How the Successful Succeed

The question was, What are the successful students doing to succeed? The guy asking the question was the father of an incoming freshman to the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Her name is Emma Louise Farquharson, class of 2015. The event was Parent Orientation earlier this month.

I quickly jotted down Professor Deschamps’ answers, not only to remind Emma of what she needs to do, but also because I saw a strong correlation between the professor’s comments regarding college students and what every sales rep needs to know in order to find success. See if you agree:

1. “They ask for help.” Professor Deschamps started giving this answer even before I was finished with my question. She said successful students make connections with their professors and advisors and keep in touch regularly.

I found it fascinating that this was the first thing out of her mouth. Her observation was that when things don’t go right, the successful student steps up and speaks with or e-mails his/her professor to let them know instead of making excuses. In addition, she said, the successful ones are those who participate in class discussions.

2. “They communicate.” I love this one: Successful students are adept at communicating. They are well spoken and get their points across in writing.

3. “They know their competencies.” Again, fascinating! Successful students are honest with themselves about what they do well and where they need help.

4. “They learn to negotiate.” We all think of negotiation as bargaining and begging. Professor Deschamps’ viewpoint was that learning how to work with others to find a win-win is a critical skill.

5. “They read.” I have to admit, this was my favorite. She talked a lot about how students will use “text-talk” in their college essays. The audience laughed. She continued, “It’s the well-read who understand how to use words to get a point across.”

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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  • CanonKelly

    the are more similarities than even I realized! Great article Bill. One of my favorite babysitters is starting college in the fall and i always tell her to talk to her professors and ask for help if she needs it. I hope Emma knows how lucky she is to have a dad who asks such insightful and important questions! Now if only all our salespeople would, too!