Compass Capital Partners

Summer Is the Time for Generating Hot Sales -- DeWese
August 1, 2001

In case you haven't been outside lately, it's August; the temperature is 97° and the humidity is 97 percent. These are the Dog Days of summer. These days are about lethargy, lemonade and lots of air conditioning. Lots of your brother and sister print salespeople just stop working in August. Why not? The boss is at the shore. Some salespeople rationalize that the print buyers seem to have crawled underground. These salespeople say, "Why should I work?" Most of the buyers are backpacking in the mountains or scuba diving in the cool waters of the Caribbean. Well, I aim to do something about all this

What Really Scares You? -- DeWese
May 1, 2001

The April 2, 2001, edition of Time magazine featured a cover story titled "What Scares You?" The subtitle was, "Don't be afraid to read about the promising new cures for hundreds of phobias." Well, I have to tell ya, the title scared the bejeebers out of me. I was mysteriously compelled to read it. The editors at Time must have a huge research staff because the article listed several hundred phobias alphabetically. Just listen to some of the "H" phobias. There is hedonophobia or the fear of feeling pleasure. Then there is heliophobia or the fear of the sun. And then there is hemophobia, which

The Next Wave of Websites--DeWese
March 1, 2001

About 247 Silicon Valley smart guys dreamed up some e-commerce Internet sites to sell different stuff to printers and/or print buyers in order to get a lot of money. It really wasn't so much about selling anything. That really didn't matter. It was mainly about getting the money. The smart guys called their schemes "business models." Business model is smart guy terminology. The smart guys didn't know, however, that printers work hard to come by their money and don't part with it easily. Printers have payrolls due every Friday and the paper companies want their money on time. So most printers walk around worried about

Choose Your Inspiration Mantra--DeWese
February 1, 2001

This is a printing salesperson psychotherapy column. I have to write these every so often because I get bagfuls of letters, gigabytes of e-mails and memory-filling voice mails from distraught and depressed print salespeople. You've got hard jobs, and some of you have stupid bosses and even stupider competitors. These conditions can create considerable anxiety for even the strongest of psyches. The stock market tanked. Mr. Greenspan waited too long to reduce interest rates. The economy has been headed in the wrong direction. The presidential election results in Florida had to be counted, recounted and litigated, and all of the TV coverage sickened

Testing Your People Skills--DeWese
January 1, 2001

All the debates on television between the Republican and Democrat spin masters during the presidential debates and then, subsequently, their endless debates about the debatable election results got me to thinking how far down we Americans have fallen in the graceful and gentle art of conversation. We Americans have become lousy conversationalists. Even Gore and Bush seemed challenged by this most basic form of human communication. You would think the two presidential candidates that represent the two major political parties of the greatest country in the world would be master conversationalists—good at attentively listening to an opponent and then responding. Shouldn't they also be our most

December 1, 2000

(Editor's Note: The following was prepared by Compass Capital Partners, the printing industry's most active investment banker. Located in Radnor, PA, and headed by Chairman Harris M. DeWese, it represents only sellers and buyers of printing companies. Since 1996, Compass Capital has completed 47 transactions involving printing revenues exceeding $1.5 billion.) The U.S. printing industry is a bedrock of our economy. Yet, in this day of electronic communication, some are telling us that print-on-paper communication is about to be replaced by alternative media. Compass Capital Partners has been following the printing industry for 12 years. We have made our living from representing buyers and

Three Points for Improving Your Business--Harris DeWese
November 1, 2000

This column is number 176. It marks the beginning of my 17th year writing for Printing Impressions. I've written 11 columns per year for 16 years. (The PI columnists get every July off.) My columns contain about 1,250 words and the average word is about six letters. Oh, once in awhile I'll use a 14-letter word or some 12-letter words, but then I'm more of a four- to six-letter word writer. Six-letter words are about 1⁄2˝, so when you throw in the spaces between words, all the words in all of my columns would stretch about two miles. Or, another perspective is that

DeWese--No Holding Back On Sales Slackers
October 1, 2000

Last month I wrote that about 35 percent of all printing salespeople are laggards—underachieving slackers and no-account dawdlers who feed at the trough of their employers. Most of these folks arrive late, leave early, sell only on price, make no new account calls and blame their failures on the plant. At the risk of getting sued, I'm going to name some names in this column. I'm going to give you the facts on two members of my all-time Rogues Gallery of Print Saleslackers in the hope that it may convince them to resign or it may help some other borderline malingerers to get on

DeWese--Surprising Facts in an Industry Study
September 1, 2000

This column will celebrate the outstanding performance of America's print salespeople or at least most of America's 100,000-plus print salespeople. About 20 percent of the 100,000 are mediocre underachievers who, while possessing some sales ability, never seem to realize their potential. Another 15 percent are woeful laggards who, like the infamous Marvelle Stump, never earn their draws—but never fail to cash their payroll checks. In one sense, the under-performing 35 percent are good for the achievers, because their failure to sell creates extra sales and commissions for the achievers. The slackers also serve a useful purpose by making the contributors look even better. I decided to

DeWese--Special Day Brings Thoughts of the Future
August 1, 2000

Another one of my stupid birthdays happened, as it does every year, on June 30th. It was my 58th birthday! The good news is that, at 58, I am healthy enough to have passed a physical to buy another $2 million in life insurance. The agent has already delivered the policy and I've paid the first year's premium. I'm kind of an insurance junky. I'm insured for everything. Insurance agents hear my name and they drool. The bad news is that I wrote my first Printing Impressions column 16 years ago when I was 42 and still had a flat belly. Sixteen years writing