We saw Paul Blart - Mall Cop 2 and laughed a grand total of twice. It was inept comedy, a horrible sequel and a terrible movie. Despite that, it was a great example of resiliency as Blart is continually rejected, stopped, ridiculed and put-off, only to ignore those events, bear down and try even harder to accomplish his goals. From that perspective, the movie, and Kevin James, succeed at demonstrating what it is like to be a salesperson. Every other employee in a company is provided with a job description, a set of goals or expectations, training if necessary, and then left to do their job. Nobody will stop them or make it difficult for them to complete their work, as long as they are capable. Salespeople, on the other hand, must deal with prospects who won't answer their phones or emails, competitors who say bad things about them and their companies, as well as products and services that aren't always the best in quality, value, or the best choice. Salespeople must demonstrate resiliency in order to succeed, yet one of the components of resiliency is sorely lacking in today's modern salespeople.
Only 34% of all salespeople have strong commitment for success in sales - down considerably from 58% in 2007. Why? One reason is that selling is more difficult than it was 10 years ago. Another reason could be the rapid growth of inside sales teams where, unlike the traditional quota-carrying outside salesperson of years past, members of the inside sales team are often younger, less experienced, and not necessarily committed to a career of sales excellence.
Movies have been a great source of inspiration for me. In addition to utilizing close to 100 different movie clips to demonstrate various selling and sales management lessons during training, a quick search revealed that I have relied on various movies to offer an analogy in more than a dozen Blog articles over the past 10 years. Among them are lessons from:
We Bought a Zoo
The Pursuit of Happyness
The Lion King
The Peaceful Warrior Movie
The Blind Side
There are lessons everywhere. All you have to do is look for them.