"Don't burn your bridges" reminds you to make sure that you can always go back the way you came. Perhaps to get a reference or a referral from a former prospect, or maybe even go back to work for a company with whom you once worked. This can be good and practical advice. In business today, you need all the allies you can get. There are times, however, when burning your bridges is exactly what you need to do. Burning your bridges is another component of the Formula for Success. Sandler has identified three particular bridges that need to be burned:
- the Bridge of Reliance
- the Bridge of Hope
- the Bridge of Comfort
Do you rely on certain key customers to help you make your quota month after month because it's easier than going out and developing new clients? Do you rely on selling popular products or high-demand items in your product line to make your numbers because your company's less popular but more profitable items are harder to sell? If you do, then you've got to burn that Bridge of Reliance. What you rely on today may not be there tomorrow.
Do you continually chase prospects who are always willing to talk with you, but never buy? "Drop in when you're in the neighborhood." "We're always happy to hear from you." Why continue to invest your time with someone who won't help you reach your goals? If you're hoping that one day they will do business with you, burn the Bridge of Hope. Go make something happen today, not someday.
Do you find yourself investing an excessive amount of time on low-volume prospects because you're comfortable with them? You know they should be buying more, but you don't want to rock the boat and push them to buy more. Why? Because you don't want to make yourself or them uncomfortable. If that's you, burn that Bridge of Comfort. Get out of your rut, break through your comfort zone and do something great.
No matter which of these bridges you are falling back on, you need to burn them, because they are causing you to fall back. You aren't making any progress toward success; you're only maintaining the status quo.
Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.
John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com