Business owners and sales leaders can learn a lot from Taylor Swift.
The traits and skills that have contributed to Taylor Swift’s success are also crucial for business success. Covering everything from building a top-notch sales team to getting team members involved in referral gathering, apply the 9 lessons below and take your business to the next level.
9 Lessons From Taylor Swift For Business and Sales Leaders
1. Create repeat customers
Unless you sell a single product or service, opportunities exist to expand your work with current clients.
Check in with your sales team
Are they listening for opportunities with existing accounts? Do they reach out to past customers to see if they need further assistance?
Get sales and marketing to collaborate
Have sales ask the marketing team for a client campaign showcasing all the ways you help or products your company offers.
2. Foster loyalty
Taylor actively nurtures the relationship with her Swifties. Top salespeople know how to form and maintain strong bonds with clients and prospects.
It’s a skill anyone with a client or community-facing role should develop. Have sales lead workshops or offer tips on relationship-building techniques.
How to tell if sales candidates are skilled relationship-builders
During interviews with sales candidates use simiulations to test their empathy, adaptability and active listening skills.
Note your impressions of the candidate. If they do not exude openness and trust when meeting with you, it’s unlikely they’ll display these traits with clients and prospects.
3. Be relatable from Day 1
The relatability of lines, emotions and story arcs in Taylor Swift’s music resonates with listeners. This is key for your salespeople doing cold outreach. Exceptional reps know they can increase response rates if they take the time to research their prospects and find the common thread.
Get candidates and your current team to describe how they personalize outreach. Listen to see if they use what they uncover to relate to the person – ex: Hey Jim, saw you went to the Mavericks game last night – I’m jealous! I had the game on while working around the house.
4. Evolve with the times
Country → pop → folk →pop.
Intentional or not, Taylor’s musical evolution was a shrewd business choice. Switching genres brought new fans into the fold while keeping her loyal base engaged with fresh sounds.
To translate this strategy to your business, hire professionals with a demonstrated record of learning new skills, systems, approaches and tools.
Then, when your business needs to pivot, they’ll seamlessly transition with you. While adaptability is beneficial at all levels of the organization, it is critical for your executive team.
5. Sell yourself through stories
Fans know Taylor draws from personal experiences in her writing. Intense debates and conversations online dissect who is the subject of a particular song.
That deep interest demonstrates how engaging and powerful storytelling is in any context – like your website, company bios or an explanation of your sales process.
Illustrate don’t exaggerate
T Swift can embellish a bit. You cannot. Be creative and honest when you add stories to your sales and marketing materials.
6. Raw talent isn’t enough
Signed at 14 years old, Taylor did not rest on her reputation as the youngest signing for Sony/ATV. She honed her raw talent, recorded albums and attended high school.
The impressive work ethic paid off and is a reminder for anyone who manages immensely gifted professionals (in sales or another department).
It’s the manager’s job to maintain high standards
You know who these employees are, the ones who always dazzle and require little oversight. Don’t let easy-to-manage fall into easy-to-ignore territory. Managers are responsible for keeping them motivated and not letting them coast on previous achievements.
7. Get social
You (probably) don’t have an album to tease on Instagram. You do have the opportunity to engage with clients, prospects and the community through various mediums.
Use company profiles to interact with partner and client pages. If employees want to take part, ask them to like, comment and share company posts.
Mix digital and in-person social strategies
Send people to events, conferences and networking events. Encourage them to send connection requests to fellow attendees.
8. Expand through referrals
Musical collaborations introduce artists to new audiences. Referrals are the business equivalent. Through existing connections, you reach businesses and partners that had never considered your solutions before.
Incentivize referral gathering
Put in place a company-wide referral program with a clear process. Money can be a motivator, but feel free to get creative! For instance, you could offer employees extra time off for each successful referral.
9. Shake it off, shake it off (AKA resilience)
A run-of-the-mill bad day is enough to derail a project. Instead of confidently approaching the work, imposter syndrome or negative thoughts invade.
True, the song Shake it Off isn’t about dealing with a bad work day, but the message fits. Your team must have coping mechanisms that push them past pessimism.
Test resilience during interviews with role-playing
Sales is used to this evaluation technique, but you can use it widely to gauge a candidate’s mindset.
After hiring, continue to foster optimism through coaching and mindset training.
Simplify Talent Sourcing
Record executives hear countless musicians who confidently proclaim they’re the next, well, Taylor Swift.
You can empathize. Think of all the applicants you receive whenever you post a job. Mixed in with the next superstar are people who are not a fit for the position or your company.
Unlike the record labels, you do not have to spot talent on your own.
Partner with ProActivate and let us help you build a team that can drive results. Contact us today to get started on securing top talent for your team.