Tommy Boy is one of the top five sales movies of all time. Tommy Callahan starts off struggling with trying to run the sales of his father’s auto business. By the end of the movie, he follows his father’s footsteps managing Callahan Auto Parts.
Tommy could have improved much faster if he would have had a plan from the start, but that wouldn’t have made the movie as funny. When you do have a member of your sales team struggling, developing a sales performance improvement plan (PIP) is the best way to get your employee on track. PIPs helps employees identify where they are struggling and what steps they need to take to growth in the area of weakness.
Here are four lessons from Tommy about sales that need to be in a performance improvement plan if your sales team is lacking:
Communication is Critical
Remember the car scene in Tommy Boy when Tommy poorly communicates with the boss and lights a car on fire. He tries to make a joke about the car crashing and burning the boss’ family which does not work well with the man he is trying to sell to. He does not close the deal. The reason your employee is struggling with sales could be he isn’t properly communicating with others. Watch your salesman and see how he is doing and tips for him to improve.
Have a Plan and Follow It
Richard lives not taking no for an answer which is his plan going into business meetings. Tommy does not have a plan though, and on the first no he receives, he jumps up and leaves the room. Once Richard and Tommy get on the same page of their plan, sales start looking better. Your struggling salesman could be just lacking a plan. Get him on track with a plan and watch him soar.
In the movie, Richard tells Tommy that buyers are not just purchasing brake pads; they are purchasing them as people. Pushy salesmen lose in the business world. Customers will do business with people they trust and genuinely enjoy. If your employees are struggling, try helping them work on their people skills.
Like Tommy, improvements are key to success. If one of your team members is struggling, get them on a plan to improve their performance. Start improving your employee’s performance today with our performance improvement plan. You don’t have to rip any suit coats to do it either.
Image source: Giphy