Software Sales Tips by Matt Wolach

Sales From Pop Culture

“Formula 1: Drive To Survive” – What We Can Learn About Sales From It

Formula 1 and Sales

If you’re a Formula 1 fan (or even if not like I wasn’t), you might have stumbled already to the show “Formula 1: Drive to Survive.” A Netflix series covering what life is like in the fast lane, featuring the teams, managers, and F1 drivers’ stories.

You might enjoy seeing the pit crew quickly change tires or the bosses narrating strategies and recent wins. But they also talk about their personal stories, which bring a roller coaster of emotions. As someone who’s not following F1, that bit got me into binge-watching the show. With all the teams and F1 drivers featured in every episode, we can’t help but root for someone. 

In one episode, after learning all about Driver A’s journey, we’re cheering for him along the way. But in the next episode, we find ourselves getting stoked for Driver B’s success. The cycle continues for four seasons. 

The extreme impact of the show gets us hooked. But what does it have to do with SaaS sales? 

Before anything else, buckle up. This is going to be quite a ride

Can You Drive Up Sales?

Netflix’s Formula 1 showcase every team’s story as they try to survive the competition. But more importantly, they show personal stories of their drivers. 

Being in the competition, it’s already established that they are the best of the best in their sport. But as someone who may not be too familiar with F1, why do we keep rooting for them?

Because stories are powerful

As each driver shares his story, the sacrifices made, the wins, and the losses, we empathize with them every time. 

This is because they get to share something that connects to us in an instant. When they tell stories, we learn to feel for them–and eventually, cheer for their success. 

The crazy thing is, one week Driver A is featured, we learn his story, and then we pull for him as he’s racing close to Driver B. “C’mon, beat him!” I’m thinking/yelling in my head.

But then, the next week they feature Driver B, and we learn his backstory. Then in the race, he’s trying to pull ahead of Driver A, and I’m literally pulling for Driver B now! 

It sounds illogical, but it’s how we’re wired as humans, we pull for someone when we just heard their story.

The same thing applies to sales. 

Getting your prospects emotional is an important element to successfully closing a deal. 

To do this, you have to connect to your prospect right in the beginning–tell them your story so they will root for you. 

Your prospect doesn’t want another salesperson. 

Instead, they want and would trust someone they know. Somebody whose story they’ve heard and identified with.

During demo calls, it’s important for them that you talk about yourself too. Spend a short amount of time telling them a bit about your professional background, some of your experiences, and your “personal why.” This way, like in the F1 series, they would feel for you too, which leads to a good amount of trust and established connection. 

Cross the Finish Line & Get on the Podium

The power of stories may transcend beyond shows, competitions, and sales. It’s a powerful tool to connect. And in sales, creating connections is essential.

During the call, picture it as the race, and you’re the F1 driver. 

Win your prospect by employing the right strategy. But in telling your story, be careful not to oversteer or understeer. Calculate the trajectory well by continuous practice. 

Being the salesperson, they already know that you want to win. It’s time to give them something personal. Remember to share and show them your passion and purpose. 

Eventually, watch your prospects close and cheer for your success.