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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."


Your Mother Was Right: Do the Right Thing!

I’ve decided to take the day off and asked my mom to write my blog for me. You’ll notice a remarkable resemblance in writing styles...

Billy told me that he recently had an exterminator at his house. It being the season that various creepy crawlies make their way inside so to avoid the winter cold, he thought it wise. He’s good that way.

When the time came to pay the bill, the exterminator offered him a discount. At first, Billy refused the gesture commenting that the man had arrived on short notice, had brought his family, and was heading out on vacation right after this application of chemicals. Because my son felt that a favor was being done and an inconvenience experienced for all, he insisted on paying full price. What happened next was an example of what happens when you do the right thing.

The exterminator stopped what he was doing, looked at Billy and said, “Do you remember a few weeks ago when a car pulled over outside of your house? A woman was driving her kids and the bicycles she was carrying had fallen off. You ran out in the pouring rain, quickly put Humpty Dumpty back together, calmed the woman while entertaining the kids and sent them safely and swiftly on their way.”

Confused, the event was indeed recalled.

The exterminator continued: “That woman was my wife and those kids are the same ones now sitting impatiently in the minivan over there. When we pulled up to your house just now, my wife excitedly said, ‘This is the house! That’s the guy that helped me!’ So, for coming to their aid when most people would have stayed inside, I’d like to say thank you in the form of a discount.”

Correctly accepting the gesture, Billy wrote the check. A good deed rewarded, there were smiles all around...not to mention dead insects.

This is a simple example, but there are times when we are called upon in business to do something without the consideration of what’s in it for us. Perhaps it’s to recommend a different vendor or to give honest appraisal of the situation when things go wrong. Whatever. The point here is that what goes around comes around. Nice guys are rewarded. Kind gestures are duly noted. And doing the right thing, the selfless thing, can be the rule and not the exception.

That person you let cut in front of you in this morning’s highway traffic jam could just be the prospect you are going to see. If not, it’s still the right thing to do. Hold the door open for someone whose arms are full and you just might find yourself sitting opposite him or her in an upcoming conference room negotiation. If not, it’s still the right thing to do. You just never know.

Like we, your collective mothers, told you when you were growing up, “Make good decisions” and “Be kind” and “Do the right thing.” Even if nothing comes your way as a result, it’s never a bad idea.

Your mother was right after all. Imagine that!

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. He can be reached at or (781) 934-7036.

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