I have been in the office printing environment for 15 years and I still love what I do.
From the early days of calling on customers to sell remanufactured laser print cartridges, to our current focus on selling a win-win outcomes-based solution, I am amazed at how this industry has progressed and I am excited about the road ahead.
In my ongoing drive to deliver on customer needs and solve problems in the office printing environment, I have learnt many things about business that I can share:
• When delivering a service, the people on your team are your priority
• Through execution and delivery of your promise, build solid relationships based on trust
• Learn from your mistakes: they define you and shape your growth path
• Listen carefully to your customers
• Sometimes business is not fair
• Be resilient in the quest to reach your goal
• An unwavering belief in what you set out to achieve is essential
• Make sure you know why you are getting up in the morning and doing what you do
• Define your purpose
The above eight things will go a long way in making sure that when your career comes to an end, you can look back at your contribution with pride and fulfilment.
In addition to what I have learnt about business in general, here are the lessons I have learnt about the Office Print industry in particular:
• Not many people have a print strategy in place
• Office printing does not get much attention
• If it works, you and your customers will be happy
• Office printing is at bottom of the food chain/pecking order
• Relationships are key to the sale of equipment
• Very few people understand what they are paying for
• Contracts are always complicated and onerous
• People sign contracts based on trust
• Costs are very high (a lot higher than you think)
• Finance contracts have some funny clauses
People in mid-sized businesses don’t know how many devices they have.
When you are trying to disrupt a market and develop a new, more efficient and sustainable way of doing things, learning and fixing these problems makes you different, and more people will want to do business with you.
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