“Just a Copier company”

March 1, 2012

One of our Sales People took over an account from a company that he used to work for. While he was there doing some follow up training his main contact was telling him how much she appreciated how smooth the installs went, both from the Service Tech & our Systems Engineer. She said that she had gotten used to doing all the network portion of the installs herself with little to no help from our predecessor. She said that they don’t have Systems Engineers (SEs).

Seeing one of the competitors MFDs that was still under lease my salesman asked her how do you like the Xerox? To which he got the reply “The machine is OK, but they are just a copier company”. They can’t connect it, and integrate it with my network, my computers, or my software. My Sales guy was very pleased to hear that his old company is still just a copier company, they are still just selling boxes. Good luck with that!

Don’t expect to maintain any reasonable margin if you are just selling boxes. If you can’t leverage the functions of a multi functional device and integrate it into your customers infrastructure then you will have to be the cheapest. Because until you can actually solve your customers business problem you are selling a commodity. When you genuinely solve their problem by knowing how to configure your hardware & software within their environment you have added value. You have sold them (dare I say it) a solution.

By the way, no one calls us (NECS) “just a copier company”, how about you?

That’s My $0.02
Vince McHugh



  1. Vince,
    I just shared this to my updates on LinkedIn® so people in my network can be made aware of this.

    Paul P. Mosley
    Penobscot Executive Search LLC
    A National Recruiting & Placement Agency
    Dexter, Maine USA
    (207) 270-6070

  2. Nice – all too common.

    It’s strange, see all sorts of very good Xerox installs – and an even great number of 50%’rs – not sure why.

    I would think the marketing departments of X would be interested in hearing about “…just a copier company…” comment.

    Good form…

    • Greg,

      I recently heard this phrase repeated to me from one of my Boston Sales Guys… His customer said to him “The only problem with a Xerox, is that you have to buy it from Xerox!”

  3. When you get right down to it, the lasting impression is the one that either sank the deepest, or shined the brightest… I make sure my guys know, it’s not how well you took care of ABC company that matters… But how well you take care of “A through Z”. We’re never remembered for the consistent performance, only the variances of them…. 🙂

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