Pulling Out All the Stops

Pulling Out All the Stops

I was lucky enough to be invited together with my son to an organ recital recently.  It was a casual affair where you grabbed a tea and some cake and sat down for the recital cabaret style.

We turned up a little late and there were no tables left. All that was left was a row of seats about 10 feet – 3 metres my continental chums – directly behind the organist and his assistant. This afforded us an amazing view of all the work they had to do to pull off the rendition. There were three keyboard rows, a couple dozen pedals, and music papers everywhere that marked which organ stops had to be out for which piece of music. The more stops you have out – presumably; I’m no musician – the greater the range of different sound effects.

This got me thinking of the phrase ‘pulling out all the stops’ and how it relates to business. Pulling out all the stops means marshalling all the resources in your command and doing everything in your power to achieve something. If you’re in sales, there should only be one person you’re pulling out all the stops for.  It’s not you, and it’s not your boss. It’s your customer.

I know that sounds contradictory, but if you’re rooting for your customer and you’re their biggest advocate in your company, you will win big in the long run.

As a postscript, I accidentally published this post before the due date and a disappointed reader, met with a 404, sagely opined that perhaps I had pulled out too many stops. This is also true, you can pull out too many stops and put too much effort in for a sales opportunity. You need to balance the investment-reward equation.