Sunday, August 28, 2005

Selling Yourself- Acting in a movie

I had an amazing, wonderful opportunity this weekend to be a small (very small) (Ok, miniscule)part of a movie. Those of you who have been to my website Fear Free Selling may know that I fly a motor glider called a trike. The movie script called for trike flying as part of a couple of scenes, and all I had to do was get a couple of fellow trike pilots to come down to a remote dirt airstrip and fly around and do what the director told us to do.

I'll fly my trike at any opportunity and was happy to accomodate. I later learned that the screenwriter wrote in a small, er miniscule, scene or two where I was to say a few lines with my back to the camera.

Now my wife, who is an actor by profession, does this all the time. I had never really been on a movie set except for a few moments to pick her up or drop her off. I had no idea what went on behind the scenes of making a movie. I had some idea of how hard the crews work, but to see it happening made me appreciate good movies even more.

When we see a movie scene with two actors engaged in a conversation, it is hard to image that there are dozens of people doing jobs behind the scenes, literally. I was surrounded by people holding boom mics, people running sound equipment and computers, lighting people, makeup artists, the director, assistant directors, continuity directors, script monitors, and a swarm of people around the cameraman doing all kinds of mysterious things.

Amidst all this activity, when the director says "Action" the actors have to create believeability and somehow pretend that none of these crew members are all looking at them and waiting for the magic to happen.

Like any good performance, whether in sports, teaching, sales, or acting, the professionals make it look easy. They make it seem effortless. They often do this so well that it is easy to believe that it it so easy that anyone could do it, even ourselves.

Actors are the consummate sales professionals. They have to sell themselves as believeable or it doesn't work. As my wife, the actor, points out, bad acting is when the actor is acting instead of being.

When it came my turn to say my lines, I fumbled and bumbled, and blanked out the few sentences I was supposed to say. The real actors, bless their hearts, helped me out, fed me my lines and tried to give me a crash course in acting.

After many many "takes" we got through the scenes. It seemed to take over an hour to get 1 minute of useable film. I watched other scenes all day long. These folks started at 4:00AM after driving several hours to get to the set. They didn't finish shooting until nearly 5:00PM. It was 117 degrees that day.

I suspect they will have to use a real actor to loop in my lines. Fortunately for them, my back was to the camera the whole time I spoke my lines (I was acting, not being).

Some top sales professionals I know have taken acting classes. I believe the good ones learn not how to act, but how to just be. They learn how to tap into their inner resources and make it look easy. We don't often see all the hard work that goes into their performances. Maybe that is the point. They practice and rehearse and eventually they become the part they have chosen to play.

When my wife and I go the the movies, we always stay in our seats and watch all of the credits roll by. We find it annoying when people jump up and almost run out the exits as soon as the credits roll. Where are they going in such a rush? Often there is great music to listen to, and many times there are additional scenes. We have been richly rewarded by staying until the screen goes blank.

I have a new found respect for those good actors who make us believe. I also have a new found respect for all those people who are behind the scenes. I urge you to start staying through the credits and giving the crew the respect they deserve.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A New Fear

Here is one fear I never heard of. Anybody out there have this one or know of someone who suffers from it...? Don't show them this word:


From Shelley Wu, Ph.D.,

Definition: Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia refers to an abnormal and persistent fear of long words.

Dr. Wu writes for

If you were a salesperson selling products with long names, this could be a serious problem.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cold Call Fear

I read a recent article in that had a good tip for overcoming cold call fear. Here is the section: How to make a cold call
A cold call is not a time to make a sale. It's [a time] to give something. The first question is, "Is it OK if I share with you what we do and why people use us? Then, we can decide whether it makes sense to go further." Be as discerning of the prospect as they are of you. No one's going to do business with a beggar.--Bill Caskey, author of Same Game, New Rules: 23 Timeless Principles for Selling and Negotiating"
This is another variation of my "Shift the Spotlight" tool. Focus on something you are giving your customer. Put the spotlight on them rather than worry about what they think of you or your product. The same applies when giving a speech. Identify and remember one or more "gifts" that you are giving your audience. When we are focused on giving, we are less likely to be fearful of their judgments of us.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Fear of Flying

After the second and final day of the outstanding Internet Marketing Center seminar, I climbed aboard a Supershuttle for the trip to the airport. The news was on and 9 of us were listening to it while waiting for the driver. News of an airplane tragedy was detailed. Somewhere in Europe, I believe, a commercial airliner lost the oxygen and the pilot apparently fell unconscious or died. A couple of jet fighters were scrambled as there was no communication. One of the fighter pilots saw the airline pilot slumped over. There was nothing anyone could do and the airline crashed killing all onboard.
On our Supershuttle, the passengers were mostly quiet but we all must have been thinking about it as we were headed to our own flights. Finally, one woman spoke up, stating that since one plane crashed today, we were probably going to be safe.
No one seemed to react with much fear, and we all carried on as if everthing was fine. Isn't that the point? Everything was fine with us in the here and now. We arrived at the airport safely. We boarded our planes. I assume we all arrived at our destinations. As far as I could tell, no one let their fear take over. We chose to focus on what was, not on what trauma could befall us. We avoided the curse of the "What ifs".

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Fear-Free Internet Marketing

I just finished up day one of the new Internet Marketing Seminar with the new CEO Derek Gehl. Although I only had 4 hours sleep last night, and the seminar went from 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM, I was infused with energy and overloaded with crucial information.
The final speaker was Scott Paton who did a marvelous job explaining blogs and podcasting. Using my own fear-free selling tools, I ran back to my room and implemented some of the ideas they shared.
You are looking at my first blog. I applied the principles of "Do the thing you are afraid to do", "Act against your fear feelings," and "Get into Motion so the Emotion doesn't stop you." Procrastination, often a type of fear, didn't stand a chance. I wouldn't be much of a psychologist if I didn't practice what I preach in my Ebook Fear-Free Selling - How To become Absolutely Fearless Selling Anything: Products, Services, Even Yourself!
I am working on my second Ebook, with the working title: Fear-Free Living - How to become absolutely fearless living and loving and working at anything.
Here is your chance to let me know the kinds of things you would like to see in such a book. How does fear get in your way? What tools have worked for you? Make a comment to this blog so I can make a book that is useful for you.