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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."


Madeline the Sales Rep

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A lot of my back-office work is done by my 15-year-old daughter Madeline. She does the work that I can’t stand to do and it gives me an excuse to give her $100 a month, which she generally has already spent or borrowed by the time I get around to giving her a check. Most of the work requires only 5-10 minutes a day and it involves entering the daily check-in information from my various training programs.

Every once in a while, I have a special project that Madi accomplishes while sitting in front of the TV and helps her to save up for her various planed purchases or trips (such as the trip to Paris that she is currently taking in June). Until recently, I paid Madi per hour for these projects and she labored through the work without showing a great deal of enthusiasm, so I had to constantly ask her, “Did you get it done yet?”

This week, however, I decided to give Madi a new project and test her sales skills. This week, I promoted her to Sales Rep.

OMG, what a difference!

The task was to promote my new “It’s About Time!” training program. I gave her a list of 577 clients and she was to send each one of them an individually crafted e-mail, telling them about the program and encouraging them to sign up. Instead of paying her by the hour, this time I paid her handsomely for each person she could convince to sign up.

Like I said: OMG, what a difference!

It took Madi exactly 10 seconds to do the math and understand that she could make some serious coin if she could get 10 or 20 people to enroll. Every 10 minutes after that, I’d get an e-mail update or a new idea for what else we could do to sell this program, or a message that read, “How many have signed up?”

I think I’ve created a monster!

You cannot teach initiative. You cannot teach passion. You cannot teach drive. It’s either there or it isn’t. Tapping into these sales basics can transform the backroom coordinator into a selling machine. It’s not a given, and it’s not an automatic. But it does cause the boss to ask, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

As an epilogue to this blog, it’s the day before the program is set to begin and Madeline’s efforts have paid off. Clients are starting to sign up and I have been sending her text messages all day as they do. I just gave her the total amount she earned and she texted back, “There is a God.” Yup, she’s a sales rep alright!

The “It’s About Time!” program will help get you organized and prepared and then hold you accountable through daily check in. See for yourself at


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