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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 Sales Prevention Department

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Before you eat in a restaurant, you should first be a waiter or a waitress.

Before you drive a car, you should spend a day with a cop on the road.

Before your first day in Sales, you should spend time in the shop as a CSR.

There are two jobs that I would love to do before I die. The first is to sell cars. I love cars but that’s not why. I am tired of the poor selling skills that come from that corner of our profession and would like to show them how to do it right. I think Bill Belichick has the same thinking as a reason for signing Tim Tebow, though his motivation is a little more vengeful towards the Jets, however.

The other job that I would like to do is to serve as a waiter. Again, I see this as a chance to right the wrongs of past eating experiences and have some perspective on the rigors of the job from the other side. But I will save further comments for the mythical column I write for Food magazine.

Salespeople have a skewed vision of what it takes to be in Customer Service. The amount of grousing and complaining and the sheer volume of blame that gets put on the support staff is summarized in a phrase I heard recently when describing the dysfunction within one certain printing company: The Sales Prevention Department.

But what if we had to serve time being on the receiving end of an order? How different would it be if we were handed the drop-and-run job instead of being the drop-ee? I’d imagine we’d all get a slight glimpse into their world and be all the better for it. Communication would improve. Compliments would flow. Thanks from the clients would be shared. Just a brief stint at the desk would give us the perspective to know better.

December 26 is Boxing Day in England. Traditionally on this day, servants are waited on by those they serve. Sounds like an interesting idea. I know mine love it! For that brief moment (I believe it ends at noon), Lord and Lady Grantham “get it.”

If nothing else, bring your CSR coffee and ask about his/her job. Gain some semblance of understanding even if you don’t take over their job. “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” Things are likely to improve simply through the act of bringing the coffee!

Just pass it through the hole in their cell. They’ll love you for it.

Bill Farquharson is traveling. Follow his cross country trip at www.AspireFor.com. Look for the red motorcycle in the upper right hand corner.

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