9 Sales Lessons From Hollywood | Lucidchart Blog
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Aristotle and the ancient Greeks believed that viewing good art, especially drama, helped individuals to learn about themselves and purify suboptimal habits from their lives. This methodology is also used in the modern era and can be applied to professionals of all sorts including salespeople. In the spirit of Aristotle’s philosophy (known as catharsis, in case you were wondering), here are nine quotes from modern cinema intended to help you evaluate your sales habits and become a rockstar closer.

1. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (The Help)

Aibileen Clark understood the importance of nurturing others. A good salesperson should do the same. Plenty of statistics from HubSpot indicate that lead nurturing can be a significant benefit to businesses. Here are a few numbers to ponder:

  • Nurturing leads results in a 20% increase in sales opportunities over non-nurtured leads.
  • A strong lead nurturing process results in 9% more sales reps reaching quota.
  • Nurtured leads yield purchases that are 47% larger than non-nurtured leads.
  • Companies that nurture leads see 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.

Despite the data, 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing. If you fall in that category, the time to start nurturing leads is now.

You can map out a simple lead nurturing system in Lucidchart.

2. “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” (Dead Poets Society)

Timing can be everything. Studies have found that following up with web leads within five minutes of receiving them results in a ninefold increase in conversions. So don’t wait! As soon as that lead comes in, seize the day and make your call.

Developing a clear process for sales calls will help you to quickly take advantage of new leads. Make and share a professional sales process in Lucidchart.

3. “Wax on, wax off.” (The Karate Kid)

A young boy anxious to be an expert in karate, Daniel LaRusso didn’t understand the value of Mr. Miyagi’s car waxing exercises. Similarly, sales teams are often anxious to jump right into their leads and phone calls and thus neglect important ongoing sales training.

Studies show that the average company spends $10K to $15K hiring a sales rep but only $2K each year in sales training, even though continuous training results in 50% higher net sales per employee. The lesson here is clear. No matter how great your team already is, make sure to invest in helping your reps be even better.

4. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” (The Princess Bride)

Before Inigo kills the six-fingered man, he makes his intentions exceptionally clear. When you’re making sales calls, cut the fluff and get to the point. One study found that 75% of buyers want less sales-speak in promotional content, and being direct and clear about your purpose on a phone call is a great way to start. Help your buyers feel that you respect their time from the very first moments that you have their attention.  

If you need to map out your thoughts before you make the call, try using Lucidchart.

5. “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” (Forrest Gump)

This quote is true for both life and sales calls. You never know what you’re going to get on the other end of the line. It could be a CEO, or it could be the secretary. They could be busy and in a bad mood or relaxed and super friendly. If you’ve ever felt like cold calls are a wild card, you’re on the same page with 42% of sales reps who feel they don’t have enough information before making a call.

Who picks up the phone and how they are feeling that day are both factors out of your control, but there are a lot of things you can control, starting with your own research. Take a gander on LinkedIn or look through a company website. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for whatever surprise you bite into next.

6. “Good morning, Vietnam!” (Good Morning, Vietnam)

There’s no better way to start your morning than with a friendly, enthusiastic greeting, and eager sales reps may find greater success when they follow this pattern in their sales calls. According to research, the best time to make calls is early on Wednesday and Thursday mornings—from 6:45 to 9:00 AM, to be exact. Whether this is because decision makers are in a better mood in the mornings or because they have fewer meetings at that time is unclear. What is clear is that your mother seems to have been right all along. At least in sales, the early bird does get the worm.

7. “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” (Casablanca)

Sales teams and marketers should always have each other's backs. Why? When marketing and sales teams are aligned, marketing sees a 208% increase in revenue while sales is 67% better at closing deals, impacting revenue growth up to three times! Yet 76% of marketers forget sales enablement, while salespeople ignore 50% of marketing leads.

This may be due simply to poor communication, or it may be the result of not having an established process. In this case, use Lucidchart to map out exactly how sales and marketing will enable each other. Responsibilities will be clear and actionable resulting in increased growth.

Sign up for Lucidchart.

8. "It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great.” (A League of Their Own)

Sales is arguably one of the most difficult professions. Consider that it takes an average of eight cold calls to reach a prospect, and only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. That’s a lot of crushed anticipation and disappointment to slog through day after day before achieving the satisfaction of success. That’s also exactly why it feels so good when you finally close a stellar deal. It’s the challenge, the difficulty before success, that makes every win that much sweeter.

The takeaway? On days when you feel like the universe is against you, remember that you’re not the only one. Every salesperson will experience a lot of rejection and leave a lot of voicemails. Sales is hard, but in the end, it’s the hard that makes the triumph worth it. And even on days when the perseverance doesn’t pay off, remember:

9. “After all, tomorrow is another day!” (Gone With the Wind)

Have you seen a great movie or read a great book that taught you something about your profession? Tell us about it in the comments below.