Try Outrageous Selling! –Farquharson/Tedesco
A week later, the two presidents got together on their own. During the next year and beyond, T.J.’s company ended up doing as much new business with the customer as predicted.
The Outrageous Ice Cream Truck. Everybody loves ice cream. This simple thought helped Bill secure a nationally known major client.
It was the mid-1980s in Cambridge, MA. A young man still in his 20s, Bill had recently started a printing business called Advanced Form Systems (AFS) and was searching for new clients. For the past few months, he’d been courting a major prospect—Stride Rite, a Boston-based children’s footwear company. Getting through to anyone at this company had been next-to-impossible. Purchasing, marketing and sales doors were all shut.
One hot July afternoon, around lunchtime, Bill pulled up to Stride Rite’s headquarters in an ice cream truck that he’d rented for the day. Atop the truck he placed a banner: “Free Ice Cream for All Stride Rite Employees, Courtesy of Advanced Form Systems!” For the next hour, Bill handed out ice cream bars and business cards to countless Stride Rite employees.
Shortly afterwards, Bill got this call from a print buyer at Stride Rite: “You’re good. People here keep mentioning your name, and we can’t ignore you anymore.” Bill ended up getting a meeting with the buyer and, eventually, the account. Stride Rite gave AFS more than $100K of business in their first year as a client...not bad for a $500 investment in ice cream.
The Outrageous No. In April, 2006, T.J. was in a bad mood, and for good reason. He’d just flown cross-country to meet with a prospect right in his company’s wheelhouse. Before the visit, T.J. had considered this sale such a near slam-dunk that he’d incorporated the revenue numbers into his pro forma statements. But things didn’t go as planned, and T.J. lost (ahem, blew?) the sale.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.