Improve Sales Competencies with the Blues Brothers

We celebrated our son’s sixth birthday at Universal in Orlando.  I’m certain that he enjoyed Spiderman, Men in Black and Jaws much more than the Blues Brothers, but it was the Blues Brothers that inspired a sales connection for me.

As you can see from the picture below, the current Jake and Elwood Blues are simply musicians that are pretending to be the original Jake and Elwood who were comedians pretending to be authentic bluesmen. That’s an awful lot of pretending and, of more interest to me, effective, if not awesome pretending.

When your salespeople don’t execute the way you want them to, it’s usually not because they don’t know how, don’t choose the right techniques or don’t know when to pull the trigger.  Most of the time, it’s simply because they aren’t comfortable doing what the situation calls for, a very common problem.

In order to change their outcomes, you can’t allow their personal discomfort to dictate what they do, whether they do it, how they do it and when they do it.  If you could get your salespeople to do what the current Blue Brothers are doing – acting – much of the discomfort that causes their current actions would go away.  In reality, you simply need them to pretend that they are great salespeople, with the listening skills, questioning skills, courage and timing of great salespeople.  I know it is easier said than done, but even at the earliest stages of their performances they will be more effective than they were yesterday.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan