I love a great movie! Not just for the entertainment factor but for the sales lesson. Great Hollywood movies can teach salespeople various things that will help them improve their sales results.

Here are five lessons to consider.

Attention-Getting Opening

Great movies find a way to capture your attention immediately. They don’t waste time identifying the key characters and the problem or situation. They dive right into the plot. It amazes me how much information can be delivered in a few short scenes. In fact, in some movies much of the background information is relayed during the opening credits. A variety of approaches are used including; newspaper clippings, images, flashbacks, etc. In other scenes, the character may receive a phone call, stare at a photograph or have a quick flashback. Regardless of the approach, the best movies grab your attention from the outset.

Sales application: You only have a few moments to capture a prospect’s attention so don’t waste the precious opening minutes by talking about your company. Instead, gain immediate interest by describing their current situation and identifying the potential pain they might be experiencing.

They use the right actors.

The actors for key roles are carefully considered because the wrong person in the wrong role can have a devastating impact on the end result. Although some actors have the ability to deliver a wide range of roles, you don’t see many action heroes sporting a beer belly or someone like Gerard Butler playing a wimpy, needy character.

Sales application: If you sell a complex solution and rely on other people in your company to present and meet with prospects, consider each person’s role. For example: Engineers are highly adept in their chosen area of expertise but very few possess the ability to effectively present the solution in an engaging manner. If you need an engineer present, then you should invest time coaching that person to ensure they deliver the best presentation possible.

The characters are memorable.

The main character in most Hollywood movies is the villain or bad guy and there is usually something about them that makes us like that person or empathize with their situation. A few years ago, I studied fiction writing and discovered that the best characters have personal flaws. However, those flaws make the character easier to relate to, and as a result, we remember them.

Sales application: Look for ways to stand out from the crowd and become memorable (in a positive manner). I once attended a conference with several hundred executives. Dress code was stated as business casual so I wore dress pants and a shirt and tie. To my chagrin, I was the ONLY person NOT wearing a suit. I stood out, but not for the reason I intended. How can you stand out from the competition?

Everything is rehearsed.

Can you imagine how bad a movie would be if everything was shot in a single take? Actors would flub their lines, miss their cues and there would be countless flaws. Fortunately, actors rehearse before they get in front of the camera and this helps them deliver a memorable performance.

Sales application: Make the time to rehearse your presentations before meeting with a prospect or customer. It sounds like a simple concept but too many sales people shoot from the hip or wing it and this mistake can be fatal. The more important the sales opportunity, the more critical it is to rehearse beforehand.

The editing room puts it all together.

Editing is one of the most important aspects of producing a great movie. The director makes sure that every sequence flows properly into the next. Unlike many sales presentations, they don’t wing it and hope for the best. They carefully review every single piece of film and determine what is absolutely necessary and they often cut scenes that don’t add to the movies plot and story line.

Sales application: Carefully consider MUST be covered in your presentation and leave the extra ‘nice-to-have’ details as back-up. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to include everything in your sales presentations.

Sales professionals can learn a lot about selling by watching Hollywood movies. These five simple strategies can make a significant impact on your sales results.