The Internal Sale

The sales rep was faced with a challenge.

The negotiations with the customer had broken down and there was frustration on both sides. It appeared that they were at an impasse and a third-party would have to be brought in to mitigate a solution. Fortunately, they both worked for the same person.

At the same company!

As hard as it is to land an appointment and receive an order from an outside customer, salespeople often find themselves to be up against an equally challenging internal sale to the Estimator, Production Manager, or the Bindery Department. Woe is the sales rep who develops an unsavory reputation amongst his or her coworkers. Production has its favorites and if it comes down to your rush job going on press or another reps’, you’d better hope that you are the favored child.

My older brother, Andy, is a personable and talented salesperson. His customers think very highly of him, as do I. But he also has the respect of his fellow employees, a respect earned from years of outstanding internal sales. Customer compliments are shared with everyone who had anything to do with the job. Andy says, “Thank you” a lot and it is remembered. Being a good guy goes a long way.

Years ago, I visited a printer in Austin, Texas (AusTex Printing) and the owner took me for a plant tour. Along the way he greeted every employee in their native tongue, asked about their children, laughed over an inside joke, and shook hands like he was running for office. It was quite a display and it made a huge impression on me (as did the story he told me in his lobby at the top of his lungs—as any good Texan would—that had me laughing so hard I had to leave the building).

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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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Comments
  • Kelly Mallozzi

    many were the day I would bribe (I mean THANK) my internal team with lunch, treats and other goodies – I was ALWAYS the favorite….just ask me!

  • Rob Lehmann

    Truer words were never spoken. Thanks Bill!

  • Thomas

    The internal sales prevention team as I lovingly call them also includes IT.

  • Jane Hazard

    The same can be said for the customer. I work with a group of very talented, hard working people and as a result I have a computer file and file folder full of thank you’s from customers. Most are kudos to the team, not just an individual. That makes me feel good. It means I’ve done my job selling the company. I think it is important everyone here knows the thank you’s aren’t just coming from me.

  • Barbara Zenewicz

    I totally agree, you must have good internal customer relations with co-workers. Teamwork is often a forgotten concept, but has to happen for the work to be done with the highest level of pride, resulting in quality product.

  • finishlineinc

    Good advice. It can be hard not to get frustrated sometimes, but a little kindness can go a long way. Just remember, mistakes happen ALL THE TIME. Success depends on how you deal with those mistakes. And your coworkers remember you more than you think!