As I grew up, art became my first language; it was in my blood before I could walk or speak. My parents took me to plays, ballets, and operas. I was enchanted by the stories, the music, and the magical effect they had on the audience. My mum saw that it made a huge impression on me and quickly had me enrolled in ballet lessons, piano lessons, and community theatre. While I enjoyed all these activities, what I loved the most was singing. At first it was musical theatre: Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and The Sound of Music were the most profound and impactful to me originally. Then my preferences transitioned to rock music like Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin, and finally to classical music. “She loved Mozart, Bach, and the Beatles,” my mum would quote from the movie Love Story. They couldn’t keep me quiet around the house because I loved the way my voice easily rang down the halls and rooms of our acoustic home. When I started high school, I began taking voice lessons after school. It was then that I discovered I wanted to be an opera singer.
When I was 16, I had the great privilege of attending a private dress rehearsal of Verdi’s La Traviata with Renee Fleming starring as the prima donna Violetta. After the performance, I was invited to meet her backstage. My nervousness was insane, as she was one of my idols and I had the opportunity to ask her any question I wanted. So after shaking her hand and with my heart pounding, I asked her, “What is the secret to being a great performer?” It was the most cliché question ever! Her answer was so simple: Passion drives entertainment, and when you are disciplined and put emotion into your craft, the audience will fall in love over and over. It sounded so simple, but it was true: when you fake passion and lack confidence, everyone sees an unconvincing performance and your audience won’t stay engaged.
I was in an outreach production of Hänsel und Gretel in college. We traveled to schools to present a one-hour condensed version of this opera in English. Trying to keep children’s attention is already challenging let alone keeping them engaged for an hour-long opera. In efforts to keep them focused, I had to be comical, high-energy, and allow the kids to participate in some way. It worked, and they enjoyed the opera every time. If you can sell a performance to a child, you can sell to anyone, as their blunt honesty tends to be unfiltered and sincere.
When I began my Job at Acquirent, I saw a parallel: sales is just like theatre because there is an audience and an artist. Because we are inside sales, we must work even harder to enchant our customers. For example, when talking on the phone to a customer, we must use enthusiasm and passion to attract the customer to sign up their small business for health coverage. In the process, the customer enjoys working with our sales agent, they are satisfied, and they will work with us again. Sales really is just like theatre: you put your art and style into what you are selling, and with persistence, customers will see eye-to-eye with you again and again.