Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Follow us on
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."


How Many Sales Calls Do You Make In a Day?

A few weeks ago, I posted a survey on the landing page of both my weekly sales tips and “Short Attention Span Webinars.” There were 10 questions regarding sales activity and the reward for participating was a copy of a white paper, titled “Why Aren’t You Selling More?”

I finally got enough completed surveys and a spare moment to summarize the answers and tally some averages. When I did, there were a few surprises...

• On a scale of 1 to 10, I asked people to rate their sales efforts. That is, how hard are they working at growing their sales? I thought the average answer of 7.26 was lower than it should have been.

• On average, respondents reported ending up in voice mail an average of 67 percent of the time. That strikes me as low as well, to be honest, but then I was counting ALL calls, not just cold calls, so maybe that’s accurate. Hard to say.

• But the biggest surprise came in the answers to this question: “How many sales calls do you make, on average, on a given day? (Count phone calls and live visits to new and existing accounts. Voice mails count. E-mails do not.)” The average number worked out to be 11.9 calls.


Are you trying to tell me that you make nearly 12 sales calls a day as defined above? 12? You make 12 calls? You are prepared to look me in the eye and stand by that number? Seriously?
  • Tooth fairy? I believe in you.
  • Santa? Duh!
  • Mitt Romney’s teeth have never been whitened? I’m in.
  • Gisele was either going to marry me or Tom Brady? I tell myself that one daily.

But I’m going to have to see some solid evidence before I accept 11.9 calls or get a logical explanation of what is going on.

Here’s why...

I track daily sales calls in my Sales Challenge program. That is to say, dozens of participants check in with me daily, reporting their sales count as defined in the terms of the question on the survey.

I just ran the numbers. On average, my participants average between five and six sales calls a day. If you’re scoring at home, that’s less than half of what my survey respondents (which, by the way, was an equal size group) claimed. Half!

So, to recap: I’ve got one sampling of sales people telling me they make 12 sales calls a day and another of equal size reporting to me that they make six.

I’ve always been told that between words and action, believe the action every time. But I have faith in people—and we all know that sales reps don’t lie—so that leaves only one explanation: Performance-enhancing drugs are involved. Just kidding.

Actually, I don’t have an acceptable explanation for the difference. Do you? Anyone? Anyone?

Bill’s sales tips and “Short Attention Span Webinars” are free and available at

Industry Centers:



Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: