Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Presidents Day Sales Analogies

Every third Monday in February your authors celebrate one of our favorite holidays. No, not National Tortilla Chip Day—that’s the 24th. We’re talking about Presidents Day. The reason we love this holiday is simple: It celebrates George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two of America’s greatest salesmen…er…leaders.

What characteristics made these two so great? Determination? Courage? The ability to rock a set of wooden teeth or a stovepipe hat? Sure, all of the above. But you don’t need a 1,000-word column telling you to be courageous. We’d fall asleep writing it.

What Sales Challenges?

You think you’ve got a tough sale to make? How about Washington saying to the comfortable American gentry, “Let’s poke a stick in King Georgie’s eye. If we fail, your family loses everything. Plus, you’ll hang for treason. What do you say, boys? Follow me!”

What about Lincoln forcefully stating that, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” How exactly was that going to work in the summer of 1863, considering how far apart the Union and the Confederacy were at this point?

Talk about salesmen!

Did you know that Washington lost more battles than he won? Did you know that Lincoln lost more elections than he won?

The Father of our Country usually won when it mattered most, like at the Battle of Yorktown. Washington’s victory there led directly to the British recognizing America’s independence. Hey, George—thanks for that!

Honest Abe also won when it mattered most. One can hardly imagine what a map of North America, and indeed the world, would look like had Lincoln said to Stephen A. Douglas and the other candidates for prez in 1861, “Y’all are kicking my butt; go ahead and take this thankless job.”

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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