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. 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.
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."
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