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Burn Your Bridges


Written by Eric Fry for the Burnside News

Don't burn your bridges" reminds you to make sure 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 by which you were once employed. This can be good and practical advice. In business today, you need all the allies you can get.

However, there are times when burning your bridges is exactly what you need to do. Not the relationship bridges, but the “head trash” bridges. The biggest barriers are often those between our ears. Here are 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 that are always willing to talk with you, but never buy? "Drop in when you're in the neighbourhood. 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. 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’re falling back on, you need to burn them because they’re causing you to fall back. You aren't making any progress toward success; you're only maintaining the status quo.

Successful business people in sales know they have to go beyond what they do now — to challenge themselves to be at the top of their profession.

©2013 Sandler Training Inc. ( is an international sales and management training/consulting firm. To attend a free training session call Sandler Training at (902) 468-0787 or e-mail

Eric Fry

Sandler trainer