Prospecting for Print Sales Professionals
(This ongoing blog series is derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)
WEEK 2: OVERCOMING CALL RELUCTANCE
This weekly blog writing is hard.
I played football, and the practice was real hard.
I lifted weights, and that was hard and painful.
I ran track, and lap after lap after lap was mean and our coach was a sadist.
I earned an MBA, and it was all hard. Calculus was the hardest, and contrary to what the professors tell you, you never use it again once you get that diploma.
My wife, Attila the Nun, is a professor and she’s gonna punish me for that line.
I have lived with Attila the Nun for 48-1/2 years, and that has been superhard.
But maybe PROSPECTING FOR NEW ACCOUNTS is the absolute hardest thing I have ever done.
So I began to study prospecting and found ways to make it easier. Eventually I got good at it.
Many graphic arts salespeople operate in small company environments that do not provide ideal conditions for developing new business. In many cases, ownership, production management and sales management are vested in one or two individuals who are forced to divide their time among production problems, financial concerns, government regulations and other time-consuming details. As a result, sales support often goes begging.
The absence of sales coaching and training is a disadvantage even to veteran salespeople. Many salespeople develop feelings of organizational loneliness. Managers and production people are preoccupied with manufacturing, and often us-vs.-them relationships develop between the small sales force and other employees. When this occurs, a salesperson's energy is diverted, and the motivation to prospect for new business is dissipated.
Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.