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The Sales Evangelist

Marc Levine, Donald Kelly,Improv Selling

Looking for an exciting, highly effective tool you can use for your next sales conversation? Then you surely need to listen to this episode.

Marc Levine is the Founder of Improv My Sales, a training and coaching company focused on salespeople where he works with individuals and companies to help them utilize the power of improv to become more successful.

Today, Marc shares some insights into empowering customers to make faster decisions through improv comedy. Marc started taking improv classes in New York and he learned that  people who make it come alive on stage work with a set of guiding principles.


Here are the highlights of my conversation with Marc:

Why do improv in sales?

Sales is one of the least trusted professions so Marc seeks to help sales professional do this really well so sales profession is looked at in a respective way.

As humans, our real desires are hidden and with the improv approach, you become really good at uncovering your prospect’s concerns and needs and be able to think of them as if they’re your own so you can be the most trusted person to help clients move towards commitments.

The Power of Listening

A lot of times we miss the value because we’re not listening. We’re telling the story and there are conversations we’ve already set up that we’re missing the goal.

Who’s Agenda Is it?

Often in our sales process, our agenda is focused on gathering information we could use for selling which is around their needs, goals, and pain, but it’s actually really focused on you. It’s focused on your agenda, not theirs. Then they begin to become disengaged.

Client-Centered versus Sales-Centered

Change how you sound and really think about whether what you’re doing is client-centered or sales-centered. When people feel like you care, they feel like you’re on their side and they would trust you.

How improv comedy helps in building trust:

  1. No script

It’s just you and what you’re offering and the customer being the expert in their world and together building a solution.

  1. Listen

The best improvisors listen at a level 10 or 11. They say yes to the suggestions their fellow actors offer even if different than their own.

  1. It must be fun!

Improv is fun and if you’re able to bring that into your sales training, sales reps will be able to retain information they’ve learned much better.

  1. “Yes, and…”

Stop making your clients wrong, you need to make them right. So if the client says something, regardless of what it is, you say “yes” as a sign that you’re agreeing with them then add something else after the “and” part. Doing this helps justify their concern otherwise you’re not going to be in agreement.

This tool also helps you to ask the appropriate questions that would allow the prospect to express themselves. “Yes, and…” makes them feel you understand them and this makes them feel good.

Marc’s Major Takeaway:

Stop making your customers wrong and stop thinking their world is wrong because it’s getting in the way of you closing a sale. The only reason we think somebody’s world is wrong is because we think it gets in the way of closing a sale. When you start to say yes to their world and you can justify their world is making sense and add some questions on top of that, you’re going to build trust. You’re the person they can open up to and then you can help  them move towards commitment better than most other sales reps around you.

Can’t get enough of this episode?

Reach out to Marc through email at marc@improvmysales.com and he will send you a PDF that talks more about “Yes, and…” and some nuances to it. If you’re a sales manager, Marc will send you reasons why sales training doesn’t work and how you can fix that. Plus! Write to Marc and tell him what you like about today’s podcast and he will enter you into a contest to win one of three one-hour sales coaching that will rock your world!

Episode Resources:

Improv My Sales

The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman

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About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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