Seven Ideas for Improving Your Sales Skill

One of the very first speaking gigs I had was—like almost all of the early speeches—a freebie, and while I can’t recall the name of the company out there on Soldier’s Field Rd. in Boston, I do remember the guy who sat in the front row and wrote down everything I said. It was Art Tweedie, a friend of my brother’s and a very, very successful sales rep.

I was shocked! Here was a guy who’d made more money in one year than I made in my last five. What the hell was he doing here? I would have thought he knew everything he needed to know and had all of the business he needed to have.

I was wrong.

After the presentation, I approached Art and expressed my surprise. Art smiled and told me that one of his secrets to success was that he is always learning how to be a better sales rep. It was a great lesson for a young sales rep.

To help you to be all that you could be, I’ve made a list of seven ideas for keeping up with Art. Some are tried-and-true, while others are just odd enough to get you to think. Anywho, here you go:

1. Read Margie Dana’s blog regularly.—Margie runs a Print Buyer’s Association and, like me, blogs for PIworld. She has her fingers on the pulse of some people that you might like to get to know, plus she’s wicked “smaht,” as we say in Boston, and has a fun writing style. Hit the RSS Feed button and be notified every time Margie posts a new entry.

2. Read one new book on sales per quarter.—Gotch’er iPad yet? If not, make this your next personal sales contest prize or just put a crowbar in your wallet and pull out five Benjamins. Then, go online and start downloading books on sales. Hold on, we’re in printing, right? Oh, fine, go buy a book, then. Geesh!

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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  • http://TexasPrintGuy Texas Print Guy

    Mentors. This industry was built on mentoring people and teaching people the industry, no matter the job function. Nobody wants to do this anymore. I take every opportunity to teach someone, but my experience with many in the industry is that they are too threatened by this because that person becomes their peer competition. There is also very little respect anymore for experience.

  • http://Ricardo Ricardo

    Listen, listen, listen… This is what is all about. As soon as you understand your customer’s needs, your value proposition will probably become his, not before. The issue is to make this a sales philosophy.