This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Little hinges don’t swing big doors. Strong hinges firmly attached to a strong foundation are what swing big doors.
Weak hinges won’t handle the size and the weight of big door. Hinges that aren’t securely attached to a strong foundation won’t swing a big door either; they’ll get pulled right out of their
The more you ask of a hinge, the more you need it to be strong and firmly attached to an even stronger foundation.
It takes a lot to make a salesperson a strong hinge.
It requires dozens of attributes and skills (my list includes self-discipline, optimism, competitiveness, determination, initiative, resourcefulness, caring, empathy, and communication).
It also takes a grounding in a firm foundation. That foundation is the fundamentals effective selling, not some new-fangled esoteric fad (my list includes closing, prospecting, storytelling, diagnosing, differentiating, negotiating, business acumen, change and consensus building, leadership, and accountability).
If you are a salesperson, you know that much is required of you. Selling has never been easy, but it’s more challenging now than ever. Your company expects more of you. Your clients expect much more of you. The door you are asked to swing is a big, heavy door indeed. You need to work hard to grow and improve. You need chops. You need to become a serious value creator.
If you are a sales leader, you know you are asking much of your salespeople, maybe more than they are prepared to handle. If you really want strong hinges, you have to help make them strong. You have to help them become who they must become. You have to help connect them to the firmest of foundations.
Little hinges swing little doors. You don’t want to be a little hinge. You want to be a strong hinge.
Who do you have to be to handle what is asked of you? Can you afford to be little?
How do you increase your strength, your ability handle a heavier load, produce better results?
What foundation is helping to give you the leverage you need?