Throughout The Office, the beloved character Michael Scott has graced us with several memorable life quotes to live by. Yes, The Office is just a comedic show, but if we dive a little deeper into the characters, we can actually learn some valuable business lessons. Through his laughable personality, Michael Scott of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton branch, gives us the best sales tips for business.
Here are 5 of the Best Sales Tips I’ve Learned from Watching The Office:
1. Never Stop Learning
Michael Scott is lost a lot of the time and that’s why he holds a lot of conference room meetings. He’s trying to both teach and learn alongside his employees to give them the best sales tips and tricks he knows.
Business is always about staying ahead of the competition. If you work in sales or marketing, you need to be a life-long learner because there’s always new products, methods, or technologies flooding into the market that you need to know about and should be using. Staying up to date on the latest innovations and changes in your market will help establish you as a leader in your industry and communicate your professionalism to your current and potential customers.
There are ample resources at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to ask a question if you need to!
2. Manage Your Time Wisely
Admittedly, Michael Scott may be the worst time manager in the history of all managers, but just think what Dunder Mifflin could have become had Michael actually used an events calendar once in a while!
24 hrs just doesn’t seem like enough time to get it all done in the life of a small business owner, but if you practice good time management skills you can see your goals accomplished sooner rather than later. The bottom line is you need to develop methods to hold yourself accountable to your responsibilities.
There are a few main ways to help keep you focused and on task while you’re working:
- Eliminate personal distractions
- Make a “to do” list every day and check them off as you complete them
- Take regular breaks
- Be flexible in your schedule as much as possible
Insider Tip: Stay away from copious amounts of coffee and energy drinks. These may give you a rush of caffeine-induced activity, but you’ll crash hard afterwards. Stick to water or you can even use peppermint (tea, gum, oil, hard candy) to help keep you awake. Peppermint has been shown to increase mental function and processing ability without negative consequences.
3. Prioritize the Customer
Michael Scott is a lovable character for many reasons, the most of all is because he’s so caring. He tries so hard to be friends with everyone, many times unsuccessfully, and genuinely cares about the lives of those he interacts with. He knows sales is about people.
Prioritizing the customer is the key ingredient to inbound marketing and laying the foundation for life-long customers. I didn’t say obsess and I didn’t say let them walk all over you either, but show them their value. If a customer has, or is considering, buying one of your products or services, they want to know that their business means something to you.
You can show your customer appreciation by:
- Sending personalized emails
- Offering special promos or discounts
- Making an effort to connect with them on a regular basis
- Being honest and communicating your successes and shortcomings
Customer service is what will keep your customers coming back year after year.
4. Don’t Put the Sale First
There are a few brief moments when Michael Scott shines through as a genius. One of his most surprising talents is his ability to actually connect with people and prioritize them.
People know when you’re only interested in them to make money off of their needs. Don’t be that salesy guy. This point goes along with sales tip #3 as well. Find a human connection with the potential customer and get to know them. Determine if they’re the right customer for your business and if the services or products you provide will actually fill their need. They may not be the right customer now, but if you’ve made a real connection with them, you may be able to connect later down the road when the time is right.
5. Your Co-Workers are Your Best Resource
The employees at Dunder Mifflin are close knit to say the least. They portray that dysfunctional, but loving family theme we all love in our entertainment. But, if we look at that from a practical standpoint, they provide seemingly unlimited amounts of knowledge, assistance, and sales tips and techniques to each other throughout their work day.
There will always be someone who has more experience or more knowledge about a topic than yourself. Surround yourself with those people! If you’re struggling to meet a customer’s needs, ask a fellow co-worker for help. They may have dealt with a similar problem and can give you advice that specifically applies to you. Be willing to interact with others in your work environment. It’ll make the day go by faster, equip you to be a better salesperson for your customers, and make for interesting office Christmas parties too!
Our entertainment can provide us a lot more than just a few laughs or heart-warming scenarios. The Office, in particular the character of Michael Scott, is a favorite of so many of us because of the underlying lessons we can learn from him. Michael Scott may not me the most effective manager, but in actuality he possesses the skills of a great salesperson and filters the best sales tips into each of his episodes.