Lessons from the Gridiron —Farquharson/Tedsco
Ah, September—when summer cools into brisk fall and America's favorite pastime heats up. Yes, it's football season! As native New Englanders, we're hard at work practicing our best Tom Brady and Randy Moss impersonations.
You might be asking, "Football? Isn't this column supposed to be about print revenue growth in a turbulent economy?" Sure, but good football teams and good printing businesses have a lot in common. Take a knee and listen to this pep talk from Coaches Ted and Farq on some smart ideas that drive success on the field and in clients' offices. Otherwise, drop to the ground and give us 20! Now!
Plug the Gaps
Good linebackers anticipate the offense's next move by properly covering the field. Prioritization goes to direction of play and plugging the gaps. Decisions are quickly made and you have to live with the consequences. Let an interception opportunity slip through your hands and it hurts at both the individual and team level. Wait a second, are we talking about football or business? Kind of works for both, right?
Like a defense has to quickly determine run or pass, sales and marketing resource decisions need to be swiftly made in response to current business opportunities. What's so hard about that? In the complex world of sales opportunities, "no" doesn't always mean "no," and "yes" doesn't always mean "yes."
Consider this statement, " 'Yes, we're happy with our current suppliers, and no, we don't need you now.' " What does this mean? Sure, it's possible you should pull the turf from your helmet and run to the sidelines. Or it may, just may, mean you've found a solid print buyer who represents a future opportunity when a current vendor relationship becomes strained. As seasoned print sales pros know, this is when, not if!
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.