Remember that the salesman’s job is to get you in the door, but it’s the production artists and the pressmen who are going to get you out on time.
Ask for the moon and until that purchase order is in his hands, the printer’s salesperson is going to tell you that everything is do-able, everything is copacetic. It’s not until the job is in house and it’s too late to change your mind will you discover that your turnaround requirements are ridiculous, or your file needs some serious tweaking and trapping, or your ink densities are proof of dark matter. At that point, the production artist and press person are your best friends in the world. If you treat them right, remember their names, respect their craft and their time, they can move mountains for you. Bark at them, ask for the impossible, fail to understand what can and cannot be accomplished on a press, talk past them to your sales guy, and, well, do you ever wonder what happens when you send food back to the kitchen at a restaurant? No good ever comes of that, I assure you.
Building relationships with the people who run your jobs can be the difference between really delivering for your client or really blowing it. So, play nice, prima donna designer, you’ll thank me some day.