Barry Farber’s latest book, The 12 Cliches of Selling (And Why Thy Work), explores the value of business cliches in such chapters as “Never Take No for an Answer” and “The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get.” “The world of sales is full of cliches,” he says. “Why? Because they work.”
Fittingly, it is a cliche that best describes Farber. He is a natural born salesman.
Says the Smith School alumnus, who is the author of eight books, including two that have been translated into 14 languages, “I love selling something that I’m passionate about and that I know has tremendous value to people.” That applies to products and ideas.
Farber is president of Farber Training Systems, Inc., (www. barryfarber.com), a sales management and motivational training company, which has trained over 100,000 salespeople and executives on topics such as state-of-the-art selling, sales management, and leadership skills. Clients of the Livingston, N.J.-based company include Merck, AT&T, Perrier, Citibank, Gateway, and Minolta.
He is also president of The Diamond Group, which is both a literary agency that represents authors in the business and enter-tainment fields and a sales and marketing company that offers unique products such as the FoldzTM Flat Pen (the FoldzTM folds to the size of a business card).
To appreciate Farber’s drive, it is necessary to understand his curiosity about the world and his ability to see opportunity in every possibility. “Life is synergy,” he says. “Everything is relative.” Farber launched his sales career as a community college student, selling fold-up sunglasses. “A friend and I rented a table and sold them, making $400 to $500 a day. I thought, ‘Wow! I’ll do this the rest of my life’.”
He didn’t, but, by the time he received his degree in marketing from the business school in 1982, he had three jobs-selling real estate on weekends, home improvement products at night, and magazine advertising during the day. As his career progressed, Farber moved on to senior positions in sales management and sales training and was the national sales training manager for Ricoh Corporation, a $2-billion company. In 1991, he started his own company.
Today, Farber-who is also a columnist for Entrepreneur magazine, creator of the Focus with Farber pocket magazine, and host of his own television show-takes great satisfaction in what he describes as “developing the people around you.”
“That way,” he states, “you leave some kind of legacy or information that keeps going. I like that idea.”