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Choose Your Inspiration Mantra--DeWese

February 2001
This is a printing salesperson psychotherapy column. I have to write these every so often because I get bagfuls of letters, gigabytes of e-mails and memory-filling voice mails from distraught and depressed print salespeople.

You've got hard jobs, and some of you have stupid bosses and even stupider competitors. These conditions can create considerable anxiety for even the strongest of psyches.

The stock market tanked. Mr. Greenspan waited too long to reduce interest rates. The economy has been headed in the wrong direction. The presidential election results in Florida had to be counted, recounted and litigated, and all of the TV coverage sickened some of you and distracted the sales efforts of others.

This has been a rough winter with some record snowfall, freakish ice storms and brutally cold temperatures. Print salespeople who are supposed to be out and about and calling on customers have to deal with treacherous roads, snow-covered parking lots and job delays.

The bleak and gray days in February can lead to misery and despair among our printing sales forces nationwide. If the sales force is depressed now, we are sure to have a sales slump in March and April.

Well, this ol' Mañana Man has got to do something about your mental condition. I can't let you lapse into some lethargic state of mind where you all crawl under the covers and curl up in a fetal position. On the other hand, I don't have time to answer all of your letters, e-mails and phone calls.

Once again, I'm going to have to single-handedly save the printing industry. If owners and sales managers would do a better job of motivating salespeople, I wouldn't have to continually come to the rescue.

This will have to be an interactive group therapy session like the, er, yeah, like Oprah's TV shows. Oprah has been hosting a series of shows on spirituality that have really helped some people that I know. Not me. I'm the Mighty Mañana Man and I don't need any help. Some of my friends needed Oprah's help and told me about her shows. I'd never lie around on the sofa from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a weekday and watch Oprah.

First, it's important for you to realize why print sales is so difficult and, hence, why you are so vulnerable to this diabolical dejection that you are feeling.

The role of a printing salesperson is to be outside proactive. This means you must leave the building and use your own initiative to obtain a sale. There are four types of salespeople: inside reactive, outside reactive, inside proactive and you, outside proactive.
 

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