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!

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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