How to Sell: Inspired by Walt Disney

4th April 2013 | By Frances Pratt


Lately, I have been working with the Walt Disney creative process.  The Walt Disney Brainstorming process separates the stages of brainstorming so as to drive creativity in teams.  All steps are necessary, but it is the order in which they operate and the clarity of roles that makes this process gold!

For non-sales people learning how to sell, they often get stuck with how to get to know their client better and understand what really drives them.  Here is how a Disney Sales Process would help with that.

In your first meeting with a potential client it is important to really get to the bottom of why they are talking to you.  What is the Gain or Pain that is driving them to speak to you?  Once you know this, then dig!  Find out what all the business and personal implications are around this issue.

The next step is to create a shared vision, and this is where our friend Walt can help!

  • Stage 1: The Dreamer

This stage is about capturing the dream of what the future state looks like to your potential client. You need to help them explore, challenge them to take it further … no holds barred.

A great question to start this off is: “If anything was possible … what would your company look like once this problem was fixed?”

  • Stage 2: The Realist

Now for some practicality … if the dream is what you want, can we get there and why is it important.  This step is about finding the pathway and the reasons for doing it.

My favourite question for this part is: “What does success of this project look like for you?”

  • Stage 3: The Spoiler

We live in the ‘real world’ what are all the reasons that this won’t work?  I use this part to help the client look for objections that they or other people in the business might have.  This step is about uncovering objections (real and imagined) and helping to answer these proactively.

Here’s a lead in for this: “If this is going to happen, what hurdles are we going to need to get through along the way?”

This process is useful when selling to individuals or to a committee.  In a group each people will have natural leanings to one of these stages.  Using this sales process, explains each stage and role.  It allows the dreamers to dream, the doers to think about how and the critics to refine the ideas once they are better formed.  It uses their talents more effectively and produces sound ideas.

Your role as the sales person in this process is to guide your client by asking the right questions that create the right attitude for each stage.

Try it and let me know how you go.

Thanks to Paul for this article on Disney Brainstorming Method

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