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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Why I Think Franklin Planners Will 'Save Print'

Yup, that's right.

Back in the day, every single salesperson worth his or her quota carried a Franklin planner. Heck, I think HP, IBM, and Canon gave every rep a planner and the "Seven Habits..." in lieu of a PC and printer.

Instead of checking smartphones and pecking the qwerty, we'd unzip and unfold our cool, custom binders, jot down notes, check off tasks, and review calendars.  And by 'jot' I mean, write down...with a pen or pencil...on paper even.
"...sometimes, reps would copy entire months, off the glass, and submit these "reports" to management..."
Scheduling the next appointment was in real-time, face to face, and "...if it didn't make it in my Franklin, it didn't exist..."

Business cards were stuffed in plastic sleeves for easy access and we wrote down phone numbers.

No.  Really...we did.

At the end of the day or week, one might review the past and plan future action items or follow-up tasks.  Again, we wrote on paper.  More advanced users would apply sticky notes, and custom forms. (show-offs)

Leadership loved these things.

Old-school sales managers would surprise audit your Franklin, checking for scheduled meetings over the next couple of weeks - funnel review included handing your planner over to your manager.

Sometimes...and get this...sometimes, reps would copy entire months, off the glass, and submit these "reports" to management.  Penny a click, penny a click...

So here's my plan.

If every single HP, Lexmark, Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Epson, Samsung, Muratec, or Memjet, sales rep indeed, if every sales, branch, or district manager, each VP, AVP, and C-Suite employee in every manufacturer and dealer ordered a Franklin planner today, the industry would lead by example.  The industry would save itself.

For this to work,  The 'Planner' must be the required tool for funnel reviews and account planning. Follow me here...if the industry is serious about saving itself by repeating the same mistakes over and over, it should drink its own champagne and regress back to paper.

Move off Outlook, turn off the carphones.  Get back to alphanumeric pagers, pink phone message pads, and overhead transparencies.

Fewer screens, more carbon paper.

Worried about productivity? Hear meetings without beeps, whistles, and tweeting sounds.  No more heads buried in a keyboard checking Facebook during your copier technology roadmap presentation.


Go full tilt.  Stop "selling the cloud" and referring to yourself as a technology company - everybody knows you're just trying to make your MFDs relevant.

Do you want relevance?  Move your entire ordering process back to paper.

CRM? Yeah, it's a 1-30 tickler file.  Slide deck?  Sure, it is a deck of real slides.

If the industry wants to return to the hey-days of 1986, I say, put your value prop where your toner bottle is and get rid of your digital technology.

I dare you.  I double-dog, dare you.  I can't wait to see the direct reps sporting pleather binders and a return of the receptionist!

Require your professional salespeople to scan their Franklin at 7:00 AM and again at 5:30PM.  Penny a click, penny a click...

While you are at it, bring back the original QWERTY and put the receptionist to work, typing up proposals.  And yes, make 20 copies for every meeting.  Penny a click, penny a click...

"Receptionist Wanted:  Must type 120 words per minute and be versed in grammar."

Gosh, the possibilities are endless...

Satire -

We all know nobody in the imaging industry is going to lead into the past by giving up all their paper-reducing technology.

I guess the big question is, how can they expect their clients to do so?

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