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Some Advice for the New Year--DeWese

January 2005
This column will take care of some old business. First, I'm going to alert you to a flimflam artist salesperson who is working her scam through any companies that will hire her.

Next, I'm going to encourage you to read a great report that has been published by the Printing Industries of Michigan.

Finally, I'm going to help you write your 2005 sales resolutions.

The scam artist looks like your third grade school teacher—kind of plump and matronly. She claims to be a divorced single parent. This, of course, builds sympathy among potential employers. Rightfully so, it should create sympathy, but it's not true. She is apparently single, but has no children.

The woman uses the same story with each prospective employer. She is leaving her present employer because her largest account has become unhappy with quality and service. The large account is a multi-billion dollar international soft drink company. This ruse works well because any printer realizes that this account buys a full range of printed products.

Just think of the possibilities. Short- to medium-run 40˝ sheetfed, long heatset web runs, probably some digital printing, folding cartons, point-of-purchase store displays, labels and on and on. Just think about how positive a boost just a little of this work would give to your profits.

So far, she has worked this ruse at five printing companies—five big and sophisticated firms. She looks credible. She has a fantastic resume that is purposely written so that it's hard to check out. She gives customer and employer references and their private phone extensions, which are then answered either by her or accomplices.

It's understandable. Our industry is famous for traveling to Germany, Japan and numerous U.S. installations to make a decision on what press to buy. But most managers don't dig deep when it comes to hiring salespeople.

The Skinny on a Scam

The con artist negotiates and gets a big draw and an expense account that she requires while she transfers her soda company work to the new printer. She's out a lot, working on the details. Usually, after two or three months, the sales managers get suspicious. Some have even asked to make team calls on her contacts.

She's good. She's practiced and nothing rattles her. She has a bagful of excuses and delays. Meanwhile, she's cashing the checks.

After several months of no orders, the employers have become demanding and her dodge usually begins with her buyer suffering a heart attack, requiring open-heart surgery and confined for a prolonged period of time. She has to build a relationship with his stand-in and others.
 

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