Are we getting older or are print buyers getting younger? It can’t just be us, can it? Roughly 15 years ago, I remember when a PIA of Georgia staffer told me the buyer at Coke had been replaced by a 23-year-old girl. (Sorry. Woman! Big diff!)
Yesterday, I was talking to a print sales rep who told me a client’s response to his sales pitch was, “Word!” Not surprisingly, he had no idea what that meant (if you don’t either, use the Urban Dictionary and find out). Poor guy. He didn’t know whether to open up a new order or Microsoft Office.
Things are really getting annoying when we don’t understand what others using our native language are saying to us. It’s hard enough to get them on the phone. Now we have to have a translator as well?
True story: While playing golf in Florida in 2007, one of the 20-somethings I had been paired with asked me if I burn. Naturally, I told him I had on SPF 45 and felt well protected. Fifteen minutes later when he and his peeps stopped laughing, they told me what they meant and whipped out a doobie to give me a physical point of reference. THAT, I understood.
In 2001, I officially became “Sir.” That’s fine. Last October I hit 50 and while my ego took a hit, nothing important fell off so I took it in stride. I just have a hard time selling to someone who, like, um, like, you know, like thinks PMS is something you ride out and not match up to.
This is a problem that is not going away. Companies, in their infinite struggle to save money, are hiring college graduates and sticking them in positions where not only do they have to come into contact with the public, but vendors as well.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.