Sales is something relatively new to me. In order to find success in it I have been unknowingly comparing it to something that has played a huge part in my life since I was five years old, Theater! There are so many parallels between the two but in the interest of space and your precious time, I have narrowed it down to my top three tips that can be related to both theater and sales.
Get your audience to believe you: If you aren’t fully committed to your character, then your audience isn’t going to be captivated by your performance. If you sound or look bored on stage, chances are your audience is going to be bored as well. (Unless, of course, it’s your grandma in the audience who thinks you’re flawless no matter what!) Similarly, in the world of sales, if you don’t invest yourself in the product, your prospects are not going to be captivated and thus won’t have the desire to continue the conversation. Convincing your prospects can be achieved with a true understanding of the products capabilities and being excited about it! I try my hardest to always sound enthused regardless if it’s the 93rd time I’ve left the same voicemail that morning. Which leads me to my next point…..
Keep it fresh: Theater is all about repetition. We have countless rehearsals and say the same lines over and over again until the production is where it needs to be. One of the biggest challenges in theater is keeping your performance fresh and concealing the fact that you have said these lines countless times before. You want to make every performance seem like the first. This concept is just as important in sales. When someone picks up the phone no matter how many people you have spoken with that day or given the same spiel to, you want to make each of them feel like they are the first. Even the slightest change in wording or tone of voice can make all the difference in keeping it fresh.
Don’t let your audience get you down: Sometimes in theater you might decide to spice things up and try out a new bit in hopes of getting a laugh, then much to your dismay, you hear crickets. Instead of going back stage and sobbing tears of embarrassment (like you may want to) it’s important to keep your head held high, grab hold of your pride and say to yourself, “tough crowd.” You can’t let this little mishap keep you from taking risks on stage or being adventurous in the future. In sales, you may throw something out in conversation that didn’t go over how you hoped it would. I try to not let these situations stop me from trying new things in conversations or damper my mood. Every conversation you have is a learning experience in which you can take away what you did right and what you might do differently next time.
So those are my words of wisdom – no autographs please. But in all seriousness, when you get out there, make sure you are giving it your all. Sell it! (You see what I did there?) And good luck. Or as we say in the business, break a leg!