Categorized | Business Authors

Act your way into greater sales!

Act your way into greater sales!

Julie Hansen

Julie Hansen is an author, consultant, and professional actor whose book ACT Like a Sales Pro was published in August 2011 and quickly became the #1 “Hot New Release in Sales and Selling “on Amazon and a Top 60 New Business Book. Combining her passion for acting with an award-winning sales career, Julie helps sales and business professionals learn to engage customers in new and compelling ways, communicate with greater confidence and gain a competitive edge using the secrets of the performer.

Her innovative techniques have been featured in many publications, including ColoradoBiz Magazine, Entrepreneur’s ThinkSales Magazine and Ken Blanchard’s Sales and Service Excellence. Leading edge companies like National Public Radio, Coldwell Banker, Fox Television and others have found Julie’s training program highly effective for generating new revenue in a competitive sales economy.

Julie was a top sales producer in several industries, a former Director of Sales for The National Enquirer and STAR Magazine and she has appeared in numerous national commercials, television (including HBO’s Sex & The City) and New York stage productions. Julie resides in Denver, Colorado.

Book Synopsis:

Great actors can engage, persuade and inspire audiences—essential qualities for sellers in today’s competitive economy. This book reveals the performer’s secrets for communicating with greater confidence, delivering memorable and persuasive presentations and winning more business. Fresh, unique techniques adapted from famous acting classes to fit every step of the sales process, from getting the appointment to closing the sale, provide readers with a new set of tools to help them discover their “inner performer,” flex new selling muscles and outsell the competition.

Why did you write this book?

As a rookie salesperson my reserved nature seemed to be a real barrier to success. I would spend hours psyching myself up to make cold calls, then quickly hang up as soon as someone answered the phone. Thankfully this was before Caller I.D.! My presentations were hit or miss. Sometimes I would feel confident, other times awkward and phony. I tried to copy the style of those so-called “natural” salespeople around me, but I could never seem to find a role that I was comfortable in.

I took my first acting class on a dare. I loved it and much to my surprise, the exercises and techniques I was learning had the added benefit of improving my confidence and my ability to communicate more effectively with clients. By exploring other roles I was able to find my own inner sales performer and apply the same skills I used to win parts to winning business. Soon I was breaking sales records, selling to Fortune 500 companies and eventually leading a national sales team. And for the first time I felt a welcome comfort in my own skin.

Over the years I have met hundreds of salespeople who have confided in me that they struggle with a lack of confidence or feel like they aren’t “natural” salespeople either. Many of them are business owners thrust into sales out of necessity to promote their business or secure financial backing. Because these acting skills I’ve adapted to sales have been so valuable to me in my career, I am passionate about sharing them with others and seeing them grow in confidence and achieve greater success than they ever imagined.

Why readers should buy this book and what they will get out of it:

Standing out in a crowded marketplace is essential to survival and growth as a salesperson and this book provides readers with the tools to do that. Unlike most sales books, it also addresses the inner obstacles that keep many sellers from achieving their true potential and offers unique acting-based solutions.

Do you have a blog/what do you talk about?

My website www.actingforsales.com offers many free resources, articles and videos on a variety of sales topics, such as getting the appointment using audition techniques, performer’s secrets for memorable presentations and improv skills for establishing rapport and handling objections.

Do you do your own marketing/pr?

I do most of my own. I’d heard that publishers typically do very little to promote a book these days, especially if you are a first time author, so my expectations were purposely low. I was assigned a PR person through my publisher and while she blanketed the media with a release or two upon publication and lined up a few interviews and articles, it’s basically up to me to pursue additional exposure for the book. A successful business author I spoke with said that publishers are interested in selling books today, however I need to stay focused on steadily growing my business over the long haul.

Do you tweet, facebook, etc.

My twitter handle is @acting4sales. I tweet about 3-5 times per day—which is the recommended minimum dosage. It’s much easier now that there a variety of free programs available that allow you to schedule your tweets ahead of time. I take an hour or so and schedule my tweets for the coming week, adding new information as it comes up and retweeting posts that I think would be of interest to my followers.
I have an author fan page on Facebook: (http://www.facebook.com/juliehansen.author)

It’s a good way to keep fans and friends updated on my appearances, book signings, interviews and articles.

Because the acting and performance aspect of my book is so visual, I try to do a lot of videos and am in the process of putting together a video series based on the book. It’s important to keep them fresh. I learned that the average half-life of a YouTube video is six days. This means that your video gets 50% of its views in the first six days it is on the site. After twenty days, your video has had 75% of its total views. In other words, you can’t rely on a single video to carry your message indefinitely and it’s important to keep the pipeline full.

What is the one thing you did right?

I had a unique concept and I wrote a very detailed and thorough outline. In fact, I spent about eight months working on the proposal with an agent before she would submit it to a publisher. It was frustrating, but worth it. In the end I had two offers right away and the proposal gave me a great blueprint for writing the actual book.

YouTube URL:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jsuuSofntE&feature=youtu.be

What books would you recommend to others:

The Experience Economy: Work is Theater and Every Business a Stage, by B. Joseph Pine, James H. Gilmore

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, by Carmine Gallo

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