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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."

 

My Sales Concussion

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Lately, a great deal of attention has been cast upon concussions, and rightly so. Modern-day gladiators, I mean, NFL football players are especially susceptible to getting their bell rung.

I was told once that a concussion occurs when the brain slams against the skull and gets bruised. In my lifetime, I have had exactly two concussions. The first happened in my senior year of high school while I was playing soccer. I headed a ball and shortly thereafter found myself on the bench watching the grass go back and forth, back and forth...just before I fell over backwards and passed out.

Then (the year was 1978), like now, the initial treatment for a concussion includes keeping the patient awake in order to avoid falling into a coma. That night, every hour on the hour, my mom came into my room and asked me how I was feeling. My response was exactly the same, hour after hour: “I’m feeling better, but do you remember an hour ago when you asked me how I was and I told you that I was fine? Well, I wasn’t. But I am now.”

The second concussion I received was a Sales Concussion.

I began my sales career in June, 1982. Three months later, my manager, Al Pulito, asked me how I thought things were going. I told him things were going great and that I felt very confident. A year later, at my review, he asked me again and my response was very similar to the one that I gave my mom that night every hour on the hour: “Do you remember a year ago when I told you how well things were going for me? Well, I really thought I knew it all, but I didn’t. Fortunately, I do now!”

I am still recovering from my Sales Concussion. Year after year, I am fortunate to be smarter and more confident than the previous year. Of course, there is still the risk that I will slip into a coma (i.e., upper management), but with any luck the healing will continue for a long time to come.

“Staying awake” means continuing to learn and grow and expand and accept the new challenges ahead. Do me a favor: Call me any year and ask me how things are going.

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or bfarquharson@napl.org.

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