Stimulus Plan for Printers --DeWese
PRESIDENT OBAMA and Congress have created and implemented a $787 billion Stimulus Package. I studied the package, but I can’t find one-dollars-worth of stimulation for the graphic communications industry. Nary a nickel! Wait, maybe there’s some confusion about the name of our industry. Lots of folks no longer want to call it the printing industry. Perhaps the White House and Congress didn’t know what to call us. I’ll look under “printing industry” in the stimulus package.
Nope. No money there for our industry of about 30,000 firms and 1 million workers.
Still others call us the print communications industry. I’ll check again. Nope. Nada. Nothing here. Can’t find any money for “print communications” companies.
I guess Congress was confused about what to call us, so they just left us out of the big Stimulus Package. We should remember this when they start calling us to print their brochures, direct mail, yard signs and banners.
Meanwhile, I am getting phone calls from companies indicating they’re closing their doors, declaring bankruptcy or that want to merge with other firms—anybody who’s got some money. Still others are calling to say, “We had a terrible fourth quarter and, so far, 2009 is even worse.”
All of this got me thinking. The automakers got a lot of government help. The bankers received even more money. Can you imagine the size of those Electronic Funds Transfers? The government now either owns a big share and/or is owed billions by General Motors, AIG and the big banks.
(My wife, Attila the Nun, just walked by and remarked that I look like I’m thinking. She warned me of the dangers that can occur when that happens.)
Well, dammit, our plants are closing!
Paper isn’t being delivered!
Good people are being laid off!
Offshore buyers don’t want our used equipment!
I’ve got to do something about this. You will continue to slide downhill unless you change your way of living.
So, I’m gonna do something drastic and create my own Stimulus Package. I’m introducing the Mañana Man Economic Stimulus Plan for Printing Companies. The acronym is easily pronounced MMESPPC.
The plan is based on the premise that unless you do something different to compete in this bad economy, your share will continue to erode. “Something different” ultimately distills into more and better sales calls on qualified buyers. You have to compete harder and smarter for the print sales that are available.
For example, I met recently with the owner of a $16 million printing company who had driven more than three hours for our one hour meeting. He had gotten up around 5 a.m. He is the CEO and the only salesperson.
As he was leaving, he told me he was going to make two sales calls in Philadelphia, and three in another city, on his way home. That’s five sales calls and about eight hours of driving in one day.
During our meeting, this CEO/salesman revealed that April was a record month for his company in sales and profits. He went on to tell me that the first quarter was record breaking, and that last year was better by far than 2007!
This is what I mean by the value of doing something different in tough times. Sure, there are fewer print jobs available. But you can succeed like my buddy, the CEO/salesman, if you are willing to out-hustle your competitors, many of whom have fallen into a fetal position. That’s called “hunkering down” instead of “hustling up.”
Here are the requirements to receive my Stimulus Package:
In 100 words or less, tell me why you and/or your printing company need stimulation. Tell me how many salespeople you have. All of the responses will be held in the strictest confidence. E-mail HDeWese@CompassCapLtd.com or write to me in care of this magazine, and you’ll be eligible.
I will send my two new books, “The Adventures of the Mañana Man—Parts I and II” for each of your salespeople. These books sell for $24.95 each and I plan to give away 1,000 copies, so you better hurry. The books are guaranteed to stimulate sales, even if you just put them under your pillow.
I’ll also provide you and your team with a one hour WebEx Internet brainstorming podcast, including your choice of several leading industry sales and marketing consultants. The purpose of these conferences is to brainstorm stimulus ideas to kick start sales at your company. They will feature great minds who can help you think of programs to implement but, remember, you have to actually do what you commit to do!
Finally, each company will receive doughnuts and coffee or tea for refreshments during their -WebEx conference. All of this comes compliments of the Mañana Man. The coffee and doughnuts alone should at least stimulate your team for a couple of hours.
No heavy red tape. You don’t have to come to Washington, DC, for a Congressional hearing. Just e-mail the Mañana Man, read the books, participate in the Internet conference, eat the doughnuts and drink the coffee. That’s how we do things in our industry. Then, we get out there and sell something! PI
About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of “Now Get Out There and Sell Something” and “The Mañana Man, Books II and III,” available at www.piworld.com/bookstore. He is chairman of Compass Capital Partners and also authors the annual “Compass Report,” the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 141 printing company transactions and is viewed as the industry’s preeminent deal maker. He can be reached via e-mail at HDeWese@CompassCapLtd.com.