Do you think you are having a hard time doing sales with your startup? If so, it might help you to watch the classic ‘motivational’ sales speech of Alec Baldwin in the play and movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Alec plays a hardball successful salesmen trying to motivate a real estate sales team. It is one of my favorite videos to use in a sales masterclass, and here is why.
Blake, the character played by Alec Baldwin, has come from the main office to shake up an underperforming sales team in a none-to-subtle way. He is a good example of the stereotype that many people have about sales: people who put making money before the customer and are just out there to earn a commission. Whether this worked in that business I do not know, but for most business I know sales works differently. Nevertheless this video is famous among salespeople, especially for the following lessons:
- “ABC – always be closing” It is often easier to open a new sales discussion than to close an existing one. If you do so, you sales funnel with have too many opportunities and your sales effort goes through to roof with not many sales to show for. So focusing on closing can be a good idea..
- “Get them to sign on the line which is dotted” Often in a sales process you get a verbal agreement from a client of customer. This is good, but do not start the work before you also have a written signature
- “The leads are weak” Although Blake thinks this is not true, in real life there are many different qualities of leads: sometimes it is people that already have decided to buy, sometimes they are just people who left a business card to win an iPad.
You can watch the video here on YouTube.
I looked up this video because this Friday I am giving a sales masterclass. Together with Jan Willem Klerkx from EUvision we are giving this great class at the Yes!Delft incubator (thanks to them for providing this great location). In the masterclass we will discuss how to sell complex products such as software solutions in a business to business setting. It will be customer centric, focused on building trust, finding problems, and getting people into action. This Friday’s sessions is sold out, but if enough people are interested Jan Willem and I might do it again.
If you are interested in video material that you can use to kickoff a sales meeting, there is also a very good Muppets CEO speech about sales. You can find the muppets SELL SELL SELL video here.
This ancient video of Kermit (made for IBM) works well before coffee breaks. Somehow, I also find the IBM universal business adapter add very funny, but this is more about product-focused sales and in our masterclass we’ll explain why this is typically not a good idea. If you have more suggestions, please leave them in the comments.