Some time ago, my wife and I looked into the possibility of getting a "tandem" bike – the type of bicycle with two seats, where the front person steers but both riders peddle. We thought it would be a great way to get out and exercise, while the teamwork element would enhance our marriage. Or so we think…
We haven't gotten one yet, but a recent conversation with inventor Tim Walsh reminded me of the "tandem" notion, and why it's so great.
We have worked with Tim on a number of projects as the Sales liaison, bringing together his ideas with our clients' distribution channels. Tim called me recently, and said "Hey – I talked to one of your buyers about this project. I hope you don't mind." I absolutely don't mind! And here's why:
First of all, these are not "our buyers". Any of the buyers we contact are an integral part of the toy & game industry as a whole, and as such are partners and resources to all of us in a sense.
Second, I view the whole notion of getting business done today as a series of events, connections, influences, and discoveries. I told Tim that the best effort is like that old commercial with the twin blade razor: the first blade "lifts", while the second "cuts". Nowadays, of course, we have 4- and 5-blade razors. I think the first lubricates, the second lifts, the third cuts, and the fourth soothes. The job of the fifth blade is to keep all the advertising execs in business…
In my view, this is the way we should be working our accounts - in tandem, with each individual bringing his or her own strengths to bear in an effort to reach the desired result. At Revenew Sales, we always tell our clients that we are not "Account Collectors". By this, we mean that we are open to working on as many or as few accounts as make sense for the client. If we have a greater chance at success by partnering up with other sales agents, or by presenting to a retailer with the client, we will absolutely do so. Two blades are better than one; so are two heads. As long as the end goal is identified up front, and egos are in check, things won't get bogged down by committee.
Going back to the bicycle analogy, a side benefit to working in tandem is that one partner can rest while the other works, and vice-versa. Thus keeping each rider sharp and strong along the way.
So think about some of the projects you're working on alone. Who would make a good tandem? Is there someone you know who has the skills, knowledge, or contacts to get things to the next level? If so, pick up the phone and ask them to come along for the ride!