February 18

What Virtual Sellers Can Learn from Actors

Like an actor auditioning to win a role in a show, sellers also must audition to win a role in their prospect’s organization.

Many of the techniques actors use to win auditions can easily be translated to sales. Virtual sellers, especially, have much to learn from actors who audition for the big or small screen. 

Like many salespeople, actors often start out performing for a live audience.

When performing on stage, actors can see the audience’s reactions, know when things land, and feed off the energy of that live audience. This is much like selling face-to-face. Actors and sellers have honed these in-person skills over their careers, and it has served many of them well. In a face-to-face medium.

Enter, the camera…

The camera puts us squarely in a new medium. And not adapting to the demands of a new medium can lead to great disappointments and failures. For example:

My first on-camera audition was for one of the most popular series of all time, Law and Order. Boy was I excited! After all, I lived in New York and every working actor I knew had been in the show. Surely it was my turn!  

I threw myself into preparing for my audition the only way I knew how – just like I did for the stage. Too late, I realized my mistake as I stood in front of the camera heard the casting director bellow “action.”  I suddenly realized that I didn’t know where to direct my gaze. Should I stare at the camera? Should I make eye contact with the other actor? I had trouble remembering my lines. My hands hung at my sides like dead weight. Did I normally use them when I spoke? If so, I certainly couldn’t remember how. After what felt like forever (but was likely less than thirty seconds) the director yelled, “Cut.”

It probably won’t surprise you to hear I lost that part.

Shook and heartbroken, I shared the experience with an acting friend who promptly gave me the number of her on-camera coach. I launched into a plan of action to learn the skills and techniques I needed to communicate and connect with others in this new medium. Almost immediately I began booking roles in television shows, national commercials, and films, including a spot on an episode of HBO’s, Sex and the City.

Like my Law and Order audition, virtual sellers have also been “thrust in front of the camera” without being armed with the necessary skill set for the medium. Unable to see customers’ faces, sellers feel disadvantaged and disconnected. Unaware of how the camera magnifies or distorts certain behaviors, they unknowingly sabotage their efforts to build trust and rapport with customers. In short, sellers are losing “auditions” with customers because they are relying on face-to-face skills to work on their virtual customers the same way they do with their in-person customers. This magical thinking cost me a coveted role. Don’t let it cost you a coveted customer. 

To be a successful virtual seller you need the unique skills required to communicate in this new medium.

Sellers and actors must adapt to the demands of the medium and stop waiting for the medium to adapt to them.

In Look Me In the Eye, you’ll discover how actors, reporters, and other on-screen pros form personal connections with people through the screen – and how you can apply their secrets to build stronger relationships in business that drive sales!

Get your copy of my new book that won the Gold Medal Top Sales book of 2021 on Amazon today! 





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