LETTERS to the editor

Commentary Draws Fire

Dear Editor:

In Erik Cagle’s Bits and Pieces column (August 2007 issue), he states that he was floored when every printer at his table said if they found the sales rep to be reprehensible, they would not do a deal with that rep.

He was floored?

This is a revelation?

Look, a reprehensible (his word) rep means a reprehensible deal, reprehensible follow-through, reprehensible service and an overall reprehensible experience.

Where’s the good business sense in that? When the sales guy is a jerk, you don’t ask yourself why a company would allow a jerk to represent it in the market? You don’t ask why they can’t afford or keep a non-jerk as a rep?

I do. Every time. To me a good deal with a lousy rep probably just ain’t the good deal it looks like.

Trust me; in the bread-and- butter world of commercial print sales, paper sales and, yes, equipment sales, it’s the rep’s ability to maintain a customer relationship that clinches the deal every time.

And if the reps come and go, then there’s a problem with the rep, or with the vendor the rep works for.

Pete Brown
VP, Sales and Estimating
Oddi Atlantic
Easton, MD

Dear Editor:

With due respect, I am surprised to read the comments by Erik Cagle on the role of sales representatives in the purchase of equipment by printing companies. In the printing industry, as in every business, the relationship is what matters. People will buy from people they like, and will find every reason possible to not buy from people they don’t like.

In a world where there is so little differentiation within product line and price (no matter what the business), the only real differentiator is the person you are working with, the relationship you have with them, the communication that takes place (in both directions) and the service they provide.

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