Hey, Spring Break is Over —DeWese
WELCOME BACK to class.
For you newcomers, you're sitting in a classroom on the beautiful campus at Mañana University (MU) where you will be studying to earn your PhD in the sale of print communications and related services.
If you are feeling hung over from the football pep rally last night, and mistakenly wandered into this class, you better get out of here. I'm giving a pop quiz and you could be embarrassed. Football season is six months away and I know you just wanted an excuse to build a bonfire, drink beer and watch the cavorting cheerleaders and majorettes.
First, let me say that I am grieved "MU" did not make it into the NCAA tournament. I understand that a 0-32 record will never qualify us for March Madness. I am actively trying to recruit some players who are more than 6´tall, with a vertical leap of over 2´. It's difficult. You remember a film a few years back that starred Woody Harrelson; I think it was titled "Print Salespeople Can't Jump." Our power forward is 5´7.5˝ and weighs 306 pounds. You have all seen her exhausted after just two or three trips up and down the court.
Alright, then, grab a few sheets of blank paper and your pens or pencils. Those of you using crayons should remember to stick to one color. This is a quiz, not a design competition. Answer the following questions truthfully:
1. List the bona fide sales you made that were produced and billed during the previous 30 days.
2. List the face-to-face sales calls you made during the previous 30 days. Break them down in categories by existing customers and prospective clients.
3. List the names of the prospective accounts that you researched and contacted during the previous 30 days.
4. List the account review meetings you conducted with both clients and the appropriate personnel from your own company.
5. What, if any, new business opportunities arose during the account review meetings?
6. Can you legitimately say you solved a problem for any client during the past 30 days?
7. This is an essay question. Write three paragraphs about your three most significant accomplishments during the past 30 days.
File this quiz in a three-ring binder. I may ask to inspect your binder at any time without notice.
I have a guest lecturer today, and his lecture, preceded by my commentary, is presented below as a separate sidebar. He is a long-time colleague and actually has something worthwhile to contribute once in a while. He is the Mañana Man. I urge you to rub your eyes, pinch your cheeks and read his lecture carefully.
The homework assignment for your next class is to write a paragraph about each of the following sales and marketing competencies and characteristics. They include time management, pre-call planning, closing techniques, listening skills, oral communications and written communications.
Discuss the importance of each of these characteristics as they relate to your company and the market(s) it serves.
Next month, there will be another list for self-assessment.
Congratulations! You are making progress toward your doctorate. Remember, however, that while you are studying, you must still 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." DeWese has completed more than 150 printing company transactions and is viewed as the industry's preeminent deal maker. He can be reached via e-mail at HDeWese@CompassCapLtd.com.
Related story: Free M&A Service