Originally published on Medium
Secrets to Sales and Business Success (4 Minute read)
Meet Monte Jensen a 24 year MFP pro with over $20M in sales
So let’s dive in!
Hi Monte, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Tell us about how you came to create your career path in the MFP (Multi Function Printer) industry?
MJ: I was formally in the hospitality industry. As the general manager of high-end restaurants with a sommelier credential running a restaurant in downtown San Francisco. Two doors down was an IKON office and one of my former employees was working there. His boss recruited me for several months before I entertained the transition into imaging. I still work with him… 24 years later.
In your time in the MFP sales career how what are some of the biggest changes you have seen happen?
MJ: I used to be able to walk and anybody’s offices introduce myself. Cold calling. I was very successful doing that as I worked harder than anyone else in my office. My restaurant career work ethic was paying off. After the 9/11 attacks in New York City all that changed. Over the last few years the security restrictions were relaxing but then Covid hit and the world will never be the same.
What does a typical engagement with a potential client looks like?
MJ: My products are leased 99% of the time and that lease is anywhere between 3 to 5 years in term. When the lease is coming to an end often times companies would like to obtain competitive proposals and that opens the door for me to have a conversation that is not only financially focused but business process focused. By focusing on a business process I become more of a partner than just a vendor.
When competing on price have you found any approaches that can overcome the commodification of the Copier Sales industry?
MJ: Solutions that are focused on improving business processes are the major differentiator. I take time to learn about their business and in the processes learn what is challenging for them around paper and data. This also draws in participation from the C Level executives as were talking about much more than price.
How have you overcome the Covid restrictions on in person sales?
MJ: I’m in California and we have had some of the most constraining restrictions in the nation. Fortunately I saw the value of electronic meetings or zoom meetings many years ago. The traffic in the Bay Area is overwhelming and for me to move from one meeting to another would take an hour or more. I began to use Skype and I found I could replace some of those meetings electronically. The biggest challenge is that my customers were not tech savvy participating in online meetings. Today everyone is familiar with the technology and I’m able to accomplish much more in less time.
How have the recent pandemic supply chain issues affected your business?
MJ: Previously when a client had ordered a MFP the lead time would be anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks prior to installation. Now it’s 1 to 2 months. We’ve also been challenged with obtaining parts and toner so repairs are slower and at times my clients have run out of toner.
What advice can you give to people just entering the MFP sales game?
MJ: Learn everything you can about software. The hardware is now a commodity so it does not matter who the manufacturer is Xerox, Canon, Kyocera, Konica the hardware is all the same. By having a discussion about what the data on the paper is used for you can be a valuable asset to every client. For instance if they’re using Salesforce, they probably want to extract data from that paper and populate fields in Salesforce automatically. They’re doing it manually today and is taking dozens if not hundreds of hours. By using an innovative piece of software like ccScan that process could be automated and you will be saving your client thousands of dollars in labor costs.
Where do you see the future of MFP over the next 5–10 years?
MJ: Intelligent Scanning Software will become more of a must-have instead of a nice to have. Clients are using their MFPs to scan more every day but they’re using rudimentary processes that need to become intelligent. There are significant advances that can be adopted by businesses extracting data from their paper. Businesses that adopt those advances will be more efficient and profitable.
About Monte Jensen.
Growing up in the restaurant business and spending 20+ years working his way from the kitchen to a general manager of fine dining restaurants picking up sommelier credentials along the way, Monte was recruited right out of the restaurant by a copier company manager located just a few doors down…after 6 months of persistent persuasion. Transitioning into sales was the “best move of his life” with recognition as a “rookie of the year” amongst 63 sales professionals in San Francisco. Fast forward 23 years later, and Monte is still breaking sales records working with some of Valley’s biggest Fortune 500 companies as clients. An avid guitar player with an ever growing collection of instruments, he splits his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Monte can be reached via LinkedIn here.