As Star Wars fans the world over celebrate May The 4th we thought it might be a good idea to reach out to Yoda and see if he would be kind enough to offer some sagely advice to those of us in the Managed Print world. Okay, you got us, we didn’t really interview Yoda, but we did search the galaxy for the best Yoda quotes out there. Here are Print Audit’s top 5 tips from Yoda to help you improve your Managed Print practice:
1. “Always pass on what you have le
arned”: You may have somebody who you consider an MPS champion. Question is, have you documented their processes and knowledge for the benefit of others in your sales organization? What if your MPS champion falls prey to the dark side of the force? Be wise like Yoda and make sure you document and share MPS best practices with the entire team.
2. “Do or do not, there is no try”: If you are serious about building a profitable Managed Print practice there are no half measures to get you there. I’ve worked with a great number of office equipment dealers over the years and the single most important thing that successful ones share is going hard or going home. If you are looking to add print governance to your portfolio make it a core part of your offering, no room for dabbling here. If you decide to wear a light saber on your belt you’d better be prepared to use it.
3. “If you end your training now — if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did — you will become an agent of evil”: Far more often than I could have imagined I run into sales reps who are looking for a quick hit. Usually that quick hit is trying to close a hardware deal without knowing what the customer is looking to accomplish. “Quick and easy” leads to increased competition and decreased close rates. Taking the time to understand customer needs and providing tailored solutions leads to higher close rates AND improved margins. The Jedi way is the way of taking the time and doing the necessary work to attain greatness.
4. “Patience you must have my young padawan”: Developing expertise in any new endeavor takes patience and practice. When you add a new offering to your MPS portfolio such as user-based print governance you need to allow yourself the time needed to become exceptional at how you sell it. It won’t happen overnight, no matter how good your software partner. But with patience comes reward and for those that take the time to diversify their MPS offering the future is as bright as the 2 suns of Tatooine.
5. “You must unlearn what you have learned”: Many people in the office equipment channel believe that the only way to do things is the way we’ve always done them. If you want your Managed Print practice to prosper in the coming years you need to question everything you think you know. Is CPP the best way to bill in an age of declining pages? Are digital workflows going to change how people share and distribute information? Does Seat Based Billing (SBB) make more sense given the fact that it’s the billing method of choice today for many Managed IT Service providers? Great danger awaits those who think they know it all in an expanding Galaxy where new threats to current success abound.
These tips may not help you to become a Jedi Master but if applied with Yoda-like effort they are sure to help improve your Managed Print practice. There is no need to search for answers in a galaxy far, far away. Just take the time to make the changes and commit the resources necessary to succeed in this Universe. May the 4th be with you….