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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."


Feeling 10 Feet Tall and Bulletproof

I have eclectic music tastes, which range from Springsteen to Buffett (Jimmy, not Warren) to Methany to Ma to McFerrin depending on my mood. The presets in my car are a reflection of that. One of them is set to Country. In general, I like country. In short spurts, I love country.  If you are a nonbeliever, listen to Trace Adkins’ “Songs About Me” and see if that doesn’t change your mind.

Then there’s Tritt Travis’ song, “10 Feet Tall and Bulletproof.” It’s about a cowboy who drinks some, um, magic potion and takes on a confidence that has him dancing and fighting—two things we assume he wouldn’t ordinarily do, but he ends up being successful at both.

Imagine if your fears were gone. For a sales rep, that might mean doing cold calling (the equivalent of asking a pretty girl to dance). No fears. No trepidation. No hesitation. All gone. In their place: confidence, success and safety.

I would have to say that if that magic potion were replaced with truth serum and I asked the sales cowboys and cowgirls my favorite question—“Why aren’t you selling more?—the number one answer would probably be fear. Fear is a great inhibitor. We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of failure. We are afraid to make mistakes. All because we are human.

The superhuman does not have these fears. He/she sells without the restrictions of self-imposed limitations. Whether it’s from naïveté or stupidity—or even recklessness—phone calls are made and appointments are sought, all without the fears that mere mortals possess.

Magic Sales Elixir—if I had some, I’d bottle it and sell it on my website. I’d probably make enough money to job out blog writing to a ghost writer in the Far East. But I don’t, so I have to crank out a few hundred words every Tuesday. Sigh.

Every successful sales rep that I’ve ever spoken to about his/her beginnings gets around to making the statement, “Honestly, I have no idea how I made it as a young salesperson. I remember being so scared, but somehow I managed to work through that, make the calls, and built a book of business.” It would seem that fear is inherent in the job of sales.

Fortunately for you, the recipe for the Magic Sales Elixir can be found online. I’ll save you the effort of searching: “Pour 500 ml of ‘I’, two handfuls of ‘don’t’ and a dash of ‘care’ into a bowl. Mix until thoroughly blended into I Don’t Care. Spread the potion all over your body, paying extra attention to your ears. You are now 10 feet tall and bulletproof.”

I don’t care. Sales confidence comes from knowing who you are and what you have to offer. If you are solid in those beliefs, no one and nothing can defeat you.
  • Go ahead and hang up on me. I don’t care.
  • Ignore my e-mail. I don’t care.
  • If you don’t like me, there’s probably something wrong with you.

That’s an attitude of confidence that borders on cockiness. I am OK with that. Sales managers may not like it. Pressman find it arrogant. But it is that same confidence that drives sales success.

Cowboy up, y’all!

Bill Farquharson is 6´6˝ and bulletproof. More of his wit, wisdom and attitude can be found at Bill can be reached at

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