Enroll in Mañana University —DeWeseMarch 2010
THIS IS your chance to sign on for a piece of history. Yep, grab your pens, get in line and sign right here.
This is not going to cost you a nickel. Nope, not one red cent.
You will be required to commit to working hard to improve your selling skills.
You will be asked to complete all of the assignments.
You will be signing up for the first-ever university of printing sales, with its campus located in a magazine. It's called Mañana University.
You will be studying for a PhD. That's right, a doctorate. We will be skipping right over those picayune undergraduate and master's degrees. Yesiree! You are going straight for your doctorate.
Why am I founding this historic university? There are many reasons.
Our industry is shrinking. Many companies have gone away and many more will disappear. If your company fails to grow, it will become a casualty. This shrinking is a result of intense competition. That competition is occurring between many salespeople who are seeking the same customers. The most qualified, talented, competent, hard-working salespeople will be the ones who get the business.
There is no sales role more demanding than selling graphic communications. Many years ago, I identified 24 competencies required of successful print sales professionals. Mañana University will provide education in all 24 competencies and, probably, some more that I overlooked.
Lately, I have noticed some seminars being offered that are designed to train "hybrid salespeople" or the "salesperson of the future." Many of these seminars are one to two hours long, and are aimed at owners and CEOs attending conferences in exotic resort locations. You can make book that the big shots won't return to their plants to teach their sales staffs what they learned at the Ritz Carlton in San Luca de Pleasure. Most owners and CEOs sit in their offices and rarely see customers. You can't teach much of anything in one to two hours. The future may be here, but I'm not sure we have mastered the selling skills necessary for the present.
Consider the Source
The CEOs attending these conferences are also "taught" how to identify, recruit and hire hybrid salespeople. At best, these super salespeople represent about five percent of all available print communications sales professionals. Then, if the CEO is smart enough to identify a winner, she/he must find a way to extricate the salesperson from his or her present employer. These five-percenters are golden handcuffed to their companies. It takes a stick of dynamite and lot of cash to attract them.