“You are going to have to explain to my boss how this happened”

April 25, 2009

I was at my Quarterly Sales meeting yesterday and I heard the funniest quote that I have heard in a long time.

We had a good quarter and we were going over some of the bigger deals that came in. With the current Ricoh \ Ikon situation it isn’t hard to understand that a number of the bigger deals that we have landed have been take aways” from Ikon. One of our Sales Reps talked about such a deal. By the time Ikon found out that they were completely out of this account the deal was done.

When the Customer called their Ikon Sales Rep to tell them that they lost the deal, and the Account the Ikon Rep lost her mind. I don’t know what else would explain the following rant. She started to berate this customer, she started to throw out the same old tired spin that Ikon has been using for years, it all smacked of “don’t you know who I am” LOL! The customer just wasn’t buying this line of bull anymore. Since Ikon had lost the Canon line, and now lost the Konica Minolta line, and all they had left was Ricoh equipment to sell, they just didn’t have what this customer wanted. Apparently just being “Ikon” wasn’t enough. I think only now the Ikon Sales Reps are starting to figure this out.

At the end of this phone conversation the Ikon Sales Rep actually said to this Customer “You are going to have to explain to my boss how this happened” REALLY! Can you imagine a sane person saying this to an Account that they just lost? I can’t, so I am going to have to chalk it up to temporary insanity on the part of the Ikon Sales Rep. The perfect reply would have been, “No I think that YOU’RE going to have to explain it to your boss”.

But I think this Sales Rep’s statement reveals two of the more serious flaws that Ikon has\had. The first is arrogance bordering on hubris! The “don’t you know who I am” attitude (said with your best Ted Kennedy accent). They have bought into their own hype that because they are “Ikon” people HAVE to do business with them. On a side note isn’t it funny that that name “Ikon” will be going away shortly. Soon there will be no more Ikon, only another Ricoh branch. Ikon will be regulated to nothing more than a foot note in the history of our industry.

But I said there were two serious flaws that this statement revealed the second is that Ikon sales management manages by fear! You can hear the desparation in this Sales Woman’s voice when she makes the insane statement that “You are going to have to explain to my boss how this happened” As if this customer was obligated to do so. What she was really saying was she was afraid that she was not going to be able to explain to her boss how this happened, how she and the once mighty Ikon lost another deal to a large regional independent dealer. But don’t worry Ms. Ikon Sales Person If you think that you are afraid to have to explain it to your boss, just think how afraid your boss is to explain it to his boss. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he will get fired before you do. Let me say for the record that managing the people who work for you by fear is a bad long term strategy. It may accomplish your short term goals but it will not build a top shelf professional sales organization. No REAL Sales Professional will stay in that kind of environment for long. And the best and most talented will ALWAYS have other options. Ikon never seemed to get that.

Folks, I believe that we are witnessing the early stages of the Ikon implosion, and It isn’t going to be pretty!

That’s my $0.02
Vince Mchugh



  1. Let the fun begin!

  2. Spin Spin Spin, I highly doubt this happened, show some proof and we can talk.

  3. If it is true, IKON will feel right at home – most Ricoh districts manage in that same way. Our last region manager actually has a sign in his office that states: NO LOYALTY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: