Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Actor: Do You Belive in Your Product? Then Sell You!

The 5 Basics to Selling Aren’t Hard.  Caring About the Customer is Hard

Who is your customer?  Depending on the situation, it may be the casting director, director, a team, or a decision maker at an agency.  What is the product.  You.  Everything about you, from your looks to your skills, to your personality and your resume'.  And please hear this.  It really doesn't make a bit of difference how much talent or ability or skill you have, if you aren't able to sell you.

There are only 5 basic elements to selling anything from Amway to iPhones, or from insurance to yourself.  Doesn’t matter.  Same 5 things.

1.  Enthusiasm.  Passion.  Engagement.  Positive attitude.  Call it what you will, but if you are not enthusiastic, passionate, engaged, and positive about the package that you can bring to the cast, why would you expect the casting director to feel passionate about hiring you.  Either get enthusiastic or get another career.

2.  Find the Need and Fill It.  Listen.  Care.  You’ve heard this adage before:  No one will care how much you know until the know how much you care.  Anyone can find their mark and give a decent reading.  It might be enough if your lucky.  But selling yourself and getting the plum jobs takes more.

Before you can truly sell any product, you need to know what the buyer wants.  No assuming allowed.  Check out anything you can in advance about the role.  Be fully prepared and know the lines.  Before you perform ask pertinent questions with follow ups.  Don't wast the director's time.  Care enough to only ask what is important. Now use the answers to help you perform in a way that will show that you, more than anyone, can solve this person’s needs, wants, or desires. 

3.  Learn to Love Objections.
  Don’t be dismissive, argumentative, defensive, or disingenuous.  A customer who nods along with your presentation is likely about to nod off.  The interested customer will almost always have questions and objections to everything from color to price.  Be clear about their question by asking questions about their questions or objections.  Now that you are clear, explain the benefits that will meet the objection. 

4.  Supporting Materials Carefully Prepared. 
You hope that you have left an impression, but be real.  Once you are gone, the "buyer's" attention is being pulled dozens of ways, not the least of which is other pretty faces and impassioned performances.  Your head shot and resume' are now center stage.  If you did what you needed to do and more in the live effort, now your 2D materials have to keep you alive in the mind of the decision maker.  Don't scrimp on this part.  And make sure you sell the sizzle even more than the steak.

5.  Embrace the Close.  Help the shy sheep to move.  A close should never be seen as aggressive.  A close is a polite thing to do.  It is no different than asking for someone to pass the salt and then thanking them for doing so.  When it is pretty obvious that everyone agrees on moving forward, the polite thing to do is for the seller to ask the buyer if they would like to make the purchase. 

This is true when you are on the callback or trying to get an agent to pick you up.  Don't hesitate to be the one who closes the deal.  My new close is:  “So, should we do this?”  stated cheerfully. It has been very successful. 

So, there you have it.  A nutshell of how to sell.  These are easy to remember and easy to do.  The hard part is the discipline to CARE ENOUGH about the other person and their needs.  That’s right.  Most salespeople care more about the process, their own ability, their paycheck if hired, or their ego.  Your concern needs to be about the casting director or agent being impressed by how much you care. 

We are now offering a Business of Acting Class where you will learn how to market your talents.  Please call for more information or check out the details here.

The New York Acting School for Film and Television
classes at 131 West 72nd
Office: 2440 Broadway Suite 275, NYC 10024
(212) 877-2219 or (917) 797-2577
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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