Harrison Ford isn't Indiana Jones (or Hans Solo); To be successful you need to assume the role

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By Ted Ings, Executive Director

To become an excellent salesperson, you need to act like one.

When you kick back with a bucket of popcorn watching Indiana Jones, you become transfixed. Automatically, you believe Harrison Ford is a professor of archaeology. Or a Star Wars pilot from the planet Corellia. That’s because he plays his character well enough to convince you of it, at least for a couple of hours.

Just like Hollywood’s famous action hero, you need to assume your role – which is that of a salesperson – well enough to convince your audience.

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Sometimes it’s not easy, but if you practice enough, you’ll get good at your craft. Eventually, you may even become a superstar in your field, much like Harrison Ford.

Follow his lead and make sure your actions match your character

At CPI, we encourage the use of sales-oriented scripts and presentations during learning. Clients often fight the idea and give responses like, “It’s just not me” or “those aren’t my words, they’ll sound rehearsed”.

But what they need to remember is all positive behavior is learned. Like a good film star, once you’ve memorized your script, you won’t need to keep reading it directly. Instead, you can rely on what you’ve learned to improvise effectively.

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Acting like a professional salesperson is essential to your success. These are a few guidelines you can use to perfect your role, and become more convincing.

1. Prepare your mindset

Harrison Ford prepares himself mentally for each character he plays. He has to be in one mindset to play Indiana Jones and another to play Han Solo. Similarly, when you show up to work and assume your part as a salesperson, you need to be in a professional state of mind. Don’t forget that attitude is everything.

2. Start small

Actors don’t need to memorize an entire script in one sitting. And neither do salespeople. Start small by beginning with something simple like remembering a greeting. It will be easier to work your way up from there.

3. Repetition is a great way to remember things

When you say key phrases over and over, they eventually become a staple in your vocabulary. That’s helpful because, when you need to use them, they’re right on the tip of your tongue.

4. Roleplay, roleplay, roleplay

Movie stars don’t begin filming immediately after getting a script. Instead, they rehearse with their team members until they feel ready for the camera. Practicing with coworkers, you can gain experience before jumping in front of your target audience, the customer.

5. Video your presentation on your phone or device

Have you ever recorded yourself, either on audio or video, and found something you didn’t like? Perhaps your posture was unconfident or you hesitated a lot. Videotaping and recording yourself are both excellent ways to gauge your performance so you know where to make adjustments.

6. Practice your performance in front of a mirror

Another good way to monitor yourself is to practice in front of a mirror. This tactic allows you to see what your presentation looks like from your audience’s point of view. Although it’s impossible to know exactly how you look through other people’s eyes, this helps to give you some idea.

7. Pay attention to your tone of voice and body language

We don’t just speak with words, body language is also an essential part of communication. When Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones, he carries himself like a strong, bold action hero. Ensure your body language conveys confidence and professionalism, along with awareness of the customer.

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Continue to hone your craft

A good actor never stops working to perfect their craft. Likewise, you should continue to better your presentation, even when you think it’s at its best.

Harrison Ford isn’t Han Solo or Indiana Jones. But he is one of the biggest movie stars of all time, and people spend a great deal of money to see him play those characters.

The more you perfect and refine your presentation, the more people will pay to do business with you!

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