5 Lessons Sales Professionals Can Learn From James Bond

007 has been entertaining us at the box office for over 50 years. Now the international hero is at it again—taking names and looking cool in “Spectre.” Why are we jumping on the Bond band wagon? Because sales professionals wanting to up their game can learn some valuable lessons from the smooth agent with the awesome staying power.

Always Look Your Best
Whether he’s jumping off a cliff or chasing bad guys, James Bond is always fashion-forward. You don’t have to dress to the nines like 007, but when you’re out there meeting with clients and prospects, make sure you look your best. At formal events or at casual ones, dress accordingly; look presentable and neat. If you show up looking like Goldfinger on laundry day, you’ll be no one’s hero.

Be Bold, Embrace Risk
Back at the home office, M is forever scolding Bond for being trigger-happy and reckless—and yet his risks always pay off. Though you’re selling goods and services, not saving the world from doom, it’s important to ignore your nagging inner M and fearlessly proceed with confidence, taking calculated risks. Don’t fear encountering the dreaded but sometimes unavoidable “Dr. No.” No comes with the job and shouldn’t stop you from striving for yes. Time and time again we see successful sales reps transforming into entrepreneurs. What do all entrepreneurs have in common? A willingness to take risks. How Bond is that?!

Go Go, Gadget
Without his cool gadgets, Bond would be nothing but a Martini and a pretty face. He’s always got just the thing for getting out of a jam or taking down an evildoer. Be the 007 of the sales-verse by playing it cool with the latest professional tools. Let apps for your smartphone and CRM help you streamline things like planning, connecting, emailing, meeting, reporting, and other strategic steps for making the most of your sales process. What other tools might you have in your bag of tricks?

If you’re not going to be Bond, at least meet us at the MacGyver point when it comes to improvising. In other words, use what you’ve got to get what you need, and be the kind of sales super agent who’s comfortable thinking on their feet. Be flexible. Be OK with changing parameters. Adjust your pitch, your style, your deal-making to meet customer needs. Every deal is different, which makes it even more important to be adaptable when uncovering the needs, challenges/pain points, and objectives of your customers. This kind of flexibility and improvisation is especially useful when it comes to countering client concerns and objections.

Never Say Die
Although he finds himself in countless tight situations, you never see Bond giving up. The guy always finds his way clear of trouble. Sales isn’t life-or-death, of course, but you will encounter more success when you have the positive mindset that there’s always another way. In this business, a positive mindset is pretty much your best asset. Not only does it help you get over lost opportunities, it’s an amazing tool for building a career based on continual improvement. Again, you don’t have to save the world, but to be a top performer in the sales-verse you must cultivate and perpetuate positivity. Only then will you be open to change. Only then will you learn and grow in your role. With that shift in behavior, you’ll be the change you want to be.

Need more help getting in touch with your inner 007? Here’s your assignment: Make a big batch of popcorn and have a Bond-a-thon. (Martinis optional.)