Halloween is upon us, and with it comes a great excuse to let your imagination run wild. But there’s a darker side to Halloween that few people dare think about, let alone discuss in a blog post.
To the untrained eye Halloween may seem little more than a lighthearted occasion. But it’s actually the one time of year when humanity’s deepest, darkest fears are free to bubble to the fore.
And few things can be more of living nightmare for a sales director than the sales process gone wrong. If you think you can handle the ugly truth, read on to see how some of Halloween’s most popular costumes perfectly describe your sales woes.
Scarecrow, the abominable strawman.
Going anywhere dressed as a scarecrow is an itchy commitment (the straw inevitably ends up in all the wrong places), but it’s also indicative of a deep-seated anxiety caused by overbearing salespeople. Whether they were exposed to a flawed sales process at a young age or simply oversold a faulty product when feeling particularly vulnerable, the scarecrow at a party serves as a subtle reminder that people, like crows, are not easily fooled by empty promises or vaguely humanoid stick figures stuffed with grass.
Perhaps the only time a scarecrow is actually effective at seeming human is when you’re running from an axe-wielding madman through a cornfield in the middle the night. The straw figure’s silhouette is convincing enough to scare you senseless, but ultimately falls short of any actual threat. This is roughly what happens when a salesman jumps directly into a hard sell without properly researching his prospects. Sure he might be lucky enough to catch them at a moment of mortal terror, but even then their excitement for the product will rarely outlast the adrenaline and lead to a sale.
Zombie, brain enthusiast.
Just left of the scarecrow, you’re likely to see some version of the walking dead. While our modern incarnation of the zombie originated as social commentary on the rise of consumerism, it’s since become an all-pervasive subculture spanning across genres, media, and generations. But in the context of Halloween, the zombie costume is unwitting commentary on lifeless sales processes. These people have, at some point in their lives, been exposed to salespeople who do little more than wander around emitting the odd gargling sound while waiting for marketing to deposit a bunch of leads in their festering lap. While this fear may seem unusual, it’s remarkably common.
A company’s sales process needs to be more than an army of animated corpses falling over each other to get to brains on a platter. Your team needs to actively work with marketing to help qualify leads and share resources that bring more of them in. As the best undead sales teams know – the better the teamwork, the fresher the brains.
Nurse, the scantily clad social worker
For some reason, many people feel that professions like nursing or housekeeping are scary enough to inspire Halloween costumes. You’re likely looking at one now, flitting about, drink in hand, between selfies and group photos. But dressing up as an impractically sexualized version of an otherwise highly valuable professional communicates one very specific sales process woe – salespeople who talk the talk and look the part, but fail to follow through effectively and close deals. Sure they might look like a trained healthcare worker, but you know as well as I that it’s little indication of her ability to correctly dress an axe wound. To overcome this anxiety, sales teams should complement their dashing good looks with the right tools and tailored content for their sales proposals.