I have been doing streets shows for over 12 years. It has taught me a lot about people, sales, and negotiation.
Gathering a crowd. It is not easy. Stopping people who do not necessarily want to be stopped is tough. It requires the ability to make people wonder and trust immediately. This has thoroughly helped me open doors to huge clients. I know how to get attention and make it count.
Rejection. Oh man. When I first started, I was awful. There were 1000 reasons to stop going. I actually did for 2 years. I found the rejection so hard. The streets can be raw. But then I got tough. Really tough. It is essential to have a “walk” attitude. It is counter intuitive, but when I don’t care if people stop to watch, I get more people. It has totally helped me as I now negotiate large deals. I go in there with, “I can walk on this deal attitude” (I only want it, don’t need it).
Body language speaks volumes. Half of how we communicate to our fellow human beings is non-verbal. In the martial art, Aikido, there is an opening stance where you are totally physically open, yet firmly rooted into the ground. When I get to the performing spot, I just do this right in the middle of the pitch and people cannot ignore it. I have tested this countless times. This has massively helped me in my business presentations.
Remain calm when it is all going wrong. I have had big failures on stage with hundreds of people watching. I just could not get my nerves in line. It is critical to do everything relaxed. Do everything relaxed – no matter what.
Keeping them focused. There are so many distractions on the street. Not only the physical environment, but people’s schedules. It is absolutely vital to have a flow to the proceedings. I am fully prepared yet totally flexible to improvise. Be like water. This has helped weave journeys for my clients and the deals that we put together.
Make it funny. I can walk into a giant ballroom and make it erupt into laughter. Comedy attracts, disarms, and engages people. It is what pulls people into my show. A crowd of people erupting in laughter attracts more crowds. Self-deprecation always works. People do business with people they like.
People skills. I am constantly practicing emotional intelligence. It is one of those things where I don’t think I will ever reach the destination. There is always something more to learn and deeper to go. I have had the opportunity to perform for thousands upon thousands of people. It has allowed me to engage nearly every walk of life and understand where people are coming from.
Improvisation. The streets are all about improv – especially when using participants from the audience. I am leading it, but what path it takes to get to the end is completely open. There are so many crossover skills from improvisational acting that I highly recommend all sales people take dozens of classes.
Impenetrable skin. The streets are tough. The rejection is brutal. It has made me impervious. I can cold call anyone on this planet.
Get Paid. Again, street shows are tough. I need to stop people who don’t necessarily want to be stopped, hold them for 40 minutes, and then get them to pay me. I get paid. I close deals.
All of this has 100% helped me become an excellent business man.