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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 Ideal Salesperson

Meatloaf once sang a song with the lyrics, “I want you. I need you. But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. But don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad.”

Finding a successful salesperson is part luck, part timing, and part knowing what you’re looking for. You can’t have perfect. You won’t find perfect. You want the right personality, the right level of experience, and, perhaps, the right level of technical skills. If that’s the case, get used to hearing Meatloaf’s song in your head as you go through the hiring process.

So, what should you be looking for in your search for the ideal candidate?

A blog is typically 250 to 300 words. PIworld has strict guidelines, but according to my contract, “A blog where Meatloaf is quoted can exceed that limit if for no other reason than to explain why Meatloaf was quoted.”

So, to keep this short, I will give you one characteristic and one sales skill to look for.

A characteristic is a personality trait. You either have it or you don’t. Can it be taught? Yes, but more often than not, baby, you were born that way. The one characteristic I would choose, then, is drive. In other words—diligence, persistency, sticktoitiveness. It is the single most important factor in your sales success, bar none.  Don’t leave home without it.

As for the one sales skill—that is, something that can be taught—I’m going to go with the ability to do pre-call research on a prospect and come up with a valuable and powerful statement to make when attempting to gain an appointment. This one you can acquire. And should.

If I get a third choice, I’m going to go with superior communication skills. That is, outstanding writing and speaking abilities.

So, the ideal salesperson is diligent, well-prepared for that first call, and has the ability to speak in a way that people will listen and listen so other people have the opportunity to speak. Having all three is truly “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights,” but hey, two out of three ain’t bad!

Next week, the ideal sales manager.

Need sales? Take Bill’s “Sales Challenge.” Only $97 and guaranteed to drive your sales. Starts Feb. 29. Go to for more information.

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