Hey, Saleslucky family.
Today we’ll talk about something called a “linchpin.”
In his book of the same title, Seth Godin says a linchpin is someone who is indispensable to an organization.
This is a person who is SO valuable, that the company CANNOT afford to lose.
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If you can put yourself in that position, you’ll know that you’ll not only be HIGHLY valued, but you’ll have created TONS of value for your organization and customers.
In sales, this translates to a professional who not only provides GREAT service but also consistently exceeds revenue expectations.
It’s funny, there’s the saying that “revenue cures all sins.”
In other words, sales reps can make mistakes and generally misbehave, but if they bring in revenue, then it’s all good.
I don’t necessarily agree with this.
Nowadays I’ve come to learn that employees should be rewarded for exemplifying cultural values AND performance.
At the end of the day, sales is just VITAL to an organization.
Without revenue, there will be NO business.
And unlike what the characters say in the movie Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will not come.
You have to market. You have to sell.
Peter Thiel, a co-founder of Paypal, has said that in the Silicon Valley, especially with engineer types… it can be easy to look at salespeople, and dismiss what they do as easy.
It’s not. It can be hard work.
Of course, if you’re in sales then you already know that.
We live in a world that’s rapidly evolving—exponentially by the day.
This means that each day we don’t learn something new… we are slipping behind.
The internet has essentially democratized opportunities to an extent, and this has created massive competition in virtually every sector.
Remote jobs are going to be more and more a thing of the future.
During COVID we saw reps get let go who weren’t “that good.”
And only the best survived – and some, not only survived… but are thriving.
You hear stories of these kinds of reps in every recession, but who are these mythical creatures?
And more importantly, how do you become one?
The first point is to constantly learn, constantly up-level and upskill.
In order to become a linchpin, you must become a person capable and worthy of deserving that.
There’s a quote that goes, “Leaders are readers.”
Growing up I remember learning that everyone I looked up to – from Bruce Lee to Tupac to Tony Robbins to Elon Musk.
ALL these people read.
Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
I learned that Elon Musk read so much that he finished all the books in his elementary school library as a kid!
I don’t know if that’s true, but I wouldn’t be surprised for a guy who’s legitimately going to put a civilization on Mars!!
Start feeding your mind. And make it a DAILY habit.
I personally like to read at least 30mins to an hour a day.
Constantly be putting good stuff into your mind.
You know how people say “You are what you eat?”
Well, it’s the same thing with what you put in your mind.
I remember friends I had in high school would recite lines from the cartoon show South Park all day because that’s all they’d watch!
Same with friends who watch certain movies all the time—they continually quote those movies!
I’m sure you can relate!
Entrepreneur and sales trainer Brad Lea said in one of his Instagram posts how if you want to hire good salespeople, hire someone who has good character, is hungry, and reads a consistent basis.
To constantly learn and feed positive ideas in your mind is KEY.
You can do that through reading, listening to podcasts, or whatever medium you choose.
The key is to be constantly feeding positive thoughts and ideas into our minds.
If you want to be a linchpin, there is no way around it…
You gotta grind and you gotta hustle.
There is a lot of talk about working smart these days, and don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly important to be effective and work smart.
You won’t be able to be a linchpin without doing so.
But there is no escaping that the top performers in any field are also those who work the hardest.
Again, this applies to everyone from Elon Musk to Bruce Lee. These guys work incredibly “smart,” and yet at the same time, they work incredibly hard as well. Guaranteed you find any top performer, and that person will consistently be the hardest worker in the room.
Especially in sales, we don’t have the luxury of being able to take our foot off the gas.
Not if you want to be a linchpin. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS.
DO NOT LET UP.
You might be wondering “How do I keep my foot on the gas ALL the time? Sheesh!”
Well, it comes down to motivation and your reason WHY.
The question “What’s your why?” has been popularized from Simon Sinek’s TED talk.
Understanding your purpose for achieving and becoming who you’re meant to be is the utmost importance.
Your WHY is more important than the HOW.
“He who has a strong enough WHY can bear almost any HOW”
So if you want to begin tapping into more of your potential, dig into WHY you are doing what you’re doing.
Connect with your goals and the vision for your life. Those things will help you tap more of your potential and keep your foot on the gas!
One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is that they are too worried about themselves.
That’s literally where the word “self-conscious” comes from.
When you are working with a prospect, or out on a date, or upon a stage… and you get self-conscious, it’s because you’re thinking about yourself. You’re being selfish!
Instead of doing that, put ALL your focus on the other person. Whether that’s a prospect or someone you’re just talking to.
Take your attention off of you, and place it on THEM.
Give them your FULL attention.
And with your full attention on them, then set your INTENTION to SERVE.
What do I mean?
Look for ways to HELP the other person.
If you don’t understand something, ASK. Clarify.
Think about it – when a doctor isn’t sure about something you said, they will ask follow up questions to clarify.
They aren’t going to just assume the understood (at least the good doctors won’t), and they won’t not ask because they’re afraid either!
They are going to clarify with you what your challenges are, so they can understand and serve you better!
That’s what you ought to be doing as well!
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Leading by example.”
Well, I’d like to point us to a follow-up quote by legendary football coach Vince Lombardi:
“Leading by example isn’t the best the way to lead, it’s the ONLY way to lead!”
Leadership is one of those things that’s ALWAYS in demand.
You will never have “too much leadership.”
Almost everywhere you look could use MORE leadership.
Especially at a time like now, where we seem to need it more than ever.
In our government, in our education system, in our legal and police system.. basically everywhere you look!
Leadership is obviously HIGHLY, HIGHLY valuable.
And what does that mean exactly? It means setting the standard and actually standing for something.
It means to set the standard first for yourself, then for others.
It’s actually something I’ve been learning more about lately—John Maxwell is a great author for this.
Needless to say, if you want to become indispensable within an organization, you must first be able to set the standard for yourself.
You must begin to learn to accept accountability for your results and actions, and not let YOURSELF off the hook, first and foremost.
We cannot give to someone else what we do not have.
So it’s imperative that we start with OURSELVES. We hold ourselves to a higher standard so we may lead others to do so as well.
The last point I’ll add to this list is: Just Give.
Being an indispensable member of an organization means being highly valued.
And in order to be highly valued, you must provide a lot of value.
And in order to do that, you must continuously give.
We all know that relationships are all in some form or another a form of give-and-take.
We all also know of a person in our lives who’ve only wanted to take.
Maybe you’ve been that person, I know I have.
If I’m honest, I know I’ve been on both sides of that position. Maybe you have too.
If you want to be a linchpin, the surest way is to be a GIVER.
One of my favorite quotes is “The secret to living is giving.”
What a great summary!
The surest way to be an indispensable member of any organization is to show up as a giver—over and over and over again.
If you keep making deposits in the important relationships in your life, only good things can happen.
And as I’m writing these points to you today, I know that just as much these are a reminder for myself.
So, thank you.
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about sales when you download my e-book. You can find it at the top of this page.
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