- January 4, 2021
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Although it’s been more than 50 years since Paul McCartney announced the break up of The Beatles, I am fairly certain that regardless of your age and geographic location, you know who The Beatles were and have heard at least one of their songs, even if the one you listened to was recorded by another artist. Most of you probably know dozens of Beatles tunes!
During the holiday break I was listening to the Beatles channel (18) on SiriusXM radio and it helped me to realize just how similar the Beatles are to selling!
Their songs were timeless. In the last decade alone, Beatles songs were covered by 186 artists!
Their song-writing system was repeatable as they focused on their titles, beats per minute (BPM), choruses, rhythms and rhymes.
They were memorable. Everyone knows John, Paul, George and Ringo – in that order. And most people knew the words to their favorite Beatles songs.
They were incredibly likable!
You only needed to hear a song once to love it, like, “She Loves You.”
Their songs told stories, like, “In My Life.”
Their songs had calls-to-action, like, “Get Back.”
Their songs asked questions, like, “Do you want to know a secret?”
The only thing that would make the Beatles different today is technology. The sound quality would be SO much better. It wouldn’t change their songs but the songs would sound better. It wouldn’t eliminate the work they did to write the songs but they would get the songs transcribed and notated more quickly. They would still have to record their music but the recording would be digital which would make mixing much easier.
Isn’t this all pretty much the same as sales? Let’s take a run-through.
People have been selling for centuries – it’s timeless.
Only since the time of the Beatles have more formal selling approaches, systems and processes been developed.
The best sales processes are repeatable and deliver repeatable results. See Baseline Selling.
The best salespeople are memorable.
The best salespeople are very likable.
The best salespeople are great story-tellers.
The best salespeople have calls-to-action.
The best salespeople ask great questions.
And that brings us to technology. All that technology that the best salespeople use, like video, CRM, document signing, calendar applications, email, social selling, and more make salespeople more efficient. The technology doesn’t do the selling or make anyone a better salesperson, but it does replace the rolodex, index cards, printed agreements, paper calendars and literature.
As I completed writing this article I was overcome with a feeling of Deja Vu. Sure enough, I have tackled the Beatles before! I’m embarrassed to say that my search revealed that I wrote a very comprehensive article on how The Beatles taught us to sell as recently as August of 2019! Back in 2010 I included The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones in an article about differentiation as a way to close big deals.
One thing that mediocre salespeople seem so unwilling to do is practice. Malcom Gladwell, in his book, Outliers, wrote that The Beatles had performed for 10,000 hours prior to becoming an overnight sensation. As a result, The Beatles gave one the sense that performing their songs was effortless. Great salespeople have seemingly effortless yet consequential conversations with their prospects but that ease and comfort also come from more than 10,000 hours of practice as they attempt to fine tune and improve their performance.
A challenge for 2021? Put a little Beatles into your selling!