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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."

 

The #1 Reason Why We Don’t Sell More

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Years ago, I wrote a column piece on an experience I had while buying a car. A friend of mine and I went to a Saab dealer south of Boston to look again at its inventory. It was my second trip. The salesman did not remember me.

Strike one. Dude, I’m 6’6” and have a unique last name. Seriously?

Anywho...there we were looking over $25,000 cars and giving off more buying signals than a crack addict who needs a fix. The sales rep was, at best, indifferent, and let us walk out the door without so much as an offer to go for a test drive. I was so dumbfounded that I dedicated my monthly column to the experience, identifying the company only as a “Saab dealer south of Boston.”

Fast forward two months.

My phone rings. Caller ID says, “Shaw Saab.” To my surprise, someone had sent the article to the owner and it landed on the desk of the clueless sales rep. He was calling me to ask what he did wrong. We had a laugh and a good conversation and, yes, I gave him an earful on what he did wrong. I’m honestly not sure what more I could have done in the dealership at the time to get his attention and let him know that I was ready to buy.

Are you missing signals?

Want to know the number one reason why we don’t sell more? The answer is simple: If you aren’t asking for the sale, you won’t get it.

Now, it could be that you—like my car friend, Dave*—are missing buying signals. But I’d bet the key to your increasing your sales comes in your closing skills, or lack thereof.

(* Not his real name. His real name is Mark.)

Closing opportunities come every time you deliver a quote or call to follow up. “I can have a proof to you in an hour.” or “Do you use Purchase Orders?” or “Hey, I’d like to print this job for you!” are examples of closing techniques. What is the worst that is going to happen, they say, “no”? You’ve already got that!

What made me think of this story was the fact that I was just back at Shaw Saab buying a car for my daughter, Kate. It was an excellent sales experience and we were treated very well. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in Norwell, MA.

There. Now I don’t feel so guilty about ripping them a new one years ago.

Epilogue: The sales rep called me the day after we picked up the car and said, “When you and your daughter left, the owner of the dealership called all of the sales reps together and said, “We need to be more like her: Upbeat, sunny and positive!” Love that!

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Am I consistently asking for the sale?
  • Can I think of three closing statements to make?
  • Am I upbeat, sunny and positive?
 

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