Sales Lingo vs. Rhetoric —DeWese

On the last day of this month, I will be 65. And, dammit, I’m still not grown up. I still don’t know what I wannabe when I grow up.

This is sad. I ask myself: “How am I defined?”

Ever wonder how you are defined? It’s scary to think about.

When I finish this column, I will have written 251 “DeWese on Sales” columns for PRINTING IMPRESSIONS magazine. Does that define me as a columnist?

I owned the Marple Crawdads semi-pro baseball team, coached more than 1,000 baseball games and won nearly 80 percent of the games. That’s better than the win percentages of Connie Mack and Casey Stengel. If you look up “baseball manager,” you won’t find Harris DeWese.

I have painted and sold more than 700 oil and watercolor paintings, but you won’t find me defined as an “artist” anywhere.

As an investment banker, I have sold more than 140 printing companies in M&A transactions. Don’t drop my name on Wall Street. It won’t do you a bit of good.

So how am I defined? Maybe I’m defined as a “definer?” Many printing executives and lawyers call on me to define things for important matters that they are deliberating. Some of those Wall Street types call me occasionally to define something about the printing industry for them.

For example, a printing executive will call to ask me to define some element of sales compensation. A lawyer will call on me as an expert witness to define some element of a lawsuit, usually involving a printing company and a former employee.

Too many owners promise something orally and never memorialize the promise in writing. So, if trouble arises, and the employee thinks the promise was broken, there are two recollections of what was promised.

I guess, maybe I am defined as a “definer.” After all, I have counselled more than 500 printing companies, sold more than 140 printing companies and have received calls, cards and letters from thousands of owners and salespeople. So, I am a bubbling cauldron full of printing company information, practices and policies. Or, some would say a cauldron full of rhetoric. In fact, Attila the Nun (my wife, Anne), refers to me as “Old Rhetoric Breath.”

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  • http://DavidMeyer David Meyer

    Reading your article I would define you as someone who I would like to mentor myself after. And I would define you as SUCCESSFUL. good for you sir, you should be very proud of your accomplishments. But you will not go down in history for anything monumental but you have enjoyed and helped so many people over your carreer that, in its self is something to be very proud of. I hope you get a chance to read this and even maybe respond back. I have 28 years in printing from tray developing pan film to being a plant manager at National Posters Digital. I was in charge of all aspects of the company from the front desk to making sure that our billboards mad it out on time and correct. I have given my life to printing to be the best that, well to be honest the best ever period. I too would like to be remembered as someone who made a difference. Some people say I already have well I don’t agree I am going into one area that I have not been apart of and that is sales. I know that in every area that I have mastered I needed to learn from someone and take it and make it my own. What would you offer sir, I hope I can be as successful as you. <br />
    Thank You for your article it inspired me to write you.<br />
    Oh by the way its ok to never grow up.