3 Cold Calling Tactics you can Only Learn from Improv Comedy

August 21, 2017

What do Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Michael Dubin (the CEO of Dollar Shave Club) all have in widespread? Two issues: they’re all recognized for quick-witted responses they usually all acquired their begin in improv comedy.

For these not acquainted, improv is the place actors make up the present as they go. There’s no script, the viewers gives plot level strategies, and it’s all about hilarious honesty and sometimes cringe-worthy errors. Because it forces contributors to suppose rapidly on their ft, there’s an incredible quantity it can educate your gross sales workforce about being high performing chilly callers.

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Improv: Your Cold Call Secret Weapon

Now, are we really advocating that you go signal your complete gross sales workforce up for improv courses? Yup. Michaela DiChrio, former Manager of Enterprise Sales Development at Salesforce did simply that and she or he discovered that “It helped our BDRs think on their feet and understand how to continue leading a conversation even when they were hit with unfamiliar topics, questions, and objections. Without a doubt, it made them more agile on the phones.”

Improv acclimates your gross sales workforce to leaping into awkward conditions. The motion strikes quick and improv actors should reply sooner than they can filter themselves, so what they blurt out is commonly painfully trustworthy. With time, your gross sales workforce will lose any sense of self-consciousness. They’ll turn out to be brazen, daring, fearless about chilly calling and in a position to preserve a vigorous dialog going with a brick wall. That’s after they’ll begin to apply these ways:

1. Yes, and…

Imagine this scene: An improv actor throws an imaginary salmon at her associate and shouts, “Get away, bear!” and the associate simply says, “We’re not bears, we’re rabbits.” What occurs subsequent? The comedy dies a sudden and painful loss of life. Why? Because the second actor didn’t settle for the state of affairs. He mentioned “no” when he ought to have mentioned “Yes!” Now there’s stress as a result of they can’t agree. If this was a chilly name, that first actor would have hung up.

Salespeople say “no” much more than they notice and it destroys their possibilities of constructing rapport. They do it each time they appropriate their prospect, repeat themselves, or tells their prospect the way to really feel. Instead, as a salesman, you must say “Yes!” and construct a scene with the individual on the opposite finish of the telephone.

Using “Yes, and…” validates your prospect’s emotions. Is the prospect anxious about your product’s reliability? Yes, that’s a legitimate concern, and listed here are another information to contemplate. Does the prospect hate salespeople? Yes, that’s widespread—and me too, in the event that they’re disingenuous. This settlement is the equal of catching the metaphorical salmon—it permits salespeople to construct belief after which redirect the dialog someplace extra productive.

2. Don’t be entertaining, be trustworthy

Many new salespeople suppose they have to play the function of a very gregarious or aggressive “sales guy/gal.” Similarly, in improv, new actors suppose they should be humorous, they usually attempt to act like a standup comic. In each instances, it doesn’t work as a result of audiences can sense a phony. What can improvers and salespeople do? They can drop the act and be utterly trustworthy.

Improv is all about tapping into honesty. If one other actor tells you that you’re the bridge troll and your response is to shout, “Oh, I’m actually inexperienced with jealousy,” it’ll fall worse than flat. It’s not punny. Instead, hunch over and turn out to be the troll. Snarl, grimace, demand your troll toll, and rant in regards to the architectural benefits of cantilevered versus truss bridges.

This is trustworthy to the state of affairs and it really works the identical in chilly calls: be your self. If the prospect offers you a phony excuse like that they’re in a gathering, reply with real shock. “You picked up your phone in a meeting?” If they inform you that they don’t have any finances, specific real concern. “Oh wow, that sounds serious. Our product and me being a salesperson aside, what are you going to do?” You will see that prospects discover this pure, guileless honesty so disarming that they’re compelled to sheepishly drop their very own act as properly. Together you’ll have a extra productive dialog.

3. Give choices

Finally, improv is as a lot about giving as it’s getting. New improv actors principally sit round on stage ready for one thing to react to and ask one another boring questions like “Who are you supposed to be?” Those questions put the onus on their teammates to provide you with the scene and it’s tiring to hold this weight. The identical is true of chilly calling: new salespeople who solely ask boring questions of their prospect like, “What does your business do?” put all the load on their prospect and are annoying. The reply? Learn to present choices.

In improv, choices are about taking motion, describing the scene, and providing a task to your associate. For instance, shouting, “What a wonderful realm this is, is that not so my good steed?” This offers your associate one thing substantial to work with—one thing they can say “yes, and…” to. In chilly calling, your choices can be attention-grabbing ideas, quotes, information, and statistics that spark dialogue, comparable to, “Did you know that according to Gartner, 90 percent of companies collect data but only 5 percent use it wisely? What’s your reaction to that?” You’ll discover that with choices, prospecting conversations morph into actual conversations and you get so much additional.  

Great chilly callers are like Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Michael Dubin: they suppose rapidly on their ft. By exposing your gross sales workforce to improv, you’ll make them masters of the chilly name, assist them shut extra offers, and actually, it simply may make your workplace a funnier place.

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Chris Gillespie

Chris Gillespie

Chris Gillespie is the author and founder behind Find A Way Media which helps nice companies create killer advertising content material. Based in Brooklyn, Chris spent years promoting SaaS know-how options and now helps these firms craft their content material advertising methods.

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