April 4

The Hollywood Secret to Winning Larger Deals

It can be disappointing to  receive a small part of a customer’s business when you are hoping for the lead role.  Winning larger deals gets a lot of focus in sales, but sometimes large deals are hidden in small packages.

Savvy actors often parlay a small or one-time roll into a bigger or recurring role.  For example, Kelsey Grammer was initially cast in just six episodes of Cheers.  He  gave such a memorable performance he went on to star in the wildly popular spin-off, Frasier.  Remember Chandler Bing’s” annoying girlfriend on Friends, “Janice,” (played by the delightfully nasal Maggie Wheeler)?  Initially cast in just a single episode, she went on to appear in  19 episodes over 10 seasons!

There is no such thing as a “small” part

No matter how small the part, a good actor makes the most of it.  So instead of mumbling about the unfairness of it all and turning in a forgettable performance,  consider  treating this small piece of business as a stepping stone to winning larger deals.

The Hollywood Secret to Winning Larger Deals

Making the most of those small deals can reap larger benefits in the future if you follow a few simple tips:

  1. Make Your Prospect Look Good.

    Great actors often credit their scene partner with making them look good.  Which makes them eager to work with that person again. Making your scene partner (your prospect) look good – regardless of the size/frequency of the sale – differentiates the Sales Pro from the pack and can generate recurring business.  Think about ways to make your prospect look good.  Perhaps you can give them a LinkedIn recommendation, send a nice note to their manager, etc.

  2. Over-deliver.

    Judi Dench had less than eight minutes of screen time in Shakespeare in Love, yet she earned an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.  How?  By preparing for those eight minutes with as much effort as if it were a leading role.  What does over-delivering mean for you in sales?   At a minimum it means showing up at your best and giving your prospect your full attention.  It could also mean thinking of things that would be appreciated by them, like sending articles of interest or providing an introduction.

  3. Follow up.

    Actors need to stay top of mind and so do you.  Don’t be out of sight and out of mind.  Schedule time to check in and see if they are satisfied or potential problems.

  4. Be memorable.

    Mad Men’s January Jones initially auditioned for the role of “Peggy”, but didn’t get it.  But her performance made such a strong impression on creator Matthew Weiner that  he went home and wrote some scenes for her as “Betty Draper.”  You never know what your prospect has coming down the pike that you’ll be just right for.  Perhaps they have a future campaign, initiative or challenge with your name on it. If you don’t make a memorable impression, you may not have that chance.  Always put your best foot forward and you won’t have any regrets.

    (Read here for more tips on being memorable in sales.)

A Sales Example of Winning Larger Deals with Small Sales:

One Christmas I wanted to buy a charm for my niece that was only carried at certain jewelry stores.  I had to go to three stores before I could find anyone to help me.  After being passed around to several salespeople I would up in front of a young man named Chad. He listened attentively, then, instead of abruptly throwing the tray of charms out in front of me and waiting impatiently until he could move on to a more high ticket buyer, he spent 15 minutes helping me find just the right charm, even calling around to another store to see if they had it in stock. Chad was so helpful that I felt guilty not buying anything more than an inexpensive trinket from him. Two months later when I had to buy a wedding gift I happily went back to Chad to purchase a beautiful and expensive crystal bowl.

There is no such thing as a small, sale, only a small salesperson!




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