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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 Summer Reading List

I wish I read more. Naturally, I have lots of excuses as to why I don’t:
  • Not enough time in the day.
  • Watching Hogan’s Heroes marathon instead.
  • Can’t find iPad charger.
  • Book in question has no pictures.

Good reasons, all, but I remain envious of those people who spend time with their noses in a book.

When I am on vacation, I typically take a book or two with me and it’s usually the latest John Grisham title or some mindless novel. At home, if I read at all, I lean towards self-help books and some lesser-known, quasi-business books that help to stimulate my creativity.

Creativity. Isn’t that a great quality for a salesperson to have? The skill of creatively bringing new ideas and resources to a prospect or a company aids in customer loyalty and general overall profit.

There was an article in The Wall Street Journal recently suggesting (and I heartily agree) that schools are teaching to the many standardized tests at the expense of fostering creativity. If that’s true, it makes a Montessori education all the more valuable.

But I digress.

They say you can learn a lot about someone by looking at their bookshelf. Here’s a virtual look at mine. I recommend any or all of these works be added to your summer reading list:

• “The Four Agreements”—This wonderful book has nothing to do with business or sales, but it will help you tremendously with your business and your sales.

• “A New Earth”—From the author of “The Power of Now,” this is a book that you study, not read. Its greatest impact on me is the lesson regarding letting go of the past, not worrying about the future, and simply focusing on the moment at hand.

• Everything by Malcolm Gladwell—“The Tipping Point,” “Blink,” “Outliers”…You cannot go wrong reading a Malcolm Gladwell book. Quirky, obscure, unique, thought-provoking. It’s all there.

• “Strengthsfinder” and “Wellbeing”—Tom Rath has penned to extraordinary books that look at skills from a unique angle.

• “Marketing Outrageously”—God but I love this book! If I had only one recommendation to stimulate the creative mind for both business and sales, this would be it. This is the kind of book that you read and then look to find someone with whom you can share it. Makes for great conversations at a party, and you’ll find yourself quoting it in a selling situation.

This month, I have three long trips scheduled—a family wedding as far east as you can go in the United States, a family wedding as far west as you can go in the United States, and a family trip in an RV from San Francisco to Etna, CA. That’s a total of four 3,000 mile airline flights and a couple of long drives. There will be plenty of time for me to find that iPad charger, grab whatever book or books I brought with me, and once again wake up those brain cells.

Got any recommendations for me?

If your attention span lasts about as long as to the end of this sentence, why not check out one of Bill’s free archived “Short Attention Span Webinars?” Go to and click on “Free Sales Training” in the menu bar. Contact Bill at 781–934–7036.

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