It’s what another friend refers to as “the Mary Kay” effect (as in Mary Kay cosmetics). Features and benefits are replaced by feelings and anecdotes. Merrie Spaeth, founder of Spaeth Communications, Inc. and former member of the White House Press Office, gives us another look, saying, “We don’t live in an age of facts. We have to turn it into pictures.” Continuing, she added, “News isn’t news anymore. We live in an age of entertainment.”
So, sales as entertainment? That would mean that you’re a performer. Using the principle that “good teaching is one quarter preparation and three quarters theater,” perhaps good selling is or will be the same. And, if that’s true in your business, you have to ask yourself, “How good a performer, how good an entertainer am I?” Not entertainer, as in “take clients out to dinner and a ball game,” not that. Entertainer as in “competitor to VH1,” entertainer as in user of images, raconteur of anecdotes, evoker of feelings. The Oxford Concise Dictionary says: “That which entertains usually does so because of a plan or program that engages the attention by being pleasing and sometimes instructive.”
A plan or a program that is pleasing and SOMETIMES instructive. And to think we spend all those hours working on the instructive part. How many hours do you spend working on the “pleasing” part of your sales calls or sales presentations? [Or are you, like most of us, slapping a series of densely-texted Powerpoint slides together so you can ‘walk people through’ your ideas?] And, how have you invested in your stage presence? Can you pull people to the very BRINK of their seats with your voice…. with your facial expressions?
If all the world’s a stage, then every sales call is a performance. Curtain call, ladies and gentlemen. To be, or not to be…a performer, that is the question.