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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

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."

 

5 Unfortunate Assumptions Every Sales Rep Must Make

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If you are in a good mood, you might want to skip this blog entry and go read Kelly Mallozzi’s. She usually writes about upbeat topics. I am about to bring you down, Skippy. This blog entry is about assumptions. Bad assumptions. Negative assumptions. Unfortunate assumptions.

...True assumptions.

The five things on this list aren’t “Maybes” or “They don’t apply to me!” items. They are Coor’s Light cold as the Rocky Mountains hard facts. So snap on your chin strap and face the truth.

1. Your clients are speaking to other vendors.—I promise you that while you are reading this blog, your competition is leaving voice mails for at least one of your accounts. As you ponder the potential truth of that last statement, another customer is having an informal get-to-know-you meeting with another printer. And while you are checking your Depends to see if you just imagined it or if you really did...you are being put out to bid. If your clients aren’t solid on the answer to the question, “Why do I buy from my current printer?” then you are in trouble.

2. Your boss asks him/herself daily: “Is my rep doing his/her job?”
—It’s only natural, but every boss asks this question. You see, to them, an empty sales chair is a source of genuine frustration. They see it and think, “He could be prospecting, golfing, sleeping or eating donuts. It all looks the same to me.” Unless you tell them what you are up to, they will wonder and they will—and trust me on this one—wonder if you are doing your job.

3. Your clients don’t know everything you do.—In printing (or any sales job, actually), the six worst words to hear a customer say, are, “I didn’t know you did that!” Typically speaking, that phrase is followed by, “We just placed an order for that with someone else.” Never, ever EVER assume. Make it your job to educate clients every chance you can.

4. You will lose 20 percent of your accounts in 2011.—Ouch! That one hurt, huh? Want another dose: You’ll be lucky if it’s only 20 percent!!! Are you prepared to take that kind of hit? Again, kids, this is not a guess. This is a time-proven fact. Are you prospecting enough to make up for the loss?

5. You are as good as the last job you brought in.—So, you’ve just delivered a job of Herculean proportions and are feeling pretty darn good about yourself. The client is absolutely thrilled with the quality and as for the turnaround speed, hey, you da man, know what I’m saying? The job could not have gone better and, um, well, the thing is, you might never get another job from this customer because, er, I don’t know how to say this, but...the client has instant memory loss and forgets everything as soon as it happens. Sorry. No cure for this one. It is what it is.

By now, you are bloodied and on the floor. Here, let me help you up. I’d love to tell you that you’ve been dreaming, but unfortunately I can’t. This is reality and reality bites.

I tell you what. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. While you clean yourself up. I am going to make another list. This one will be happier. I promise.

Coming next are five positive assumptions to make. That should make you feel better.

Check back in a few days.

Bill’s new Website is GetPrintSales.com and it will make you feel much, much better.

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Kelly - Posted on December 20, 2010
Here's another one, Bill, but maybe not so negative: Your customers' needs are changing. and that could be a good thing if you are in a position to change with them! Thanks, as always, for the great news!
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Archived Comments:
Kelly - Posted on December 20, 2010
Here's another one, Bill, but maybe not so negative: Your customers' needs are changing. and that could be a good thing if you are in a position to change with them! Thanks, as always, for the great news!