Why I Threw You Over
Hey, print sales rep. I’m sorry that it had to end this way. I really am. We’ve done business for long time and I am genuinely sad. But before you go, do you want to know why you really got the boot?
Yes, your price was too high and you can blame me if you like. Go ahead and tell your boss what a jerk I am and that all I care about is price, price, price—if that helps you sleep at night.
But the guy you REALLY need to blame is the one who looks back at you in the mirror. He’s the one that made the assumption that I didn’t need anything just because we were cruising along and placing reorders. He didn’t ask. He just believed that I’d keep sending him P.O.s.
So, what happened?
One day I received an interesting voice mail message. It was one of 50 to 60 that hit my machine on any given day, but this one had an interesting comment in it: “When was the last time your existing sales rep brought you a new idea?”
Though it wasn’t from your competitor, or even a printing sales rep, I took notice. As you know, I call you when I need something. You are great—or, were—don’t get me wrong. Service, delivery, follow up. All fine.
But that voice message got me to thinking about the last time you called me with a new idea and nothing was coming to me. So, I made a vow that I’d take an appointment with the next printing sales rep who used the phrase “new ideas,” while I waited for you to wake up and call me.
It took a while, but I heard the magic words and called this one rep back. She was amazing, asking me some of the same basic questions that you once asked me, back when you were fighting your way into my office for an appointment. One of her questions spawned an idea and, well, here we are.
Remember, I did give you the chance to quote it out of courtesy, but she dusted you. To make matters worse, when I told you that your price was high, the first thing you did was drop it by nearly 20 percent. What does that tell me? YOU’VE BEEN RIPPING ME OFF THIS WHOLE TIME!
Look, I respect the work we’ve done, but you fell asleep at the wheel and needed a wake up call. I hope you get this message and not just sit in your office and curse my name.
I invite you to come back when you are healed and have something new to tell me. Until then, know that this young lady is likely calling on your other accounts. You, my friend, are vulnerable there, too.