|Greg Walters, Inc.|
All you need is a scanner.
You know you aren't copying as much as you once had been.
WE know you aren't copying as often, too. Heck we've known for decades you rarely, if ever, copy or print on tabloid, 11x17. So why have we been selling you devices capable of melting plastic on larger sheets of dead tree matter?
Because bigger machines look more impressive, that's why. You've been fooled into believing 'those little printers can't keep up with the bigger copiers...' You've been lied to.
Here's why we've been selling you too much:
From production schedules to the sales team - forecasts and quotas have less to do with a positive user experience and more to do with continuous manufacturing.
Think about your monthly equipment quota. Can you honestly say those numbers drive customer service excellence?
Equipment quota's aren't yours, they are your your prospects' - you're asking them to fulfill your OEM's materials requirements planning scheduling. Can you see?
"On the first of the month we sell solutions, after the 20th, we sell boxes..."Isn't it time to reconsider the entire equipment quota based sales model?
When you hear people say things like, "We've been promoting managed print services since the very beginning..." or "Our web-services are the best because we come out of your industry..." or even "We've been there, we've sold MPS and know what you need in lead generation, keyword utilization and PPC programs. We've been in social media from the very beginning..." remember this video.
That's Ken Stuart and me on the banks of the San Antonio, right after a thrill packed day of MPS pioneerism at Photizo II. The attendees were a collection of "cutting edge" MPS'rs and a great time was had by all.
"I blog because I like to read what I blog..." - GW
Ken and I were there, guess who wasn't. The crusty old guys who today consider themselves oracles of marketing. The self-proclaimed experts of all things "managed" - from printers, users, workflow to IT services (nobody but the uninitiated refer to managed services as "managed network services") are those who mocked MPS back in 2009.
There we were, sitting shoulder to shoulder with a freshly minted copier rep talking to a prospect. The rep was leading the team in monthly revenue and looking to lock it all up with this opportunity. The five of us, there on the provider side, two on the prospect, were discussing the benefits of managed services. Our prospect was lamenting the many challenges with the current IT services provider:
Yes - we could have closed right then and there...
But we didn't
It was bound to happen. Just as water finds its own level, all ideas seem to coagulate into one, homogenized experience. The internet is a great, swirling turbulent presentation of ideas, sales pitches and content and given enough time, websites begin to look and feel the same.
Studies show that the purchasing decision for your customer includes visiting 18 separate online sources before executing a sale. Additionally, other studies suggest that once a prospect reaches out to a provider, his or her decision is sixty percent complete.
There's a great renaissance occurring in the blogger realm. Blogging is coming back as a strong, relevant, proven platform for expressing ideas, establishing uniqueness and attracting customers.
I've found two statistics of interest from the Hubspot"State of Inbound" report and other related data suggest:
#managed print services, #gregwalters, #mps, #sales, #seo, #searchengineoptimization, #traffic, #mysterymeansmargin, #pleasegoviral, #keywordsorcontent
I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but my latest foray into the world that is the interweb has lead me to the above conclusion. Let me be even more precise: There is no such thing as an SEO expert in our industry. That’s going to hurt the few who claim to be guru’s and pundits - sorry.
It has been, and still is my belief that pure content is the best way to attract an audience. Google agrees. Their search algorithm seeks out fresh, organic content.
Traveling the world of content marketing and marketing content, I see parallels between this realm and the early days of managed print services.(MpS)
In the beginning, nobody really knew what MpS was or how to sell and support a profitable program - some still don't. Back then, there was a great deal of mystery in MpS so anyone who had the slightest insight vaulted to the rank of 'expert' - take it from me. Back then, one needed to have a few weeks more experience than everyone else.
I've talked about HP Instant Ink before -
"This is the plan; make printing so cheap the act of printing is as thoughtless as watching TV.
Friends, I give you one possible timeline in the Future of MpS - self imposed irrelevancy. Rejoice and make mirth for the sun shall shine on our faces forever!
So be it.
Just because the Motley Fool thinks this is a bad idea, doesn't mean it won't work(mopier). We all know how innovative HP can be (TouchPad) and their commitment to customers (2007, product delivered to the highest volume accounts only), employees(25,000 layoffs) and suppliers (thousands of cancelled laser engine orders to Canon) is beyond comparison (pale)." - GRW
Well here we are, not even a year later and HP is brining its brand of MpS to the SMB - without you.
What’s the difference between managed print services and managed services? Better yet, what is the difference between the run of the mill copier dealership and the everyday VAR? In a word – Mutation.
As in some warped Darwinian tale, managed print services and managed services are branches of the same tree. The MPS limb rising from the dirt, clawing through cold-calls and purchasing agents. The managed services bough magically sprouting from the traditional IT/VAR trunk.
Imagine this: IT solutions, the forerunner of managed services, were designed and installed by “really smart” people under the approving gaze of executive management. Copiers and printers, on the other hand, were acquired through the Purchasing or Facilities department after an exhaustive bid process vetted dozens of alternatives. Managed services as a practice grew under the executive branch; managed print services rose up and flourished from the ground.
Same tree, different limbs mutated into the same species: Managed Services.