Don’t Ask, Don’t Get

When I was in college, I took a sales job selling spas at local carnivals to raise money for my first 16mm film. The first few weeks were pretty tough. Aside from the fact that most people who visit a carnival have no intention of purchasing a ten-thousand-dollar hot tub, there were a few success lessons I had not yet learned.

I used to arrive early in the morning and set up the booth to display our hot tubs. I ensured everything was in order and prepared glossy brochures for potential customers.

As people approached the booth, I would enthusiastically explain the benefits and features of our hot tubs. However, even though some people showed interest and asked for a brochure, I never heard from them again and failed to make a sale.”

Then, one day, an old-timer took me aside. He was one of these old salts, from the old school of selling. He had dropped out of high school and unlike me, was never a college boy. But that didn’t matter. He was the top sales guy in the company – and he knew a thing or two about getting people to take action.

Do you know why you aren’t selling?

No. These people seem interested.

That’s because they are. Your enthusiasm could have outsold every guy on this team, including me. But you have one problem. Never once did you ask for people to buy. Kid, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
– – –

With my newfound information, after each demo, I always asked if they wanted to get one any time someone showed interest in the hot tub. My question was in the context of the conversation. But I did ask. And you know what? Asking for what I wanted made me the top sales guy on the team.

After that summer, I had money to make my 16mm film and learned a lesson that has stuck with me to this day. In the movie industry, you will not get anything unless you’re willing to ask for it.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

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