Hey – put that microphone down! Mics are for closers! In this episode of VOBoss, The BOSSES talk sales. Is it a part of your business? You bet your BOSS it is! It’s time to stop hiding in your studio and start selling. The Boss Ladies are gonna show you how.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Bosses survive on coffee and great ideas
There’s great VOBoss swag for sale at VOBoss.com
Voice actors don’t spend enough time thinking about and strategizing for sales
Products or service, sales is a critical part of any business
Sales Funnels can be an effective tool
Sales starts when you ID the need, want or problem your client has
Clients don’t buy if they don’t find us credible and likeable.
When someone buys into your brand – you have made a sale.
If you find the heart in your script you have identified the sell as well.
What you are selling must be well defined. That means your voice.
Sales must focus on the benefits to the client.
Understand the buyer’s need before you attend to sell your service.
Know your Unique Selling Position.
We don’t have the luxury of being vague anymore.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
VO BOSS Branding and Marketing Tools
VO BOSS Blast
Recorded on ipDTL
>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.
>> Pretty voice.
>> Pretty voice.
>> Pretty voice.
>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.
>> A BOSS.
>> A BOSS.
>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.
>> Rock your business.
>> Rock your business.
>> Rock your business.
>> Like a BOSS.
>> Like a BOSS.
>> Rock your business like a BOSS.
>> Rock your business like a BOSS.
>> A VO BOSS.
>> A VO BOSS.
>> A VO BOSS.
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing cohost and bestie, Gabby Nistico, hey, Gabby.
Anne: [laughs] Gabby, I am having a hard time revving myself up this morning.
Anne: I need more coffee.
Gabby: I always need more coffee.
Anne: I need more – but I’ll tell you what, I’m drinking coffee now, and I have this really awesome BOSS mug that I’m drinking it out of.
Gabby: I want us to have our own line. I want BOSS Brew, I want – [laugh]
Anne: BOSS, I love the BOSS Brew.
Gabby: Because, you know, entrepreneurs, man, that’s it. We survive on ideas and coffee. Those are our –
Anne: There you go. Dry vocal cords be dammed.
Anne: [laughs] I open up the show by talking about, well, number one, coffee and then I say, well, I’m drinking out of a really awesome mug, right, our BOSS mugs, which by the way, for those of you who have not ventured off to our website yet, we have an amazing store over there, and we do offer these really cool boss mugs.
Gabby: And T-shirts.
Anne: And T-shirts and even, even undies.
Gabby: Underwear. Yup, yup.
Anne: Just sayin’, just sayin’. So yeah, we have a lot of things for sale. And we’ve got a lot of things that are probably gonna come down the line in the future for sale, and so that’s a lot of selling. In voiceover, we’re selling. We are selling all the time. We should talk about sales.
Gabby: I love sales.
Anne: Yeah, me too.
Anne: I think, I think sales are good because that means money. [laughs]
Gabby: Well, yeah.
Anne: And we all like that because we gotta live, right, we gotta support ourselves. But I think most voiceover people don’t really think about their businesses in terms of like sales, quite the way –
Anne: – that they probably would benefit.
Gabby: – should.
Anne: – if they thought about it. They really should, yeah. Because it, I think it’s because we are selling a personal service. And it’s not necessarily a product. Well, some of us sell products, right?
Gabby: How is it any different than, you know, the doctors we go to? Right?
Gabby: They’re a service. It’s not a product per se, but there’s a very specific way that the health care industry goes about selling itself.
Anne: And I think that there has to be a very specific way that voiceover talent sell themselves as well, right, in order to actually make a sale.
Anne: I think maybe if we take a look at let’s say physical products, how those are sold, and how that process happens, like a sales funnel, right, we can maybe figure out how to benefit our own businesses from that. So I think the first thing for me to have to buy something, right, if we go back to the basics –
Gabby: Oh yeah.
Anne: What causes me to buy something? I have a need, right, or a problem.
Gabby: There a need or a problem –
Anne: – that needs to be solved. [laughs]
Anne: Very similar to most commercial copy, right?
Anne: Let’s take what we’ve learned from commercial copy, right? There’s always a problem, there’s always a solution to that problem, and usually the solution is… the product.
Gabby: Or a service.
Anne: Yeah. Let’s, let’s think about that in terms of our own voiceover businesses. So what are people’s problems, Gabby? Why would they need us? Why do they need our service?
Gabby: Oh man, they need us because they need a credible spokesperson to reach their audience or consumer base, super important.
Gabby: And I think a lot of voice actors don’t think about that. We’re spokespeople, hello, it’s what we do.
Gabby: We are, we are a talking head whose job it is to connect with and be credible to that buyer.
Gabby: They have to find us credible, relatable, likable because otherwise they’re not gonna buy.
Anne: I think, Gabby, this extends beyond what we typically think of as commercial, right, where there’s a product to sell. This really extends to all aspects.
Gabby: Oh yeah.
Anne: Even in corporate narration, people think that we’re just reciting things, facts information about a company or a product.
Anne: In the end really it’s all about the sale either of the product or the sale of somebody buying into your brand. That’s where I think it gets lost for some people, and you have to always keep that in the back of your mind that, what is the reason that you’re saying these words in the first place? Like why is this copy even written?
Gabby: Of course. They’re buying into potentially the message itself, right?
Gabby: How many training and e-learning type of jobs have we both seen where it’s, you know, maybe something like OSHA, where it’s about safety.
Anne: Sure, yeah.
Gabby: Or it’s just about company regulations, there’s a message. And that’s what we’re selling at that point.
Anne: Sure. Because I think where a lot of people lose sight of the fact that there’s still possibly a sell, there’s a sell. There’s a sell in everything, I think, even in training. If it’s training for a company product, it’s so that people can learn to use that product to help make their lives better so that they can then ultimately buy more, right? [laughs]
Gabby: So there’s this really fun anecdote in the literary world that says that every story is a love story, technically. Every story that’s ever been told, every story that’s ever been written, penned, whatever is a love story, and it’s kind of the same thing here. If selling or the sales piece doesn’t sit well with you, then you might find a way to adjust it by thinking of it that way. What’s the love, what’s the passion? What’s the heart in the piece and that message that has to come across? They’re one in the same most likely.
Anne: You’re right. Most people have that connotation of salespeople as being maybe, you know, the snake oil salesman that’s, you know, kind of the cheesy, underhanded kind of trying to get something from you just to make a buck.
Anne: In reality, that’s just a stereotype. There are some people that maybe that’s the case, but I love that, Gabby, because it makes people kind of grab onto the idea a whole lot better, where is, where is the love? And ultimately I like to think that companies produce products to better the world and make people’s lives easier, to make the world better. And I like to think of all the good [laughs] right?
Anne: I like to think of the good. And so if I keep that perception, for me, I can perform. I can perform that when it’s good.
Gabby: Look, I’ll also play devil’s advocate here in that if you’ve ever seen – and he’s long passed away, but an old comedian from the ‘90’s named Bill Hicks, he literally talks about how, you know, the entire advertising world is just the biggest sham that’s ever existed.
Gabby: So there’s also that.
Gabby: And sometimes it’s hard for us to reconcile.
Anne: Oh yeah.
Gabby: And look, I’ve seen this with voice actors, oh my gosh, I think as long as I’ve been coaching, I’ve seen the voice actors who go, “well, I really, you know, I really want to do this, and I really want to use my voice to do great things, but I don’t want to do commercials.” And I’m like, “good luck with that. Let me, let me know how that works out for you.”
Anne: Yeah, yeah.
Gabby: Because you’re not going to avoid that component of this industry.
Anne: Exactly, exactly. So I guess in any traditional sales, ok, you’ve got the problem. Now if you don’t have something that’s viable that people need and that people, that can help people solve their problem, then you don’t really have a great product, right, or you maybe don’t have a product to sell, and therefore your business will potentially fail, right? You know?
Gabby: Yeah because it’s not well-defined, and we can’t figure out how it fits into the grand scheme of our life or our business –
Gabby: – then what’s it gonna do?
Anne: Well-defined, Gabby. That I think is a very strong point. There are so many people I know that when you – they’re first getting into the industry, getting into the business, they’re just like, “I do voices.” Or “I’m selling voiceover. Here’s my voiceover demo.” And that’s how they’re – that’s how they present themselves to the world. “Here’s my demo.”
Gabby: So cute.
Anne: “Here’s how you get in touch with me.” But they haven’t really talked to their potential buyer to say how are they going to solve their problem? Because when it comes down to it, right, they’re going to be searching online, they’re going to be calling their, you know, agent, whatever it is. They have a problem that you are going to solve for them. And ultimately it’s going to benefit them.
Gabby: It has to, yeah.
Anne: Right. So in traditional sales, there’s something called the sales funnel. And the first part of that sales funnel is defining the problem. The second would be having some sort of condition where your product will make their lives better and solve their problem. It seems pretty cut and dry, right?
Anne: But I think your sales funnel for voiceover needs to follow a certain path in order to make it logical for people to buy your services. Right? Establish the need.
Gabby: OK. So tell me as we kind of travel down this thing, so what becomes of that next step for you?
Anne: Well, step number one for me is addressing my potential buyer with the problem or knowing what their problems are, right? And if you decide you want to be in a particular genre of the industry, like e-learning or automotive, or – you need to be, immerse yourself in that industry, make yourself familiar with the industry and understand what people’s needs are and what their problems are in that industry. Be a part of that. Be a part of listening to that discussion, and then figure out how you can be of service because you are the service, right, you are the business service that is going to be able to help then, and how you can best help them. And then I would say the process would be to solve that problem on your webpage or through networking and communication.
Gabby: It has to be an easy part of your definition. It has to be –
Gabby: – readily accessible, and it has to be something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking or hunting to find.
Anne: Exactly, exactly. If it requires hunting, and it requires too much time –
Anne: No, in this day and age, mmm, yeah, you’re lost in the dust by the people who can, right, be found, and the people who can provide that service, and that’s really where I guess the competitive and the marketplace comes in. How are you going to solve somebody’s problem? OK, so we all do voiceovers. Right? That’s pretty generic. How are you going to solve someone’s problem in your own unique way? You have to have, what do they call that? The USP?
Gabby: Mmm. Mm-hmm.
Anne: Unique selling – is it unique selling proposition? Unique selling –
Gabby: Unique selling position.
Anne: Yep. Unique selling position. Another thing that you can do in order to help solve someone’s problem is to determine what that is for you. What is it that you provide and that will set you apart from the rest of the competition?
Gabby: And that’s critical.
Gabby: There’s too many of us.
Anne: Oh, there’s, yeah.
Gabby: We don’t have the luxury of not being specific anymore.
Anne: It’s very true.
Gabby: That was what, 1992? [laughs]
Anne: Well, no. Well, back in the day, when there was maybe 200 voice artists, right, that existed, right?
Anne: And guess what changed all that? Technology.
Anne: Mm-hmm. All that. Yeah, when I started, the home studio was a luxury.
Gabby: Mmm. Yeah.
Anne: Now more than ever you have to find what your unique position is and how you can help someone to solve their problem. And then I think the other thing we look for, like when I go to buy something online, I look for other people who’ve tried the product. If I’ve never used the product before, I look to see if somebody else has tried the product and if it’s worked for them. And obviously that would be testimonials. Ahh yes.
Anne: This is why I have such a love, love affair, love affair with testimonials. [laughs] Because that is other people who are helping you to promote, because they’ve had a problem, and you have helped them to solve that problem. “Thanks so much, you were the perfect voice for this. Easy to work with. Turnaround time was quick. It was wonderful. It was just a great experience working with you.” Because that’s what, that’s what people have when they work with us, because we are service providers. They have experiences.
Anne: So we have to make sure those experiences are wonderful for the buyer.
Anne: If that buyer can therefore tell us or tell the world about how wonderful that experience is, well that pretty much does the selling for you. And I think mentally, that, that is the key because so many of us are uncomfortable in selling ourselves. I’ve got this great BOSS mug. Right? It’s gorgeous, it looks beautiful, it keeps my coffee hot. Right? It’s a product. It’s not me. It’s easy for me to sell that because it’s kickass! [laughs] Right?
Anne: When it comes to selling ourselves, oh my gosh, people just find that so difficult, right, Gabby? [sighs]
Gabby: Which is funny because I think about a lot of voice actors have in recent years really invested into swag, and clothes, and you know, whatever little things that can catch someone’s eye and spark conversation.
Gabby: And it’s a very deliberate move to get another person inquiring about what it is and what we do instead of it having to be on us to open that communication, so I get that.
Anne: It’s hard to sell yourself, it is. It’s hard to talk about yourself. It’s not a comfortable thing, right, for a lot of people.
Anne: And I think that if you have other people who can provide testimonials, well, guess what? That, that sells you without you having to do it yourself. So I think that’s an important component of the funnel, if you want to call it, the sales funnel for our services, is to have testimonials. And just like you would check reviews on Yelp or reviews on Amazon, have those testimonials, I think, on your webpage. Have those testimonials on any type of communication that you’re going to have with those potential clients.
Gabby: I’m also big on active tense. Always make them present as opposed to past.
Gabby: I think makes a really big difference in a buyer’s mind. “Was” is not as impactful as “is.”
Anne: That’s good, that’s good stuff. That’s good verbiage. You know what, remember back in the day before VO BOSS, right, there was VO Peeps. And I just deemed it, I deemed VO Peeps to be the only global networking group out there, you know, networking meetup group out there. And maybe we weren’t, but I deemed it so and I said so.
Anne: I said so very loudly.
Gabby: No, in your credit, when you start – yes, it was. [laughs]
Anne: I said it very loudly and I said it very frequently, right, and it became so. And it was just funny because I think that if you can take on that, call it manifesting, call it whatever, whatever you will, call it [laughs] some part of a sales funnel, but it worked.
Gabby: It really is a very basic principle in advertising. Don’t let your audience formulate an opinion. Hand them their opinion.
Anne: Mmm, I like that.
Gabby: Tell me what I think. Tell me what this is and be bold about it. And yeah, that makes a massive difference.
Anne: Good advice.
Gabby: People like being spoon-fed. It’s kind of scary.
Anne: [laughs] It’s true, right? They like to have their jobs made easier. Make their jobs easier and make them look good. Right? Who doesn’t love that?
Gabby: I don’t know if I’m like jumping, you know, ahead in the funnel process or not, but where does the upsell come in?
Gabby: Where does that kind of happen for you in that? Because I think upsell is again hugely important, and a lot of voice actors sort of miss out on that opportunity.
Anne: Oh yeah. Well, I think the upsell comes, probably after you’ve sold the first, and then it can be, “well, you could have this again.” There comes an upsell. And “here’s what else I can do to help solve your problem or help you to sell your product better.” Or you know, perhaps bring something new to the table. How many times do you do a job and that’s it?
Gabby: Oh God, yeah, loads.
Anne: Loads. But there are opportunities I think that people miss in terms of doing other –
Gabby: Well there are, because I mean, I find that there’s a lot of clients, even though I don’t hear from them regularly, because I communicate with them, even though there may not be a response, you know, but I’m sending emails, I’m sending correspondence, yeah, two years can go by. “Hey Gabby, not sure if you remember us, but you did this thing back –” and I’m like, “oh God. I hope I still have the file.”
Gabby: I have to go back into the archives, and I’m like, “oh yeah, there you are. How’s it going? How’s it been?”
Anne: But what’s great too though is keeping up that correspondence. I’ll tell you, as things just get crazier and crazier in the digital world, and I, my email count goes up – because everybody laughs at me how many emails I get have on my system – but as that happens, right, I get more – first of all my attention span is not as long as it used to be.
Anne: So I tend to forget things. [laughs] Oh wait, maybe that’s age. But I think for anybody these days that is dealing with online digital technologies, you know, keeping in touch, Gabby, I think that’s super important.
Gabby: So you do – you see that as part of the sales funnel.
Anne: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, you’re not done –
Gabby: And that’s what’s so fascinating because most people see that strictly as marketing.
Anne: Interesting. You’re right, you’re right. And it is, there are sales. That is definitely sales.
Gabby: Yeah, it’s totally a part of sales.
Anne: And that funnel is not meant to be a be-all, end-all. Like there’s not the top of the funnel then the end of the funnel. It’s basically a cycle, right, that just keeps feeding back.
Gabby: So it’s a sales typhoon. [laughs]
Anne: There you go. Something like that.
Anne: Something like that.
Gabby: No so much a sales funnel as a sales hurricane, but sure. [laughs] I kinda like that. [laughs]
Anne: So try to turn your perspective around, guys, about sales. You do have to have a sales mentality. You know, I like to think of it like, look, I gotta eat, like I gotta pay the mortgage. I gotta pay the bills. This is what helps me to do that.
Gabby: I think it’s the monster that everybody blows out of proportion in their own minds. Every time you walk into a room, every time you introduce yourself to someone, every time you engage in a conversation, you are selling yourself, all the time.
Gabby: We just don’t see it that way. We just see it as, you know, being friendly or outgoing or polite. Whatever. You’re selling yourself. It doesn’t have to be made out to be such a –
Anne: A bad thing.
Anne: Sales are not bad. Sales are good.
Anne: Sales are good, guys.
Anne: Let’s take away the taboo.
Gabby: But it boils down to everything we’re talking about all the time, right? You can’t be an entrepreneur and not sell.
Anne: True, very true.
Gabby: It’s not possible.
Anne: Well, guys. I’d like to give a big shout-out so that I can help our amazing sponsor [laughs] with more sales.
Anne: Right? [laughs] In not such an obvious way. I love ipDTL!
Gabby: We’re allowed to be obvious, whatever.
Anne: Yeah, ipDTL – and here we go. Here’s my testimonial. IpDTL has for years been my go-to communication with my clients, my way to connect with my Gabby. It is an amazing technology that if you guys have not checked out, you really need to. Go to ipdtl.com to find out more to allow you to connect with your potential clients and sell.
Gabby: And for all things BOSS, guys, make sure to go to our website, voboss.com. All that cool stuff we were talking about at the beginning of this episode, products, and mugs, and swag, and just fun things that Anne and I are doing, that’s all available on the site, voboss.com.
Anne: Thanks, guys. Have a great week. See you next week.
Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.