The Problem Gremlin
Back in the day, we used to call them, “PIRs.” It stood for “Product Improvement Report.” You filled out this particular form at UARCO when an error occurred. One copy went to the District Manager, one went to the Regional Manager, and on and on. This thoroughly useless example of bureaucracy and ineptitude did nothing to stop The Problem Gremlin. He finds a way to create other issues and he rears his ugly head in batches.
Errors, mistakes, misprints, missed shipments...they seem to appear in rapid succession, spread across multiple jobs for a few days at a time, then disappear. For a while, all is calm. But then...it’s as if TPG jumps into the life of another salesperson for a while, visits the post office, sits on the shoulder of a few baseball players, is the cause of America’s Funniest Videos, and then returns to you like a boomerang.
I wish I had the perfect suggestion for you to avoid The Problem Gremlin. That would be an awesome blog! Can you imagine? But there is no such solution.
Sometimes errors occur and it is your fault. You order the wrong paper or spec’ed the job incorrectly or shipped it to their old location. But most often it is completely out of your hands and all of the checking and double checking in the world will not make any difference whatsoever. Stuff is going to happen. Communication is your best weapon against TPG but in the end, it’s unavoidable.
When a problem occurs, first reach out to the customer to find out what the immediate needs are. Second, work to meet those needs. Third, look into the cause of the problem. Then...
Expect another problem. Immediately. There’s a good chance that TPG is just getting started.
Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or email@example.com
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.