Helping World’s Worst Sales Rep –DeWese

This is my first column written in the New Year. Since I haven’t had a chance to talk with you, I’m hopin’ your holidays were healthy and happy, and that none of you found yourselves incarcerated. Instead, I hope your brains were consumed with ideas about growing sales in 2012. Our 
industry desperately needs a surge.

Unfortunately, one of my readers, Marvelle Stump, spent several days in the Hot Coffee, Mississippi, pokey. Luckily he was assigned cell number three, the one with a toilet and one bunk. Marvelle received a five-day sentence for public drunkenness and walking under the influence down the middle of Hot Coffee’s main street on New Year’s Eve. He would have only gotten three days if he had stayed on the sidewalk.

Marvelle Stump is my recalcitrant protégé and the World’s Worst Print Salesperson. I’ve been trying to train Marvelle for more than 20 years. It was a deathbed promise that I made to Marvelle’s late mother, Eunice Mae Stump. She had pleaded, “Mañana Man, promise me you will take care of Marvelle. He’s a little feeble brained. Teach him how to do somethin’.”

She was a good woman who was dying, so how could I refuse her request? I promised I’d keep him under my wing and out of trouble. That promise proved to be virtually impossible, since I have gotten him nine jobs that I can even recall, and bailed him out of more scrapes than I can remember.

Five days of quiet privacy—and no booze—gave Marvelle lots of time to think and watch the Sheriff’s television. The TV was tuned to either MSNBC or FOX News around the clock, and Marvelle soon became an expert on the GOP race for the presidential nomination. He learned there were more candidates than just the six who were getting all the publicity.

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  • Been There

    Hi Harris,

    I’d like to address a serious and almost systematic problem with the Printing Industry, at least here in Southern California. Sales Reps not being paid.

    Out of 10 commerical printers, 9 have had issues reported. It seems 90% of the printers are not paying the agreed salary / draw / or commission percentage. Commissions seem to be paid after after-sale negoiations occur with the owner and the rep.

    Californmia requires a written Commission Contract detailing exceptions, commission rate, when paid, salary or draw details, benefits details, etc. Not one of the 10 provide them.

    Myself, I am owed almost $11,000 in back commissions from 2 companies.

    I started at a new commerical printing company about 7 weeks ago. They are running 2 shifts a day, 6 days a week. I have yet to receive a oaycheck– I am on salary. No expense check either.

    I am wondering how widespread these business practices are in the industry.