Trick or Treat: Unearthing sales success with Halloween movie wisdom
It's that spine-tingling time of year when autumn leaves fall, pumpkin spice lattes are both an accessory to warm our chilly hands and the much-needed sustenance to get us through dark days, and Halloween lurks just around the corner. For sales professionals, October and Q4 can be a scary time of year with many prospects also taking their cue from the warmer weather and disappearing in the blink of an eye. But this time of year isn't just about haunted houses and trick-or-treating - although it can often feel like navigating a haunted sales landscape, complete with unexpected frights and hair-raising challenges. But fear not, for amidst the eerie ambiance of the season, there are valuable lessons to be learned.
Well-known, dare I say, iconic movie franchise Halloween offers us a lot at this time of year; in fact, there are some valuable lessons demonstrated throughout that will help you not just survive but thrive in your sales endeavours this season. So, grab your torch, check under the bed for monsters, and join us as we explore how the spooks of Michael Myers can shed light on successful sales strategies for this spooky time of year:
10 sales lessons to learn from the Halloween franchise:
The iconic character, Michael Myers, is known for his relentless pursuit. A lesson salespeople can learn from Myers is the importance of perseverance and not giving up, even in the face of rejection. Rejections and setbacks are inevitable in the sales world, and it's easy to become discouraged. However, those who persist and keep pursuing their goals despite initial setbacks are more likely to achieve success. Customers may not always say "yes" on the first try, but through persistent follow-up, relationship-building, and adapting their approach, salespeople can turn a "no" into a "yes."
Demonstrating persistence not only showcases a commitment to helping customers but also sets the stage for long-term relationships, as clients appreciate the dedication and reliability of a persistent sales professional. In the end, persistence can be the key to unlocking doors that would otherwise remain closed.
Over the course of the franchise, Michael Myers reappears in each film to a changing world, but he maintains his original pursuit. He adapts to the changed world, his new environment and the different situation he finds himself in, to keep on his original track albeit with an adjusted, adapted strategy. Sales professionals should similarly adapt their approach to suit the needs and preferences of their customers, ensuring a more personalised and effective sales process. Customers are not one-size-fits-all, and their needs and preferences can vary widely. Just as Michael Myers adjusts his tactics to suit different scenarios, salespeople must tailor their approach to resonate with each individual client.
Adapting the sales strategy means actively listening to the client, understanding their unique pain points and goals, and customising the sales pitch accordingly. This not only establishes a deeper connection but also ensures that the client feels valued and understood. Ultimately, adaptability in sales leads to a more personalised, effective, and successful sales process, strengthening the potential for lasting client relationships and increased sales.
Just as suspense and timing are vital in horror movies (and are something the character Myers has down to a tee), timing is crucial in sales. Knowing when to make the right pitch, follow up, or close a deal can make all the difference. The element of anticipation and well-placed moments of engagement can captivate an audience. By knowing when to present a pitch that aligns with a prospect's readiness to buy, or when to follow up with just the right amount of pressure without being pushy, a sales team can significantly increase its chances of success.
If your team is in sync with the prospect's needs, listening attentively, and recognising the cues that indicate they are primed to make a decision, then making the move at the right time becomes a lot easier. Impeccable timing not only improves the chances of closing a sale but also helps to foster a positive customer experience, ultimately building trust and rapport, which are fundamental to successful long-term relationships in sales.
If he’s anything, Michael Myers is a character who always seems prepared. In the original Halloween movie, Myers escapes from a mental institution and meticulously plans his return to his hometown, stealing a car, acquiring a mechanic's uniform, and working his way back to his childhood home. This careful preparation allows him to blend into the community, making it easier for him to stalk and target his victims without raising suspicion. In the context of sales, this level of preparation could be compared to thoroughly researching a potential client or prospect, understanding their industry, and tailoring a sales pitch to address their specific needs and challenges.
Just as Myers' preparation is integral to his ability to achieve his goals, in sales, preparation is essential for achieving success and closing deals. Knowing your product or service inside out and understanding your customer's needs is essential and instils confidence and credibility, allowing you to address client questions and concerns effectively. Understanding your customer's needs, pain points, and objectives also enables you to use specific sales triggers to tailor your pitch and offer a solution that resonates, showcasing not only your professionalism but also building trust.
Attention to detail
Just as attention to detail can be deal-saving, in the Halloween films, it also proves to be lifesaving. Dr Loomis, Myers' psychiatrist, carefully observes Michael's behaviour and recognises the signs of his patient's dangerous and relentless nature. He recognises his absence of emotion and his fixation on a particular goal, allowing him to take action to protect others. Attention to detail is often the key to unlocking successful and personalised sales pitches, while also ensuring your presenting a relevant solution for your prospect.
Much like how Myers meticulously plans his actions, understanding the nuances of a client's needs and preferences allows salespeople to tailor their approach effectively. By paying attention to even the smallest details, such as a client's communication style, past interactions, or specific pain points, sales professionals can create a sense of trust and rapport. This level of personalisation not only helps in addressing objections and concerns more directly but also demonstrates a genuine commitment to fulfilling the client's needs.
The element of surprise
What would a horror film be without an element of surprise to keep its audience on the edge of their seats? Believe it or not, sales professionals can also use this tactic, occasionally, to capture a prospect's attention or differentiate themselves from competitors. Much like jump-scares in horror films, a well-timed, unexpected approach can be memorable.
A surprise in any routine form of outreach has the power to break through the noise and make a lasting impression on your prospects. In a world inundated with routine sales pitches and predictable interactions, surprising prospects can awaken their interest and curiosity. While being unpredictable isn’t something we’d normally recommend, this moment of unpredictability can set you apart from competitors who rely on conventional methods.
One character from the Halloween movies who exemplifies the building of a beneficial relationship is Dr Loomis, Myers' psychiatrist, who has dedicated his life to understanding and stopping the murderous Myers. Dr Loomis’ interactions with law enforcement, notably Sheriff Leigh Brackett, and his relentless pursuit of Myers, reflect a relationship that is instrumental in the efforts to contain and control the threat Myers poses.
By understanding their clients’ history, needs, and goals, sales professionals can add depth to the sales process, providing value and helping them to foster long-lasting relationships. By forging more personal, deeper connections, salespeople can create an environment of trust and reliability. This trust is a foundational element that not only leads to initial sales but also to repeat business and referrals. In a world where customers have countless options, the ability to connect on a personal level and show genuine interest in their well-being can set a sales professional apart.
Fear as a motivator
Now we’re not recommending you go scaring your prospects silly. However, it’s worth recognising that the fear Myers instils in his victims is a powerful motivator. Laurie, Myers’ sister and the focus of his return, is even motivated at one point (as we learn in the 1998's "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”) to fake her death and go into hiding. Toning it back a whole lot, sales professionals can use the fear of missing out, or fear of a problem worsening, to create a sense of urgency that drives sales. Using fear as a motivator in sales can be a powerful strategy because it taps into a fundamental human instinct: the fear of loss or adverse consequences.
When potential clients perceive a genuine threat, such as missing out on a valuable opportunity or facing a worsening problem, they are more inclined to make decisions quickly and commit to a purchase. This fear-driven urgency can expedite the sales process, resulting in higher conversion rates and more closed deals. However, it's crucial to strike a balance, ensuring that your approach remains ethical and respectful, while using fear as a subtle (but effective) tool to emphasise the benefits of your product or service.
While consistency is arguably something missing from the ongoing plots of the Halloween franchise, there are some elements that are, and that keep the audience interested and coming back for more of the Myers melodrama. For example, Myers’ white mask has become an iconic symbol of the franchise, and along with the familial focus on Michael Myers and Laurie throughout most of the films, the audience has a sense of the familiar when they sit down to watch the latest instalment. Consistency like this is necessary in your sales approach and follow-ups, as it allows you to establish trust and reliability with your clients and prospects.
Demonstrating consistency in your interactions and follow-ups reassures clients and prospects that you are committed to their needs, building a sense of predictability and reliability, which are both essential for nurturing trust. Consistency also reinforces your brand image and messaging, making it easier for clients to understand what you offer and what they can expect. By consistently delivering on promises, maintaining communication, and providing a stable presence in the sales process, professionals establish a reputation for solid integrity, ultimately fostering long-term customer loyalty and business success.
If there’s one thing Michael Myers and his surviving sister Laurie have in common, it’s resilience. Despite numerous setbacks, Myers keeps coming back, and despite repeated attempts on her life, Laurie keeps on fighting and out-smarting Myers to survive. For sales professionals, sadly rejection and setbacks are just part of the day-to-day, but if you can learn to bounce back from these your resilience and tenacity will ultimately lead you to improve your skills and close more deals.
Resilience not only helps in overcoming the fear of rejection and failure but also fosters a growth mindset. Every setback is an opportunity to learn and refine your approach, ultimately helping you to improve your skillset and increase the likelihood of closing deals. Resilience is also key to maintaining motivation and a positive attitude, which are essential for sustained success in the often-unpredictable world of sales. By showing resilience, sales professionals not only adapt to adversity but also thrive in the face of it, ultimately achieving their sales goals and objectives.
While the Halloween movies may not be the most traditional source of sales wisdom, the themes of persistence, adaptability, attention to detail, and timing found in these films can offer valuable insights for sales professionals looking to enhance their strategies and achieve better results in their careers.
Indeed, the Halloween franchise offers valuable lessons for sales professionals that can set them on the path to success. From the relentless persistence of Michael Myers to the importance of adaptability and resilience, there are tangible parallels between the world of sales and the horror genre. By applying these lessons, sales professionals can enhance their skills, build stronger client relationships, and navigate the challenges of the industry with confidence.
Just as Myers keeps coming back, driven by an unyielding determination, sales professionals who embrace these lessons can keep pushing forward, refining their strategies, and ultimately achieving their goals. So, as you venture into the world of sales, remember that even in the darkest of moments, especially the ever-challenging Q4, by embracing these qualities you’ll be sure to overcome all the horrors thrown your way.
Want to learn how else you can up your sales game? Get in touch for a demo of the Selligence platform and start channelling Myers’ dogged determination through a host of new leads and potential v̶i̶c̶t̶i̶m̶s̶ prospects. No costume required to enjoy our scarily good triggers!