‘Jonesing’ for Some Sales –Farquharson/TedescoNovember 2011
Indiana Jones was a stalwart hero in his quest for artifacts worldwide. It’s a little-known fact that when he retired, he went into sales management for a printing business outside of Washington, DC. Given the fact that he routinely dodged poison darts, crawled under moving vehicles and fought against evil, this was pretty much a lateral move for him.
Recently, an old recording of a seminar he gave at Drupa 95 was unearthed, restored and made available to two lucky Printing Impressions columnists. We were able to view most of the material before a couple of G-men burst into the conference room to confiscate the film, fly it to Washington and seal it in a government warehouse. What we saw was an extraordinary example of the man's genius, and an entertaining analogy regarding the act of sales prospecting.
The seminar was called “Indiana Jones and the Boulder of Doom.” The stage was empty except for two things. One was Dr. Jones. He was dressed in his finest Eddie Bauer—his corporate sponsor—outdoor wear, complete with whip and sidearm (like any print sales manager would carry). Along side of him was the huge round rock from the first movie. You know the one: It almost sealed him in the cave. Yeah, that one. Dr. Jones started the program by explaining what the rock represents and then goes on to teach a lesson on the value of perseverance. The following is our best recollection of what was said…
“If I challenged you to move this rock, what would you do? My guess is that you’d come up on stage, throw your body up against it and push with all of your might. Seeing no result, you’d likely quit, return to your seat and sit down. Likewise, if I told you to grow your sales, you’d probably spend a day blitz-calling prospect after prospect. Getting just as discouraged after the predictable futility, you’d return to your desk at the end of the day, give up and sit down.
“Clearly, this is no ordinary rock. Just as clearly, these aren’t ordinary times. One day of prospecting has the same effect as one try at moving this boulder. In either case, the effort was insufficient. Let’s try a different approach.”