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6 Marketing & Sales lessons to learn from ” Silver Linings Playbook “

There is a lot to learn from movies . Before diving into the blog let me tell you about a popular habit among 3D animators – who have spent considerable amount of their time doing 3D animations ( atleast 5+ years ) . It is said that these animators brain’s are so much seasoned to seeing objects in 3D that even if they step out of their computers and look at real world objects , they tend to see it in a 3D view ! and this is something they cant get rid of easily as its not in their control .

Being in the field of online sales and marketing for too long I have also developed a habit of pulling out the sales and marketing stuff used from anything I see in real life , especially movies . Any movie I see , I marvel at how well the director is applying his sales techniques to keep the audience glued to the scenes . Once I see a really effective scene I immediately think of these questions :
–    Wow how did this scene create so much impact ?
–    How is it that we are not bored watching this story line for near 2 hours ?
–    How is it that I keep thinking of this scene again and again even after coming out of the theater ?
–    What is the magic spell the director has cast to sell his product ( the movie ) so well ?
One such movie that really caught my attention recently is : Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and directed by David O. Russell . The story of the movie Silver Linings Playbook revolves around 2 people ( Pat & Tiffany ) who have mental issues  and how they get along with each other .

Silver Linings Playbook

If you have watched the movie from an entrepreneurs/sales point of view there are some valuable nuggets of information you can take to make yourself a better sales person and device better strategies to get your brand / product registered in peoples mind . Here are a few take-away’s I have noticed :

•    The 10,000 Hour rule :

Will cover what the 10,000 hour rule is in detail in a separate blog post . But for now it is a proven science that says , you will succeed 100% on 1 area that you have spent 10,000 hours on .
Had a look at all the movies David O. Russell has directed in the past . Since his first movie “Hairway to the Stars” David O. Russell has been sticking on to subjects that involve a lot of sentiments and emotions ( Mostly that is related to mind , thinking , relationships etc. ) . So it is this continues practice through out all these years in the same area of focus that has made him come out with this fantastic movie : Silver Linings Playbook . All the mistakes that he has been doing in his past projects and all the learning’s has made him make this movie perfect .
So the baseline here is PRACTICE makes it PERFECT .  You become an expert of that one area that you have been practicing again and again for years  and master it better than anyone else in the world .

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, But I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times ” – Bruce Lee :)

•    End it with a Competition

If you have seen Silver Linings Playbook , the most exciting part of the movie is the BET Pat’s father ( played by Robert De Nero ) gets into with his buddy . The movie ends with nail biting moments of whether Pat & Tiffany will help their father win the bet or not . And this is the factor that keeps you seated until the end of the movie .

This can be a valuable tip for you if you are a Book writer or if you are composing a Email News letter … or if you are giving a Keynote for your product like Steve Jobs :)
Always have a thrilling expectation set to your Sales pitch ( that will be revealed at the end ) . Even if your pitch is boring in between , your user will stay to read it until the end to un-lock the suspense you have created in the starting ( Maybe a deal or an offer to which you reveal the Coupon code at the end ) . If it’s a Keynote you are giving for your product save the best for the last ( by giving a small hint about it in the start )

•    Overcome a problem with a Bigger Problem

In the movie Silver Linings Playbook you will see PAT is a PROBLEM for everyone around due to his mental illness . The only way for him to know what sort of a problem he is for others is by feeling the same torture from someone else . That’s when Tiffany comes in with a more serious mental condition and gives him a hell of a ride .

The takeaway here is really something notable and the technique can be used for various solutions 
–    When dealing with annoying people or employees , after a certain point its not worth explaining the issue they are creating . Its better to make them feel the same taste . If engineered properly they will either get to understand things or they will quit and you will be revealed . Can be effectively used for people management !
–    When explaining the pain point you are solving via. your product , try to give the listener an experience of the pain instead of explaining it to him . He will then for sure realize the desperate need of your product . Make him experience how ugly the problem is and he will eventually realize how beautiful your solution is !

•    Show something people don’t see everyday

In the movie Silver Linings Playbook , David O. Russell gives the viewers a very close look of the life and everyday issues faced by people who are mentally ill with a bit of humor . This is one of the main reasons for the success of the movie as not many have been close enough with such people and they will love to have a safe PEEP of what’s really happening on the other side of the gate . The advantage here is even if you are telling something Fancy they have no other option to believe that it is the fact .

The take away here is , when speaking about your product try to give the listener a story that he cant easily get access to . This will build his curiosity to listen to you even if you are BS’ing .

Did you know ? Science says that the only tribe in the world that didn’t have hair fall at all were the RED INDIANS . Because the waters they used to bathe in daily came through forests that were filled with the rare NONI herb that has tremendous natural elements that arrest hair fall and makes it grow wild .

Tell the above BS story to any bald person and he will be super excited . Then tell him that for the first time a team has found this rare herb in the Amazon forests and they have made a Hair Tonic out of it …. Man you have already sold the product to him :)

•    Sex appeal

One scene in Silver Linings Playbook that would have surely triggered your creative juices is the one in which Tiffany explains to Pat about all the employees that she had slept with due to her mental condition ( That triggers more sexual emotions ) and how many men have used her . Here the director brings in a totally different subject and gets the viewers to think stuff in angels that their brain leads them and you must note it is said by a HOT girl played by Jennifer Lawrence ( Bet you this point will surely trigger your curiosity to see the movie if you have not seen it yet )

Jennifer lawrence from Silver Linings Playbook

The takeaway here is , we all are animals – and by evolution the first thing important for your gene is SEX . So try to bring in a SEX appeal in your products and for sure subtly it will trigger humans to remember and notice your product . Ask anyone 3 deodorants that come to their mind instantly and for sure AXE will be one of them . Why ? Not because they spend a lot on advertising ( well all deodorant companies spend a lot on advertising ) …but its this sex appeal factor AXE has used very cleverly to hook its brand on peoples mind . This can be done for any product if thought out very well .

•    Have your BEST at the LAST

One thing that you can notice in the movie Silver Linings Playbook is that the screen play / story line is in a fashion that the gravity of interest in the scenes grow as the movie goes . It finally ends with the Best scene in the movie . Yes its true , lemme ask you : How many movies you have seen will you tell the best scene was the last scene ?  But if you ask anyone who has watched Silver Linings Playbook they will mention the final scene – because its engineered to be so . As the movie moves from a normal movie in the start to an interesting movie scene by scene viewers are curious to watch scene after scene . The advantage here is as your brain keeps seeing better things it tends to forget all goofed up things in the past . You might have seen school kids arrange their test papers of various subjects that starts with the lowest mark and leads up to the highest mark . So when their parents see the papers in this order it will end with happiness :)

The take away here is always line up your product features with the normal and boring ones in the start and end it with the best features . Also when DEMO’ing your product follow this principle and for sure the other party will still be excited at the end .

These are some of the valuable nuggets I was able to mine from this amazing Oscar winning movie Silver Linings Playbook :)   If you feel there are more points to add to this post , please tell them in the comments below – will love to know it :)

… And yes please generously share this POST with your friends !

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