11 Reasons Why Selling Owners Won’t Sell

Selling Owners (workimus maximus sellimus minumus) are a breed unto themselves. Generally appearing at dawn and disappearing late at night, this creature is an active beast and one that wears many hats: Customer Service, Accounting, Delivery, Press/Bindery Stand In, and often, Janitor. The one hat that gathers dust is that of Sales.

Very often, the Selling Owner lets that one sit undisturbed until it is absolutely, positively necessary. It certainly wasn’t in the job description way back when. Clients would come in, hand over a job, and chat it up in a Mayberry RFD kind of way. Good times.

Today, sadly, it’s sell or die for the Selling Owner. Yet, too many sit frozen staring at the quiet phone, wondering when Opie is going to come in and order some copies of Aunt Bea’s new book: “Things I Found in My Hairdo One Day.”

Why won’t the Selling Owner sell? There are probably more reasons than these, but here are the top 11 that come up in my conversations, both verbal and electronic:

• Don’t want to.
• Don’t see the need.
• No time (perception and reality).
• Don’t know who to call on.
• Don’t know what to say.
• Too many distractions—everyone and everything else comes first.
• Lack of commitment.
• No accountability.
• Procrastination:

  • “I’ll do it first thing.” Becomes:
  • “I’ll do it before lunch.” Becomes:
  • “I’ll do it before I leave.” Becomes:
  • “I’ll do it first thing.” And the cycle repeats.

• “I’m not a sales guy.” Or, “I’m not the type.”

But, I must say, the number one reason why Selling Owners won’t sell is:
• Fear.

Calling on the Unknown Customer is terrifying and it keeps them frozen. Necessity being the mother of Intervention, their shrinking profits might be the one thing that gets them out there, but hopefully they won’t wait that long.

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."
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  • Kelly Mallozzi

    Thank God. I was looking for a new floatie. Sign meup!

  • Jim Iverson

    I am bracing for the "push" from my wife!