How Does a Copier Sales Rep Compete In a Highly Competitive Market and Keep a Positive Attitude?

Jimmy Johnson and the Dallas Cowboys

Last week I watched a great show, in which Joe Buck interviewed Jimmy Johnson. One of the takeaways from this show was the equation Jimmy made famous from his time with the Dallas Cowboys.

He had this posted in their locker room. PA+E=P

I think all sales managers should post this equation in every sales office. Did you figure it out yet? Neither did I at first, but let me help you. Positive Attitude, plus Effort equals Performance! Think about this for a moment. Having a positive attitude and giving a true effort every day means performance will go up! So simple, yet how many times in your sales career have you let your mindset affect the level of your performance?

How is Your Attitude?

Even as a seasoned and successful copier rep, this happened to me too many times. The one deal that you were counting on was given to your competition because they were a dollar cheaper. A champion contact at your best major account just left and the new person in the position will not return your calls or emails. How quickly your day can turn upside down by hearing some unexpected news. If you cannot maintain control of your attitude, you might give up on the day altogether.

When I first started in this industry I was told repeatedly, the best time to cold call was just after you made a sale! Why? - because you have a great attitude. As stated in the movie Cool Hand Luke, “I got my mind right, boss!” A positive attitude allowed me to create great sales days for myself. On the other hand, sometimes bad news left me with a crap attitude and that made for awful sales days. 

Let’s look at Jimmy Johnson’s life for a moment. He didn’t win every game. In fact, as a coach at the University of Miami in his first year, his team blew a 31-0 halftime lead and lost the game! I bet his attitude was less than fantastic after that game! However, harnessing a positive attitude and giving his all every day made him a winner wherever he went. He took unsuccessful teams and made each one better during his tenure there. When he took over the Cowboys in 1989, their first year record was 1-15. By 1992, he won the first of two consecutive Super Bowls!

So what is a copier sales rep to do?

Everyday we are faced with challenges that threaten our positive attitudes - a lost deal where our competition was selling the same product a dollar cheaper. As a result, instead of being that “expert” in our field, we are now considered a mere sales rep and are competing by price only. We have not been able to provide value to our clients. We have not solved any business problem for our clients.

Becoming an Expert

Today, more than ever, we have lots of tools to not only make us more productive, but also make us more effective. Researching our prospects does not mean a trip to the library and digging out “Crain’s Book of Business”. We can type their name in Google, and within seconds, we can find out everything about that company. Being active on LinkedIn, and connecting with prospective clients there, offers a ton of information for you. You are then able to have meaningful conversations with prospective clients without the pressure of sending an email that will only be deleted.

Become an expert for your clients by solving business problems for them. Read everything. Learn to write. Publish articles in LinkedIn and share across all of your social media channels. In time, you will become that expert that your clients will rely on to solve their problems. They will not make a move without consulting with you first.

Yes, you will have tough moments in a day. However, remembering PA+E=P will keep you on track. Become that expert for your clients. Solve business problems for them. Utilize all tools available to you to enhance your prospecting goals. I became very successful in a very rural market in Northern Illinois by employing many different strategies. Remaining positive and having a sense of humor was a must. Share your positive attitude with everyone you meet, and learn to laugh a lot!


Article by Mike Hollander

Originally posted on Convergo