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Harris DeWese

The Mañana Man Online

By Harris DeWese

About Harris

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.


Blowhard Salespeople Make Me Gag

I recently wrote about the repulsive behavior of salespeople who are blowhards. Blowhards are people who are mysteriously compelled to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. When blowhards are salesmen, they are sales killers. They can’t help themselves and should be chloroformed.

Blowhards almost always destroy a good sales mood. It’s enough to make me cry.

Many salespeople are not blowhards. Occasionally, however, we all say the wrong thing at the wrong time and ruin the sales mood. Sometimes, saying the wrong thing or attempting to make conversation about a controversial person or simply uttering the wrong word can be a sales killer.

When that happens, you have created an irreparable, irretrievable, horrible perception with a customer and you will never again get past the customer’s receptionist. You are done.

“Sales mood,” by the way, is a new concept that I have just introduced and it occurs to me there are many other mood killers, which I’ll write about soon. Wait, I didn’t just “introduce” the concept of “sales mood,” I invented it.

Speaking the wrong word or a raising the wrong subject can paint the wrong impression of you. You want your customers and prospects to think of you as a responsible graphic arts professional, not an avid reader of People magazine who is busy following the careers of Paris Hilton or Mel Gibson instead of watching their jobs.

So I’m going to give you some words and subjects to avoid. Many of these subjects are worn thin by the media—TV, newspapers, magazines and the Internet.

No matter where you turn or what you read, you are apt to see the name “Charlie Sheen.” Charlie earns three Mañana Man Gag awards and I used to love the guy when he was “Wild Thing” pitching the Cleveland Indians to a championship in the movie “Major League.”

If you are browsing the Internet or watching Entertainment Tonight, you are going to hear the name Kardashian and there are three of ’em. Since they are so ever-present and because they come in threes, they get four Mañana Man Gags. I’m not even sure what they do aside from being photographed in short skirts exiting limousines.

I’ve introduced my new gag awards so it’s timely that I give two Gags to Lady Gaga. Get it? Lady Gaga. Give it two or three months and I may have to increase her rating to three Gags.

Are there more sales call conversation killers? You betcha. Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey, Congress, Taxes, American Idol, Lindsey Lohan, Bret Favre and NFL lockout. Here’s a biggie—professional athletes’ multi-multi-million dollar contracts, especially when they had .220 batting averages or 51 percent quarterback ratings. They get five Gags.
I should include a long list of politicians, but I don’t want to damage the magazine’s reader and advertiser base. Nowadays you never know how your neighbor or customer is voting.
Gags, incidentally, should not be confused with gag as in joke. My Mañana Man Gags are symbolic of the choking that occurs to signal the possibility of an imminent regurgitation.

Put down that People magazine and get out there and sell something!

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