Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: 10 Lessons No Longer Taught

If you would consider yourself a veteran salesperson (see also, “Vintage,” “Old-School” and “Geezer”), it is likely that you experienced some form of training early in your career that included lessons on Prospecting, Time Management, Beating Voicemail and Overcoming Objections. That is, someone taught you the basic blocking and tackling required to be a success; successful enough to make it as far as you did, you old coot.

From there, you went on to learn the more subtle and obscure do’s and don’ts of the sales craft on your own, likely through trial and error.

Sadly, most companies have trimmed their training budgets and new hires are thrown into the deep end of the pool with only a stack of business cards and a cell phone. No wonder the odds are against them from still being on payroll in a year or two (it also explains how the cell phones keep getting wet).

No one teaches sales professionalism or how to act in certain circumstances. No one teaches the nuances. Nowhere is there a list of the more subtle lessons in sales. New reps must learn what the rest of us know on their own. If only someone would step up and help. If only a magazine dedicated to the printing industry had highly paid sales columnists who wrote about such things. For if there were such a thing, it’d look something like this:

1 Never leave an angry voice mailKeep your frustration in check when on the phone. The rule is that you will not hear back from someone. The exception is when you do. Regardless of whether you are pursuing a client or a prospect, be prepared for the long haul and remember that you can always get angry later. For now, remain calm, citizens.

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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