Ricoh – Prepare for a talent exodus

April 28, 2012

I received a call from a Ricoh sales guy in another state who read a 2009 post on my blog.


We spoke for about a half an hour. He said that Ricoh just adopted the IKON comp plan for their Sales Force. He had submitted his monthly comp plan work sheet before they made the change, then had to rework it based on the new comp plan and he said it cut his commission in half! He was not happy. His manager, trying to be a good manager, and a good corporate citizen, tried to show him how to best work the comp plan to maximize his earnings. The action plan was something like if you can rub your belly while patting your head riding a unicycle up hill, whistling Dixie with a mouth full of marbles you can make an “OK” commission. The sales guy showed his manager the what the same activity would have generated under the previous plan, and that was the end of the conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, Ricoh has to do something because they are hemorrhaging cash. But there is one thing I know about sales people, they didn’t go into sales to make an OK living. Most of them have a life style that requires them to really earn! They do a very difficult job, under tremendous pressure, but are willing to do it IF THEY CAN EARN! Take that away and Katie bar the door! Ricoh should also pad lock the fire doors (figuratively) because the mass exodus of talent (Ricoh & Ikon talent) is about to take place.

The thing that Ricoh has going for it is the sluggish economy, and the fact that the other _BS (Direct Sales) Branches of the rest of the Manufacturers are also doing poorly. But their BEST PEOPLE will always find work. Where? The Large Regional Dealers are still doing well even with the sluggish economy. Good sales people will always find work. Some will leave the industry, some will move to other _BS branches (CBS, TABS, KMBS, etc), and some will go to the Independent Dealers. With so many of the Direct Sales (_BS) Branches loosing significant money, I am declaring this the decade of the Independent Dealer!

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh



  1. yup. Been coming. I can only wonder how many Ricoh folk back in Japan are getting the pink “badge of shame”.

    And yes, it is the age of the independent…the independent dealer will last in terms of years, not decades. The independent Selling Professional will survive eons.

    Why work for just one company? The time is now. Buy an iPad, move to the could then Sell and work for yourself.

    Vox Populi

  2. Well this blog is very true as I have just left Ricoh for this very reason….I have been in the industry selling Ricoh products for 12 years and have been over quota by an average of 28% every year for the past 12 years…my earnings have now been decreased by an average of 69% and I have had an increase of 67% on target..so yes I think Ricoh employees are paying for the acquisition along with the cost of their new CRM system. It is very sad to have left as I really enjoyed working there..but I am not used to an average pay cheque, so it is time to move on!

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