Since it perfectly combines mystery, science fiction, action, adventure and drama, Star Wars is still an unquestionable phenomenon of pop culture. That’s why every May 4, fans from all around the globe take over the internet to express their love for the galaxy far, far away. And it comes as no surprise that the popular pun ‘May the 4th be with you’ which plays with the franchise’s famous phrase ‘May the force be with you’ is no doubt one of the most tweeted hashtags right now.
Amid the fascinating creatures and lightsaber duels taking place throughout the Galaxy, the story has always relied on philosophical quotes, lessons and sayings to cement its popularity over the years.
So at ForceManager we’ve picked out the best tips we can learn from the movies that both sales managers and their sales force can apply to better their day-to-day working lives.
These are 5 sales lessons that we can learn from Star Wars:
Believe in yourself
“You fail because you don’t believe.” – Yoda
The Grand Master of the Jedi, Yoda, teaches that in order to achieve an objective you must first believe in yourself. As a field sales rep, this is certainly something to keep in mind especially when faced with purchase objections from both clients and leads. Have faith in the product or service you’re selling and your ability to deliver a water-tight pitch and you’ll overcome the majority of these obstacles with ease; if not, you could always try this:
Size does not matter
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?” – Yoda
Throughout his training with Yoda, Luke learns a very valuable lesson about the Force: that size, does not matter (Yoda is what, 5ft tall at most?) However, too often field sales teams obsess about the size of the competition and how inferior their product or service must therefore be in comparison.
As Qui-Gon Jinn rightly said, unless you are Salesforce: ‘There’s always a bigger fish’. So, don’t waste your time comparing the size of your business with the size of competing enterprises. Focus on what your company can add and contribute, in what area does it differentiate from the rest and put matters to work to make it happen. We understand that Salesforce is the largest CRM company in the world, but despite that their mobile CRM capabilities and user uptake falls well short of what we have to offer. Size does not matter!
“Patience you must have, my young padawan” – Yoda
One of the most applicable lessons from our wise old Jedi Master brought to us in Revenge Of The Sith. Just as Skywalker had to be patient with the Force, so must field sales reps when it comes to closing those difficult deals. If at first the tactics your initial approach isn’t working, remember that 80% of sales close after the fifth follow-up call. Don’t give up so fast.
It’s also something sales managers could learn from. Most outside reps (including the manager at some point in their career) will have gone through a slump, where no matter what lead passed through their pipeline, nothing they seemed to do would lead to a close. Patience, my young sales manager. A little coaching and a closer look at their selling approach might reveal the cause for their drop in form. Take the time to look after your team, and their numbers will in turn take care of you.
Share your knowledge
“Always pass on what you have learned” – Yoda
This is definitely something seasoned sales professionals can be a little guilty of. Hands up because I certainly know I have. Thinking back to my first time on the road, with our first serious client – bet your bottom dollar I’d have liked a bit of advice before entering the lion’s den.
Sharing the skills and experiences that have helped us grow is invaluable to building a successful field sales team. It’s a good idea to communicate the challenges that you had to face and the methods or tools you used to overcome them because you never know, one day it could be you leading this sales team to success.
“Great kid, don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo
From one of the Empire Strikes Back’s most famous scenes, where Luke and Han Solo fight off swarms of TIE fighters in the Millennium Falcon this is a good piece of advice to take with you.
When you close a deal, or reach your quarterly target, be modest. I know I know, it is important to celebrate and take a moment to enjoy it (before the sales manager goes and hikes the targets for next quarter) but nobody likes a show off. Most of us have had to deal with that one person and although you might not be out to win any popularity awards, there’s certainly more respect to be had by helping, not goading the rest of the team. Again, one day you could find yourself up on the that pedestal.
Were these lessons useful? … May the fourth be with you!