New to Copier Sales: Total Immersion

There is a belief in marketing that we generate demand by reaching out to as many cold leads as possible. Dialing for dollars is the best way to guarantee increased sales. It’s the age-old mantra, “It’s a numbers game, kid.”

Success depends on sheer numbers. Contemporary approaches to selling are varied and proven, but it is still challenging to speak with strangers — especially when you’re convincing them to do something. In the New World of Selling, great salespeople uncover demand. The best attract demand.

In this edition of Your 90 Days New to Copier Sales series, we’re going to talk about what I call “Total Immersion.” It is a hectic and committed time to not only consume information, but for high activity and communications. This is the stage where you’re out on your own, hustling, getting to know your territory and the types of people you will be working with, hopefully, for a long time.
Here are three ideas to work within your second 30 days that pay homage to past success while illuminating a clear path forward:

  1. Going deep
  2. Getting loud
  3. Crystalizing

Go deep

The idea here is to submerge deeply into interfacing with your prospects and your clients and compiling lists of prospects, clients, profiles and goals. The lists are yours; you are the lists.

At the beginning of every day, check your CRM and review LinkedIn, cross referencing and finding new names and information. You’re looking for connections, articles, and posts that interest you about your prospects. There can never be too much.

This activity supports building lists of leads while getting to know your territory. Add to your CRM, building more and more lists.

Absorb all available content on topics such as small businesses, the stock market, real estate, global economics, and more. Strive to gain a well-rounded understanding of various subjects, encompassing both business and technology. Ask as many questions as you can and keep a journal.

Turn up the volume

Talk with everyone about your new position. Beyond the family and close circle of friends, bring up the subject of technology, office work, computers, and artificial intelligence in everyday conversations. Communicate with everyone about how you help businesses solve business problems, developing your unique value proposition.

Set appointments. By now you should have a decent idea of the customers inside your territory. Call them all and make introductory appointments. You want 20 minutes with each one, face to face is preferable but remote is just as effective. The goal is to introduce yourself, affirm your commitment to them and to ask for referrals.

Get on the phone, leave voicemails, send emails, write blogs and articles. Put time aside every single day to forward communications to a list of defined prospects. These communications can be articles, blogs, paragraphs, videos, podcasts, etc.

If you can get 10 out a day, 50 a week, you are on a glide path toward success.
Sidebar: Let’s talk about the phrase “value proposition.” The phrase is old-fashioned, restrictive and in need of an update. Your company or dealership has a standard value prop, or elevator pitch, and may even insist that you memorize and repeat upon demand. So be it. The best application of this is to internalize the message and make it your own, unscripted.

Clarify

You’re going to experience pressure to close appointments and hit your sales numbers. That is the essence of the game you are now part of. Now is the time to establish tighter expectations, tighten your goals. As much as I hate the phrase, “It’s a numbers game,” selling is all about the number of people you talk to. The more people you engage, the more sales you complete. It is a law of numbers.
Your precise ratios will be different, and your manager can make recommendations, but the adage goes like this, “For every 100 dials, you should have 10 solid conversations and secure one appointment.” If your goal is to schedule five new appointments a week the math is simple; you need 500 dials and 50 conversations. I am purposely oversimplifying, but now is the time to write these goals down and lock them into reality.

Sidebar: A word about goals. The old world runs on goals, and words like “accountability.” These are the remaining fragments of a bygone era, but for you to work within a company structure, you are required to establish and be accountable for “goals.” Do so; write them down and monitor progress. Know that the only measurement is how much you sell, not how many dials you make or proposals you write.
During this 30-day period, document exactly how your company has helped clients obtain goals and be successful. This cannot be overstressed. Ask your internal team to profile your best clients, how your company helped them, and document on a single page. Ideally, get out on-site with the client and have them give you a tour and explain the history of their relationship.

Find out what motivates and makes your manager happy.

Understanding your manager is crucial, yet often overlooked. During this 30-day period, figure out how your manager operates. What reports does your manager need? How is their pay affected by your sales or lack of sales? Does their plan involve the number of appointments you make? Your manager wants to know: How much have you sold this month? Explore these aspects to better align with your manager’s expectations and provide the information they need to climb the ranks.

Take notes, draw workflows and find out how your manager reports progress, to whom they report and what makes your manager look the best.

These days will fly by and this second 30 days is a time frame for internal reflection, profound and pivotal. Some practices will fade away, while others will stay with you forever. It is up to you. How you improve, if you decide to stay in sales, move to management or move on to something completely different.

One more thing. These suggestions are just those: suggestions. There is no absolute process to go about selling and your way is yours alone. Make it all yours. The words above reflect my observations over the years and in multiple industries. Take whatever you like and go forward.

is an entrepreneur and founder of the notorious destination site TheDeathOfTheCopier, where he comments on all things imaging, the rise of managed services and the advance of business technology. A prolific writer and frequent speaker, Greg shares his passionate, unique – and often provocative – view of technology and people, addressing the impact of digital on 21st century business. His 2014 book, Death Of The Copier, offers a controversial summary of the early days of Managed Print Services and the not-so-distant future of the hard copy industry. Reach out to Greg at greg@grwalters.com.