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Getting to Know The Mañana Man --DeWese

September 2001
This is the PRINT 01 edition of Printing Impressions. Extra copies of Printing Impressions will be distributed at the Chicago show to thousands of people who walk through the McCormick Place exhibition halls. Some of these attendees may not be regular readers of the magazine or this column. So, I decided the best thing is to write a column that summarizes everything I've said over the past 17 years in my 187 monthly columns.

Besides, I have just completed the negotiation of my new 20-year contract with Attila the Editor. It did not go well. The contract requires that I write at least three serious columns each year. This means the other columns can be entertaining and riotously funny.

That's not so bad. The bad parts of the contract involve washing his car, shining his shoes and sharpening his pencils. I know that if I could win a Pulitzer Prize that I could hook on with Esquire, Time or Playboy and escape Attila's sweat shop. Well, anyway, this will be one of my serious columns for the year.

My real life work as an investment banker and advisor to printing companies puts me in touch with hundreds of printing company owners and presidents. These leaders confide in me and I have the opportunity to see their companies in action. I am especially attentive to their remarks about their salespeople and what they say about their producers and their underachievers.

Here's what I have learned.

The most successful print salespeople are loyal to their employers.

They perceive themselves as team members rather than as independent brokers for the services of the company. The loyalty is rooted in pride in both their co-workers in the pressroom, bindery and all departments, as well as the bricks, mortar and equipment. This pride translates into a powerful belief in the salesperson's company, and you can hear it when the salesperson talks about his company to customers and prospects.

The most successful salespeople are driven to provide customer satisfaction.

They have equipped themselves to provide lightning-fast response to their customers' inquiries and needs. They are happy and willing to hang around for middle-of-the-night press okays. They return phone calls in minutes rather than hours and work within the company to get fast quotes and on-time deliveries.

Top producers always have strong self-esteem. They are far from being egocentric and, instead, are outwardly focused good listeners and "quiet" personalities.
 

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