Years ago, there was a great running back named John Riggins who played for the Washington Redskins. Big, strong and tough, he would rather run right over you than use any fancy footwork. The offensive line that cleared the way for Riggins called themselves “The Hogs.”
Every week, Riggins took The Hogs out for steaks and beers. His rationale . . . he was only as good as the people around him . . . and in front of him . . . and he wanted to make sure the Hogs knew how much he appreciated them.
Who makes up your offensive line? Who blocks for you by processing your orders, talking to your customers and following up on delivery? How loyal are they to you?
Let’s face it . . . we salespeople can sometimes be perceived as arrogant or condescending to people who are providing valuable service behind the scenes. Mutual respect is generated by appreciating each other’s contributions to what can only be a team effort if we want to succeed as an organization.
By the way, the Redskins and Riggins went on to win the Super Bowl and, after the season, The Hogs voted him into their club . . . the only non-offensive lineman they invited to join them.
Riggins said later it meant much more to him than the MVP trophy he won for his Super Bowl performance. Now that’s cool!