Tips for the 21st Century —DeWese
• No effort was made to make the company a top-to-bottom customer satisfaction machine.
• Managers did a lousy recruiting job.
• No sales training was provided to the salespeople.
• No behavioral training was provided.
• No one supervised, directed or motivated the sales force.
• There are no performance appraisals, nor any coaching or counseling.
• Management suffers from salesphobia (a persistent mistrust and disdain for selling, salespeople and customers). “They are all a bunch of Willy Lomans.”
• No one remembered to cut bait and fire Marvelle Stump.
• The companies failed to support the sales force.
Well, all that and more happened last century. I believe that the winners this century—if I live long enough to see it—will:
• Treat marketing with the same serious reverence you have for your Heidelberg, Komori, MAN Roland, Ryobi and Mitsubishi presses.
• Treat your salespeople with the same “investment” (dues paying) love you have for your parents, children or significant other.
If you just do these two things, all of the negatives mentioned will turn to positives and your salespeople and companies will prosper and flourish. Marketing and talented salespeople, adept at building relationships, will characterize this century. Excel at these and you’ll seriously pursue ROI north of 35 percent, pre-tax profits north of 10 percent and EBITDA north of 15 percent.
Now, please say “yes,” do some preparation, and get out there and sell something! PI
About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of Now Get Out There and Sell Something, available through NAPL or PIA/GATF. He is chairman and CEO at Compass Capital Partners and is an author of the annual “Compass Report,” the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese specializes in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, planning and management services to printing companies. He can be reached via e-mail at DeWeseH@ComCapLtd.com.