Do You Have What It Takes? —DeWese

MY JUNE column innocently introduced the Mañana Man Economic Stimulus Plan for Printing Companies. It was enormously successful. More than 80 companies responded with reasons why they deserved the package. Some companies are already reporting that the program worked for them and that sales are booming.

The entrants got a one-hour brainstorming conference call with one of four industry experts. And, they received my two books, “The Adventures of the Mañana Man Part II” and “Part III” for each of their salespeople—I gave away almost 1,200 books. I also sent each company a pound of Café Dumond french roast coffee and a package of Café Dumond beignet mix

My granddaughter, Caroline, age 19, carefully packed, addressed and delivered all of the boxes to the post office. She elected to use the USPS new Priority Mail Flat Rate cartons because the cartons were free, and most shipments were only $10.35 or, at most, $13.95 for up to 70 pounds. So, we probably spent around $1,000 for shipping.

I was so impressed with Caroline’s help, and especially her advanced wisdom, I hired her as my Life Coach. Every day she imparts great advice and some super admonitions about work, saving and health. I had relied on that stupid Mañana Man for 25 years, who has gotten me nowhere.

One company that responded to my free offer even took its cell phones out in the parking lot for the brainstorming session, sat Indian style in a circle, threw my books in the middle, lit them, brewed the coffee laced with two quarts of Jack Daniels and waited for the cops to come.

The next day, sobered up but hung over, they went to work—and report their sales year-to-date are up 23 percent over 2008.

The Stimulus Package companies came in all shapes, sizes and graphic arts segments. Some shops employed one sales rep and some had more than 30 salespeople. Some had annual sales of $1 million, but many were in the $5 million to $20 million revenue range. Two were more than $100 million companies. Some companies were all digital. Some were all sheetfed offset. Others were strictly web operations. There were flexo printers. And some had multiple capabilities.

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