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How Hollywood Got Sales All Wrong

By Darren Pierce on Jan 7, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Thanks to movies like Wall Street and Boiler Room, customers have developed a pretty negative opinion of salespeople.

While Hollywood salespeople are fun to watch on the big screen, they’ve given real salespeople a bad reputation.

Here are a few ways Hollywood misrepresents salespeople and why these tactics don’t actually work in real life.

Honesty Is The Worst Policy

In the movies, there’s always something up a salesperson’s sleeve, right? Whether it’s an exaggeration or just a downright lie, Hollywood salespeople don’t hesitate to stretch the truth to unsuspecting customers.

In reality, it’s all about trust and transparency. Customers are more informed than ever these days, making those lies and exaggerations worthless.

Being honest builds rapport between you and your customers. It increases the number of repeat customers, builds trust, and helps in establishing a solid word-of-mouth reputation.

Ruthlessness Is A Must-Have Quality

Good guys lose. Bad guys win. Whatever it takes, make the sale.

We love seeing these ruthless characters get themselves into hot water by completely disregarding the concerns of others. It’s entertaining, but in real life, ruthlessness is the last quality a salesperson should have.

Competitiveness and persistence are the two necessary qualities.

While only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact, nearly 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contacts.

Persistent follow-ups are important, and so is not being too pushy or too inconsiderate of others’ emotions.

Customers Are Cash

Hollywood salespeople tend to attach dollar signs to every customer’s head instead of treating that customer as a real person. It’s about getting through as many people as possible to make as much money as possible.

In reality, customers want individual attention. They want to sit down with you over coffee, ask questions, and have a discussion about how you can help them. Sales are about relationships.

If you don’t listen to customers and treat them like people, they’re not going to buy.

Hollywood is entertaining, but it’s not realistic. While these techniques are fun to watch, they probably won’t help you sell more this year.

Do you have a favorite business-themed movie?

Written by Darren Pierce

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