Have You Heard the "Buzz" Lately?7 Feb, 2006 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource
Have You Heard the "Buzz" Lately?
you have spent more than a month in the copier industry then you likely have
heard some buzzwords and phrases that would be considered overused by most
standards. I thought I would offer my point of view on a few of these terms
while poking some fun at them, of course.
Solutions*: Is there any
other term in the copier realm that is used more consistently or incessantly?
It’s the mother of all industry buzzwords!
We have imaging solutions, document solutions, scanning solutions, network
solutions, and my favorite, the all-encompassing business solutions. Companies
use it in their names, sales reps struggle to comprehend it, and technicians are
constantly seeking the right “solution” to fix any problems with the mentioned
The truth is, for years solutions had been a “fad” word that sales reps threw
around simply to sell a box. I remember being on sales calls hearing the empty
promises from “Johnny Sales Rep,” who would present his 10 page-per-minute
analog copier as a solution.
Fast forward to today where software, hardware, connectivity, and workflow have
all become a part of the business. Solution is simply a word that encompasses
all of these offerings, which, in fact, provide businesses answers to customers’
problems. It’s a term that has merit and now belongs atop the copier industry
* imageSource is one of the biggest offenders
Cold Calling: When used
properly, cold calling is the single most powerful tool to put money in a
salesperson’s pocket. However, it is an amazing phrase in our industry that can
have many different interpretations depending on the person and time it is used.
• For a fresh-faced rep, the G-rated translation can be, “Oh no!”
• On a Wednesday afternoon, outside cold calls can be translated into, “I’m
going home to catch the last few minutes of the ‘Dr. Phil’ show.”
• Around 4 p.m. on Friday, outside cold calls can mean, “Happy hour time!”
Price vs. Process: I
recently went to the store because I needed a color printer for my home office.
The “Mr. Thrifty” that I am, I was concerned with cost and bought a great little
inkjet for only $67.
After about 30 prints on my new printer I was out of toner and returned to the
store for ink. Of course, the ink for my $67 printer was $68. I thought nothing
of the $67 decision for my printer (price). I should have considered the
operating cost over a year, which is approximately $3,300 (process). Price vs.
process is a worthy phrase that our customers need to understand and relate too
when making a purchasing decision.
Consultant: Seems like
nowadays everyone in our industry is a consultant. We have business consultants,
the all-inclusive document imaging consultant, and the sales consultant. You
used to be able to tell how long someone was in the business by his or her
• Account executive: 0-5 years
• Box pusher: 5-7 years
• Lifer: 7 years and up
Now, for the most part, everyone enters the business as a consultant because it
has become a necessity. From software to programming scripts to manipulating
printer description languages, you must have the ability to consult customers on
their printing technology.
There are also those buzz phrases that have their downsides:
Lip service: That one thing we should never promise if we can’t deliver
Four-hour response time: A myth started long ago in a galaxy far, far
Career Counseling: A kinder phrase for YOU’RE FIRED!
We work in an industry that is literally changing before our eyes. These terms
have run rampant because they are the basis of what makes a company successful.
I look forward to what the future of our industry holds and the new terminology
that will sprout from it.