Is Your Glass Half Full? — DeWese
“I’m tossing this pervert in the weirdo box.”
“Look out you introverts, I’ve found another nerd and I’m droppin’ him in your box.”
“Happy days you holy rollers, I’ve found another snake dancin’ poison drinkin’ convert to toss in your barrel!”
I’m not one to stereotype people. No sireee!
Laying the Ground Work
Everyone is different, physically and mentally. We are supposed to appreciate the individual beauty of each person. There are millions and millions of possible combinations of genetic characteristics. I’m tryin’ to be politically correct here. Hey, Mr. Attila the Editor, are you still reading this?
I know that stereotypin’ is wrong. Of course I know that. You see, I’m a high-minded, classy dude.
I take the high road—always. They wouldn’t let me write this column if I was some low-life who put people in boxes.
We all know there are some big classifications. Women and men, for example, are two groups with significant physical, mental and emotional differences.
Women (or the Southern pronunciation “wimmen”) are the little ladies who tend to the children, clean the house and cook our meals, preferably barefoot. Oh, they also drive the kids to soccer practice.
Men are intelligent, fierce hunters who head out each day to slay dragons and bring home the provisions for their families. That’s not exactly correct; women are supposed to take the grocery money they get from the men and then haul the kids in their mini-vans to the grocery store to get the provisions.
We also know that there are salespeople and everybody else. “Everybody else” includes all of the politicians in Congress and the Administration. The difference is easy.
Salespeople are behaviorally sound. Salespeople have their heads screwed on straight.
Politicians have their heads loosely hung on with duct tape and bubble gum, and that is why their heads flip flop and wobble. If this weren’t so, they would be doing something productive like becoming Wal-Mart greeters, preachers or tax accountants.
Salespeople know how to persuade others. Our national politicians couldn’t persuade their way out of a wet paper bag. They spend all of their energy trying to get reelected. They whine and complain about their political adversaries and, if they are the minority party, they scream, “The glass is half empty!”
If they are the majority, they point across the aisle and shout, “No, we’ve made the glass half full!” (Notice how great writers like me artfully dodge telling what political side they are on, so you readers can make your own informed decisions.)
That expression, “He or she sees the glass as half empty or half full,” has been around for a long time. It’s used to describe pessimistic people who see the “glass half empty” and optimistic people who see the glass “half full.”
I’m a half-full guy.
No, I’m a “my glass runneth over, cock-eyed, optimist guy.”
Some of my dearest friends are half-empty glass pessimists. Boy, it’s frustrating to talk with them. For them, the sky is always falling.
One of our greatest printing salespeople must remain anonymous. She/he has this to say about a winning mentality. I will call this salesperson “KS” for Killer Salesperson. Read the admonitions of KS.
“I never met a prospect who I didn’t like. Sometimes I had to listen long and hard to hear the person’s likeability qualities.”
“I never chased a prospect that I didn’t expect to sell.”
“I never set a sales goal that I didn’t expect to meet or exceed.”
“I always work to make next year better than this year.”
“Whether I commit to myself, my clients or my employer, my word is my bond.”
I hope you agree with KS. Take the little self-analysis test that follows to learn if you see your glass as being half empty or half full. It’s cheaper than paying a shrink.
You wake up with a toothache. What’s your first thought?
A) I’ll take an aspirin and call the dentist if I don’t feel better by lunchtime.
B) No way I can work today. I probably need a root canal.
Your boss presents you with a challenging new account prospect that means taking on extra work. You:
A) Look forward to the challenge, but tell your boss that you would like to assemble a team from customer service, production, the plant and estimating to work with you.
B) Are suspicious that nobody else wants the project and feel bitter about taking on more work.
Your friend gets the job/guy/gal/car/income tax refund that you’ve been wanting. You say:
A) “Congratulations, that’s great,” and continue your search for the perfect job/guy/gal/car/income tax refund.
B) As little as possible and try not to call her until you get over the jealousy and anxiety.
You’re obligated to attend a party with boring people from your significant other’s office. At the event, you:
A) Grit your teeth and force yourself to be a gracious guest.
B) Figure the night’s a waste and camp out at the refreshment table until it’s time to leave.
Do friends come to you for advice?
A) All the time; if I charged by the hour I’d be a millionaire.
B) Actually, I’m usually the one asking my friends for advice.
When you are introduced to someone new, your first instinct is to:
A) Learn about and befriend the person.
B) Let that person prove to you that she/he is likeable.
When a friend feels rotten, you can be counted on to:
A) Come up with an inspiring solution to their problem or at least provide a shoulder to cry on and some friendly support.
B) Commiserate—there’s an old saying, “misery loves company.”
The evening news makes you feel:
A) Eager to help make the world a better place.
B) I don’t often watch the news. It’s too depressing because I’m worried and wary of the future.
If you scored 8 “a” answers, then you are a cockeyed optimist and are destined to break sales records. If you scored 6 to 7 “a” answers, you are a positive, glass half-full person and should either continue selling or help us all out and run for the U.S. Senate. If you scored 4 to 5 “a” answers, you are borderline and should find a swami to wrap hot incense towels around your head for six months until you pass this test.
Less than 4? You know the answer. You are so pessimistic that you should keep collecting your draw. You are helping all the 6-8 salespeople become even more successful.
Thanks for your help Dave and Kitty (KS is actually a woman) with this questionnaire. The rest of you get out there and sell something!
(Editor’s Notes: Harris DeWese is one of our industry’s most vocal advocates for the advancement of women in printing. He is the founder and largest contributor to the Joan Davidson Scholarship Fund, a fund that provides college scholarships for deserving women who seek careers in the graphic arts. Joan Davidson is the current, and first female, chairman of the National Association for Printing Leadership. For more information, contact Joan Kasper at the NAPL.
Likewise, the Mañana Man has been married to Anne the Malevolent for 44 years and it should be noted that he drives to the grocery store and cooks, sometimes barefoot. He has three daughters (one son) and four granddaughters (two grandsons) who will beat him for remarks that denigrate women. He was only trying to make a point.)
About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of Now Get Out There and Sell Something, available through NAPL or PIA/GATF. He is chairman and CEO at Compass Capital Partners and is an author of the annual “Compass Report,” the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed more than 100 printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the printing industry. He specializes in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, planning and management services to printing companies. He can be reached via e-mail at DeWeseH@ComCapLtd.com.