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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 7 years ago

'Persistence without bugging'

A never-quit ethos provides a big bounce for Omega Office Systems. The firm thrives in an industry of rapid change.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

Office equipment entrepreneur Kevin Logan, with a specialty in copiers and printers, spotted a semi-familiar face when he took his mom to an oncologist appointment in 2008 in Sarasota.

Turns out Logan knew one of the employees at the Florida Cancer Specialists location from a fantasy baseball league. The two chatted for a few minutes, and Logan, the consummate salesman, checked out the office equipment from afar. “They had junky printers all over the place,” recalls Logan, president of Sarasota-based Omega Office Systems.

Logan turned the chance meeting into a series of conversations with FCS executives spread through several months. That diligence ultimately led to a major coup for Omega: The firm now provides copiers, machines and repair services for Fort Myers-based FCS, which treats 50,000 patients a year. The cancer treatment giant has 90 Florida offices, and more than 1,000 copy machines.

FCS is now Omega's largest customer among several big ones captured during a five-year sales surge. Revenues have nearly doubled since 2010, from $1.5 million to $2.87 million last year. And the first quarter of 2015 is on track to produce $1 million in sales, an all-time quarterly record for the firm, founded in 2000. “FCS has been a huge part of our growth,” says Logan. “You never know where the next deal will come from.”

That approach also places Omega in a unique spot: The firm, a paper throwback in a digital age, where a popular industry blog is titled “The Death of the Copier: Observations without Judgment,” is growing, not shrinking. Small competitors have either closed or been bought in recent years. Big firms and regional office equipment companies are consolidating.

Yet Omega, with 18 employees, plans to double its office and warehouse space in the next few months, from 3,000 square feet to about 7,500 square feet. The current space, says Logan, is so overcrowded he moved his office into a converted closet to make room for other employees. Reams of paper are stacked in the conference room.

“My philosophy has always been we don't sell stuff, we help people,” Logan says. “You can't only try to figure out how much money you will make in a contract.”

That philosophy, combined with a steadfast never-quit attitude in the face of a long sales cycle, has led to several more big wins at Omega. The firm, for example, recently landed the Bradenton operations of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Logan first targeted the Pirates in 2005, and he and a top salesperson at the firm kept in regular touch with team officials after the firm came up short on several bids.

Logan then pounced on an opening when the team's current office equipment provider went through a change in ownership structure. “We were persistent without bugging him,” says Logan. “As a salesperson you don't ever call to say 'Hi, how you doing?' You have to have a reason for the call.”

Logan says customers also need a reason to switch copier and printer firms. That's why Omega offers a variety of flexible lease options that bigger competitors don't typically provide. “We have a unique way of putting together our leases,” says Logan. “We also have a lot of success just showing people how to buy printers properly.”

Follow Mark Gordon on Twitter @markigordon

Tale of the Tape
Kevin Logan, president of Sarasota-based Omega Office Systems, doesn't waste time listening to music or talk radio when he drives around town on sales calls.

The executive, instead, goes for educational and motivational CDs. Logan's current rotation includes:

“Napoleon Hill's Laws of Success” and “How to Sell Your Way Through Life.” Hill, says Logan, talks about accomplishing goals through certainty of purpose and autosuggestion. “It's amazing that these books were written almost 100 years ago,” says Logan, “and they still ring true.”

“Psychology of Selling” and “Psychology of Achievement,” both by Brian Tracy. These focus on visualization techniques;

“Swim with the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive” and “Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt,” both by Harvey Mackay. “These are more introduction to selling,” says Logan, “but I find every time I listen or read them it gets me more focused on my goals.”

Follow Mark Gordon on Twitter @markigordon

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