Business World Lessons from the Silicon Valley International Film Festival

Last week I was in California for the Silicon Valley International Film Festival, which brought filmmakers together with people in the technology and investing communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. CEI’s short film I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit screened at the Google campus in Mountain View and at Salesforce HQ in downtown San Francisco, along with a diverse list of other narrative and documentary films, some short and some feature-length.

I, Whiskey’s optimistic message about how the business world helps build social bonds was especially echoed by another festival selection, The Story of Sales.

Description from the producers:

Sales is a profession with dignity and significance, but it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. The Story of Sales explores the history, evolution, complexity, contribution, and future of sales. Experts, authors, and real life salespeople share how sales has impacted humanity, and how the profession has impacted them.

The experts and salespeople in the film reinforced what many of us already know: business relationships are about serving the customer and creating win-win transactions. And the focus on the customer and her experience is always primary. As one of the interviewees says, “The most important thing to understand about sales is that sales is primarily about the buyer, not the seller.”

The Story of Sales has not yet been released nationwide (watch the trailer here), but one of the stars, Shari Levitin—author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know—was recently interviewed about her contributions to the final product. You can watch that video below.