Print Management Insider Blog

The Stakes Are Still High

Posted by Charles Rodney on Jan 23, 2017, 2:33:53 PM


Since my last blog I received many questions regarding my past, and my experience in my former life as a blackjack player. I cannot answer all of them, but I will take a stab at a few…

-Is Card Counting illegal? No...Casinos are not fond of it but you are not breaking the law by using you brain and knowledge of the game.

-What was your biggest win or loss? I never kept track of single bets. I kept track of longevity.The same way your manager keeps track of your sales. Nobody cares if you're 300% of your monthly's where you end up at the end of the year. Did you make plan? Are you on the PC Trip? The key in the blackjack world as the same in the copier world is LONGEVITY!

-Why don't you play blackjack full time? Many reasons, pick one: it's a young man's sport, I have a wife, kids and a big mortgage, medical benefits, it requires a lot of travel and I enjoy what I do now…working for Print Audit!

Overall many people enjoyed the comparison of blackjack vs. sales so I would just like to touch on a few items that I didn't speak on before, because The Stakes are Still High!

The Referral of Perks...

Many people know where the casinos are in America. But what most people don't know is that most of them are owned by 4 to 6 large companies. When I would travel between many of the cities, I would try to gamble at casinos that had the same ownership. The purpose was to play in Vegas, but also get perks at other locations across the country. Travel costs can add up, but free rooms, food and other gifts help the bottom line. This allowed me to benefit from my initial efforts and spread them around the country.

When you assess your territory, it is good to find either an industry or vertical that you feel comfortable selling to. Why? By landing that first deal you can take your efforts and profit from them on future deals. When I was in a DTS territory it was churches. I landed one of the biggest church deals at that time in Metro Atlanta. At that time it was eight units - all for one church. And now I had them on my resume. I was then able to speak to other churches and explain how I was able to help them and of course allow my customer to speak on the service that we were providing. Your business and profits will grow on the work and efforts of your first win.

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Splitting 8's

This is one move in blackjack that is the same no matter what the dealer is showing.

And it sucks when the dealer has a 10 up!  I hear so many players say: “just stand don't put more money'll just lose more.” What they obviously don't know is the math behind it.  When you stand on a 16 you have a 23% chance of winning when the dealer has a 10 showing. But when you split 8's and turn that hand into two hands of 8, and you have an 8 vs a dealer 10, you now have a 38% chance of winning. It might not feel good at first but by understanding the are giving yourself a fighting chance in a not so great situation.

One thing I use to hate in the sale cycle was demo's. I felt like if you are asking me for a demo then I must not have done enough during my presentation to convince you to sign the paperwork. I felt like if the demo went bad I had a 0% chance of winning the sale. But then the math was given to me by one of my managers. What he did was keep track of every sale that had an in-house demo to calculate the close ratio. And what he informed our team was that our closing ratio doubled when a customer would come to our office to see the equipment. And even if the unit would jam it would allow me to show the customer how to clear it out and the 100% of losing the deal that I had in my mind changed and, I soon would look at demo's as not as a negative, but as a tool to give me a fighting chance to increase my closing rate.

What chip value are you?

If you have been to any casino, one thing that is universal is the color of the chips:

  • Red = $5
  • Green= $25
  • Black = $100
  • Purple =$500
  • Yellow=$1000

There are definitely bigger value chips, but I will only speak to ones I have actually used.

Of course when I first started out I was a red chipper and as time and skill increased I moved to green and multiple green then black. Purple and yellow were used at various times.

But what I found was that when I got comfortable in the multiple green and black world, I would hit and exceed my financial goals in a shorter period of time. And in blackjack and sales...TIME is one of the biggest factors in your success or lack there-of.

How many months have you ended wishing you had just one more day.  So now you have to look at your sales in the past 12 months and determine “what color is the equipment that I normally sell? If I stepped up to the next color could I achieve quota faster?

What do I need to learn and do to become comfortable to sell in the next level of color?

How would it affect my paycheck if I stepped up my game/color?

These are questions that I want you to think about and make the appropriate changes to ensure success.

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Master of Disguise

I have seen many movies and documentaries that show card counters going into casinos with real disguises (wigs, glasses, fake mustaches).  No, I have never done this.  

The purpose of this is to hide their true identity. Maybe they have been barred before or asked not to return. Not saying that this does not happen, but I think it's a little bit of Hollywood in there.

For my situation, I felt that not using my real identity would not allow me to receive the perks I received over the years: hotel, airplane tickets, food comps, golf rounds, concert tickets and many other treats. What I would agree on is that you do your best not to look like a professional or someone that has knowledge of the game. For some crazy reason casinos don’t like to lose money.  Go figure. So my goal was to appear to be a rookie. I would ask the dealers opinion on certain hands even though I knew the answer. I would have my basic strategy card on the table next to my chips. An item that most casino employees looked at as someone who is just learning the game. By doing this I believe this made me look and feel harmless to casino management, and therefore, I was never asked to leave or back roomed.

I believe you should not deceive your customer when you are to meet with them, but it's OK to do homework on the decision maker. With the strength of the internet, you can find out anything.  Having knowledge of the your C-level (such as hobbies, sports preferences, schools attended, family dynamics and non-profits that they participate in) is a good thing. And being able to speak to these topics is even better. You are not being deceiving; you are making your future customer feel comfortable with you, and hopefully that comfortableness can grow to a like!

FACT: People Buy from People They Like

I hope that you can take these ideas I have shared and use them to not only grow your business in 2017, but also to help you in the casino during that PC Trip you are soon to achieve.New Call-to-action


Topics: managed print, Managed Print Services, MPS, print audit, print tracking, sales, sales tips, print costs

Charles Rodney

Written by Charles Rodney

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