Garbage In/Garbage Out

When I was in junior high in the early ’80s, my school put on a play called “The GIGO Effect.” It was a musical all about computers, which for that time was pretty progressive. This was way before the advent of personal computers, and the Atari 2600 counted as most of our exposure to “computers.”

Any who, the theme of the show was all about how computers are only as “smart” as the people that program them, and if you input something wrong, you will get wrong information back.

I decided to adapt this message as a metaphor for your sales efforts. What I mean is, if you take a half-hearted approach to new business development, PLEASE do not be surprised when your results are less than stellar.

Come on now, be honest. How hard are you working? How effective is your message? How good have you been at differentiating yourself from your competition? And more importantly, how much time are you dedicating to landing new business?

Keep it honest now, because here’s the thing…There is an almost scientific, direct correlation between the QUALITY of your efforts and your success in this endeavor. If you dedicate time every day to landing a new client, AND you develop a plan that involves letters, calls, e-mails, dropping by and direct mail, AND you have something of value to say that is different from your competition, you CANNOT LOSE.

Conversely, if you half-ass it—if you prospect in fits and starts and don’t give the process its due respect and attention—you will not have great results to show for it. You know who you are.

So what do you think? Share your thoughts, and if you need some help, check out Bill Farquharson’s Sales Challenge at

Remember, Garbage In → Garbage out vs. Quality in → Quality out!

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • April Wirtala

    I completely agree, Kelly. And I have to say that I participated in your sales webinar with Bill Farquharson yesterday (The Four Agreements) – and loved it!! It was packed with great information and ideas, and has given me back the "drive" to keep selling! I also love Bill’s quote: "If selling was easy, everyone would do it." So true…