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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."


Fumbling on the Two-Yard Line

My friend David received the following e-mail from a company looking to sell him something. I can’t name the company, but it sure wasn’t

OK, it was


Hi David,

I just tried calling you and spoke to the receptionist. I left a message and I thought I’d shoot an email your way as well.

There are two reasons why we should have a conversation:

1) Save you a lot of time—I’m really honest in regards to whether any of our solutions will work for your type of business.

2) You don’t know what you don’t know. Perhaps, the demo or webpage you viewed only covers one aspect of Salesforce or gives the idea that we work only for a specific type of business (be it size, industry, sales process etc).

In the end, whether we part ways or not, you will come out with value-added information about

Looking forward to hearing from you in the future.



So if I were an announcer and the’s e-mail to David was a football game, this is how my play calling would sound:

Salesforce has been really driving the field. He has affectively moved the ball through the defense and now stands over center. The ball sits on his own 20-yard line. Here’s the snap...

Oh, what a great play! Salesforce brings up “time” right away. Time is a wonderful selling point and a precious commodity. The defense has backed up, and the play goes for 20 yards. Nicely done! That’s a solid gain!

Salesforce is now in the shotgun. The ball is snapped...

It’s an audible: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Brilliant! The defense ponders that point and considers the fact that perhaps Salesforce could indeed add some value to his company. It’s a 48-yard gain! The ball is on the two-yard line and the crowd is going wild in anticipation. All that is left is for Salesforce to follow up and an appointment is eminent.

Salesforce quiets the crowd, points across the line of scrimmage and yells, “Looking forward to hearing from you in the future.”

What? OH NO! It’s a fumble on the two-yard line and Salesforce has lost the ball. Time has run out and the game is over. What a disappointment. That was a poor play at the end of what was, up to that point, a fine drive.

Looking forward to hearing from you? Seriously? That’s like walking up to a beautiful woman at a bar, buying her a drink and then saying “Call me!” before walking away and leaving...alone.

Think this is an anomaly? Think again. I receive “Looking forward to hearing from you.” e-mails every month. Since when did it become my responsibility to ask for an appointment with a sales rep? Makes me wonder if I have to write up the order as well. It’s crazy, and it happens too often.

One thing is for sure: David is still at the bar and has left the building. Alone.

Do you get Bill’s weekly video sales tip? They’re two minutes long and free. Go to to watch this week’s tip and to sign up.

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