used to be a moneymaker in the higher education space. Today, it has almost become a burden, in some cases. Or, they [colleges and universities] are outsourcing to other production print providers because they don’t have the volumes to have internal print centers anymore.” The reason for the decline in higher education print volumes, Dazo says, is that professors and students are now communicating differently. “There is not a need for the same amount of materials that there was in the past,” he says. “A lot of it is now handled online. So, what was once among the most paper-intensive markets has gone through a tremendous shift to ‘go electronic.’” That shift will have a lasting effect, Dazo says. “Students who are now graduating from college have not seen the same amount of paperwork that used to be in school,” he explains. “That definitely resonates with them as they enter the workforce.” Matthew Vied, territory sales manager at Lexmark International, offers a similar viewpoint. “A major change happened a few years after I left high school,’ he explains. “When I was a student, we still turned the physical pages of a textbook and we submitted answers to tests on pieces of paper with pencils and pens. Today, they are using iPads on day one of high school. That drastically changes the way students become used to consuming and transmitting
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information. That will eventualindividual worker.” ly spill over into the workplace.” Over time, however, “As we have been doing Looking to the future, Vied Campbell expects moroundtables and a lot of says that it is clear that the bile devices to play an study, it has become changing means of consuming even greater role in busiapparent to us that and transmitting information ness workflows. “This ‘Millennials’ is no longer an will have an impact on the office would be procedural moage group; it’s a state of technology industry. “Those stubile printing,” she says. dents will eventually be manag“In this case, it would be mind in the way you work. ers and decision-makers; it is gopart of a specific workThat has been a critical shift ... ” ing to affect the decisions they flow that is going to be — Terrie Campbell make on office technology,” he repeated in many areas Ricoh Americas Corp. says. “Change is definitely comand would require the ing. For me, it’s a question of the infrastructure to suptimeline and it’s a question of the magnitude. I think we port not only the output of a document, but potentially the are still a long way away from being a paperless society, but on-boarding of information. So, it could be mobile printing that doesn’t mean that the impact of consuming and trans- and scanning; using mobile devices to scan, capture and mitting information digitally isn’t going to have an effect in push information into a workflow, if necessary.” the workplace.” Of course, the industry already offers a growing number Vied emphasizes the core reality: “I think as people be- of mobile applications. Doug Frazier, manager of solutions come more comfortable with doing things on phones, iPads engagement at Lexmark, cites, for example, one of his comand screens, it is not that they are going to become less com- pany’s well-received offerings for the education market. “We fortable with putting it on paper, it’s just that it is not going recently introduced a mobile portal to allow school teachers to be necessary in many cases.” to use their tablets to set up tests,” he explains. “So, they can There is another important factor to consider. As it turns set up tests and build grading sheets from tablets, so that out, the work habits associated with Millennials are not none of it has to touch paper. The teachers still grade the test limited to workers of that generation. Terrie Campbell, sheets on paper; that’s the medium that still makes the most vice president of strategic marketing at Ricoh Americas sense, at least for the time being.” Corp., says the observation emerged from the Generational Phil Boatman, business alliance manager at Lexmark, Council that she chairs at Ricoh, which is focused on un- notes that the day will arrive when mobile offerings in the derstanding the impact of generational workforce dynam- workplace are not necessarily tied to printing. “Mobile deics. “As we have been doing roundtables and a lot of study, vices are becoming the norm and not the exception as the it has become apparent to us that ‘Millennials’ is no longer preferred method of accessing information,” he says. “From an age group; it is a state of mind in the way you work,” she the manufacturer’s standpoint, we need to be able to proexplains. “That has been a critical shift that has occurred.” vide simplified process intelligence, because we know that Providing more detail on what she refers to as the “Mil- as knowledge workers become more mobile, they are going lennial mindset,” Campbell cites a recent survey conducted to have less tolerance for paper-based processes. They are by the Generational Council of a broad range of workers. going to expect to be able to do things in a fast, easy-to-ac“It was so interesting to see that, in terms of Millennial at- cess manner. So, that’s where our focus lies.” tributes, you could be a Baby Boomer and still score high,” As she looks to the future, anticipating the continued she explains. “That is when it really started to become clear impact of the burgeoning Millennial mindset, Campbell acthat it has a lot to do with who you are surrounded by in knowledges that, ultimately, any comparison in the future to your daily life. Are you surrounded by people who think, act the office technology industry of 2014 will reveal a stark conand work like Millennials? Or, are you surrounded by people trast — and it won’t just be about a decrease in page volumes. who are still very much in the ‘analog way’ of working?” “I think we are going to be surprised at how dependent we As Campbell suggests, the use of mobile devices has no will be on consulting as part of our game,” she says. “I think boundaries; essentially every generation in the workplace the dealers who make the journey successfully will be the relies on these devices to some degree. Today, she says, the ones who are investing now in the tools to help customers majority of mobile printing is transactional. “This is the change the way they work with information. Regardless of mobile worker who says, ‘I have a document that I need to whether that information is printed or not, we are going to print’,” she says. “So, it is around the convenience of the see a marked change in our industry over the next five years.” 12 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno log y m a g.c om | Ma y 2 0 1 4
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a continued decline in print There is no disputing that, volumes, it is not going to today, there are still many “... There are specific areas occur overnight, but, rather, situations where printing of business where there over time. As Dazo states: documents on paper continare still hard-and-fast print “It is probably going to be ues to make the most sense. requirements, whether they more gradual, rather than Says Campbell, speaking are legal or functional. As an a big disruption where all of in particular of documents example, for a distribution a sudden people are going being viewed on a mobile or logistics business, there is to stop printing.” However, device: “If you are working the Millennial mindset, inwith an Excel spreadsheet or still a requirement to print bills of lading.” creasing usage of mobile tools like that, then printing — Doug Frazier devices in the workplace, it is obviously easier for visLexmark International Inc. greater focus on consultaibility.” Says Frazier: “What tive selling and the changwe see is there are specific areas of business where there are still hard-and-fast print ing annuity stream are all components of the requirements, whether they are legal or functional. As an ex- industry’s current transition. Are you ready ample, for a distribution or logistics business, there is still a for what lies ahead? n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the requirement to print bills of lading.” Business Technology Association, is editor Of course, the examples cited by Campbell and Frazier are of Office Technology magazine. He can be but two of many printing situations. Millions of pages conreached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 303-4040. tinue to be printed every day. And while forecasts point to
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Page Revenues Waning But, take heart, new revenue streams are waxing by: Bob Sostilio, Sostilio & Associates International
hen I started in the copier industry in the mid-1960s, I sold and serviced simple desktop copiers that used rolls of specially coated, lightsensitive paper that was cut to size (letter or legal) at 15 pages per minute (ppm). Xerox was leasing its monochrome, plain-paper console copier, a desktop copier and a 40ppm duplicator. We were marginally successful against Xerox because end users could purchase our copier at a fraction of the rental fee Xerox was charging. To increase our sales and distribution, we converted typewriter dealers into copier dealers with some success. Back then, end users wanted to deal with a local company; a local copier dealership fit the bill. However, dealers quickly found out that coated-paper copies had limitations. Both dealers and end users started demanding a low-cost copier with plain paper that could displace the stencil duplicator, mimeograph machine and liquid-toner copier — and be competitive on cost per page. In 1975, Xerox resolved an anti-trust suit with the Federal Trade Commission whereby Xerox’s consent decree resulted in the forced licensing of the company’s entire patent portfolio, mainly to Japanese competitors. This provided the technology and know-how to bring the low-cost, monochrome, plain-paper, table-top copier to the dealer channel. Within four years of the consent decree, Xerox’s share of the U.S. copier market was less than 17 percent and it relinquished its recurring revenues from supplies to branches and dealers of U.S.-based marketing companies of Japanese copier manufacturers. New Players, Same Annuity Stream Manufacturers like Canon, Ricoh, Minolta and Konica, with lens/mirror (camera) technology, and others like Sharp and Toshiba, inundated the U.S. copier market with lowcost, high-speed, monochrome, plain-paper copiers that
met and exceeded end-user expectations. The market expanded exponentially as all manufacturers started incorporating features only found in service bureaus, such as easier operation, faster throughput speeds, automatic document feeders, sorting and pagination, and stapling. The faster the copier ran, the greater the consumption of plain paper. The dealer channel continued to grow as revenues soared from the sales of these early copier models, supplies and services. During that same time period, the electric typewriter from IBM and laser printers (invented by Xerox and IBM) were being marketed. HP later followed with its low-cost printers in the early 1990s. These aforementioned products created the monochrome originals that were copied, which fueled paper consumption and the expansion of the copier market. Copier dealers started selling page printers. The double-digit growth of copier sales continued through the 1990s along with desktop printers; they added more recurring revenue from supply annuities for the dealer channel. Supplies that once contributed 19 percent to total revenues were now averaging 20 to 25 percent as the contribution from hardware started to dip below 45 percent. During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, by monitoring cutsheet paper consumption, I saw yearly increases by tens of millions of tons of paper; an estimated 2 trillion pages a
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year were printed on convenience copiers and printers. That is a lot of toner to put marks on that many pages. Users kept up the demand for faster copiers and multifunctional presses throughout the 1990s and early 2000s; all the while, paper consumption continued to escalate with the proliferation of faster copier/MFPs and printers, new high-speed color printers and new light-production, high-speed, cut-sheet presses in the paper-centric environment.
Those lost monochrome pages are not coming back, as end users have found they do not need them and want information on tablets, smartphones, etc.
Page Volumes Start to Drop By the late 1990s, the digital copier market evolved; color copying accelerated users’ demands to be connected to computers and computer networks while IT managers sought networked multifunctional devices. This was the first indication that monochrome page throughput could see declines as page volumes dropped off standalone units. No longer were pages copied and mailed, but rather sent and then only copied as needed. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, cut-sheet copy and writing paper consumption crested at around 33 million tons a year; that is, 6.6 trillion pages were consumed per year in the United States alone by copiers and printers. The demand for cut-sheet paper was a good barometer to gauge page volumes, since most research firms had a good sense of how large the installed base of printers and copiers was in the United States. In the late 1990s, we saw the page consumption plateau. Color units introduced during the late 1990s had extremely high costs per page and, as a result, their monthly volumes were nowhere near those of black-and-white volumes. However, the supplies consumed by color units created higher revenues and made up for the lost revenue from monochrome pages. Color unit sales expanded the installed base, but as they started replacing black-and-white units within the same base, the revenue model started shifting again. The installed base of copiers stopped growing in the early 2000s. Copier dealers started feeling the loss of monochrome supplies and services as customers unplugged black-and-white units in favor of connectable monochrome and color MFPs. By the mid-2000s, more visible signs of declining page consumption appeared with announcements of paper mills being shuttered or converted to cardboard. Simultaneously, Amazon announced e-book sales exceeded those of printed books in the United States — another loss for the print industry. And, 50 percent of PC/tablet owners stopped using printer paper altogether. Dealers
started to feel the effects of declining page revenues. These facts foreboded a difficult business model for copier/ printer dealers if they were to prosper.
Where Did the Pages Go? In April 2011, I wrote an article for Office Technology magazine, “Chasing the Annuity: Using technology to capture more printed pages.” In the article, I explained how our market’s paper consumption had been declining in excess of 6 million tons (or 34.4 percent) due, in part, to the loss of establishments, the unprecedented long-term unemployment of 11.8 million workers, a shift to color units and the increase in mobile computing. In the last six years combined, the U.S. market for copier paper has dropped 30 percent, as indicated by drops of 57 percent in monochrome A3 and 22 percent in A4 page volumes, as reported in various dealer surveys. The loss of monochrome pages means the loss of a large chunk of recurring revenues for the many copier dealers who have seen hardware margins squeezed, as well as cost per copy of monochrome pages decline to below cost. Many dealers now, as then, have limited options to grow their territories or technology capabilities. It all depends on location, location, location. Dealers can take on high-end, small commercial digital printing if they have enough sites within their base or, perhaps, acquire a similar dealership carrying similar brands that would expand its installed base. But, unfortunately, the dealer would still be chasing a declining business — namely residuals from marks on paper. To survive, dealers have to evaluate and adopt other sources of growing revenue — much like they did to expand their copier businesses. Those lost monochrome pages are not coming back, as end users have found they do not need them and want information on tablets, smartphones, etc. New Business Model What does the dealer model look like today? The same as it always has: Take advantage of the outbound sales force concentrating on selling services within the account base; leverage the service department’s skills by offering and getting paid for guaranteed service response times; maintain on-site parts; expand dispatching to capture candidates for the help desk; train on particular applications; and, of course, sell IT services. Dealers have to institute the annuity streams based on billable minutes/hours/days. Most dealers today realize their best strategy is to rely less on paper and more on billable hours of engineering time, and training and implementation of managed print services
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today are geared to the workforce and and managed network services. As dealers include apps for job estimating, sales of hardware and software, all dealerships As dealers of hardware orders, delivery confirmations, invoicshould offer consulting services to their and software, all ing, point-of-sale receipts, home healthaccounts, to the point that dealerships dealerships should offer care reports and insurance claims, plus become indispensable to their customconsulting services to many more that dealers should know. ers. Dealerships are no longer just selling their accounts, to the Stay connected to your customer base hardware. Instead, it is service, technical and offer your customers what you support and implementation of scalable point that dealerships have been offering all these years — programs that provide value to accounts become indispensable ... your service, your industry knowland recurring revenues to dealerships. edge and your assistance in making One last thought on mobile printing. Mobile printing supposedly reached its tipping point in your clients profitable. n Bob Sostilio is president and CEO of Sostilio & Associates 2011-12 when sales of smartphones and tablets surpassed International, an Ocala, Fla.-based consulting firm sales of traditional PCs. It is forecasted that by 2015, there serving the office technology industry. will be twice as many networked devices than there are peoHe has more than 34 years of experience in the ple on the planet. Chances are, every one of your accounts industry, including service in senior is using some form of a mobile app to accommodate the demanagement positions with leading mands of its management and that of its clients. What momanufacturers and research organizations. bile printing apps are you offering to, for example, doctors’ Sostilio can be reached at or lawyers’ offices? What mobile apps do you support? firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, the primary mobile printing apps in the field
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New-Hire Training Role-playing is an important part of the process by: Melissa D. Whitaker, Melissa Whitaker International
re your new salespeople looking dazed and confused? Lost or overwhelmed? If so, consider this question: How are you preparing them to be successful and hit the ground running? Most sales managers like to keep the wheels turning and profits humming, so they quickly give a new hire a couple of days of training and then say, “Good luck, I know you can do this,” and put the rep to work. The newly hired rep is then thrown into his (or her) new territory to sink or swim. Is this the best strategy? How does this affect the business? Potential customers or existing customers are now seeing a floundering, uncertain side of your company as the new sales hire struggles to know about the products and sales process. Role-playing is crucial when training your new hires. It should be a continual practice on a daily basis, not just a handful of scenarios presented in a new-hire training class. Sales managers are often in a hurry to get new hires handling their customers. However, they fail to see the cost of a new hire using his territory as the main training ground. Lack of training and role-playing customer questions and scenarios are costly. Even if the person has a sales background, he still lacks the knowledge of the products or services you offer. This information needs to be learned, practiced and presented. Let’s face it. Everyone hates role-playing. It feels awkward and makes everyone nervous in front of their peers. However, the power of role-play builds an amazing amount of confidence and success. Share the “responsibility” of the new hire with the entire department and company. Often we have the new hire “shadow” our best salesperson for a few days, hoping he will acquire tips and tricks from the best, which will make him a better salesperson. If done too often, this can place a large burden on the top salesperson, who is still working to make his quota and this, in turn, costs the business sales. We also put the new hire with the best salesperson right off the bat. How about switching it up? Let him shadow your
best salesperson as one of the last steps in the process. Why? n The new hire now has the necessary foundation to better connect the dots while observing that top rep. n Remember that your “best” salesperson’s time is very valuable. Time is money. Appreciate his time. Rotate your new hire throughout the process. Let him hang out in various departments so he can get the big picture. If people view training as a company-wide initiative where everyone gets the opportunity to share his knowledge, the “responsibility” is shared rather than placed on one individual. Let new hires hang out with each person within your sales department, too, allowing each person to share his strengths. If one is good at prospecting, let him focus on what works for him in prospecting new leads. Another may excel in getting paperwork done effectively; let that employee provide training on this job task. Again, make it a group effort, not just the responsibility of one individual. Do not forget to have your new hire spend one day with a service technician. This way he can see what technicians face every day and can have more appreciation for that position. Shadow & Role-Play Phone Calls Allow the new hire to observe phone calls. When the phone call is over, allow him to role-play the scenario. Let him practice both sides — being the customer and being the sales rep. This allows him to feel what it is like on both sides. During these phone calls, have the new hire identify the objections in the scenario. Talk about how those objections can be handled. Encourage the use of a variety of talk tracks. Shadow & Role-play Appointments Have the new hire observe an appointment. Encourage him to look for “moving-forward” statements. Then re-enact parts of the appointment afterward and allow him to ask questions. Again, have the new hire play both sides of the
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scenario. This allows him to see both sides of the interaction. Product Knowledge is Key Role-play customer questions until answers become smooth. Let the new hire practice product questions with those who are technically knowledgeable. Make a game out of it and ask the entire office to participate in asking the new hire questions to increase his product knowledge.
Confidence Increases Sales Your new salesperson will quickly feel the glory of success. He will be fully equipped to handle his own territory more confidently. The name of the game is seeing results right away. Get your new hire producing profits by requiring regular role-playing as part of your training cycle. This best practice ensures success. n Melissa D. Whitaker is a sales and management expert, business consultant and published author who helps executives and their teams achieve alignment and drive profitable sales. After 17-plus years of results with leading organizations â€” Impact Networking, Toshiba America Business Solutions and Chicago Office Technology Group â€” Whitaker founded Melissa Whitaker International LLC. She can be reached at (847) 845-4922 or melissa@melissawhitaker intl.com. Visit www.melissawhitakerintl.com.
Role-play customer questions until answers become smooth. Let the new hire practice product questions with those who are technically knowledgeable.
Repetition Builds Confidence Practicing a few times will not make the grade. Think of sports teams and how they practice the same scenarios over and over so they can guarantee success. You want your new hire to have faster success, so give him the tools by practicing over and over. Having practiced in a safe environment, the new hire can feel prepared to succeed. He will be equipped with multiple ways of handling a scenario and, in turn, display confidence.
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Empowering Dealers Kyocera hosts annual dealer meeting, April 15-17 by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
ighlighting its commitment to empowering dealers, emphasizing its focus on its “total document solutions” business initiative and announcing several new products, KYOCERA Document Solutions America hosted its FY15 Pan-American Dealer Meeting on April 15-17 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev. The meeting drew more than 1,200 attendees from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Mexico, as well as from Europe and Japan. Ed Bialecki, Kyocera’s senior vice president of sales, welcomed Kyocera and Copystar dealer attendees in the opening General Session. He took the opportunity to explain the significance of the word “empower” as a key message of the meeting. “Our goal is to work closely with you to help you grow your business,” he said. “And that’s what we do — giving you the tools, resources, understanding, responsiveness and support that empower you to grow your profits.” In return for its commitment to help grow their businesses, Bialecki asked dealers for their “continued loyalty,” describing the relationship as a “mutual give and take” between Kyocera and its dealers. “Something extraordinary happens when partners mutually benefit,” he explained. “They feel empowered, and that’s a rare and valuable thing.” The dictionary definition of the word empowerment is, in part, “the power to take the initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance,” Bialecki said. “That’s right on the money. It’s why we’re committed to our channel partners. And why, we trust and hope, you are committed to us. That’s what this meeting is all about.” As noted, part of the company’s commitment to dealers was reflected in an emphasis on Kyocera’s “total document solutions” business initiative. Its significance was addressed by Norihiko Ina, Kyocera’s president and CEO, in his General Session presentation. “Kyocera offers unique hardware, not only A3 MFPs, but also A4 MFPs and printers, all based on our long-life technology,” he explained. “Our unique capability enables us to offer balanced deployment to your customers.” Ina noted that Kyocera’s applications enable the company to satisfy its customers’ needs in many areas, such as document workflow, mobility, security and compliance. “Kyocera
Top photo: The Technology Fair featured Kyocera’s latest products and business applications, as well as a number of thirdparty vendors. Bottom photos, from left: Ed Bialecki, Norihiko Ina and Katsumi Komaguchi. offers unique pre- and post-sales service capabilities,” he said. “Our services enable us to offer a solution sales capability, following the ADIMO approach with our customers: assess, design, implement, manage and optimize. We can say that, when combined, this is the ‘Kyocera total document solutions initiative’ we provide to our customers.” In his General Session presentation, Katsumi Komaguchi, president of KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc. (KYOCERA Document Solutions America is a group company of KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.), shared Kyocera’s plans for continued advancements to its product lineup. “As you know, requests from our customers have
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these areas as well.” diversified greatly, and the document As noted, Kyocera announced sevbusiness is rapidly becoming more com“I believe demands from eral new products at the meeting — the plex,” he said. “Under such a business our customers will go Kyocera ECOSYS M3560idn, M3550idn, environment, I believe that our mission beyond ... management M3540idn and M3040idn black-andis to provide a variety of hardware and of printed documents, white MFPs. The new series includes software in order to satisfy the broadest and we need to be able four desktop devices that feature an variety of customer needs.” intuitive touch-screen control panel Komaguchi said Kyocera will be addto manage workflow and speeds of up to 62 pages per mining “more sophisticated” A4 MFPs to and ECM in the future.” ute. Like most Kyocera devices, the new its product portfolio, in addition to inMFPs integrate seamlessly with Kyoccreasing the competitiveness of its current hardware models. “We are in the process of improving era-developed business applications and its broad portfolio software by modularizing HyPAS, our customizable devel- of third-party solutions. Kyocera also showcased several opment platform, so that you can respond to a variety of new business applications designed to address today’s most demands from your customers more quickly by combining critical business areas, such as mobile and cloud computmodules,” he said. “I believe demands from our custom- ing, cost-control capabilities and security solutions. The ers will go beyond device optimization and management applications are scheduled for release within the upcoming of printed documents, and we need to be able to manage fiscal year. n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology workflow and ECM in the future. We will actively develop Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine. strategic collaboration with the third-party vendors in adHe can be reached at email@example.com or (816) 303-4040. dition to our own development in order to support you in
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COURTS & CAPITOLS
3-D Printing Is it the next dealer opportunity? by: Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel for the Business Technology Association
n recent years, the dealer opportunity buzz has hummed about managed services. As page volumes decline and margins shrink, dealers have looked to expand their coverage of an end-user’s technology environment by servicing and managing a greater share of the office infrastructure. To a lesser extent, dealers have looked to totally new product areas such as mailing and shipping systems — and even bottled water systems — to expand their businesses. The key here is that the dealer has all the necessary elements in place to add these products without significant investment. There are already salespeople, technicians, warehouses and administrative staff to implement these new products. Certain dealer opportunities require a significant investment and, likewise, offer attractive returns. 3-D printing is one of those opportunities. As noted, a typical dealership has all of the components in place to launch these products, requiring only inventory, training and parts to get going. The cost of 3-D printers is decreasing, while the uses for them are rapidly expanding. The key, as with managed services, is to establish your dealership as a trusted advisor/consultant. Anyone can sell a product, but providing the knowledge and insight about the correct product to purchase is invaluable. As with any product that is added to a dealership, the first step is to create a business plan. Map out your strategy for obtaining the knowledge, the product, the market, and the sales and service team that you need to get started. Often, the best result is hiring a new sales team, avoiding the difficulty of having existing salespeople leave their comfort zones. There is significant discussion of 3-D printers, but how many dealers or end users have actually seen one in operation? 3-D printers are being used in diverse areas, from creating wedding-cake toppers to producing surgical instruments. The current void in the marketplace is the education of end users on the real-world applications for 3-D printers. Although prices have begun to decrease and outlets such as Staples are selling 3-D printers, the value of an educated vendor that can identify the best equipment, sell it, train on it, service it and provide supplies on a continuing basis, is invaluable. One of my associates recently visited her dentist and needed a crown. She sat in the dental chair for an hour while a machine took pictures of her mouth and a 3-D printer created her crown. It was inserted and she left with the procedure complete. The color match was perfect, the size and measurements exact, and it was no longer necessary to require multiple visits
or use a third-party lab for the process. With the exception of the dental lab, everyone benefited. Is dentistry a vertical market where you have established your reputation and gained success? Are there other vertical markets in which your dealership currently has established itself that 3-D printers may be used to solve a current problem, reduce costs or allow for growth? This could be a natural extension for your established customer base. 3-D printers provide an alternative means for creating products. End users will choose between traditional molding, machining or 3-D printing, based on the advantages of each technology. The BTA Channel can readily demonstrate those advantages and back the product it establishes. Dealers themselves can even take advantage of 3-D technology. Have you searched for a part to repair a machine, only to find it was no longer available? Provided there are no patent restrictions, a 3-D printer can create the part and allow for the continued use of the equipment. Every day, we hear that the industry is changing, and with that change, your dealership must change as well. Look at the new technologies and create an expertise that will take your business to the next level. BTA educational programs and events are always there to help. n Robert C. Goldberg is general counsel for the Business Technology Association. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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BTA HIGHLIGHTS BTA would like to welcome the following new members to the association:
Dealer Members Cartridge on Wheels, Monroe, LA Cavin’s Business Solutions, Fayetteville, NC Datarite, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada Drake Systems, Broken Arrow, OK Laser One Inc., Nashville, TN NE Ohio Copy Right, Canton, Ohio Pearson-Kelly Office Products, Springfield, MO Reach Technologies, Gainesville, GA Viking Office Supply, Alexandria, MN Young Systems, Cerritos, CA Vendor Associate Members NXB, Oklahoma City, OK TSAworld, Norcross, GA For full contact information of these new members, visit www.bta.org.
For the benefit of its dealer members, each month BTA features two of its Vendor or Service Associate members in this space. BTA Vendor Associate Member Barrister Global Services Network is a provider of multivendor IT services. The company serves customers in the commercial, government and consumer markets through direct and indirect channels. Barrister’s business partners include the largest North American IT companies — equipment manufacturers, service companies, resellers, distributors and third-party warranty administrators. Services range from onsite break/fix hardware repair and per-incident on-site hardware repair to managed help desk and equipment installations, de-installations and disposals. www.barrister.com
BTA members have the opportunity to enroll in a number of insurance programs. Each insurance program is specialized to fit the needs of business equipment/networking dealerships. The programs offer a wide variety of coverage including health, business, disability, cancer programs, workers’ compensation, retirement 401(k) programs and Section 125 plans. For more information, visit www.bta.org/Insurance.
BTA Vendor Associate Member MWA Intelligence Inc., a SAP Business One Gold Partner, delivers leading-edge machine-to-machine (M2M) and machine-to-people (M2P) solutions to better serve the imaging industry. Together, MWA Intelligence and SAP provide office technology and imaging channel businesses the ability to make smart IT decisions, improve future performance and achieve longterm success. www.mwaintel.com
For information on BTA member benefits, visit www.bta.org/MemberBenefits.
A full list of BTA Vendor and Service Associate members can be found online at www.bta.org.
BTA Insurance Services
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Selling & Baseball Help your players get into a scoring position by: Larry Breed, Precision Hiring & Development
always look forward to this time of year, because it marks the end of winter, the beginning of spring and the opening day of baseball season. Regardless of how your favorite team did last year, on opening day, all 30 major-league teams start out undefeated, with aspirations of winning seasons. However, on the day after opening day, half of the teams will be 1-0 and the other half will be 0-1. That would be bad news for the 0-1 crowd but, fortunately, the season does not end after one game, one series or even one month. The regular baseball season lasts for six months and 162 games, which is ample time to bounce back and learn from early mistakes and make necessary adjustments to improve the players and team and, hopefully, end up with a winning season. Some people do not care for baseball because they say the season is too long and the games move too slowly and are not as exciting as some other sports games. Even so, there are several aspects of baseball that I believe are similar to selling. n Realistic Goals & Expectations — Do not expect a home run on every at bat or sales call. The Boston Red Sox, last year’s World Series champion, won 60 percent of its games with a team batting average of .277 for the season. Every seemingly non-productive sales call has some value if you will just look for it. You may not meet with the decision-maker, but making a good impression with a decision-influencer can add value and help you on your next call. n Scoring Position — You cannot score unless you are in a scoring position. If your salespeople spend too much time sitting on the bench or driving to and from the ballpark instead of making calls to get new prospects on base and in scoring position, your competitors may win by default. Your sales reps may be product experts with superior sales knowledge and skills, but if they do not get out of the dugout, step up to the plate and make enough sales calls to keep their bases and sales pipelines full of qualified prospects, sales will surely suffer. n Recruiting — A few teams are known for their deep pockets when it comes to player salaries and their strategy of buying talent. There are others that have a strategy of growing their own talent. Several years ago, as I was driving to a meeting and listening to a Braves game, the announcer pointed out that of the nine Atlanta starters in that game, five were homegrown, having come up through Atlanta’s minorleague teams. Four of the five were rookies who had played high-school baseball in the Atlanta metropolitan area during the previous year. Developing your own players and business
opportunities is usually less expensive, less competitive and more profitable in the long run. n Statistics — You could be losing and think you are winning if you are not keeping score. Unfortunately, too many salespeople and sales managers do not understand or appreciate the value of tracking their sales activities. Sales reps are the main beneficiaries of tracking their individual stats (calls, contacts, demos, sales, etc.), so they can analyze their efforts and receive proper training and coaching to help them improve and become more consistent performers. n Coaching — While senior sales reps are not likely to be interested, eager rookie sales reps are open to having their sales managers coach them on the basics and benefits of activity management. Unfortunately, many sales managers never received this type of training from their managers, which makes it difficult to teach and instill these fundamentals of successful selling into their salespeople. As we enter into the second quarter of 2014, there is still plenty of time to end the year with a winning season if you have a proper strategy, marketing plan, resources and coaches who can help your players get off the bench and into scoring position. n Larry Breed started Precision Hiring & Development in 1991 after working with Lanier Worldwide Inc. for 26 years in service, sales, management and training. He can be reached at (800) 875-7599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.precisionhiring.com.
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Open Houses A great way to build strong customer relationships by: Troy Harrison, SalesForce Solutions
client recently asked me a great question; I think you might be able to learn from it. The question was: “My company is considering hosting an open house for our customers. An open house undoubtedly has value as an employee morale booster or for client appreciation, but have you ever heard of open house events being worthwhile in a sales aspect?” This excellent question is worthy of an article. An event for customers, like an open house or a customer appreciation party, can be a great way to build stronger customer relationships and employee morale. It can also be an expensive failure that leads to employees standing around, looking at each other and eating expensive catered food while wondering when the customers are going to show up. The difference between the two lies in understanding the two “wins” that must happen. For a successful customer event to happen, two types of “wins” must be “designed in” prior to the event. Plus, two questions must be addressed. First, you have to answer the questions: n How does the customer win by showing up? Once upon a time, it was enough to put out free food and booze to get people to show. Yes, you can still get people to show up with those promises, but fewer and fewer people are enticed by them. Those who are are unlikely to be C-level and V-level (executive vice presidents, etc.) contacts. There has to be a “win” or a gain for these contacts to show up, particularly if you are trying to bring in prospects as well as clients. We will get to some of those wins in a moment, but first let’s look at the second question. n How does the company win by investing in the open house? Open houses are fun and it is nice to show off your facility, especially if you have moved into new digs. But to really win, there needs to be a strategy behind the open house that helps customers enter into, or advance through, their own buying processes. When it is over, you need to either have new prospects, deeper relationships with current customers or, ideally, both. The order of those questions is no accident. If you have not answered the first question, the second question does not matter, because you will not win without people showing up.
Here are some possible “wins” that will entice your customers to show up: n Create an experience that they cannot get anywhere else. Some of the best open houses I have seen have been “experience-based,” where there are activities that encourage attendee participation and involvement. n Give stuff away. When I say “give stuff away,” I do not mean promotional products, nor do I mean your products. Have some door prizes that are well worth winning. n Educate and inform attendees. Some successful open houses will have educational events that show how to more effectively use a company’s products or services. For example, you might have a workshop on copier/MFP maintenance. n Bring in a great speaker. Alternatively, a noted speaker and seminar can be an excellent draw, particularly for C-level and V-level people. Now that you have them there, it is time for you to “win” as well. Again, these are “wins” that should be articulated before the event. n Key employees can meet your customers. This can be
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especially important when the key employn Meet new prospects. If the “wins” ees are not necessarily involved with the above are solid, you may get prospects to ... Customers enjoy customer contact. For instance, if the only come to your facility, even though they seeing where their people meeting your customers on a regumay not take a sales call. products are prepared lar basis are your sales and service people, A well-planned open house can be a for delivery or serviced. it is good to have your warehouse manager, great way to build stronger customer relaA look “behind the general manager, etc., meet your customtionships, but it depends on the two cateers as well. gories of “wins.” If you make sure both are curtain” can be very n Demonstrate your products. Product solid, it is a good investment. n enjoyable ... demos can be an excellent reason to have Troy Harrison is the author of “Sell Like You an open house, particularly if it is difficult Mean It!” and is a speaker, consultant and to demonstrate your products in the field. sales navigator. He helps companies build more n Dealership tours. This can work really well if your buildprofitable and productive sales forces with his cutting-edge ing is particularly clean or innovative; customers enjoy seeing sales training and methodologies. where their products are prepared for delivery or serviced. A For information on booking speaking/training look “behind the curtain” can be very enjoyable and will help engagements, consulting or to sign up for customers build more identity with you. Harrison’s weekly e-zine, call n Close a sale. Yes, it is perfectly OK to sell at an open house. (913) 645-3603. He can be reached at All the facilities to complete the sale are in one place, so do not firstname.lastname@example.org. be afraid to allow customers to express interest and buy. Visit www.troyharrison.com.
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