Mowing Lawns and Selling Inkjet Printing

Submitted by Bill Farquhars… on October 17, 2019
Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi

"Son, I'd like you to mow the lawn today."

Uttering those words to a groggy teenage boy who was just waking up, you climb into your car and drive to the office. Arriving home that night, you are disappointed to see amber waves of grain flowing back and forth in the wind, a sure sign that your instructions were not carried out. Seeking out your child, you are barraged with a long list of excuses, followed by a promise: "I'll get to it tomorrow, Dad."

Like a good father, you leave a reminder in the form of a note on the refrigerator and trot off to work the next morning. Checking your Instagram account during the day, you are surprised to see photos of your son enjoying the beach. Looking down at his sneakers, a lack of grass stain tells you something you already suspected: You won't need to wait until you get home to see the lawn has once again been neglected.

There is nothing wrong with your son. He does not suffer a shortage of intelligence or common sense. He is simply human and we humans are masters at avoiding tasks. Salespeople are like this, too. We know what we need to do but very often we don't do it.

Statistically, we will lose 10 to 15% of our business every year through attrition. We should be constantly looking for new business opportunities and prospecting for new clients.

We don't.

Sound sales practice includes the creation and constant updating of a CRM. We should make it part of our weekly tasks to keep our database current.

We don't.

The number one reason why we lose an account isn't because of bad service or high prices. It's because the client thinks we’ve stopped working for them. We should constantly be bringing them new ideas and reminding them why they buy from us.

We don't.

The arch enemy of procrastination is accountability. Setting sales activity goals, communicating these goals to someone else, and follow-up from that person is the best way to ensure calls get made. To do otherwise will result in a repeated promise you will make to yourself, the same one your son will make to you as soon as he gets home from the beach: "I'll get to it tomorrow." But tomorrow will never happen unless accountability is applied. Day after day, your grass will grow but your sales will not, leaving your "I'll get to it tomorrow" words to sound increasingly hollow, even when you add the inevitable addendum: "And this time, I mean it."

Bill Farquharson can be found at and Kelly Mallozzi is reachable through