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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.


Sales Pitches Strike Out

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(Blog #9 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)

We have completed nine weeks of sales training. There are 43 more sessions and voilà, you are a millionaire and probably own the company, which by the way, is now much larger and listed among the Printing Impressions Top 400. Unless, of course, you sell for R.R. Donnelley and there’s no place to move up to on the list—but at least you will need a much better accountant to prepare your tax return.

You are a marketing tool for your company. You are also a salesperson, but your role is greatly expanded to include a marketing aspect when you sell in this industry. This marketing role is greater in smaller companies where there is no corporate marketing department, marketing budget or marketing plan. I have said this and written it many times, just as you have read it and heard it many times.

The concept is so important, however, that is must be repeated often and practiced consistently. Selling is a function of marketing and marketing is comprised of many components. The ultimate role of marketing is to make selling easy, or at least easier.

Since you are a marketing communications device, it is imperative that you describe yourself and your company in an engaging and entertaining fashion. That should leave the prospect saying, “I’m willing to speak with this person again. I might even allow her/him to quote some work. Or I might allow him/her to come over and tell me even more about her/his company.”

I know this will be hard to accept, but 71.9 percent of our industry’s salespeople do a lousy job of describing their companies in an introductory 2-3 minute monologue. Trust me, I track this kind of stuff.

So, for the next week I want you to prepare a 2-3 minute introductory monologue and call it in. YES. I SAID, “CALL IT IN!”

When you are ready, you have two options. You can call my telephone recording voice mail at (484) 879-1870 ext. 701 and record your monologue. If you don’t like it, or say you burped in the middle, just re-record it. Remember to give me your name, phone number and e-mail address and make sure it is intelligible.

Or, you want to go high tech. Record yourself in a video (or audio file) and send me a sample of you doing your 2-3 minute monologue. And no hiring some local TV personality. When it’s finished, e-mail it to me at

I will select the best five monologues. These lucky folks will win an original oil painting or a watercolor painted by me. I have never revealed this before in this column, but I have sold nearly 800 paintings since 1972. I have sold large originals for as much as $5,000. I have won numerous juried awards and had many one-man shows, including a one-man show in New York in 1978 that sold out. I actually have paintings hanging in a handful of museums.

If you don’t win, I will give you a short critique about how it might be improved.

When I croak, my paintings will be worth “mucho dinero” according to my dear mother, who unfortunately is now deceased for more than 20 years. But Mom had a good eye and was very objective.

So, five of you have a chance to win one of my paintings, framed and reading to hang.

Now get busy on your monologues and submit them by March 31, 2011.

A Year of Selling Profitably
DeWese bookBy Harris M. DeWese with Jerry Bray
Employ techniques and tools that turn weekly sales meetings into energetic learning experiences, resulting in a more enthusiastic, more motivated, and more effective sales force. Understand how these techniques and tools required to build successful marketing, sales and, ultimately, profits, will help you achieve “A Year of Selling Profitably.” Click to order a copy.Opens in a new window  

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