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Three Points for Improving Your Business--Harris DeWese

November 2000
This column is number 176. It marks the beginning of my 17th year writing for Printing Impressions. I've written 11 columns per year for 16 years. (The PI columnists get every July off.)

My columns contain about 1,250 words and the average word is about six letters. Oh, once in awhile I'll use a 14-letter word or some 12-letter words, but then I'm more of a four- to six-letter word writer. Six-letter words are about 1⁄2˝, so when you throw in the spaces between words, all the words in all of my columns would stretch about two miles.

Or, another perspective is that all those words would wrap around my belly about 2,300 times.

Or, one critic put my words in yet another perspective when he said, "The Mañana Man's columns have contained enough manure to fertilize all of the Iowa corn and wheat fields." I assume he meant only enough to fertilize the fields for one year.

I have one reader, Leonard J. Skysfallin, who has read every word in all 176 columns. Lennie heads up my fan club and he has been continually frustrated over his lack of success in several membership drives. Lennie, if you're reading this, I hope the folks that run the home are treating you well. Please wear those white cotton mittens that I sent you. And stop trying to run away. This causes torment for the nursing staff. There are no aliens living under you bed.

OK, it's time for some column writing. I'm going to deal with three subjects this month since it's such a special occasion. First, I have a few thoughts about women in print sales. Secondly, I want to write about the human side of printing companies. Finally, I'll write about the proliferation of these new fangled e-commerce print sites.

In my first column, back in 1984, I wrote about women in print sales. I said that our industry is sexist and male dominated. That hasn't changed much. I also said that I believed women make great printing salespeople and that companies should hire more women.

In 1984 I predicted that our customers would be turning more and more to women as a source of talent for their print production or print purchasing departments. Well, I told you so. About 65 percent of all print buyers are now female. But today only 30 percent of all print salespeople are female.

Customers haven't turned to women to save money. At least I hope they haven't. I prefer to believe that women are better communicators, both verbal and written. Women are better negotiators—resolvers of conflict. Women are generally better organized and able to manage the multitude of details associated with printing jobs.

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