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GASF Reveals What Customers Want in Salesperson/CSR

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pa., January 18, 2002 — "Companies, rewarded for decades for successfully meeting customer specifications, are finding that their products are less appreciated due to the commoditization of print," writes industry veteran Dick Gorelick, president of Graphic Arts Sales Foundation (GASF). In his new monograph, Evolution in Print Sales, Gorelick examines how this customer-driven demand is changing the roles of sales representatives and customer service representatives (CSR). In doing so, he challenges readers to think about ideas that their organization might implement to provide unique benefits to their customers. Evolution in Print Sales is the second monograph in a new Account Development Series written by GASF and published by Printing Industries of America (PIA)/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). Fresh and timely, subsequent titles will discuss the use of customized post-bindery services to develop customers, promotional programs, and sales management, among other issues. The first in the series, published in October 2001, provided valuable lessons learned from the current economic slump. "The industry is in the midst of a value shift. Companies organized to deliver an acceptable product on time at a competitive price are feeling unprecedented price pressures; customers expect acceptable products on time at a competitive price and are also looking for some other perceived value from their supplier," Gorelick explains. Author of all seven titles in the series, Gorelick is also president of Gorelick and Associates, Inc., a consulting and research firm operating exclusively in the graphic arts industry. "This new ‘value’ demand could be an unusually pleasant transaction, education, ideas to improve the effectiveness of a printed product, or something else," Gorelick writes. "These customer-driven demands are changing the traditional organizations, mind-sets, and job roles. This is especially true in the case of the respective roles of the sales representative and customer service representative. The traditional sales rep, expert at closing a sale, working alone, and glib-talking, is no longer the person from whom one feels most comfortable buying a product or service." With 10 brief chapters, Gorelick provides a context for evaluating changes in buyer-seller relationships. He begins by painting a picture of the industry’s changing landscape and how this affects management. In chapters 4–7, he compares the traditional and evolving role of sales reps to that of CSRs before discussing the need for the salesperson and the CSR to exhibit more of a team effort in servicing and developing accounts. To help management, Gorelick ends by providing detailed suggested job descriptions for both titles. In the same way that print companies should be increasingly responsive to the needs of the customers, PIA/GATF has launched this new series in response to the challenges that have materialized in recent years. Never more so than now is account development a vital need at most companies. All seven publications, modest in size and to-the-point, will be published by late spring 2002. The second in the series, Evolution in Print Sales: The Changing Relationship between the Sales Representative and the Customer Service Representative (ISBN 0-88362-390-0) is a 72-page, black-and-white, soft cover text available for $60 ($30 for GATF/PIA members), not including shipping. Orders may be placed by contacting GATF by phone at 800/662-3916 (U.S. and Canada) or 412/741-5733 (all other countries); fax at 412/741-0609; or online from the GAIN Bookstore. Mail orders to GATF Products, P.O. Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143-1020. Indicate Order No. 17362.