Thursday, September 03, 2009

Movies or Real Life

From Art Sobczak:

Sales Points From a Movie


I've not yet seen the new movie, "The Goods:
Live Hard, Sell," with Jeremy Piven as a hired gun
who comes in to turn around failing used car dealers.

The reviews I've seen call it a tremendous waste of
time, incredibly stupid, and an embarrassment for Piven.
(All of which means I'll probably like it.)

Seems like people always ask me about the movies with a
sales theme, so I probably should see, but don't want to
waste my time if it truly is horrible. If anyone has seen it,
let me know your thoughts.

One sales movie that I stop on and watch every time
I stumble upon it while channel surfing is "Boiler Room."

It's kind of like the older movie, "Wall Street" from a few years
ago ... young greedy stockbroker chasing big bucks, conflict
with dad, a romantic interest, gets involved in some shady
stuff, and an unflattering depiction of salespeople using the
phone, particularly brokers. If you liked "Wall Street,"
or are in the securities business you'd probably love it.
And, I'd say anyone using the phone in sales would
get a kick out of it. Worth renting.

However, there are a couple of scenes in the movie that
perpetuate the cliches and myths of professional sales,
and at least one that is accurate.

This line is used by Ben Affleck's character,
who although is billed as one of the stars in the flick,
has a very minor role as a trainer in the unscrupulous
securities firm, J.T. Marlin. His tirade with the trainees
about closing is a classic. You can watch it on YouTube at
(WARNING: lots of foul language.)

As I've said so often, this is one of those myths that give
salespeople a bad name. Buyers can smell a "closing technique"
a mile away. No one likes to be techniqued. Granted, we do need
to ask for the business, but it must be part of the overall
sales process, where we progress through questioning to
identify needs, pains, problems and concerns, then make an
appropriate recommendation, THEN ask for some type of
commitment for action, whether that be the sale or the next
step. When done correctly, at the right time, it's the
logical, rational, seamless next step in the conversation.

But, when a sales rep uses a closing technique before the prospect
or customer is ready, that causes resistance and objections.
Like when rep cold calls someone and says, "I'm Pat Seller with
Ace Services. We're a leader in the ____ industry. I'd like to
drop by and show you a few of the things we could do. Would
2:00 or 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday work better for you?"


Meaning, it's just a numbers game. In the movie, I believe
they wanted their trainees making 700 calls a day. It's not
JUST a numbers game, it's a quality game. Granted, you do
need to be on the phone to sell. But you should place
emphasis on QUALITY contacts.


That was their terminology for the most realistic sales
point made in the movie, meaning that the reps shouldn't
spend time with people who can't or won't make a decision.

And don't waste time sending info out to these people or
following up with them.

I see plenty of sales reps chasing shadows every day ...
placing follow-up calls to people yanking their chain.
Don't be afraid of asking direct questions,

"I'll be happy to call you back next month. What's going
to make that a better time for you?"

"So you're saying you'll be ready to move forward at
that point?"

OK, so there's my movie review for you. I think I'll stick
with my day job.

"Forget the times of your distress, but never forget what they taught you."
Herbert Gasse

Go and have your best week ever!


Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,

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