10 Lessons from Coach Eric Taylor to Inspire Your Sales Team

10 Inspirational Friday Night Lights Quotes That Translate to Selling

June 27, 2017

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Six years have passed since NBC’s Friday Night Lights ended its five-season run, but the words “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose” still echo through American pop culture.

For whatever reason, the series resonated in a way that few network dramas can match. Perhaps it was the infusion of intense sports scenes, or the quality acting, or the convincing portrayal of high school football obsession in a rural Texas town. But I would suggest that, more than anything, the show’s ability to tackle complex real-life issues in sensible and often inspiring ways helped it connect with everyday viewers from all walks of life.

At the center of it all was Coach Eric Taylor, played by Emmy-winning actor Kyle Chandler. In seemingly every episode, the firm-yet-fair leader of young men delivered a life lesson that hit home.

On the screen, his teachings galvanized a group of troubled adolescents, enabling them to reach new heights on the field. The 10 lessons below might just do the same to inspire success among your sales team.

10 Sales Lessons from Coach Taylor of Friday Night Lights

1. “Success is not a goal, it's a by product.”

Of course, closing the deal is your ultimate objective. But focus on the process rather than the results. If you consistently take the right steps and follow a plan you trust, the results will come.

2. “Opportunity does not knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.”

Prospects and leads won’t materialize out of nowhere. We must constantly seek out new opportunities, wherever they might lie. Your success will reflect your proactive efforts.

3. “You listen to people that love you and you listen to people that you trust. Most of all, you listen to yourself.”

There are many people in your life who can provide useful advice: your family, friends, colleagues… even good old Coach Taylor. But ultimately, you must always trust your own instincts in the field.

4. “6 AM sharp means quarter to 6.”

The early bird gets the worm. If you get to work before your competition, you’ll have at least one advantage.

5. “I said you need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn't say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That's what character is: It's in the try.”

You probably will not end up being the best salesperson in the world. Maybe you won’t even be the best on your team. But if you are giving it your all, every day, then you will never have anything to regret.

6. “I can’t give you any answers. You gotta make the answers.”

When your coworkers or managers don’t have a solution to the problem at hand, or aren’t available, you will have to dig up your own. With the World Wide Web at your disposal, there is almost always a relevant resource that can help.

7. “We will all be tested. It is these times, this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”

Losing a sale is frustrating, especially if it is one you felt was in the bag. But within that frustration we can find enlightenment. Reflect (without dwelling) on any missteps and take the lesson forward with you.

8. “You can't beat yourself up because you're taking chances on things. Don’t start giving up on what you set forth to do in the beginning.”

A great salesperson is one who experiments and continually broadens his or her horizons. Not everything will work; some ideas might fail spectacularly. But don’t let that hinder your resolve.

9. “Right here, right now, God has placed you to do what you do best. Go all the way.”

You are in sales for a reason. You have skills that lend themselves to the job, and within you lies the ability to excel. Push yourself to the max and don’t quit on a deal until it’s closed or gone.

10. “If you give a hundred percent of yourself tonight, people are gonna look at you differently.”

Give everything you’ve got, each day. Your colleagues and higher-ups will notice. So will your clients.

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