THE BALLOON AND THE STRING…Mike Boutette has been a Sales Manager for a long time (Remax Twin City, Kitchener, ON). Not surprisingly he has accumulated a lot of wisdom over the years. Recently Mike shared a great metaphor with me to explain how Salespeople need to have two main components in their business lives. He said we need both parts of the “the balloon and the string” equation. Here’s how it works…
The balloon floats around exploring new ideas and new things, looking for adventure and opportunity. On the plus side, the balloon knows no limitations and is not held back from opening new doors. On the minus side, there is no direction and no plan to achieve a particular goal or objective. To the extreme, the balloon can eventually “hit a ceiling fan” and explode!
The string is attached to the balloon and provides direction. It helps the balloon move from one opportunity to another using structure and predictability. On the plus side this supports the balloon in arriving at the desired destination. On the minus side, without the balloon… the string just lies on the floor and gets nothing done. The string just spends all its time getting ready and perfectionism gets in the way of activity.
Here is your ACTION STEP…now you see the connection. Now you can see the necessity for both components in your Sales Business. The challenge this presents however is that most Salespeople do not naturally exhibit both these components. Most Salespeople are generally speaking much more “of a balloon” and much less “of a string” or vice versa. Here’s a simple breakdown considering the four basic Personality Styles:
Amiables & Expressives… you are much more “balloon like”. You enjoy freedom and spontaneity. Structure and scheduling does not come easily. You don’t like repetitiveness and predictability.
Analyticals & Drivers… you are much more “string like”. You enjoy rules and controls. Flying by the seat of your pants is uncomfortable. You don’t like happenstance and surprises.
Which one are you? Balloon or string? The most successful Salespeople have figured out two things… #1. They know whether they are more “balloon like” or more “string like” & #2. They have figured out how to fill the gap so there is a constancy in their performance. One thing for sure, you can’t “fill the gap” on your own. This does not come naturally and the best approach is to get some outside help. Find someone who has the versatility to help you get the best of both. Don’t expect that you can be the balloon and the string single-handedly. One of the signs of greatness is the ability to recognize your deficiencies. You must complete the equation by surrounding yourself with people who can take you two great new heights. Mike Boutette figured this out…now you can too! Have fun with this, enjoy the discovery… become both the balloon AND the string. NO Excuses.