How To Sell Strategically


How do you sell strategically?

Selling strategically is a phrase that most sales people have heard and wonder about. It’s no question that sales professionals are always looking for the most efficient and effective way to sell their products or services. While strategic selling isn’t necessarily easy, a carefully laid out plan can boost revenue and help your business gain an upper hand against your competitors.
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Handle Customer Objections: Key Sales Lessons from Tommy Boy

Key Sales Lessons From Tommy Boy

Sales professionals can learn a lot from sales scenes in movies. Hollywood may seem like an odd place to look for inspiration but rest assured, there are plenty of invaluable sales lessons to be learned from Hollywood’s cult classics. Learning how to handle customer objections during sales calls, dealing with difficult clients, or refining your sales strategy, can improve your selling skills.  When it comes to handling customer objections,  these key sales lessons from Tommy Boy can teach sales professionals a thing or two about how to effectively deal with customers’ concerns. Learn how to navigate the world of sales by taking a cue from these two classic sales scenes in Tommy Boy.

How NOT to Handle Customer Objections

There are key sales lessons from Tommy Boy that teach you how NOT to prepare for sales meetings. Tommy (played by Chris Farley) prepares for the upcoming sales presentation meetings by frantically pacing to overcome his nerves as Richard (played by David Spade) tries to prepare him with some classic sales advice: “We don’t take no for an answer.” What follows is a hilarious montage of sales meetings with Tommy bailing out of every sales meeting after getting rejected without even learning how to handle customer objections.

The fundamental message here is that with every sales meeting will come objections of all kinds. It’s important to be resilient with how you overcome rejections in sales. Pay attention to your clients’ reasonings and objections. Adjust your responses accordingly and treat every objection as a chance to ask more questions about their specific problems. A good sales tip is to know your product or service like the back of your hand.

Sales professionals must also learn to read their customers personality and adjust their sales presentation accordingly. One way to do this is to ask open-ended questions that reveal their specific pain points and problems. Pay close attention to the nature of their language (and body language), when they answer your open-ended questions. Adjust your approach accordingly to match their personality to improve your chances of closing the sale.

Both Richard and Tommy fail to speak the customers’ language in this specific scene. Richard relies too heavily on the technical aspects of the product or service and inevitably turns the customer off. Tommy, on the other hand, is too informal with his approach and unavoidably ends up ruining the sale.

How to Handle Customer Objections  

Now let’s look at how Tommy Boy effectively handles customer objections. In a critical scene of the movie, Tommy closes his first sale with a customer by utilizing open-ended questions and asks, “Why would someone put a guarantee on the box”? This strategy moves the conversation forward and keeps the customer engaged and curious.

A key sales lesson from Tommy Boy is to take advantage of the belly-to-belly you have with customers. Tommy was able to effectively deliver a convincing argument as to why his product was superior. He was able to close this deal by handling the customers’ objections with relevant anecdotes and interesting examples. Tommy’s argument was predicated on the fact that a “guaranteed label” on a box does not always correlate with a quality product. Tommy learns how to handle customer objections and ultimately ends up closing his first sale on the road and goes on t save his father’s company.


If you enjoyed these key sales lessons from Tommy Boy and would like to learn more about how to handle your customers’ objections with The Sales Coaching Institutes One-on-One Sales Coaching program or our Professional Sales Training services.


Understanding The Client Buying Process – Suspect vs. Prospecet

Understanding The Client Buying Process

Why Customers Buy

Buying decisions can be based on emotions like fear of loss or desire for gain. However, before they do purchase, they need to have a reason for change.


Problems customers have


Opportunities to improve upon a situation

Change is challenging!

Today’s customers are frazzled and overworked and this makes them feel like they don’t have enough hours in the day. They are also risk-averse and hesitant to make changes that might cause problems or bring on more work.

As their needs grow, customers realize that they must make a change. Helping your clients understand the positive aspects of going for the change will increase their interest.

It’s OK. “I could lose a few pounds, but I’m probably OK.”
It’s a problem. “My slacks are feeling are a little hard to button, but they aren’t uncomfortable.”
The problem is growing. “My slacks are uncomfortable and bothering me very much!”
I need to make a change! “I can’t squeeze into my pants anymore. I have to find something else to wear!”


Making a Change Example

Trying to Lose Weight

Pain motivation:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Health issues

Gain motivation:

  • Looking good
  • Fitting into smaller size
  • Being healthier

Deciding whether to Buy a New Furnace

  • It’s OK: The furnace is 15 years old and should probably be replaced
  • It’s a problem: The furnace runs noisily and inefficiently; utility bills are increasing
  • The problem is growing: The technician sees bacteria and mold
  • I need to make a change!: The switch doesn’t work and you cannot get any heat whatsoever.

Customers that exhibit areas of pain that your product or service can solve are prospects and they should be pursued vigorously.

A prospect has 4 prerequisites; need, desire, financial capacity, and authority. A suspect may have only 1 or 2 of these, but not all. In order for a suspect to be a prospect, they must have all 4 of these. When you identify a person with all 4 prerequisites your sales efforts should double!

Watch The Understanding The Client Buying Process Video

Related Articles & Videos:

Understanding Each Phase of The Customer Buying Cycle

Understanding How Change Impacts The Customer Buying Cycle

Happy Selling!

The Sales Coaching Institute