My Favorite Customer

Marilyn Vos Savant—the reputed “smartest person in the world”—once said, “If you don’t have a favorite child, you don’t know your kids very well.” I am going to let that one go without additional personal comment, just in case my girls are reading me.

What I will tell you is that I have a favorite customer. Her name is Paula and she is a rock star in my book.

There are two reasons why Paula is my fave. First, she displayed a courtesy to me unlike any other I have ever experienced. Paula became my favorite when she invited me to her shop in Baltimore and picked me up personally at the airport. Since it was late when I arrived, Paula dropped me off at the hotel with a basket of snack food and water. She was concerned that I would be peckish and there would be no restaurant open. I have been in love with her ever since.

The second reason why Paula is my favorite has to do with her business acumen. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Paula’s skills as a printer and especially as a sales manager. She runs a tight ship with a no-nonsense approach—I will reward effort so long as you demonstrate commitment to your job. Simple enough, right?

Paula has the perfect attitude regarding her sales force: Let them sell. Each Monday morning at 9 a.m., she sits with her sales team (which varies in number from 1 to 3 sales people) and they quickly run through a standard agenda.

The reps know they need to come prepared. It is not a good idea to cross Ms. Paula and NEVER advisable to engage in a war of words with her as one of my competitors found out years ago in a public print serve (yet another reason why I love this woman!). Sales reps know to bring their A game to that meeting or risk facing the Wrath of Khan.

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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