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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."


A Simple Act of Selling

My daughter, Emma, needed help moving out of her apartment at UMass Amherst and we needed to rent a U-Haul trailer. Less than a mile from my house is a service station (Google that if you’re under…35) that is along my walking route. As I passed by, I noticed the presence of the kinds of U-Haul trailers we would need, so I stopped by to make an inquiry.

Despite the fact that it was 10:30 in the morning, there was no one in the office. A man walked out one of the service bays and said, “He doesn’t usually get in until 11.” When I asked if he could help, the man explained that the two businesses were separate but then quickly added, “If you ever need your car repaired, I can be of service to you.” Then, he handed me a business card and smiled.

And there it was. A simple act of selling. As a salesman and sales trainer, I appreciated it tremendously. It was a great little add-on to our brief exchange, completely unnecessary to the conversation, but also completely apropos to the moment.

It is said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. His was a 10 on a scale of one to 10. I know nothing of his competence or expertise. I have not checked out his reviews. I don't even know if he works on the kind of older Volvos that I own. But through the combo platter of politeness and salesmanship, I am quite certain that I will be calling on him in the near future.

At the end of this day, consider how many casual conversations you had and think about how many times you could have handed someone a business card and said, “Who does your printing? Packaging? Labels? Signage?” Whatever. You should be giving away cards the way Andrew Carnagie gave away libraries.

I can think of no reason why everyone shouldn't know your name and your occupation. If anyone asks me if I know of a mechanic in town, I know a guy. Don’t you want that kind of response when the conversation comes to your product or service?

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