Every show I do is an opportunity to get real-time feedback from real-live people on what works, what doesn't work, and what I should work on.
Shows are composed of hundreds of experiments. I play with language, timing, positioning, tone of voice, physicality, scripting, lighting, information order, and thousands of details that make the show.
Every reaction (or lack thereof) is it's own data point, and after every show I take time to write down my impressions in my notebook.
As many details as I can remember make it into the notebook. It's even better if I have a video recording of the show; I'll watch the whole performance and take notes.
It's an invaluable practice. Some of the best lines in my show came from an off-handed remark that I would have forgotten had I not been able to hear it again on the video.
Over time I developed a 6th sense of what works, what doesn't work, what I can get away with, or what would get me into trouble. Every performance is another opportunity to test an idea on hundreds of people with their own likes and preferences, and then get immediate feedback on the hypothesis.
With 20+ years in the 'laboratory' as I like to call the stage, it would be more surprising if I weren't one of the top in the world at what I do.
This is what gives me the superpower of evaluating my audience, and then employing the appropriate strategy to ensure a successful performance.
This is exactly what every business is trying to do in their market.
When you're establishing your business strategy, the question you're really asking is, "How do I get people to give me money?" That's really what it all boils down to, but there are about as many different answers to that question as they are people to ask it.
There's the strong arm strategy; you could just rob someone. There's the lying strategy; promise more than you can deliver. There's the overt strategy; tell them they should buy what you're selling.
But really, in order to build a business that lasts, you want your strategy to accommodate a more nuanced view of the marketplace.
You'll want to ask a question like this:
"Taking all variables into account, what would be the most effective & most honest way for me to employ my resources to reach the greatest number of people and get the greatest return on my time & effort spent?"
In order to find a good answer, let's look at how I build a show.
If I have the right people in the room, I know what stories to use (do I use a Wal-Mart reference, or a Lamborghini reference to talk about shopping?), what language to use, what to wear, etc. And how do I get the right people in the room?
The show starts before the show starts. That's to say, the show begins the instant advertising begins.
Every physical flyer, social media post, email, and radio & TV appearance must be carefully crafted to attract the right people AND make sure to drive away the wrong people.
Advertising should clearly communicate what the show's all about. It has to communicate my personality, the type of experience they're signing up for, and what mood they're getting.
This is all designed to create the right assumptions.
From the moment they walk into the venue, their experience should be part of the design. The lighting, music, temperature, stage setting, etc are all specifically designed to reinforce the assumptions that the advertising has already created.
Once the show kicks off, it should maintain their attention, and provide enough emotional texture to help them feel like they've been on an adventure. Tension, relaxation, and laughter all blend together seamlessly.
Leave them feeling great on a high note, and then send them back to their lives.
Hopefully I've given them enough incentive (and made it easy enough) to connect with you and stay in touch.
So, let me audit your sales strategies from the bottom up, and show you ways to improve the experience. The result is a more efficient process that maximizes profit and minimizes loss. You'll make more sales with less time as you'll build trust as quickly as possible.
Let's hop on the phone for a 45 minute deep dive into your business, and I'll offer my insight. Even if we don't wind up working together, it'll still be the most valuable 45 minutes you spend this year.
(If not, I guarantee your money back.)