Full-disclosure geek confession: I love superhero movies. As a huge fan of Marvel superheroes and its use of character development as a critical plot device, I tend to look for similarities and differences between the character backstories of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) and those of the original Marvel Comics. (Marvel usually changes some details of the character’s biography to condense dozens of chapters of comics into a two-hour film.) So naturally after seeing Ant-Man this weekend, I found myself researching the discrepancies between the backstory of MCU’s Scott Lang (Ant-Man’s alter ego) and Scott’s original backstory. During my research I not only found many parallels and discrepancies between MCU and the original, but also parallels to the world of sales. Below are 4 takeaways from Ant-Man that will help sales reps have superhero prospect conversations. [May contain light spoilers!]
- Crave information
Information is the key that unlocks opportunities. In the comics, Scott’s dedication to learning and absorbing as much information as possible, even when times were tough, was eventually rewarded in a big way. Salespeople should share this thirst and continue to absorb information—even after training and onboarding—from any and all available resources. Salespeople can learn about new and different sales techniques, industry best practices, or more in-depth client information. If they continue to learn, they can discover better ways to prospect leads, close larger deals, or find opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to current clients.
- Don’t be afraid to take a chance
Risk beckons reward, so don’t be afraid to take chances. In the comics, Scott takes a big risk by fighting a supervillain in order to save someone close to him. While hopefully the stakes aren’t as critically high for sales reps as they were for Scott, reps can take the same approach to prospect conversations. Be bold and step out of your comfort zone—try new ways to communicate with your clients and prospects. Be creative in order to stand out from the competition. Salespeople can be successful by finding new ways to deliver value or resonate with clients and prospects.
- Believe in what you’re doing
People don’t do great things apathetically. They care about what they do. Scott’s superhero status was ultimately motivated by his desire to provide and care for his daughter. Salespeople should be just as motivated during their sales conversations. They should truly believe in their product and their team to provide a solution to a real problem. If you can connect your actions to driving company success, your motivation and productivity will skyrocket.
- Don’t neglect the small things
As the name “Ant-Man” alludes, big things don’t have to come from big packages. Salespeople can still enjoy success without doing anything revolutionary by focusing on the details. The difference between losing a sale and winning a sale can be something small, such as a single valuable conversation, content personalization, or diagnosing a prospect’s problems. Fully understanding the details of a client or potential client will help you close the deal or find opportunities to expand current deals.
Even if you feel like a tiny ant in a large company, you can still make giant contributions toward your sales team’s triumphs. These four tips should help you prepare for superhero sales conversations, which is a great first step to sales success!