Marty McFly’s top business and sales tips!


So the coolest films ever were on last night to celebrate Back to the Future day (21.10.2015), but what can we take from the films as business professionals? Here are Marty McFly’s 5 top sales and business tips:

  1. Know your audience

In the first Back to the Future - Marty’s band (The Pinheads) tried out for auditions at the school dance playing the movie’s theme song, The Power of Love.  The selection committee was not their target demographic and was made up of uptight school teachers (including the very cool cameo from Huey Lewis) Needless to say their music didn’t resonate with their audience and they didn’t make the cut.  Marty basically didn’t do his market research. He took his product ‘his music’ to the wrong audience hoping that they would come around, something any good sales professional knows 9/10 just doesn’t work!

Knowing your audience (your customer) is possibly the most valuable thing that you can do for the success of your business.  We help businesses conquer this sometimes challenging task with our market intelligence solution, providing our customers with a clear picture of their business landscape. This approach allows for more targeted, cost effective sales and marketing campaign.


  1. Timing is crucial – “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet”

Unlike in the films we only get one chance in business. One of my favourite scenes from the original movie is when Marty is at the high-school dance (Enchantment Under The Sea). Marty ends up taking centre stage playing Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry .The audience are loving it until Marty cuts loose, and towards the end of the song goes all 80’s rock, leaving the students baffled and confused. Marty then says to the audience ‘I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet, but your kids are gonna love it’

Timing is of paramount importance in the sales and business world. For our outsourced business development and lead generation projects, timing is something we exploit to ensure we begin a business conversation at just the right time. We do this by identifying the compelling event that highlights the need or possible requirement for our client’s services.


  1. Get a mentor

I know what you first thought is, yawn…. Doc is Marty’s mentor, but actually I’m referring to the more complex mentor role which is played out through the film between George and Marty. Think back - When Marty accidentally travelled back in time he actually ended up becoming his future dad’s mentor – his very existence depended on it. Back in 1955, George was the same age as 1985 Marty and was still as awkward and lacking self-esteem as he was in 1985.   Marty became George’s role model and taught him how to stand up for himself and become more assertive.

In sales, having a mentor is great way to accelerate learning and growth in a professional environment. That’s why with our sales graduate programme, each delegate is assigned a 1-2-1 mentor, available to provide in role support when required.



  1. Use language to suit your audience

In the film Marty was having a real hard time getting George (his dad) to become more assertive and ask Lorraine (his future mother) to the school dance. He couldn’t get George to see past his own pessimistic mindset barriers and take the leap. That’s of course until Marty decides to approach the situation from a fresh and very different perspective and approach - Marty found out that George loved science fiction – it was his passion, so Marty used George’s passion and love for Sci-Fi as an attention grabber. I am of course referring to the memorable scene, whereby Marty during the night breaks into George’s bedroom, dressed in his radiation suit from 1985. In his spaceman character and voice he persuades George to ask Lorraine out to the Enchanted Dance Under The Sea.

This lesson can be applied to all areas of business, and specifically sales.  If you want your audience and prospects to pay attention and really listen to what you have to say, then you must frame it in a way and manner that matters to them. ‘Be interested to be interesting’, step into your customers shoes for a moment, and ask yourself how a subject would be best raised in the most engaging way based on that persons or businesses interest.



5.    Don’t let the fear of rejection stand in your way

When Marty went back to the future to 1955 he quickly learnt of (Georges) his father’s love for Sci-Fi and that he dreamt of becoming a Sci-Fi novelist. The young George explains to Marty that he is too afraid to pursue Sci-Fi writing for fear of rejection, a sentiment shared by George’s future son.  Over time George gradually stopped writing and ended his pursuit of becoming a writer, so much so, that when Marty was actually born George no longer wrote anything.

In the re-written future of 1985, George had since found his confidence, and became a published author, all thanks to his friendship with Marty in 1955. The novel ‘A Match Made in Space’ as we all know was based on encounter with an extra-terrestrial in his childhood – (Marty dressed in a radiation suit).


Fear of rejection is a very destructive mindset to hold in sales. It is a limiting belief that hinders progress and holds us back from taking and maximising sales opportunities. As Doc Brown said in the film “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.” Take this positive attitude into sales conversations. You may expect failure, you may fear rejection, but there is no pre-set or predetermined outcome for your conversation, so make each one count!


Unfortunately we don't have a Delorean, so we can't change your past, but for more information about how we can improve your business future, please visit our website or give our training and sales outsourcing team a call on 0191 481 3800.


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