The Right-Brain 'Art' of Sales vs. the Left-Brain 'Analytic' – Musings on Media from the 'Sell' Side, with Occasional Forays into Music…and Wine
The Connecting of ‘Actors as Content Creators’ to the Sales Process
I’ve written previously about some of the ways that Sales people can benefit from understanding [& then employing] the basics of Acting technique. Done in a non-manipulative way, with a solid purpose, taking on such study will only result in your coming across as more professional, and thereby more successful.
In the new world of ‘Actors as Content Creators’ [wherein actors are more & more taking charge of elevating their careers every day by creating, developing & producing their own WebContent] it may be time for Actors to also at least pay attention to some of the skills utilized by Sales professionals in their world.
Brought about in large part thanks to the Web and the lessening costs of available Digital tools to get your work produced, it is clear to me the very real similarities of the Acting pursuit and the Sales profession, in certain, specific areas.
Are all actors going to go it on their own out there, not using a Sales agent, Showrunner or Manager, to now “sell” their shows? No. But for those smaller-level, smaller-budget programs that they themselves create/direct/produce/act in, maybe they will. Some as we’ve seen, already have.
What I am talking about can be anything from maybe trying to sell a few ads onto your site [where your project lives], all the way to shopping your project to a major producer or even a studio.
So let’s look at the areas where both might converge, and where they will always be far apart. From there, it’s up to you as to what works in your career. Here we go:
Book the Audition
Book the Meeting/Appointment
Sell Yourself…inside that Script or Character
Sell Yourself…into that Role!
Sell Yourself…to that Client or Buyer
Sell Yourself…into then talking about your Product/Service, NOT Yourself any Longer
…and what your Product/Service means to them, and what it will do for them.
Or on this last one, in the case of the Actor, it would be ‘Sell Yourself…into then talking about your WebSeries/WebContent project’…and what it means to them, and what it will do for them…
Wait – what was that last part again? This is where the key difference comes in, as to how Actors vs. Sales Pros “sell” themselves, and what they do.
With actors, the focus is on, and supposed to always be on, THEM. [No neurosis jokes here, please.] With sales pros, the focus should really be on them ONLY long enough to build a measure of rapport, develop some credibility and interest with whom they are talking with, and THAT’S IT. A sales pro wants the focus off of “them” as quickly as possible. Not so with the actor. And that then is really the actor’s main challenge, if he wants to ‘sell.’
So for those actors who might be wanting to develop their own sponsors, maybe sell some partnerships or advertising to support their project, the issue is pretty clear. Can they be “big” enough in themselves, to allow the focus of their effort to shift onto something they are in, and not remain solely them?
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Naturally, there are also very real & totally complete differences between Sales & Acting, and the two will never fully converge. And that’s OK, too.
NOTE: This piece is dedicated to Fawnda McMahan, a friend & leading Commercial Actor…and to the students at SAG Conservatory in Hollywood, whom I have the privilege of teaching for the first time in sessions on 7/31/11.