While stories of famous celebrity parents who outshine the careers of their tortured, struggling children exist in Hollywood, this is not one of those tales.
Liza Minnelli- Hollywood Royalty
Daughter of legend Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli became herself one of the greatest stars and talents of our time. With a magnificent voice, the skilled dancer, actress and singer is, like her timeless mother, an icon for the ages. She, like her mother before her, did, again and again, close the deal in Hollywood over and over, due to her talent, greatness, and charm. Pictured here, Liza Minnelli arrives for the live ABC Telecast of The 86th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo credit: Bryan Crowe. (c) 2014, A.M.P.A.S.
Closing the Deal in Hollywood
In Hollywood, it is all about the deal. Whether you are an actor, model, singer, band, producer, agent, manager, casting director, booker, publicist, marketing executive, or other, it is all about the deal and how to close it. If you don’t know how to close, then you will lose. You must be prepared to pitch to your client or potential client at any and all times, be at the top of your game, and be ready to pitch and close. The following 15 pieces of advice will help you learn how to close the deal.
How to Close the Deal
1. Never pitch to a person who is not the final decision maker. Always make sure that you are talking with the top person, who is the person who makes the final decision that has the power to write the check or give you what you want. To do otherwise, will waste your time. Even if someone tells you to talk to them, that it has to go through them first, do not do it if possible. Go to the top. Many gatekeepers will actually get pleasure out of hearing you work hard and pitch to them, and then slamming the door or phone in your face and telling you never to call again. Go over their head.
Don’t assume that someone owns the company or is charge just because you think they are. Many people like to pretend that they have what they don’t have, or that they have power they are not really entitled to. Think of the nervous security guard at the nightclub whose eyes are bugging out, hyper vigilant for trouble, when really there is none, who is just a big bully. Compare them to the big city cop who is calm, cool, and collected, and a quite polite fellow, confident in his own skin and comfortable having what he feels is enough authority.
Often, those who feel they do not have enough, will pretend they have what they have not got, and try to overcompensate, often hurting themselves or others in the process. Verify the power of the person you are talking with. Make sure they are the real deal.
2. Don’t ever tell anyone that you are going over their head. When you do have to bypass someone, don’t tell them you are doing so, it will only make them angry, and could blow back on you if they try to sabotage your communication with their boss or associate.
If you can choose between conflict, and peace, always choose peace. You can always have a good starting ground from a peaceful working relationship, but you will have the odds stacked against you if you create conflict and trouble, where there does not need to be any. Be agreeable, and polite.
3. Never get mad if someone says no. Just agree with their right to have that opinion, and tell them how you understand what they are saying. Then, keep selling and close the deal. Most people will get mad if you disagree with them, and will be on the defensive. The best way to stop a person from being defensive, is to not give them anything to be defensive about. When you agree with everything they say, then they have nothing to defend. Then, you can make your point.
4. Persist always. Consider the word ‘no’ to simply mean, “I’m listening, tell me more and tell me other reasons why I should do this.” Every ‘no’ is simply a stepping stone to the ‘yes’ which is the final point on the path. If you quit after any no, you will never get the yes. But if you keep persisting after each and every no, regardless of how many no’s there are, you will eventually and finally get a yes. I have had some clients actually tell me that they wanted to see how persistent I was before they said yes.
One time when I used to work for other people before I was self employed, I called a business owner around 50 times over the course of a month. He said that one day I didn’t call him and leave him a message, and it actually bothered him! He said he was relieved when I called the next day, because he was used to me calling. He finally hired me, and told me, “You are the most persistent person I have ever met in my life, and you are great on the phone. That is why you are hired.” Persist!
5. Never try to explain your product or service only verbally. Always have a written display or physical model of what they will be getting, and make sure that they have seen it or read it. They will then have in their mind either the idea they want to do what you are offering, and your job is to close the deal, or they will have in their mind specific reasons why they don’t want to do it, and your job is to then overcome those problems and address each one head on, and then close the deal. Having things in writing for the potential client gives them more clarity, and also gives them more confidence in knowing that they have in black and white exactly what you are offering them. Conversely, never only rely on written information and expect a piece of paper to close a deal for you. The written data is merely a selling tool to point to the product or service. YOU need to make the sale, and that means talking live on the phone or web, or even better, in person.
6. Be sure to survey what the client needs or wants. Many people will tell you they are too busy to do a survey, and will be turned off of the idea, especially a new prospect, so the solution here to is to simply talk with them by phone or in person in a casual way, finding out what they want or need help with, and make it sound like a casual conversation. During this process, you are actually conducting the survey, and gathering information about what you are going to produce and present to them.
Many people make the mistake of trying to sell a product or service to a potential client first, before actually finding out what they want or need. Find this out first, and then create or modify a program or product to fit their specific needs based on the surveyed results.
7. Close the deal. It would take an entire book to explain to you even a portion of all processes in closing a deal. But this list is a start of some of the information you will need to know. There are great books, books on tape, and videos already out there on how to close a sales deal. Zig Zigler and Grant Cardone are just two examples of names you can google to find valuable books, videos, and information to purchase on how to close the deal. I highly recommend both of them. Read and study books, videos and CD’s on sales.
8. Deliver any work, product or service quickly and efficiently. Send a report of all work promised, and a statement of work completed. These are some of the new policies this company has implemented, and one of the reasons why we are successful.
Don’t Be Ashamed of What you Do
I called a business the other day, and the guy said, “Are you trying to sell me something?” I quickly replied, “Absolutely! And you will be glad that I am!” Don’t be ashamed of selling. Anything of value requires someone to sell it, including yourself.
To read the rest of the 7 valuable pieces of advice on this list, visit The Hollywood Sentinel (free) at the link here below.
I hope this advice helps many of you. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me through the contact box on the bottom of the front page of The Hollywood Sentinel.