You don’t usually associate Christmas movies with lessons for salespeople, and that got us thinking.
To be honest, our premise was simple. Christmas movies are full of warmth. Sales is demanding and relentless. Could we get this warmth to rub off on salespeople, so they can find more joy in their job?
So we picked five Christmas movies and got to work. Eventually we didn’t have to work too hard because, well, Christmas movies have something for everyone. They’re Christmas movies, after all.
Here we go.
We start with a Christmas classic. An eight-year-old boy is left behind at home by his family when they set off on their Christmas vacation. Two robbers decide to target the house, and a series of hilarious antics follow. In the unlikely event that you haven’t watched this one, now’s a good time to start.
I mean, like right now. I’ll wait. It’s worth it.
Back? Awesome! But what does Home Alone have for sales folks? One simple lesson.
Remember the basics.
A family leaving their son behind sounds incredulous, but it’s happened. The lights, the gas, the windows—they’re always on our mind, but the children? They’re just supposed to be there, right? Not always, as it turns out. And that’s the kind of oversight sales folks can make too. We’re so obsessed with nudging leads down the sales funnel that sometimes, we forget the basics. Has that new lead received a welcome email? Has enough research been done before that call for tomorrow? What about updating a lead’s status in the sales CRM?
Sticking to the basics makes a solid impression on leads who’re checking out your business. And a solid impression can be the difference when the lead evaluates you against your competition.
P.S. If you need help sending welcome emails on cue, automation is a good option.
Critics are debating if Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but I prefer to keep it simple. Think of Bruce Willis arriving on Christmas Eve to reconcile with his wife over her company’s Christmas party. The party is taken over by terrorists who actually want to loot the company. Bruce proceeds to knock the daylights out of the bad guys, saves his wife and ensures everybody goes home happy and safe. Sounds like a proper Christmas tale to me.
With heavy-duty action, of course.
When you’ve just won a deal, it’s tempting to yell, “Yippee-ki-yay!” (followed by the un-Christmas-like word). But that’s not where we’re going. Die Hard is about how you battle it out when the numbers are stacked against you. One cop versus twelve bad guys is no joke. One salesperson juggling seven deals is no joke either. So what do you do?
Plan and execute.
Your deal pipeline will always have a bunch of deals vying for your attention. If you’re going for all the golden eggs at the same time, you’re killing your chances. Treat each deal on merit, look at which stage a deal is in, and make your move.
P.S. Being able to visualize your pipeline is a good way to start planning.
A Christmas Carol is a novella written by Charles Dickens. Numerous adaptations have been made for the stage and for the silver screen; it’s so synonymous with Christmas that London’s Sunday Telegraph described Dickens as “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser, and how he is reformed by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It’s a tale about introspection, the futility of hoarding, and the importance of compassion.
Sounds too altruistic for sales? Perhaps. But A Christmas Carol has a takeaway that’s especially relevant for salespeople.
Reflect on yourself.
You know sales is not a “today” job; a win today is the result of a cumulative effort spanning several months. Therefore, make it a point to regularly take stock of yourself. Analyze recent conversations with leads. Which email worked? At what time did a call elicit the best response? Why was this month better than the last? In today’s times there’s no dearth of data. Use it to become the best salesperson you can be.
P.S. Create reports to identify patterns in your sales activities and learn how they’re impacting results.
This delightful movie—about a man who positively believes he’s Santa Claus—is rich in idealism and epitomizes the Christmas spirit of goodwill. It even has a scene where the protagonist sends Macy’s customers to a competitor for toys Macy’s doesn’t have! The whole honesty thing might seem like a bit of a stretch in the real world, but this is one quality that never lets you down. Even when you’re in a cut-throat job like sales.
There are times when you know a lead isn’t meant to be. They could be asking for something your business doesn’t offer right now (and isn’t likely to offer ever); they might not have the budget. That’s the time to take a stand and move on. This is not an altruistic decision, it’s a practical one. A dissatisfied lead walks away; an unhappy customer takes your reputation with them. Call the lead to describe the situation and shake hands over it. Or drop them a well-worded email. Either way, don’t leave leads hanging on visions of a business you’re not.
It’s a Wonderful Life is to Christmas what cheese is to pizza. When you’re Googling for “best Christmas movies”, you’ll find this movie at one spot: #1. And for good reason, too. It’s a Wonderful Life takes viewers into the life of a banker contemplating suicide, and shows how divine intervention helps him realize the value of life. For the Christmas season, that’s exactly the kind of feel-good fervor we all need. Two words sum up the movie’s essence.
A lost deal or a bad week at the office doesn’t mean there’s no chance of a comeback. Yes, mistakes suck. Yes, they can be demoralizing. But step back for a moment and think about everything you’re capable of doing for your team. Think about the difference you can make to the bottom line this month, this quarter, this year. And then step ahead.
P.S. A 360° view of leads helps you understand them better, and can eliminate missteps.
That’s it from us. Remember the basics, plan and execute, reflect on yourself, stay honest, and don’t quit.
I’m sure there are more Christmas movies we can take inspiration from. The Comments section is yours.
This article originally appeared in Freshsales Blogs.