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Mañana Man in the Pokey --DeWese

October 2002
Well, my whole damn plan to raise prices in the printing industry blew up in my face. I kidnapped more than 200 print buyers and bankers and held them hostage in what I thought should be a top-secret location. My plan was to hold these yokels until the printing industry raised its prices across the board by 25 percent.

How was I to know that the laundry service deliveryman was an FBI snitch?

Fortunately, I am being detained, without bail, as the charter prisoner in a brand new Federal detention center that has been built for the executives who are alleged to have cooked their books at Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia Cable and Imclone.

My cell is a two-bedroom suite with a Jacuzzi spa, a personal computer with high-speed Internet and 600 cable channels on all three of the big screen digital televisions. I have a few complaints. Oh, there's no room service after midnight; they haven't finished the golf course; and, to top it off, my surround sound systems need more bass.

But, you readers need not worry about me. I am a tough guy and I will survive here quite well. The other inmates won't arrive until they are convicted but, when they do, I will establish myself as Prison Boss. All of those big-shot former CEOs will be shining my shoes.

Of course, I don't plan to be here very long. My attorney tells me that he will have no problem with my defense by proving insanity.

I learned a lot about dysfunctional human behavior while holding my hostages. My lonely incarceration here at the Ritz-Detention Center has given me a lot of time to think about what I learned. A lot of my thinking is relevant to good sales behavior.

No Time to Gossip

For example, the print buyer hostages loved to gossip about one another. This led to more gossip, arguments and a few fistfights. This has led me to conclude that great salespeople never gossip!

Gossip is negative and unproductive behavior. Healthy humans gracefully "walk away" from gossip and never pass it on. The secret is to rise above gossip by showing disinterest. Sell your company and your personal strengths rather than rumor mongering about the competition.

Some of my hostages knew it all and insisted on sharing their "knowledge," mostly when it was not requested. This aberrant behavior can be the kiss of death for a print salesperson. If salespeople dispense unneeded advice or insist on sharing irrelevant knowledge, buyers view them as boors. Nobody wants to spend much time hanging around boors.


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