When the days get longer and temps get warmer, the urge to bask in a long summer vacation can be tempting. You tell yourself you’ve earned a break after a successful winter and that you deserve to take it easy. You might even convince yourself that your competition and prospects are doing the same. No one is returning phone calls. E-mail seems to go nowhere. Your brilliant LinkedIn post only got two likes.
That proves it – everyone is on vacation or at the beach!
Wrong. Summer can be a great time to connect with prospects. Let your competition fall into that summer slump while you keep up the intensity and get creative, make connections and close that huge, summer blockbuster sale.
To provide some Hollywood-style inspiration, we’ve put together a list to help bring one of the best parts of summer into your sales efforts: summer blockbuster movies. These 13 favorite blockbuster movies (one for each week of summer) are sure to bring the excitement back into the job and help you have an action-packed summer of sales.
#1 – Up
If there’s one theme for summer sales, it should be Up. Get up, up and away from your desk and explore new avenues you haven’t had a chance to explore before. Expand your connections, balloon your close rate, lift your total sales to new heights. And remember the moral of the story: don’t discount the opportunities or help that may come your way, no matter how small or insignificant. Go ahead – get carried away.
#2 – Star Wars
Do you ever look at some of the masters of sales and wonder how they do it? It’s no Jedi mind trick. For sales, the force is CRM. It helps you understand your customers, know where they are in the buying process and even anticipate their wants and needs. It facilitates communication with your team, giving everyone access to the same customer data. It keeps your sales organization running, automating tasks and enabling greater efficiency. This is a force you need this summer.
#3 – Star Trek
There’s a reason Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock make such a good team: the intensely logical Mr. Spock is the counter-balance to Captain Kirk, the emotional decision-maker. Because of this pairing, our favorite Star Fleet crew manages to make the decisions they need to win the day. But is this arrangement entirely fantasy? Ask yourself: Is your prospect a Kirk or a Spock? It’s likely they’re a little of both. Remember, you have to appeal to the emotional side when explaining your differentiators and to the hard-logic bottom-line ROI story to gain your prospect’s buy-in. When you have both Kirk and Spock on your side, you can live long and really prosper.
#4 – Jaws
The biggest mistake the mayor of Amity Island made was focusing too much on his own desire for the town to make a profit. Don’t make the same mistake! Go in with confidence but leave the ego on the beach. Stop. Watch. Listen. With a strategic, consultative sales approach, you’ll be able to identify the real threats to a successful deal and properly assess the tools in your arsenal. And you’ll close deals so huge you will, for sure, need a bigger boat.
#5 – Finding Nemo
It can be easy to live inside your bubble where the water is warm and there’s a steady flow of leads and opportunities. But sometimes the biggest rewards lay outside your own reef. Put yourself in new places where you can make connections with people you might not encounter otherwise. It might be scary, and you might have doubts, but chances are you’ll find new ideas, new potential customers and maybe even some new friends to help you along your way.
#6 – Rocky
When we think Rocky, we think epic training montage leading to that moment of glory. For sales, epic training sessions lead to closed deals. One BIW case study proved that those who take 100% of training offered, rather than one-off training, will be more successful over time. It doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor; shorter, weekly training modules can be enough to sustain growth, development and engagement. But those who are driven to succeed will and must work hard for it. While we wish it only took one play-through of “Eye of the Tiger” to get to that next-level ability, the long-game success is worth it.
#7 – Inception
In the movie Inception, scientists break into people’s dreams to plant ideas. Until someone develops that capability for us in the real world, we need to rely on more conventional measures. Top salespeople know how to find the right “anchor,” or starting place, in the customer's mind. It could be price, results, performance – whatever helps set initial expectations. Understanding the right starting point and the right questions to ask will help you develop a strategy that’s successful beyond your wildest dreams.
#8 – The Avengers
A truly successful sales team is like the Avengers: they will boast a variety of skill sets, perspectives and abilities that work together towards a common goal. Likewise, sharing best practices, expertise and ideas among a sales team can help the best ideas emerge. When your sales team crowd-sources their ideas in this way, you’ll find a stronger team and better performance overall. There may be some conflict and disagreements along the way, but out of those discussions will emerge the battle-winning solution. (Just watch out if you’re seated next to Wolverine at dinner.)
#9 – WALL-E
WALL-E wasn’t the most advanced robot, nor the most sophisticated. But he showed up every day and did his job despite the world seeming to go against him. It’s a great reminder to recognize and reward more than just your top performers. Sales organizations that regularly reward over 50% of their sales team (in ways other than salary and commission) show higher growth in revenue and retention than those who do not. Look for ways to support, train and reward the middle performers on your team. You’ll not only increase revenues but you also might save the planet in the process.
#10 – Risky Business
In this iconic ‘80s teen flick, Tom Cruise’s character, Joel, is on course to attend Princeton—a lofty goal for a teen who has recently found himself in a spot of trouble. But rather than giving up, Joel finds a way to use the options available to him in his favor. Just like Joel, salespeople who set a higher goal for themselves tend to have a bigger reward payoff than those who set a lower goal. Don’t be afraid to set that high, aspirational goal: when there’s more on the line, chances are you’ll go all-out to find success, just like Joel. Big risk, big reward.
#11 – Apollo 13
Communication among a team is crucial to success. As we saw in this massive hit, the flight crew of Apollo 13 was in the most peril when their connection to ground control was lost. Progress reports and frequent check-ins, reminders and ongoing discussions with your team help everyone stay engaged all summer long. That way you’ll have the best minds in the business at your side at the first sign of trouble—because failure is not an option.
#12 – The Hunger Games
Summer is the perfect time to infuse some competition into the daily grind. But remember, this only works when each participant feels like they have a fighting chance to win. Select your own weapon of choice: make sure you identify metrics for success that are specific to your skill set. Are you the aggressive go-getter? Or the more patient and opportunistic watcher? Know your strengths and your weaknesses, and those of your competition, too. That’s the only way for the odds to be ever in your favor …
#13 – The Dark Knight
It can be easy to get bogged down in the day to day grind of sales but don’t forget to look beyond the statistics and the ROI to identify the real, tangible impact your company has on people’s lives. Take the time to connect with the overall mission of your organization. How does your company make your customers’ lives easier? Healthier? More comfortable? Do your company’s products let your customers spend more time with their families? Don’t just be the salesperson your customers need; be the hero your customers deserve.
Summer is the time for growth. Take some inspiration from your favorite summertime heroes. Try something new, take some risks and most importantly, thing BIG. There are all kinds of adventures waiting for you … what story will you write?