Origin Story

By Bill Farquharson, Sales Vault. Read Bill’s tip below or watch Bill here.

Good morning!

Every day, I read The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. I start with that information to tell you I can’t remember which one served up this suggestion…

I was recently turned on to a popular business podcast called, Acquired. The premise: Two wicket smaht guys tell the origin story of a company (Microsoft, Visa, Costco, Nike, etc).

How did it start?

Who started it?

What path did they take?

Mistakes? Opportunities? Successes?

The first company I learned about was Novo Nordisk. With a 100 year history of insulin production and being at the center of the miracle weight-loss drug Ozempic, this fascinating 3+ hour podcast flew by (truth be told, I listen at 1.25x speed but still…).

The reason I bring this up is to suggest you do your homework on a prospect or customer’s backstory. Boring as it might seem, it is important to someone at the top and for that reason, it should matter to you, too.

Big companies are typically easier to research. Start with the website and fan out from there, taking in everything you can find.

Smaller companies are tougher. The “About Us” tab is a good starting point but the trail might dry up after that. If you know who the founders are, you might try examining their LinkedIn profile and check employment background. You could reach out to someone at the company who has been there since the start and ask directly. Be honest and tell them you are planning to make a sales call on them and want to as informed as possible. They might just respect that.

Companies are created out of passion, need, opportunity, and challenge. These are all exciting words and they can only help your sales pitch. Sometimes it is a complete fluke, like how my bad guitar playing led me to create The Sales Vault. Other times it’s visionary.

The point is it matters to someone in a position of authority and your curiosity might just be the differentiator you need to get in the door.


And speaking of The Sales Vault, did you know it is the largest yet most personal source of ideas and motivation in all of the graphic arts? Check it out at or call Bill Farquharson at 781-934-7036 and tell him YOUR origin story.


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