What Can Salespeople Learn from Tom Cruise?
I was staggered to discover that 53% of salespeople reported they were never, rarely, or sometimes well prepared to have a great first meeting with a qualified lead or prospective customer—this stat is from sellingpower.com. Now this is absolutely unforgivable, given the average salesperson is speaking to less than four new and qualified prospective customers per month, and secures less than three new meaningful pieces of new business per year.
So it made me reflect on an interview where Tom Cruise was asked how he got into character and remembered all of his lines when he arrived at the studio. And his response was really simple but very, very powerful. He said, “Look, when I get to the studio, I’ve done the work. There’s no need to remember lines or get into character because I’ve already done the work.” Now, salespeople, I think we can all learn from this. You might not like Tom Cruise’s acting, I personally do, but I don’t think anyone can argue with amazing results that he’s achieved in one of the toughest and most competitive industries in the world.
In show business, actors prepare lines and research their characters. And in the sales process, we should be preparing sales strategies and researching our clients. So next time you turn up to a first meeting, with a qualified prospective customer, just think of Tom Cruise, and ask yourself, “Have I done the work?” Now use that as a mantra to remind yourself—preparation is key to success no matter how experienced you are, or how good you think you are, when you’re just winging it.
We’ve got some fantastic content on how to be more effective in the first meeting space. How to prepare, how to put structure around it, and how to make sure that you’re converting conversations into conversions. We’ve got some fantastic webinar content from that, and there might be one running real soon. Register below and unlock the secrets to scoring a deal from every sales meeting. Remember, you deserve a better sales life, but you’ve got to work for a better sales life.