I never really saw the point of superheroes as a kid. I’d rather tie bits of string around my brother’s bed room, slide my action men down them and pretend they were on zip wires shooting Germans.
The string unintentionally took my Mums head off every time she walked the room to tell us it was time for bed which gave us an extra 3 minutes of playtime too.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that the concept of superheroes started to make sense.
Perhaps I was emotionally stunted as a child. Perhaps I’m just getting soft as an adult and I’m becoming more open to dream about how things could be different.
The idea of a sales superhero that sweeps in to save the day and close the big accounts excites me.
The thought that we all have one within us gets my 7 year old self bubbling with excitement as well.
So what if there were a few traits that sales superheroes had that we could all pick up and leverage to close more deals?
Ask for yourself did the following if they might turn you into a caped crusader.
A) Secret origin story
Every superhero has a secret story. A critical moment that changed who they were and put them on a different path.
I’m writing this article because I had a sales manager that I hated (it wasn’t his fault, he was new to management, had just fathered a kid and was rebuilding his house and so was constantly stressed).
It’s likely our paths would never have met if it wasn’t for him.
Sales superheroes have a personal story too and they know to leverage it with the customer to humanise themselves and build rapport instantly.
Who doesn’t love a good average to awesome story?
B) Secret identities
All sales pros have two stories. The one they tell their prospects and then the real one they tell their wives and friends in the pub.
There is always a gap in-between.
Sales superheroes reduce this gap to its bare minimum.
They toe the line between remaining professional whilst dragging their best customers to the pub to have candid conversations when appropriate.
They avoid putting on a weird sales persona or wearing their underwear outside of their trousers and they just be themselves.
C) Strong values
“With Great Power comes Great Responsibility” – Spiderman
All sales superheroes have a strict code of conduct and values they will never stray from (although they will be tested from time to time).
They don’t –
- Cheat but they will break rules
- Lie for their own gain
- Manipulate those who can be manipulated
D) Turns flaws into qualities
The hulk knows that his grotesque size and mass isn’t going to win him any favours with the ladies so he hulk smashes his enemies to save the day.
Sales superheroes know the limitations of their products or personality and shape it to become a positive.
I wasn’t as loud and as outspoken as the rest of the sales team at the companies I’ve worked for.
In fact I’d usually be the first to sneak away at the Christmas or regional parties. I never really wanted to be there.
I knew this and so I’d go and speak with all the senior management (read: kiss ass) before 9PM and the next day they’d always remember my conversations.
When everyone else was drunk enough to do their yearly suck up to the sales director he –
- Wasn’t interested as there was a bunch of women half his age around him
- Was too drunk to have a meaningful conversation
- Was too drunk to even remember who he’d spoken to
E) A mentor
Just as Professor X takes mutants and shows them that being different is a powerful asset, something they shouldn’t be ashamed of a sales superheroe must have a mentor too.
Batman taught Robin. Yoga taught Skywalker.
Sales superheroes don’t always meet their teachers but they get to know them through books, training and a life long need to improve.
F) A costume
There are few salesmen that can close deals in Lycra but the sales superhero knows what attire is going to work best to get the job done.
They understand that a costume is part of the big picture, their personal brand.
They share this brand/vision with their prospects which helps them stand out amongst a crowd.
D) Special powers
All sales superheroes have a special power they were born with.
That’s why they fly sky-high above the regular folks in the sales rankings.
Everyone is born with a special sales super power but not everyone uses it.
My special power is the ability to make anyone say “Oh yeah, that Will, he’s a good guy” after spending 6 minutes with them.
I guess that equates to an advanced ability to build trust in the corporate world.
What is your special power? What do your friends like about you?
What sets you apart from all the other sales people you’re competing with?
This is your weapon, this is what you need to wield to slay your arch enemies and to close more deals.
Of course sales superheroes keep a lot of this secret.
Their powers only shine in the boardroom. Their corporate identities are left in the office when they go on sales calls.
I’d still rather play with an action man (minus tangling my Mum up) than a superman but I can see why the traits of a superhero resonate with so many people.
They’re struggling to bust out of their lives. To live a life of meaning.
It all starts with the belief that it is possible.
Then all it takes it discovering your own superpower and making use of it to make the world a better place (by selling your product).