Employees have to feel comfortable and secure at work, but the pressure of making profits and selling particular numbers each day can result in a toxic sales culture. As the leader or manager, you have influence and power, which means you could be the one creating that toxic environment. Your goal is to motivate your employees, but a tough-love attitude can quickly cross over to abusive. While some people believe that being unforgiving and tough is the best way to manage everyone, the truth is that each person on your team must be managed differently.
What enforces the rules with one person may not work with another. You can scream and yell with some people, and that’s the only way to get the point across, but with most people, politeness and compassion work much better. Read on to learn about the characteristics of a toxic sales culture and the affects it can have on an organization.
You may have found yourself in many of the same scenarios and situations that you’ve watched in Hollywood’s most infamous cold calling scenes. These feelings and frustrations that the characters are going through are universal to all sales professionals. Most, if not all, are uncomfortably too relatable. Nevertheless, the sales lessons that you learn from many of these cold calling scenes are applicable to a wide variety of sales experiences and offer valuable sales insights.
It’s important to consider how each scene portrays sales professionals and the behavioral tendencies they exhibit in order to overcome common problems in the world of sales.
One of the most important aspects of selling as a sales professional is making your cold calls. The process can be difficult if sales professionals fail to develop best practices.
These 4 cold calling scenes from movies and tv shows will inspire you to make the sale and become more efficient.
Develop Proper Phone Calling Etiquette – The Office
It’s important to keep in mind that sales professionals make several cold calls during their workday. Going through a multitude of customer objections can be a frustrating endeavor as each call is different with its own rhythm and objections. While this hilarious cold calling scene from The Office should not be taken at face value, the message here is that it pays to be respectful with customers during sales calls regardless of how frustrating it may become.
Practice introducing yourself in a calm and collected manner. Deliver your pitch with clarity and speak loudly but at an appropriate volume. Take a cue from Dwight (played by Rainn Wilson) and ensure you don’t lose your cool during difficult sections of the call.
Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors – Boiler Room
One of the most frustrating aspects of making cold calls is conveying the value of your product or service to customers. There are plenty of competitors competing for business. In this cold calling scene from Boiler Room, Seth (played by Giovanni Ribisi) is at home eating breakfast when he receives a lackluster cold call from a newspaper sales rep who he immediately turns down. We see again in this sales scene that the sales rep does not have a developed sales strategy for dealing with rejection.
Being the professional sales rep that he is, Seth attempts to guide the weary cold caller with some solid sales coaching advice and asks him to try again. Notice how the cold caller sets his product apart from the rest of the competition by outlining the specific benefits and features of his newspaper (more photographs than any other newspaper and the most reliable delivery service).
Highlight your unique selling points when making your sales calls to ensure your product or service stands out from the competition.
Does your prospect understand your product or service? One of the hardest aspects of making cold calls is making sure your customers understand what it is you’re selling. In this cold calling scene from Jobs, Steve Jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher) is having a hard time explaining the details of the Apple Computer to prospective investors.
Imagine trying to explain something as innovative as a personal computer during that time period. Unpack the details of your product or service by demonstrating how it can mitigate their specific problems or concerns but ensure you don’t talk down to them if they miss or don’t understand something.
Try and paint a picture with your words and explain your product or service in a way that is easy to digest. Ask your prospect about their knowledge of your product or service on a scale of 1 to 10. This will give you some clear understanding of how in-depth you need to be with your presentation or if the call requires another person for decision-making. Come up with a strategy to explain your product or service simply and in less than a minute.
Be More Efficient by Staying Positive– Pursuit of Happiness
Effort and dedication are the keys to making your calls and increasing your potential for making a sale. In this cold calling scene from The Pursuit of Happiness, Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) shows how having a focused and determined positive mental attitude can help sales professionals be more efficient. He maintains a polite tone-of-voice during his sales calls and treats the Gatekeeper with respect even after getting rejected. The majority of sales calls will take you to the decision-makers secretary or assistant, so it is important to treat them with as much respect as you would the CEO.
Knowing your purpose in your career is almost just as important as knowing your purpose in life and if you are on the right track they should go hand in hand. You spend a lot of time working so having a purpose behind what you do at work is extremely important. Having a WHY gives you a reason to work harder, longer and with more passion than anyone else!
You may think your sales mission is obvious: Make the sale. Despite “making the sale” being the base mission of a sales department, that mission isn’t compelling and doesn’t reflect the real purpose of your business. A clear mission, message, and purpose in sales can help create your desired company culture and set goals that improve your career and your customer’s business. Here are some tips for how to find your true mission in sales.
Understand the Product
Take some time to get to know your product inside and out. Try using your product for a few weeks or months and understand exactly how it works. You may know you’re selling software to engineering firms, for example, but do you understand what the product does inside and out? Do you understand exactly what your customers use it for? Having a better understanding of what you’re selling can help you understand why you’re selling it.
Another great way to learn more about your product is to ask your friends and colleagues to brainstorm with you about how your product/service works exactly. This way, you get a range of opinions and really have a 360-degree view of what your product represents and how it is used by other people.
Why are you selling the product? The answer here is not “to make sales revenue.” Think about how it improves the operations of the business you’re pitching it to. If you aim for household consumers, how does your product improve their lives? It takes time to find your purpose in sales and in any other endeavor. Take the time to think about why you’re selling your product or service and the purpose it serves for your customer. A clear purpose for your product is compelling for your sales team and your customers.
How do you sell the product or service? You want your sales department to know what you’re selling and why. You also want them to come into the job knowing how your department makes the sale. What specific actionable items are taken every hour, every day, every week, every month and every quarter to make the sale?
You know the mission of the product and your purpose for selling it. Combine this information with your strategy into a clear message to create a killer sales mission statement. A sales mission statement should wrap up what you sell, why you sell it, and how you sell it into one compelling statement. Write your mission statement down and print a huge poster of it so that everyone can see it, every day. Include your mission statement at the end of beginning and end of brainstorming/strategy sessions and make sure it is aligned with not only what you are trying to accomplish but how you are going to accomplish it. That statement serves as a guide to your sales team, so you attract the team you envisioned and they do what you envisioned. Your mission statement is a reminder of the ultimate goal you are working to achieve.
While habits are often seen in a negative light, as those bad habits you want to break, successful sales professionals have learned how to create effective, positive habits that help them to be very good at what they do.
Positive sales habits are easy to incorporate into your daily sales routine if you focus and commit. Since they focus in on what you should be doing and what you do well, building on these habits helps you create a strong sales plan that will drive sales and boost your qualified leads.
Some of the most positive and proactive sales habits to cultivate and develop include:
Planning – plan how you want your sales cycle to occur. This includes everything from prospecting to your greeting to your choice of clothing and the specific sales approach you want to use. Top sales reps also have a Plan B, a backup to help you deal with possible challenge.
Build personal relationships – networking and checking in on connections either through social media sites such as LinkedIn or through personal interaction is a very positive habit to develop. Not only does this build connections for qualified leads but it also allows you to become a trusted source of information.
Scheduling – a very positive habit to cultivate is the ability to structure and schedule your day. Schedule in cold calls, follow up calls, time to spend networking and time to update records and make notes on meetings. While new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) makes this easier, it still has to be completed on a daily basis.
Incorporate healthy lifestyle choices – getting 8 hours of sleep, eating healthy and balanced meals and managing to get in some physical activity every day is another positive habit that can help you improve your selling career and almost every other aspect of your life.
By feeling healthy and creating a work-life balance, you will be more motivated, more creative and better prepared for the demanding job of being a successful sales professional.
Positivity and successful sales habits go hand in hand. At The Sales Coaching Institute, we are able to provide customized training to help your sales team develop this power of positivity.