Don't Make the "Verizon" Sales Call!

By Bill Farquharson
In December 10, 2014

Don’t Make the “Verizon” Sales Call!

Close your eyes (um, figuratively, not literally. That would be dumb as you wouldn’t be able to read the blog and it would be awkward for both of us). Picture the Verizon Guy on the phone asking that ubiquitous question, “Can you hear me now?” In the early commercials, he’d pop up every where:

“Can you hear me now?”

“Can you hear me now?”

“Can you hear me now?”

It got annoying. Fast.

Sales people with low/no value to their sales calls inhabit that same space when they check in with clients and prospects. The call goes something like this: “Hi. It’s Bill Farquharson calling from FARCO. I’m just checking in. Got anything for me?”

Anyone? Anyone? Buelller? Bueller?

It gets annoying. Fast. Unproductive, too. Fast.

Not a day goes by when I don’t hear a rep complaining that price is king. They blame the market. They blame the economy. Do they think to examine their sales approach? The “Got anything for me?” sales call is the first step down the road that leads to “your price is too high!”

The second step? “Sure, I’ll be happy to give you a price on that!”

A different step? “I was on your website and I see that you got a tradeshow coming up. I’ve got an idea for how I can help you to make the most of that financial investment.”

Don’t like the outcome of your sales calls? Change the input. Do some research on the prospect prior to picking up the phone and come up with a better way to finish the sentence that starts, “The purpose of my call is…” Don’t talk about print.Don’t talk about your equipment mix. Don’t talk about your capabilities. Do talk about the customer. Do talk about their issues and challenges as you understand them. Then, propose a meeting for the purpose of solving that problem with your solutions.

Can you hear me now?

Check out Bill’s Sales Resources page on the NAPL website. Call him at 781-934-7036 or email 

Bill Farquharson

Epicomm Vice President Bill Farquharson previously served as President of Aspire For, a sales training and consulting firm in Duxbury, MA, and is a 30+ year sales veteran in the print and form industries. He has trained thousands of print sales representative, sales managers, and “selling owners” with a highly successful, no-nonsense “old school” approach. His unique training programs—The Sales Challenge, The Mobile Sales Club, and Tuesday eWorkshops—have become an industry standard for driving new business. Bill has trained and coached sales people from Xerox, Fuji Xerox, HP Indigo, Heidelberg, EFI, Konica-Minolta, and others. An active columnist and blogger for Printing Impressions magazine,, he also shares two weekly electronic eblasts each week with thousands worldwide: Monday Video Sales Tip and Friday Short Attention Span Webinars. Bill received a B.A. degree in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and worked in sales at UARCO Business Forms, Advanced Form Systems, and Print Tec Network, prior to founding his own firm.

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