The Best Way to End Your Day

My first job in sales was with UARCO Business Forms. The wife of the then president Greg Barker established a company-wide edict whereby all salespeople would clean their desk and their office space prior to leaving each day. Her wish became his command and his command became law.

Last night, I was rushing out the door to meet my daughter for dinner. As I headed down the stairs, I turned and looked back.

And stopped cold.

Suddenly, I was a 21-year-old salesman again and could feel the admonishment of 31 years (Wow? Really?) prior.

Setting down my things, I returned to my desk and quickly cleaned up. I left with my backpack, my laptop, some nighttime reading material, and a good feeling of organization and accomplishment.

Have a look at your desk right now. Do you have any idea what color it is or is it completely covered with paper and technology? Channeling my inner Mrs. Barker, wherever she may be, I’d like to ask you to clean off your desk and arrange your office neatly prior to leaving. Your reward will be a good feeling tonight and a good feeling in the morning.

Now, tuck in your shirt, fix your hair, and play nice with others in traffic. Well done, Beaver.

Why can’t you be more like that Haskell boy?

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of printed reps and selling owners. Contact him at (781) 934-7036 or

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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  • Melissa Sienicki

    I would get along greatly with Mr. Barker’s wife; I have to do the same thing at the end of the day, or I can’t walk away – it would drive me crazy! Another wonderful post, Bill.

  • Kelly Mallozzi

    I’m getting better, boss, and just about to hire a professional organizer to get me the rest of the way there!

  • Mark Henry

    Bill – Thank you very much for sharing this story and professional exercise. I’m often asked what skills set successful salespeople apart from the herd. Many times the questioner is looking for a single, silver-bullet style answer and, of course, there are none. Instead it is dozens, or hundreds of mental exercises like the one you shared with us today that add up over time.

    Thank you again, and I look forward to your next article.