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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BTA Southeast District Review

Special Guest Blog By: Carl Little, Vice President, Dealer Sales, InkCycle

This past weekend the BTA Southeast District played host to over 80 people representing 40 dealerships in beautiful Waynesville, North Carolina.  Gorgeous weather, excellent golfing and a relaxing spa were all within the complex but we still found time to talk about our industry and touch on some hot topics that are on everyone's minds in 2011.

The weekend began with a Friday Roundtable discussion where all the hot topics were first brought to light.  Managed Print in small markets, recruiting great employees, and the general state of printer industry were the themes throughout the weekend. 

We began the Roundtable with a Managed Print discussion and asked dealers why they aren't pushing managed print to their customers.  The consensus was that dealers are afraid of managed print mainly because supporting printers that they aren't familiar with causes them anxiety.  To solve this, dealerships should contract with national repair and maintenance companies that can handle the service and repairs for them.  These national companies have very reasonable rates, and can represent you with national customers very professionally. The other major concern with print management was that everyone admitted to losing customers to the programs, especially some of the more aggressive copier companies.

The three speakers over the weekend were great, and addressed many of the hot topics.  One speaker handled the hot topic of how to pay on managed print sales.  He said we should pay the same as we do on hardware... some percentage of the aftermarket... as long as the sales person maintains their new business goals.  If they aren't out there gaining new business, then don't pay them on the old business.  It keeps them focused and hungry.  Require that they visit the company monthly, and meet with a C-level executive at least quarterly.

My advice is to also ensure Sales Managers are truly managing their territory.  Territory Management is overlooked most of the time, but it's a pivotal reason for success in sales.  That activity is imperative, and those appointments, cold calls, phone calls, and other contacts are what sets them apart from other sales people.

Another topic I heard a lot about was our new ReCore program. (http://www.recovermyempties.com/) Dealers are really hungry for this program, and with fast pay and easy sign up on the website, it's a great program for busy dealers.
Don't forget to join us in Las Vegas next month for the BTA West District Event.  This "magical" event is being held at the Paris Hotel on November 17-18, and promises to be one of the most well-attended district meetings yet. More Information.  The keynote speaker is the President & COO of Toshiba, and the event ends with a performance at the MGM Grand by David Copperfield.  (We have a VERY limited number of complimentary registrations, so contact me if you'd like to attend as our guest.)

Thanks to the BTA for allowing us to participate in their wonderful event.  We look forward to doing it again in MAGICAL Las Vegas!!

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