Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Truth about Copier Sales

It's a frenetic time of year for our reps and many others, and not just because of the holidays. Our reps are out closing every last deal in sight right now. I've been hearing it in candidates' voices too. Everyone sounds kind of winded. It kind of makes a good argument for a fiscal year that ends at some other time of the year. Then again, it's been a good year for Linvatec so there will be much reason to celebrate on New Year's Eve.

I've been pondering my resolutions for 2007. I usually have lots of them, in every category of life- home, family, work, personal, health. My resolutions this year include red wine and chocolate milk, among other things. I'm sure you've heard of the many benefits of drinking a glass of red wine every day. It's even good for your gums. But why chocolate milk, you ask.

First of all, tastes great, no question about it, I could use the calcium and I read recently that they've found that athletes recover most quickly from their workouts by drinking glass of chocolate milk. So everyday after my run I've decided to chug at least 8 ozs of the sweet stuff. I did pretty good with my resolution this past year to eat a square of dark chocolate every day so I think I can handle the chocolate milk thing too. The way I look at it, everyone needs a few easy resolutions each year in addition to the tough ones.

I'm gonna need all the energy I can get. When everyone recovers from the New Year's Eve revelry and post-quota hang-over, they'll fire up their hiring plans for 2007. Last January, I was extremely busy. It also seems like the time of year that sales reps like to polish up their resumes and test the waters, especially if they've busted their quota and banked president's club.

Maybe this year is the year you've decided you are going to break into medical sales, or maybe you're at a stage where you are trying to figure out the best interim steps to take to get you there. Sometimes I think the the hard part of making resolutions that matter is sifting out the good information from the bad, and there is an awful lot of bad career advice out there. Recently, a writer in the employment section wrote that "job hopping" no longer matters. He couldn't be more wrong.

So, I thought I might hit on a topic for those of you interested in preparing yourself for a career in medical device sales. It seems funny, but in our industry, hiring managers would much rather see candidates with copier sales experience than prior pharmaceutical sales. (In fact, some hiring managers consider pharma sales the kiss of death, but more on that another time.)

Could copier sales be your golden ticket to the chocolate factory? (You'll soon notice chocolate is a recurring theme with me.) It's no guarantee, but it's a good start. If you work hard at it, you can develop great skills that will serve you well throughout your sales career. Be prepared for a rough road if you decide to give a try. It's a relentless, cutthroat business. Don't cop out too soon. Stick with it for a while and get tough.

Listed below are some of the things that make copier sales such a great career booster.
  1. Highly Competitive Industry: many players out hunting and beating the bushes for deals, head-to-head competition
  2. Technical Products: think hardware, reps have to demo products, troubleshoot problems, study and develop their product knowledge and continuously learn about the competition
  3. Capital Sale: higher dollar value means more commitment required on the part of the customer, more persuasion and skill required of the rep to close the deal
  4. Higher-Level Decision Makers: C-level selling experience is good because a sophisticated and demanding buyer is more like a surgeon than is your average consumer
  5. Excellent Sales Training: not just on products, but sales as a process, it should be "formal" i.e. classroom not just Joe Mgr telling you the way he's always done it
  6. True Close: somebody's got to sign on the dotted line and commit funds from their bank account
  7. More than a One-Call Close: consultative selling, digging into the buyer's needs/pain, requires some rapport/trust/relationship building
  8. B2B: selling to businesses, not individuals, 'nough said
  9. Rankings: you'll need to be able to document your performance against your peers
If you can find most of these characteristics in a sales position, then it might be a good alternative to copier sales. Other types of sales to consider include: wireless, IT/hardware, some financial sales, uniform sales. These positions may not have all of the characteristics listed above, but with a good training program, might be worth considering. Companies include Verizon, Cingular, Cintas, New York Life in addition to the Xeroxs, Laniers and Ikons of the copier world.

If you already have succeeded in such environment, please apply directly to our website or one of the other options listed to the right. Again, we prefer local candidates, so if you don't see an opening in your area right now, send me an e-mail with your resume and I will keep it on file for future reference. Soon I'll have a tidy button on this site where you'll be able to join our Talent Network through Jobster and be notified when positions open in your area. Happy New Year!


Ariana said...

s for the awesome blog! For yourself and any readers out there - you can sure start or continue your sales career - visit Copier Compass! or email us at

~Cheers to Selling!!!

Art Post said...

I too enjoyed the read, I am in copier sales and love the business!! Check out my blog if you can

Art Post

Ashish Shandilya said...

Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
Regards,AshishSales Training

Ashish Shandilya said...

Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
Regards,AshishSales Training

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