Busker Business

My wife and I traveled to New Orleans this past year and what an experience. New Orleans was amazing. I can’t say enough things about the city, the vibe, the experience.

When you go to New Orleans or you go to France or you go to many major metropolitan cities in the United States you’ll see different things. Some of those things can be pretty eye-opening. In New Orleans, there are many street performers there. That brings me to this article, and how sales are like the life of a busker, or street performer as they are sometimes more commonly known as. This experience brought me back to something I had learned over a decade ago as well.

Let me tell you…Buskers in New Orleans set their stage right. They have a chalk outline out on the street, they set up the spot in the history of where they’re going to perform and that’s where they set up shop. How are you setting up shop? Where are you setting up shop? These are things to think about. How are you setting the stage for your audience? How are you ensuring it’s a welcoming atmosphere for them? I’ve seen Mom & Pops have cute signs out in front of their place of business and my son’s dentist’s office writes the name of their clients coming in for appointments on a dry erase board welcoming them in when they arrive.

Next, how are you engaging the audience?

A busker will go around and engage the audience and they have a frontman or a pitchman, who was going to draw the audience in regarding the actual performance, what’s going to happen, what’s about to happen. In sales, this is called learning about the audience and building anticipation. Then they’ll deliver a mesmerizing performance. The buskers draw you in. That’s the key – they’re drawing you into the actual performance itself via their great talent that they have exhibited. How can you use that in your own business? How can you draw a client into your business? Simple. Show them what they can do. Either by the story or in person.  

The last thing a Busker does is they ask for the sale, I mean they put out their five-gallon buckets to be paid for their performance. Street performers ask for the business EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Why don’t you? 

How did I really tie this all together?

Where does this come back to something I learned a decade ago? This experience brought me back to a book I read over a decade ago called “Top Performer” by Carr Hagermann. I met Carr through a mutual friend and his book Top Performer explores sales through the eyes of a busker and it’s a great read. Carr has been a street performer since 1974 and it was a pleasure to hear him speak at a conference a few years ago. 

To wrap up this article, I’ll leave you with a quote from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts.”

What part will you play in your client’s eyes? What part will you play in someone else’s life? Use every moment for your stage and play. It’s what life is all about.

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