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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."


A Letter from a Grateful Father to Apple Computer

This one is personal. I have a long habit of mixing business with family. If you have ever taken one of my seminars, you have either heard me speak of my daughters or have met one of them as I very often bring Kati, Emma or Madeline with me.

This blog is about self-confidence and the impact that the right job can have on an employee. The following is the text of an email that I wrote to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer.

Good morning, Tim.

My 21-year-old daughter, Kati, started working at your Braintree, MA, retail store just under three years ago. She arrived as a college dropout, both frustrated and frustrating. I remember her screaming at me, “I don’t want this job! The only reason I went to the interview was to appease you!”

That was then. This is now.

This past Friday, on the day of your newest iPad launch, Kati was offered the position of Creative Technician. Tim, the difference in my daughter now vs. my daughter then comes down to two things: self-confidence and Apple Computer.

Kati has long suffered from an image of herself that she lets others dictate. ADD and dyslexic, like her father, her learning style prevented her from gaining knowledge in a traditional school setting. She believed that she was a failure and that she was worthless.

And along came Apple Computer.

I remember being on a business trip in Chicago (I’m a sales trainer and a public speaker, with many Apple products to thank for my own success) when Kati called me on the first break of her first day of training. She said, “Dad, I love this company!”

Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid! I don’t know anyone, anywhere who loves her job more than my daughter. That initial feeling never subsided. Her managers were patient with her, praised her, and probably disciplined her as well (Though she’d never tell her father that!). She became a Family Room Specialist within the last year. You’d think she’d had been elected President of the United States. And now, her hard work and dedication has been rewarded with this new job and, along with it, a significant pay increase.

Tim, you have a great deal of responsibility and a lot on your plate. I do not expect to hear back from you, but certainly hope that you read this email. It is from a grateful father. It was fortunate and life-changing for Kate to go to work for your company. Lost amongst all of the numbers and record-breaking descriptions of Apple Computer is the impact it has had on the life of Kathryn Jane Farquharson, and that of her dad.

Thank you.
Bill Farquharson

P.S.—As I was writing this to you, Kati sent me the following online feedback that one of her training customers gave her just yesterday. It truly summarizes who my daughter has become:

I think Apple has the best customer service of any company ever. I am a very happy and loyal customer.The specialist who helped me on my last visit, Kati Farquharson, was very helpful and her commitment to providing me with excellent customer service was really impressive. I found her extraordinarily pleasant and professional; Kati is a great representative of the Apple brand and a wonderful asset to your company.I would definitely seek her out when I visit this store again.

My daughter’s success is a function of the patience, praise and discipline that her managers have bestowed upon her. If you met her today, you would never know that there was once a dark cloud over her head. That is the effect that Apple Computer has had on her.

I’m sharing this personal matter with you to make you are aware of the impact of your words, regardless of whether you are an employee or an employer. You are a participant, a witness and cheerleader in the life of another person every day. Be aware of the impact of your words and actions.

Bill Farquharson’s “Sales Challenge” program will drive your sales momentum. Go to or call him at 781-934-7036.

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