More on Open Hours from Print Buyers

In a previous blog posting, I wrote about an old practice—that of print buyers keeping open hours for any sales rep to come in for a 15 minute meet and greet. I sent an email off to Margie Dana, fellow PIworld blogger and liaison to the stars when it comes to a group in-the-know. She got back to me in less than 48 hours with these responses:

“I never did this in my over 20+ years as a print buyer.”

“We plan for the printer to come in to a conference room for a few hours with its samples and literature on the company and do a meet and greet (creatives and production people come in when they can during those two hours). No formal presentations anymore; we don’t have that kind of time. Plus, its hard to get everyone together at once to sit through a dog-and-pony show. It works better for all that way. We schedule the printers to come in during “slower” times (fall, mid summer, etc). Although with a lot less staff these days, no time seems ‘slow!’”

“When I worked in-house at Redken 5th Ave, they did this. Once every two years (I think it was two), the company would bid out a bunch of projects with “approved” vendors who passed quality control and other standards. From that pool, it would choose four or five printers whose bids best suited the company. I didn’t make these decisions so I don’t know what they were based on. Until that process happened again, those were the only vendors we used and no solicitations were allowed. I don’t know how printers were able to submit themselves for approval to bid either, as I never received one cold call in my year there and had started right after the process was completed. There was some master list supplied by L’Oreal (the parent company) the vp of production had. As far as I know, its still going on.”

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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