Using Improv to Improve Your Sales Training

Using Improv to Improve Your Sales Training

When AE’s hear “sales training” they think … boring!  Been there.  Done that.  I have found great success in using improvisational comedy as a way to train and increase retention during the sales training session.

As we all know, selling is an act of improvisation.  Many times selling is more like comedy than many of us might ever think.  The problem is most sales people are not ready to react on the fly and thus they rely on old, bad or untested sales habits from days gone by.   The end result is a client that “needs to think about it” or “doesn’t have any budget.”  

When sales professionals begin to embrace the basics of improv, they begin to align their brains with a higher level of thinking.  Improv is not just about making people laugh.  Lets be honest, some people are just not funny.  And, in some cases being funny is not appropriate.  The idea behind improvisation comedy based sales training is to set up an account executive for success when in the field or on the phone.  I want them to embrace an idea and create a winning solution to that idea quickly.  This is about training the brain to react.  Improvisation is also about listening and responding positively, thereby, moving the process forward. Additionally, these skills translate not only between an account executive and an external customer, but, also, between ‘internal customers’ (within/between your company’s departments).

So, how does this work at your company?  You can either hire a pro to facilitate or do-it-yourself. 

Thoughts on DIY:

  • Create games and carefully think through how the game is won.
  • Watch Youtube or TV replays of shows like Who’s Line Is It Anyway for creative inspiration.  Be sure to adapt those ideas to the sales world you live in.
  • Don’t focus on being funny.  That is something that is natural not fake.
  • Use props where appropriate to create stimuli. 
  • Focus on creating fast paced scenarios that are based on real world sales objections.
  • Participation is key.  Asking for volunteers will not produce results.  A random draw or forcing all is the way to go. 

Want to hire a pro comedy legend and veteran sales rep to facilitate?  We offer a 9am-4pm day long workshop that is 50% improv sales training and 50% standard, “what you would expect”, core sales training.  We have found that this approach increases retention and results!

At Sales Training World we believe in this approach so much that we have aligned ourselves with improv comedy expert and 25 year sales veteran Clay Sander.  

Reach out to us for a no-obligation quote on this unique corporate sales training service for your sales organization. 

Ryan@BrainSwellMedia.com

803-634-3886

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