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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.


Dreaming of More Sales — DeWese

THIS COLUMN is gonna get you. It will creep into your room while you sleep. It will crawl in your head and begin to control your dreams.

Don’t even think it! It’s too late.

No! Don’t do it! Don’t try stomping the magazine on the floor.

You can’t destroy it in your shredder and burning it in the parking lot won’t work, either. You may as well keep reading. It’s just too late. Your brain is already corrupted and the Mañana Stalker only waits for darkness to come a callin’. Think of your best-ever dream. The night stalker will make it better tenfold.

Remember the dream where you win the daily lottery number for $600? In the night stalker version it you get $10 million when you win the super lotto. And the best part is you hear from every classmate and co-worker you ever had.

Or, many of you have the dream where you are locked outside naked. People are watching and laughing as you dart from tree to tree. In the stalker version you find a pair of shorts and a T-shirt that fit behind a tree, and emerge lookin’ good.

Or remember the dream where you signed up and paid $4,199.95 for the Lance Bologne No Money Down Real Estate Course, quit your job at Magnificent Litho and then you fail to buy a single piece of real estate in 24 months?

Sounds Like a Good Deal

In the stalker’s edited version, you buy a $750,000 home for no-money down and get a check for $150,000 at closing, AND you begin making $60,000 per week selling stuff from tiny little ads you placed in 4,000 newspapers AND spend the rest of your life making infomercials with gorgeous male or female models (depending on your preference).

Or, for some of you, there is the nightmare where you are fired, sued for your $75,000 commission draw deficiency, summarily drummed out of the company, foreclosed out of your house and chased out of town by a divorce attorney.

In the nightman’s version, you get six new accounts, break the company sales record, are given a magnificent Tiffany trophy, a $50,000 bonus check and a banquet honoring you as the most productive and profitable print salesperson in your company.

You see? For a good life or a good print sales career, you first have to dream it. The Mañana Stalker knows that, so he decided to invade your sleeping brain and make it happen for you.

He has discovered that we Americans waste far too much time watching TV, playing backgammon and solitaire on the Internet, losing money at, gossiping about our neighbors and co-workers, sittin’ at some bar, chasing members of the opposite sex either overtly or covertly depending on whether or not you’re cheatin’, eating, working out on various machines, sittin’ in a movie, worryin’ about some movie star takin’ up with some other movie star, attending concerts and having meetings.

The Stalker Man has observed that people waste all this time and have nothing left for “Think Time” where problems can be solved, plans can be made and ideas are generated for life’s successes.

Think about it. Your problems took you months to create. You just can’t solve them in five minutes.

Many print salespeople write to me, expecting me to solve their problems in three sentences. It took them years to screw up their sales careers and I’m going to make them a winner in three minutes?

You need a few hours to let these damn things unfold and ramble, bumble, stumble around your fat head to get a good solution. That’s how all of the great sales are made.

That’s how all of the great accounts are created—with think time. Sometimes I get on one of my tractors and mow my neighbor’s pastures just to jostle my brain, escape phones and e-mails, and be alone with my own 64-year-old weaknesses, problems, challenges and, yes, developmental needs. You see, I’m still learnin’.

You can’t build a great life writing long e-mails or leaving five-minute voice mails. Here’s an example of a reader wastin’ time by attacking your beloved Mañana Man in an e-mail. You may remember I made some reference to South Dakota in a recent column. Don Ravellette, of Phillip, SD, wrote:

“Just read your column and since i am from South Dakota, what do you mean giving a job to someone as a border guard protecting the border between north dakota and south dakota. Have you ever been to south dakota?

I have used some of your ideas, to my advantage and i have robbed your words, “get out there and sell something”

I have used it in my newspaper group. We have 8 small publications in western south dakota. also a print shop (small) three sheet feds and a 5 unit web. We do about 225,000 worth of printing a year.

Some of your ideas can even be used in a small operation like mine. we also run about 100 beef cows along the breaks of the cheyenne river. if you ever want a vacation that is peaceful and relaxing come to south Dakota just dont make to much fun of south dakota!

i even have one of your autographed baseballs “mananna man.” what the hell is mannana, i forgot?

keep giving up your sales tips to us working owmners/salesmen.”

—Don Ravellette

Here’s my response to Don.

“Dear Don:

First off, it’s ‘Mañana Man’ and it means man who procrastinates until tomorrow, which never comes. Lots of salespeople do that.

Next, there should be a little key on your 1948 Remington typewriter that says “shift”. It will make lower case letters into upper case letters.

Next, you need to spend more time with the cattle. You will have more time to think and they are easier to get along with than people. Finally, hold on to that autographed baseball. I’m told when I croak, it will be worth $10-$15 on Ebay.

Don, the world needs more folks with your sense of humor. Attila the Editor wants to hire you.

Now, get in your cars, busses, subways or trains, start thinking and GET OUT THERE AND SELL SOMETHING! Don, that last phrase was done with a key called “caps lock.”


About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of Now Get Out There and Sell Something, available through NAPL or PIA/GATF. He is chairman and CEO at Compass Capital Partners and is an author of the annual “Compass Report,” the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed more than 100 printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the printing industry. He specializes in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, planning and management services to printing companies. He can be reached via e-mail at

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