What the Fast and Furious Franchise Can Teach Sales Professionals

The Fast and Furious movies have turned into one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, and this coming Friday, installment number 8 will roll into theatres. Love it or hate it, the testosterone-fueled action franchise holds a surprising amount of ideas and narratives that resonate well with us in sales:

Objective, Team Work, and Leadership:
The Fast and Furious team is always faced with incredible odds and unimaginable challenges.  Only with serious team work can they get the job done.  For example, in Furious 7, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is out to pick-off the team one by one, starting with The Rock. The only way that they can protect themselves, get the God’s Eye device and capture Shaw is by working as a team.  Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) keeps everyone together with his constant preaching of cohesion.

Similarly, sales people need to work and think as a team. While each account may be assigned to one account executive, he or she relies on the support of a good sales manager and other sales support roles who can provide the tools and guidance to reach their goal. At the same time, the entire sales organization is there to provide expertise during the sales process.

Embrace Challenges:
Vin Diesel never shies away from getting his hands dirty from protecting his friends and family. With each installment, they face bigger obstacles that can only be solved with planning, strategy, teamwork, and skill.

In sales, you should always strive to set high expectations and get out of your comfort zone. This can be done through a number of ways, for example by learning something new every day, by becoming more tenacious in your prospecting endeavors, or by adopting a willingness to challenge yourself. Set yourself up for success by creating daily, monthly, and quarterly goals so you can measure progress without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Learn from Mistakes
The Fast and Furious team is not exactly a group of angels. They have regrets and made mistakes that have cost them dearly. Yet, they accept their shortcomings, learn from their mistakes, and have taken the steps to better themselves.

In sales, mistakes are common and can quickly snowball into larger, more serious issues for the entire sales organization if the root cause of the problem is not eliminated. Salespeople shouldn’t dwell on lost opportunities or rejections, but it’s important to evaluate and learn from them. Sales coaching can go a long way here, to target specific areas that need improvement.

If you suspect the source to be sales process-related, conduct an independent win/loss analysis to gather intel directly from your customer base to obtain a better understanding of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

At the end of the day, both the Fast and Furious team and salespeople are fixated on winning. In the Fast and Furious world, it might mean to race the quarter mile in under 9 seconds. For us in sales, it means meeting goals, helping clients, closing deals, and forging new business relationships.

And what’s not to like about that attitude?