Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Trick-or-Treating for Salespeople

Back when your authors were young whippersnappers, Halloween was one of our favorite holidays. We especially loved trick-or-treating, the only activity other than sales in which it’s acceptable to go door-to-door with an agenda.

As adults, we usually spend Halloween at home, giving out candy and crossing our fingers that we don’t run out before the teenagers with eggs and shaving cream show up. Watching trick-or-treaters from this vantage point, we’ve realized something: these little buggers would make great salespeople. They’ve got excellent attitudes, lots of energy, the ability to efficiently plan their night’s routes..and they always find a way to get what they want.

Effective trick-or-treaters and salespeople both possess four key attributes, which form the acronym APTT: Attitude, Plan, Think and Tact. With just these four simple sales tools, you’re “APTT” to win more business and lock in customers for the long haul. Or get more candy, if you’d prefer that.

Attitude. Does anyone have a stronger “can-do” spirit than the trick-or-treater who charges out the door right after dinner and doesn’t stop until his parents drag him back inside after dark? Does anyone get more candy?

Take a page from this kiddo’s playbook. If you don’t think you can, or you don’t want to, you won’t. Attitude is the foundation upon which every successful sales career is built. A good attitude means taking advantage of every opportunity to get in front of clients and prospects—and knowing exactly what to do when you do. It’s making that last call at 4:45 p.m. instead of skipping out early, or catching a later train back home so you have time to make a few important calls.

Plan. Ever witness a group of kiddies plotting their trick-or-treating paths through the neighborhood? Their level of strategic planning puts many sales professionals to shame. Somehow they intuitively know how to make best use of their limited time.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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