The original True Grit, starring John Wayne is a beloved classic known by heart to many western movie lovers. Though I do enjoy my classic John Waynes, for myself this particular film has more of a work-related connection.
During my second month of Praxis, I have been tasked with the assignment of understanding and digging deep into the topic of Sales, which is the role of which I intend to earn a position. The film of a one-eyed lawman and pip-squeak girl searching for justices has revealed a few similarities to that of the sales world.
What is Sales?
In the movie True Grit, we see a little girl out to find the man who killed her father. The task ahead of her is one that requires a man of grit, thus leading her to one Rooster Cogburn. The scene in which these two meets is pure sales.
Sales is the process of two people exchanging assets to fulfill the personal needs of each party involved. Yet it’s a bit more complex than that. The customer must be the right kind of prospect, meaning a person who needs the product to fulfill a want, needs, or personal desire. To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this product will indeed fulfill their area of lack requires a well planned out presentation to ensure the customer that they are making the right choice. Yet this alone will merely leave both parties with an understating of what they both need, with no resolution. Closing the deal involves both individuals exchanging assets leaving a dilemma resolved and a need filed.
“I’m Mattie Ross from Dardanelle in Yell county and I’m looking for the man who killed my father.” Mattie goes on in her sales pitch to convince the old lawman that the chase and capture of this criminal are well worth his while and she promises to fulfill his need in the form of money.
This particular sale is a bit odd since the salesman, in this case, is the one with the money wishing to acquire an asset or service. In most cases, this is the other way around, though if we remember the definition I gave above, that sales are the process of two people exchanging assets, then we see that this is still a sale. Mattie has the desired commodity, money, and Rooster has the desired service. The exchange is a sale even though the salesmen is the one paying the bill.
What are the Responsibilities in Sales?
Simply put, to fill the needs of another. This is truly a heroic career at its core.
Mattie has a desire, to see justices severed, yet she cannot have this until she first takes care of the needs of her customer.
There are two needs that every customer has.
First the feeling of security. Every customer wants to know that they are making the right decision, therefore it is the job of the salesman to assure them that this is beyond a doubt a wise move on their part. This is not a process of trickery but is instead the act of assuring the customer that the needs they have can and will be fulfilled through their agreement to invest in your product.
Second, is the actual product or service that the customer is lacking. Before you, as a salesman can get what you want, you must first help your customer get what they want.
What is the importance of this role?
Without sales, there would merely be unused assets and people with the ability and desire to pay for those assets, yet the two never cross paths. Salesmen are the heroes that bring solutions to those who need them.
Whether you’re in a company selling pens, or a western movie seeking to avenge your father’s death, the only means by which you will achieve your goal and help those who are in need, is to provide a means of exchange.
This journey to be the hero is not an easy one. There will be many days of hard riding, shoot outs, and you may even be captured by bandits. In the end though, when you have achieved your goal and delivered on your promise to your customer, the rattlesnake bite will worth the accomplishment.
Though Rooster Cogburn is the one given the title of true grit, we all now that Mattie is the one who truly showcases this determination and dedication. It takes a person of true grit to succeed in the world of sales. So the question is, are you a salesman with true grit.