3 Critical Sales Lessons you should learn from the movie Braveheart.
A sales career may seem like being in a never-ending war zone! Your competition has just launched a new product with better features and at a more competitive price. Your sales are affected badly! Or the competition offers a great promotion and again, your sales are impacted terribly. Well, this is to be expected! Yet, you can stay strong and positive by learning the 3 sales lessons from the war movie Braveheart.
Lesson 1: Fight for Freedom!
The movie Braveheart is a 1995 American epic war movie directed and starred Mel Gibson. It tells the story of the 13th-century legendary Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. At that time Scotland was under the rule of the English King, Edward I.
The first battle for Scottish independence took place on 11th September 1297 at Stirling Bridge, Stirling, Scotland. It became known as the Battle of Stirling Bridge. On one side was William Wallace and his ragtag Scottish rebels and on the other side was the mighty and well-disciplined army of England under the command of John de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey.
Watch the pre-battle movie clip below. As you watch, note the clothes the rebels were wearing, the weapons they were equipped with and their attitude toward the coming battle.
As you have seen, the rebels were wearing their normal ‘farmer’ clothes and were only carrying homemade weapons and farming tools. And initially, they were not interested to fight because, as one rebel said, “The English are too many!” Another reasoned, “We’ll run, and we’ll live!”
But William Wallace was able to convince them to fight a superior English force by appealing to them to fight for something even more important than their lives. He roused them with the words, “They may take our lives but they may never take our FREEDOM!”
So here’s lesson number 1. You too should fight for freedom. Some salespeople set a certain income target a month, say $5,000 or $10,000, or even $20,000. That’s fine. It’s important to have a goal. But most failed to achieve the monetary or sales goal because the underlying motive is not strong. The monetary or sales goal must be anchored on achieving financial freedom for the family – parents, grandparents, wife or husband, and children.
The goal of financial freedom for the family has to be very clear. (Read more at Do you have these 4 habits of a successful Sales Conqueror)
You need a goal that says, “3 or X number of years down the road, I can see my family living in a nice house with an 80 inches TV in the living room and with a big kitchen.” You see it so clearly this financial freedom to purchase this dream home that you will continue to work hard every month to achieve it.
Perhaps, our kids are not so smart and therefore are not able to get a government scholarship. But we are able to send them to a good university by toiling day and night in our sales job.
Then with good and steady income, plus wise saving and investment, you will enjoy a Go-Anywhere freedom. It means just that. At any moment you can take your family, parents, and grandparents for a seafood buffet at any 5-Star hotel, or a holiday on the expensive island of Maldives!
There is also the freedom from fear of not being able to care for your parents or grandparents when they have serious health issues. Yes, health cost is getting more and more expensive! But you have no worries because you are well prepared financially for this duty.
Lesson 2: Hold, Hold, Hold.
Now watch the next movie clip of the battle. As you watch take note of the weapons and uniforms of the English army, and what William Wallace said to his troops as well as his war strategy.
The English soldiers were wearing armor and equipped with weapons designed for war. And horses! They must have looked invincible when the army was charging the rebels’ line. William Wallace had to calm his forces by firmly commanding them to “Hold … Hold … Hold … Hold”
So the lesson is: Don’t run away from difficulties / problems / discouragement / challenges. But STAY and fight for your family’s freedom!
It’s ok if the competitor launches a new product and give fantastic offers. It’s ok if your sales take a dip for a while. STAY. Every salesperson must understand this sales cycle. Your time will come when your company launches a new product and exciting promotion.
This leads us to lesson number 3…
Lesson 3: Strategy of the pointed stakes!
William Wallace war strategy started with understanding the enemy. Because of its superior forces, English army will attack with horses, its mighty cavalry. With that understanding, William’s soldiers prepared large pointed stakes to blunt the cavalry charge.
In sales, you too need to know the strategy of the ‘enemy’, the competitor. Hence, when the competitor introduces a new product that goes head to head with yours, you need to understand everything about it.
(Read here for more info on Knowledge is power)
With that important knowledge, then plan a strategy how to meet this new threat. For example, let’s say an ABC company launches a new SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) vehicle. Compare all the features of this new model with your company’s SUV. You will find where they are strong and where they are weak. Highlight all your strong points. Be sure to explain the benefits the customer will get from investing in your model. Have these points listed side-by-side and loaded into your smartphone so that you can easily show anyone who needs to compare. This is a powerful, visual way to convince a prospect to buy your product.
Take note of the competitor’s strength. Devise a script to overcome that strength. For example, the competitor’s SUV has 6 airbags while yours has only 2 airbags. (Don’t whine, howl and curse the company because your SUV has only 2 airbags! There’s nothing you can do about it and you still need to move your product to gain … financial freedom!)
And so if a customer says, “Your competitor’s model has 6 airbags and yours has only 2”, you may say, “I understand. So is safety very important to you?” Yes, this is a no-brainer question. Of course, he or she will say, “Yes”. Nod your head, “That’s great! Well, this vehicle (your SUV) has many safety features that help you to AVOID accident such as … (list as many impressive safety features as you can.)” In this way, you move the conversation from your weak point to your strong points.
Be a Braveheart and you will win the sales battle every month! Appreciate your sales war stories. Please comment below.