Monday 10 November 2014

Which Disney Characters Make the Best Salespeople?

Disney characters have always drawn a lot of comparisons with real-life parallels so we decided to ask the question, which Disney characters would make the best salespeople and why? 

Below is the short list of the final contenders for Disney characters with the best sales skills which we admit they did not always used with the best intentions! Whilst it is not exhaustive, we hope that you find it at least mildly entertaining!

1.    Ursula

The terrifying sea witch from Disney’s classic adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Ursula would have probably had made an excellent, if frightening, salesperson. After all, she managed to convince a mermaid to give up her voice, not to mention her fins, in exchange for a dubious shot at getting a prince to fall in love with her. Apart from selling the teenaged mermaid on the notion that she could win the prince’s love, Ursula also managed to convince her that she could do it all without benefit of speech. In an unforgettable musical number, Ursula vamps about her cave, her tentacles flowing, belting out the lyrics “You’ve got your looks, your pretty face” with a knowing smirk. Unsurprisingly, Ariel falls for Ursula’s sales tactics hook, line, and sinker, believing that the impossible could come true purely on the strength of the sea witch’s reputation. Indeed, Ursula begins her sales pitch by treating the mermaid to a macabre proof of her own powers, by a garden of withered souls.

2.    Rafiki

The Lion King is a tale about coming of age and accepting one’s place in society, however frightening or onerous it might be. When the young lion cub, Simba, is forced to flee into exile thanks to the cunning machinations of his Machiavellian uncle, Scar, he is befriended by Timon and Pumba, a pair of lovable outcasts who become his new family. Simba grows up taking his new friends’ philosophy of Hakuna Matata to heart, living his days in a peaceful blur of contentment and freedom from all responsibilities. So when his father’s old advisor Rafiki turns up to convince Simba to return home, he has a tough job ahead of him. Yet, he manages to bring the truculent young lion around by being persistent and playing to Simba’s own interests, in this case, the preservation of his ancestral kingdom. By appealing to the latent feelings of the young lion to get his way, Rafiki beautifully demonstrates the importance of playing to a person’s emotions when trying to make a successful sale.

3.    Scar

Any salesperson knows how important it is to have strong communication skills in order to make a successful sales pitch. And of all the Disney characters ever drawn, Scar, the villainous uncle from The Lion King, certainly draws top honours for his ability to talk others into doing his bidding. From arranging for Simba to amble into the path of a stampede to convincing the hyenas to support his scheme to take control of the pride, Scar always manages to sell his plans successfully to his audience. Indeed, Scar’s rousing rendition of “Be Prepared", when he calls the hyenas to join him in his quest for power, is a perfect example of the character’s highly persuasive communication skills!

4.    Mother Gothel

A high level of confidence in what you believe in is one of the keys to being successful in sales. In the growing catalogue of Disney's characters, Mother Gothel, the evil, insecure witch who imprisons Rapunzel in a tower, manages to keep her adopted daughter a prisoner by selling her on the idea that it would be too dangerous to leave.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a headstrong teenager knows how impossible it can be to keep a determined seventeen-year-old  indoors when they want to be free. However, Mother Gothel is so confident in her assertions that the world outside the tower is too dangerous to explore, that Rapunzel believes her.

Being a successful salesperson essentially comes down to having the right combination of confidence, communication skills, persistence, and a certain amount of nerve!  These Disney characters possess all of these traits in spades and with training, perhaps in the art of consultative selling, achieving win-wins and a large dose of customer service, they may have just fitted into the competitive world of modern selling!

Finally, who do you think should have made it into our list, and why?

Happy selling!

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