5 Sales Lessons from the Death Crawl scene in “Facing the Giants”

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One of the more underrated and sometimes forgotten about inspirational scenes, the death crawl scene from Facing the Giants can teach us a lot about how to keep on pushing for success and how to inspire others to succeed.

A little background about the movie – Grant Taylor is the head coach for the Shiloh Eagles high school football team. He has been the head coach for six years. Out of all six of those years, they have not had a single winning season. Prior to this season, their only star player transferred to a rival school, so they are understandably frustrated and discouraged about winning their games.

During practice, Brock is one of those discouraged players and has basically already accepted the fact that they will lose the next game. Here is the coaches’ response –

It’s definitely inspirational, but how can we apply this to sales and sales leadership? Here area few lessons from the video that we can all apply to our jobs to have the best impact on our sales numbers.

Don’t Write a Bad Month off as a Loss Before it’s Over

It is incredibly easy to get discouraged when you are having a really bad month. Sales are down, morale is down, and you feel like this whole month has been a disaster. It’s really easy to go on “cruise control” for the remainder of the month and just focus on next month. While this can be a good thing to improve your performance for next month, writing off this month as a loss before it’s even over is the worst thing you can do.

I won’t spoil the whole movie, but they end up having a pretty successful season. Not astounding by any means, but if they had just given up halfway through, they would not have seen the level of success that they had achieved. The same can be said about your sales performance too. It’s not over until it’s over. You never know how that last sales call or last phone conversation will turn out until it’s over.

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Don’t Give up Once you Hit a Goal

In the scene, the coach blindfolded Brock because he didn’t want him to give up once he hit the 50 yard line because he knew that he could exceed that goal. Brock, on the other hand, didn’t even believe that he could get to the 50 yard line in the first place.

Often times, we see a sales quota or a bonus level and decide that it’s our goal and once we hit that goal, we can just give up and focus on the next month. This scene shatters that belief. If Brock would have just gave up at the 50, he never would have believed that he could make it the entire field. Much like in sales, if you stop at $100k in sales because that’s the goal in your head, you could be missing out on a $200k month.

Give it Your Very Best

There’s a difference between giving something your best and giving something your very best. If Brock just gave it his best, he might have made it to the 75 yard line. Towards the end, when he was in extreme pain and was hurting, the coach was literally screaming in his face for him to fight on and keep going. It didn’t matter how much Brock was hurting or how tired he was. Much to Brock’s amazement (and his teammates) he was able to do the entire field, but only by giving it his absolute very best.




In our jobs, we go on a sales calls or call people on the phone and go through our script. We handle the objections and do everything like we were taught. If you just do that, you might be a successful salesperson and might have a good month. What separates the good from the great are the salespeople who look at themselves after a call (sale made or not) and can say “that was not my absolute very best, I can do better.” Those who learn how to give their absolute very best are the ones who are always on the top of the performance charts.

A Top Performer will Inspire Others

At the beginning, his teammates were basically laughing at him and his attempt to make it to the 50 yard line with Jeremy on his back. At the end, they were speechless and were all standing in respect. If, as the top performer, you are exceeding your goals and are showing others that it can be done, people will follow suit and will start to believe that they can do it too. It will garner respect and will turn a joke and defeated environment to a serious and inspired one.

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No Matter What, They Refuse to Walk Around Defeated

When top performers walk around with grim faces and an obvious feeling of defeat, it will permeate throughout the office and everyone will start to believe that they are losers who can’t win. At the beginning of the clip, Brock openly said that he didn’t believe that they could win. You can see that his teammates were actually believing it. After the death crawl, it was an entirely different environment.

As a top performer, you should be rallying the troops and should be encouraging others. not spreading a message of “well, we will lose anyway, so what’s the point?” Even if your office is incredibly far behind, walking around defeated before it’s even over only guarantees that you will lose. Like noted above, I won’t spoil the move, but even though they lost their best performer and has 6 straight years of losing, they were able to have a successful season.

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Author: Jason Karaman

3 Comments on “5 Sales Lessons from the Death Crawl scene in “Facing the Giants””

  1. Amazingly inspirational video. Awesome post. It’s worth noting that it’s important to set and measure goals though too. You really can’t just go through your month “blindfolded” and expect to double your performance without knowing where you are at. I do agree 100% that you should not stop at your goal though. Great post!

    1. Too true. Great point. That which gets measured gets accomplished. He was looking to do more than accomplish – he was looking to completely exceed.

  2. Great post . It is so easy to give up and start looking to the next month ahead when you are having a bad month, or even a slow start. You have to keep pushing ahead and put out the same effort on every phone call, even when you keep hearing no. In this type of sales, the biggest sale of your career could come from the last phone call you make, regardless of how discouraging the rest of the month may have seemed. Excellent work!

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