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MPS: Strategy Meeting (Agreement Meeting)

After finishing the 2nd analysis, the next step of the MPS process is complying all the data and information and presenting it to the client to gain agreement.  The goal of this meeting is to have the client agree to the findings and pre-strategy.

Steps to make sure this meeting is successful:

1.  Make sure you are meeting with the decision maker and person who can actually sign off on the solution.

2.  Present findings, costs, and make sure every number and finding is validated.   Have the decision maker sign off to validate the findings.  If there is an objection to the findings, review it.  This is a consensus meeting, findings are open to discussion, remember that!

3.  Focus on the pain points and make sure you focus on what the customer defines as value.

4.  Present a snapshot of your strategy to build excitement and to demonstrate you understand what the customer values.

5.  Determine who else needs to buy-in.  (Sometimes all executives need to buy-in in order for the decision maker to sign off)

6.  DON’T schedule the next meeting, which is presenting the final proposal until the customer is ready to make a final decision and move forward.  If they don’t validate the findings or don’t seem interested in making a decision, you are either not talking to the decision maker or you don’t understand what the customer values.  So, don’t schedule the next meeting because you will not get an answer.


August 27, 2010 Posted by | Sales Tips Of The Day | 2 Comments

MPS: Conducting 2nd Analysis

After reviewing your information and numbers from the 1st analysis and defining a MPS solution on certain pain points, it is time complete the 2nd analysis and strengthen the MPS solution you believe might be right for the customer.

The 2nd analysis provides great opportunity to build relationships with the customer that will help you win the MPS deal, make sure you conduct additional interviews and validate the pain points thru user experiences.

Here are some key steps that need to done to have a successful 2nd analysis:

1.  Take configurations pages on all devices. (printers, copiers, faxes)

2.  Confirm inventory of all devices and make sure you know which ones are leased and which ones are owned.

3.  Gather additional information that will validate your MPS solution that you came up with during your pre-strategy meeting (see last blog post).

4.  Interview, Interview, Interview – Customers define VALUE.

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

MPS: Pre-Strategy before 2nd Analysis

Before you go thru for a second analysis and collect another round of meter reads from copiers, printers, and fax machines, MPS reps should review the information that have collected and start to build a solution.  By starting to build your solution before the second analysis, you can identify gaps that you will need to fill to strengthen your solution, i.e. better interview info from employees or why there is a printer, copier, and fax in the one area.

Here are some questions MPS reps should ask themselves before going for their second analysis:

1.  Evaluate your data and information collected to make sure it has validity.

2.  Identify additional information you will need to validate your solution.

3.  Identify which pain points you think your solution should be built around.

4.  Identify ways you will want to get your customer excited about MPS and market your pre-solution around the pain points you have identified.

5.  Think about how your competitors would respond to your ideas and make sure you think of ways your solution will be unique.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

MPS: Assessment Steps

The goal of a MPS assessment is to build a case for MPS and your offerings by collecting and documenting evidence and interviewing employees.  Remember, customers define value, so the more people you talk to the better you will understand value.

Your assessment should include:

1.  Tagging and Mapping all devices.  (Understanding why the devices are placed where they are)

2.  Obtain floor plan to demonstrate walking distant and proximity of devices to employees.

3.  Take configuration pages off all devices.

4.  If a device doesn’t provide a configuration page, ask users how many pages they print or copy in a week.

5.  Ask users about their experiences regarding each device.  Do they need color, finishers, etc.

6.  Obtain all contracts, costs, service agreements, long distance charges for fax machines.  Make sure you get all cost pertaining to printing and copying.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | 1 Comment

MPS Tip of the Day

Managed Print Services is about productivity improvements whether a company is looking to downsize or expand and it is important for MPS rep to have business cases developed to demonstrate productivity savings.  Some MPS reps are have spoken to say they are uncomfortable with illustrating productivity savings, but C-level executives love they type of data.  Remember productivity improvements are identified by work that can be eliminated. 

Here is a quick example of how to show productivity gains:

  If the MPS consultant finds that a company can increase productivity by 25%, this DOESN”T MEAN that 25% of the staff at that company is not needed.  It means the company’s staff will be able to do 25% more USEFUL work.  But remember productivity is only one small part of a staff member’s work.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Components of MPS Customer Service

In many of my posts, I have spoken about the sales and discovery process for MPS, but today I want to talk about the customer service side of MPS.  A successful customer service plan is a BIG key to a successful MPS solution and keeping customers for life.  I believe there are four key components that need to be interwoven to have a successful MPS customer service program.

Here are the four key components:

1.  People:  Whether it is a service engineer, level one help desk, or customer service manager, good people are key to customer service.  Your MPS customer service people are the first to interact with your customer, so they must make a good impression.  You can have the best business processes and technology, but if you don’t have a good customer service team, your MPS program will suffer.


2.  Processes:  Once you have the right people, you need the right business processes.  Having common processes for each issue is very important.  If a customer can predict the outcome of an issue because you have quality common processes, it will create value for the customer. 

3.  Data:  In order to have good processes, your MPS customer service team must provide good data for and about your customers and you should use it as a way to measure your work.  You can have great people and great processes, but if you don’t have quality  information about your customer and their issues, than the customer will not see value.

4.  Technology:  In order to have great data, a MPS customer service team must be using great technology.  Your remote monitoring software must be up to par, your CRM must integrate with your sales and service team.  For MPS issues, you should have a “knowledge database.”  If you want to demonstrate that your customer service team is elite in the MPS space, technology is area to start.


August 3, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Tips for a MPS REP

Selling MPS is different than selling a piece of hardware because as MPS consultant you need to focus on the process and services, not the product.  Explaining features will come during training, not during the sales process, when selling MPS.  

Below are some tips to keep a MPS consultant from crossing into a hardware sell:

 1.  When selling MPS, your main goal is to create “Value adds” for your customer and their business.  “Value adds” are not done thru features; it is done thru service and process.

2.  Before you can demonstrate a solution, you must understand their pain points, or needs.  Trying to fit your solution to a customer without understanding their pain points demonstrates a typical copier sales rep.  DON’T begin recommendations or building solutions until pain points are clearly defined.  Pain points you want to understand are  about the process of dealing with multiple vendors, service techs, bills, etc.

3.  Companies want facts, data, and proof.  You need to illustrate a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) before you can create value.  Customers are the ones that will define value, but in order to them to define value, you need to create a baseline for them.

August 2, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | 1 Comment

MPS Tip of the Day: Assessment Paralysis

Assessment paralysis is defined as over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.  Too many times, MPS deals never make it out of the assessment stage because MPS consultants don’t understand their audience and get caught up in details.   MPS consultants must understand who their audience is and know that an assessment is essential to the MPS process, but a drawn out assessment can paralyze the MPS process.  When selling solution or technology, details can slow the process and during the assessment details can cause assessment paralysis. 

1.  Speak the right language and don’t get into technology jargon.

2.  Don’t allow yourself to get too detailed.

3.  Know your audience and who has the true pain points.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

C-Level Executive: How will my company benefit from MPS?

Many C-Level Executives are asking:  “how will my company benefit from your MPS solution?”

Here are some answers:

1.  It will improve workflow and productivity.

2.  It will eliminate investing MONEY in stocking materials.

3.  It will increase availability and uptime of all devices.

4.  It will eliminate IT from spending time on printer-related issues, allowing them to work on issues that require their true expertise.

5.  It will reduce help desk calls and down time with remote monitoring.

6.  It will allow for techs to have to right parts on demand for devices keeping productivity up.

7.  It will be designed around your core business and strategic goals.

Dear C-Level Executive:

Before you go out to purchase another printer or multi-functional device, make sure know what you currently have in your office and what it is costing to you operate.  Better information about your environment will allow you to make better decisions!

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment


Many people ask me how do explain to customers, what MPS consultant is….. 

I always tell customers that a MPS consultant operates much like a General Contractor.  To follow this analogy, a General Contractor assumes the overall responsibility for the building or remodeling of a home or building, yet they will retain the services of different sub-contractors, like a carpenter, an electrician, and a plumber to perform the installation of these particular parts of expertise.  The MPS consultant employs various vendors (sub-contractors), as well as different resources and practices to deliver a MPS solution that meet the customer’s corporate goals and strategies.

When people are building a home or doing a large remodel, the homeowner’s goal is to get the most return on their investment or the most bang for their buck.  The same goes for a company who looking for a MPS solution because companies are looking to cut overhead expenses without harming productivity.  The MPS consultant has the task like the General Contractor of meeting those two goals of boosting productivity without requiring a capital investment and containing costs without harming productivity. 

Remember not all General Contractors are the same, the same goes for MPS consultants!

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment