Sales Takeaways from Judd Apatow's Sick in the Head


Recently I finished Judd Apatow's book Sick in the Head. It is an incredible collection of interviews he has done over the years. The book talks to mostly stand-up comedians, but Apatos also includes the voices of legendary rock stars, visionary TV writers, award-winning actors/actresses, and some of the biggest names in movie writing history. It's a fascinating read with interviews that range from when Judd was in high school (1983) all the way up to today (2016).

The thing that struck me most was how all these people were insanely successful, yet all had wildly different processes in the way that they approached their craft. Some set time aside each day. Some only worked when inspiration hit. Some worked intensely for weeks at a time then dropped it. Some focused on the road to the end. Some focused on the process to find their end. I kept looking for similarities between all of their successes, and all that I could find was that whatever process they took ownership of seemed to work for them. The only other similarity I found was that many seemed to have a mentor who inspired them to get there.

Working at MLS' National Sales Center, we taught a legendary 6-step process that is now being replicated by (and these are just ones that I know) MLS teams, NBA teams, NASL teams, NWSL teams, and NASCAR tracks. I'm a big believer that teaching a process to start is important...but sales directors and managers have to NOT stop there. We need to work with our reps to determine a process that works best for THE SALESREP THEMSELVES. If one rep is great at knocking off 150 calls a day...more power to them. If another rep is most efficient when they are in networking or face-to-face opportunities, we need to find another process to help them identify their most efficient selves.

I've spent time since doing this job identifying the most efficient way that I've sold B2C, B2B, and groups. I now have sales processes in place for each of these. This is ideally what every sales rep should do...with manager support. Every person is different, so to define a sales rep by someone else's process is 1) not efficient, and 2) something that will not last, because the rep has no ownership of it.

Spend time with your reps to identify and define process...THEIR PROCESS...and hopefully they can be the next Apatow, Seinfeld, Brooks, Martin, Rock, or Vedder of the ticket sales game.


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