The Similarities of Sales, Sports –Farquharson/Tedesco

We admit it. We’re a couple of Boston sports fanatics. Boo. Hiss. Are you done yet? No? Boo some more. Now that we’ve all got that out of our system, let’s turn to this month’s topic: snagging every sales opportunity that comes your way.

Oh, this will be painful for a lot of our friends from New York. Left-handed swatter “Big Papi” (David Ortiz) is an extraordinary hitting machine. Just one problem—he usually pulls the ball. After this pattern became established, what did opposing teams do?

Based on the pitching match-up, some teams would do a radical shift by positioning the shortstop to the right field side of second base and put the second baseman in shallow center field. In short, they positioned themselves where they thought the ball would be hit.

Back to print sales. In a sales capacity, you’re looking to position yourself where more balls are hit. Sometimes you’ll have to adjust your schedule to your clients’. Perhaps you know a prospect who never seems to be available during business hours. Find out when they are available and make yourself available then.

One of your authors once had a client in central Maine, and routinely departed Boston at the insane hour of 3 a.m. to meet him for a 6 a.m. breakfast at a local greasy spoon. Because this client was president of a $100mm+ company, a top five customer and just a great guy to be around, the 2:30 a.m. wake-up call and long drive were well worth it.

Imagine that you’re a competitor looking for this client’s business. First, you’d have to find out this guy’s schedule. Then, you’d have to will yourself to schedule and make it to these early breakfasts. Even if you did all that, you’d just be a copycat. Shifting working hours—before the competitor thought of it—is what sewed up this account.

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
Related Content