Healthy Sales in 2006 --DeWese
Many of our salespeople also have lousy behavioral skills. They are self-centered, which is generally a sure-fire sign that they possess low self-esteem. These folks are lousy listeners; they're mostly saying the wrong thing when they should be hearing the right thing from a customer. Low self-esteem impairs their "likability" factor. Great salespeople have extra-ordinarily high "likability." They are not phony and are almost immediately liked by everyone they encounter because they inspire trust.
Too few of our salespeople are good prospectors. There is only a limited amount of printing available to sell to markets that industry pundit Dr. Joe Webb tells us is getting smaller in his Print-Forecast.com report called "PrintForecast Contrarian View." Dr. Joe has monitored monthly printing shipments over a long period and, whether you agree or not, you must agree that print demand isn't exactly skyrocketing.
So, if a salesperson wants to grow his/her income and avoid the devastating effects of account attrition, they must prospect for new business. Folks, it ain't rocket science. I have written 236 columns for this magazine over nearly 22 years and about 50 percent of them have been about how to prospect for new print sales. You have to plan to get new accounts and then you have to execute the plan daily.
Failing salespeople frequently have other interests and are using their print sales draw or commission to support some other habit. A good example is Marvelle Stump, America's worst print salesman, who now sells for Hot Coffee Litho down in Hot Coffee, MS. Marvelle dreams of making it big on the bass fishing tour and he races his '78 Chevy under the lights at the Winona Springs dirt track every Friday and Saturday night. He clears $700-$800 per week "selling" printing. It's enough to keep him in fuel, parts, tires and new bass lures, but not enough to pay his child support. Print sales have to be your passion and your first priority.