The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

How Learning Improv Made Me Better At Sales w/ Andrew Mewborn

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Andrew Mewborn, Solutions Consultant at Outreach, tells our Joe Vignolo how signing up for improv classes turned out to be an unexpected and incredible sales engagement tool. Tune in for his best tips and a few big laughs on this week’s episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by Outreachedt Ioh, the leading sales engagement platformhelping companies, sellers and customer success engage with fires and customers in the modernsales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the bookon sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. How's itgoing everyone? Joe Ving Dollal here, senior content managing editor for outreached Iohand happy to be on the show, happy to be hosting my first episodeand even more excited to have an incredible guest today, Andrew Me born salesconsultant, solutions consultant, seller, traveler, chef, comedian, all around goodguy here today on the show. Super excited. He's going to betalking about how Improv is one of the number one ways to become a betterseller and how he got into that and what it's done for his career.Without giving you too many spoilers, surprisingly enough, it's not all about beingfunny. So, without further ado, I'm going to toss it on overto Andrew and you introduce yourself, tell us how you got here and thenlet's just jump right into the Improv stuff. Joe, that was one of thebest introductions I've ever gotten. So thank you very much for that onethere. So, you know, thanks for everyone for listening in today.I'll give you a little backstory on why I believe that Improv is one ofthe number one sales training courses that you should ever take and how I gotinto that and what made me believe that. was three years ago I decided tojoin a company called outreach and joining this company I came from an engineeringbackground and I realize that I really was not a good seller right. Wasn'tgoing to be in a selling role initially,...

...but I was going a company thatwas all about sales and if that was the case, I wanted tobe the best seller I can be, no matter what, you know,if it was in a whatever position I was in. So I had aold box and I said, you know what, I want to one daybecome a good seller. What do I do? And he said, youknow what, I had an old friend and I said, well, okay, who's WHO's your friend? He goes, well, it was a Dick Costello, the x CEO Twitter, and he said that if you want tobecome the best person you can be in conversations or with other people, youneed to take Improv. I said, okay, you know. Well,they costello. He did it, maybe I should be doing this thing too. So that was around the time I joined outreach as well. So Iwin I at first I watched an Improv course, or I watched Improv classI should say, and I said, okay, what are these people doingin these classes? Making I'm so great? You know, that's making them goodwith people that think of people laugh and a majority of the time.What I know this is that people weren't trying to be funny, right,they were going through exercises and trying to understand human beings themselves, right,how humans interact with others, how to build a character, how to builda relationship with someone, how to set an objective, and so that's whatI noticed. I was like, wow, you're you're not learning to be funny, you're learning to understand human beings, and so that to me, wasphenomenal. I've always been into psychology and how the brain works, sothat is really what started me on my journey. I signed up for aclass, did improve one hundred and one, and from there I took every coursethat I could, you know, once or twice a week, andeventually learned that, again, it's not about being funny. There's so muchother items in there that you know, you can take with you, notonly in your career but in your personal life and in your relationships. ToTalk to me about. All right, you take the classes, you learna few things and you go right now, let's try to apply these things thatI learned. Talk to me about...

...the first few times that you're onthe phone, you're talking to prospect of talking to a customer and you're like, all right, let me use some of these things on there to theImprov class. How did that go? What were the things that you did? Just kind of, you know, walk us through that. Definitely,definitely, let's say that I definitely failed a few times in doing that right. So one of the core beliefs is yes, and and it Prov andwith yes, and what that means is accepting any offer that you're giving andhearing offers as well, like, if you say something, how do Itake that as an offer? How do I build on it? Right?So I would have prospects that would come to me with objections initially right andthey didn't say hey, yeah, but you know, you can't do this, and I would start to stow on say yeah, you're right, wecan't do that. But as I did that, I would just go downwith a complete rabbit hole and make us sound completely like, excuse my length, like shit right. And so there is an art to using the yesand and to building upon other people's ideas right and to knowing where to navigateand where you're going to take the conversation. So I definitely failed a few timesin that sense and it doesn't always work out right with what you learnand Improv there's some techniques they're going to work for some instances but some fornot. But overall what you do take from you is the ability to knowthat you can experiment and fail. So you become comfortable with failing right andwhether some relationships or trying new ideas and conversations, and it sounds to methat it really increases your ability to be agile and conversations right. A lotof people, when they're talking to anyone, really are just waiting for the nextmoment where they can say something right and not really listening. And Iknow that you've written recently about the importance of listening, because you know thatis fuel full or the conversation and you know how to respond and and ideallyboth people on each side of the conversation. I can have a better experience inoutcome if both of them are actually...

...listening to the other person. ToTalk to a little bit about the listening technique and at what you learned inImprov around that. Definitely, listening is we all hear it all the time. You know here sales, like your any blog post, any blog isever written about sales, right like that. Sales people are the best listeners.What does that really mean? Right? There's a few things. One activelistening, right, so not just hearing what you've said, but tryingto understand and empathize with what it is that you've just said. I'll goback to Improv and how this relates to that. I mean in Improv you'rebehind the scenes, right, there's a stage, you're behind curtains and yousay, okay, I need to go up on the stage in front ofeveryone, right and either build a character, build a scene, build a scenario, whatever it may be. If I'm behind the curtains, and Iwant to build upon that scene, I need to be actively listening and empathizingwith that character that's currently on the stage, because if I go on, they'reout there and I don't empathize and I come out with some complete feelingthat doesn't relate to that scenario at all, it's not going to work very well. And this is taking me to another concept, which is called makingyour partner look good. Right, that is like one of another core beliefof Improv always make your partner look good. Chill, you look great today.So thank Oh, thank you. You know, when you make yourpartner look good, how are you going to do that? You need tolisten to what they've said. You need to be able to consume. Hey, you know, I hear you, I understanding, I ampathize you.How am I going to build on that and make you look better? Sofor me, if I need to boil it down to Hey, what islistening well mean? It means taking in and consuming information away that's going tomake your friend or your partner look good. Right. And in sales today,right, I'm the solutions consult I work with a he's over fifty ofthem, you know, on a monthly basis, whatever it may be.If they prepped me for these calls before...

...we get on them, on thetechnical requirements at these folks need. If they prep me and make what I'mgoing to do is take that information, I'm going to make them look I'mgonna say, Hey, you know it, Jonathan or that, he prepped me. I know this, I know that, and and making them lookgood, they're going to make me look good as well, and that's goingto make us look good to the prospect together. So all about the activelistening, because you know in doing so you're going to make your partner lookgood. To cliche thing to say, but it's very much a given.Take right like an energy loop that is elevating all people involved. So that'ssuper cool to hear it and especially it's good advice for people listening today,because you, especially new sellers. They happen to just want to like wordvomit their pitch, sure, like they have this script and they're not actuallylistening to what the other person is saying. And so if you could give someonewho is new to selling or even anther in seller who may just becould be stuck in their ways. Some some tidbits, some takeaways from yourexperience doing improv there going to help them on their day to day what are, like, the three top things that they should take away from today?Three top things, I would say number one, accepting offers. Right,being openminded to whatever the process going to say and listening to what that maybe, and listening in a way where you're not coming up with an answeras they're speaking. You hear him out. If you need to take a secondto pause and consume what it is they've just said, do that right. No one's going to worry about that and say hey, you just pausefor a few seconds. I do it all the time. Right. SoI say accepting offers. One, once again, to shutting up and listening. And three, action beats in action. What that means is if I siton the phone and I don't do anything at all. Right, I'mscared to say that one particular thing it's better to try and say in away that comes across well then not saying at all. So in the spiritof action is better than inaction. I...

...was just going to be like yeah, okay, that sounds good. I would actually like you to elaborate alittle more on that one, or give you an example of where maybe yousaid something that we knew in your mind wasn't exactly right, but you knewthat doing so was going to be better than not doing so. I'm usuallyone and that, unfortunately, if I hear something that maybe a little complexor if I didn't really understand something, my natural tendency would be to kindof just nod and recede in the background, like that homer Simpson meme and whenhe goes into the hedge. So talk to me a little bit moreabout the action is better than an inaction portion. Okay, so I'll gointo this. So you always have a friend who's always saying how generous theyare, and let's say they're. Sometimes they're rarely your most generous friend.Right. What I would say is words can be weak, but actions canbe strong. So active choices, like specific action, are what's going tomove things forward and create opportunities for others. So don't think about doing it ortalk about doing it, just do it right, and that's how Ireally get to the bottom of the whole action beats and action right. I'mall say I on a phone, prospect says, Hey, you know whatcan you send me this? Sure, I'm will send you that. Imay not know exactly what the heck it is that I'm really supposed to sendor how I send it, or you know. I mean, I havethat material ready for me and I know we've all been in that scenario.But trying to create something to send it these prospects. It's showing Ky.I'm trying to take action in that scenario and follow up with you. That'smallly. Just follow up with you and give you as best of what I cangive. That's what it's going to be at Hey, I don't know thisparticular things, I'm not going to send anything at all. Yeah, no, I think that's that's good advice. They're you know, people are usuallykind of afraid of saying and wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, andso they just don't do anything. What I'm taking away is that you're saying, Hey, as long as you put forth your best effort, you tryand make that connection with someone and promise them that, hey, you maynot know what exactly what they're asking or...

...were what they're asking for, butyou're gonna do your best to give them something instead of just saying no.Right yeah, exactly. That goes back to the whole yes and thing,like right, like accepting offers and saying I'm going to do what I canwith this offer. I hear you and I'm going to take in run withit. So you want to play a little game, Hey, we canplay a little game. Okay, do it. So I've read to meetYour Block Post, Uh Huh, and you have some exercises in there thatcan help people learn some tricks about Improv and how they can apply them totheir daily selling activities. Is there any exercise do you think we could playon the podcast today that may be fun and illustrative of some of the thingswe've been talking about? Yeah, definitely. Any specific exercises that sit out toowell, since where audio only, we can't do kind of like passingthe ball, or maybe we can do like little role playing and some yesand type stuff. Okay, all right, let's do this. I'm a prospectright and I'm going to give you an objection right now. I wantedthe roles to be reversed this year. The okay to do it. Allright, I was trying to test you. They're just trying to test. Wego. Let's do it and then I'll explain my thinking as I gothrough the answer. How about that? Okay, so I am a prospectand I am buying generic product. Okay, that will help me day to day. All Right, Andrew, I see that your product can do alot of different things, but unfortunately what I'm not seeing is that it canincrease my revenue en x within twelve days. So you know that's something you cando, or am I just not noticing? Yes and Joe, wehave lots of prospects that initially think that, as we speak with them, asthey come to us about how we can help them solve their problems.I want to tell you about, you know, our implementation process and thatwe know that it within two weeks, you're going to double your reps activity, right, and we can all agree...

...that if you're double your represent activitywithin a matter of a couple weeks, there's going to be some up tickingrevenue at some point in your sales process. Right. So Nice in that case. When I just did is yes and yeah. And you know what, here's what we've heard that from other process. Now let's take it theother way, where if I said yes, but right in that article, thatyou just mentioned. If there's like an energy curve, yes, andis like you're building on energy. All right, you know, let meagree with you, let's roll with this, and then you have the yes.But that just completely is like a disagreement. So if I went yes, but Joe, that's not true. Right, yes, but Joe.We've seen people do this before. You see how I'm starting an like bill, kind of like an argument case. They're rather I'm starting to argue withthem with the yes, but energy versus a hey, let me agree withyou and then actually tell you in a way, Hey, this is actuallygoing to work for you. Right, that makes sense. Yeah, butand no, and don't. Can't those words immediately put people's walls up,right, even if you are saying yes before them? Yes, but evenwhen I said that, my shoulders went down, right, you, yeah, you're just this ISS. Some only stinks like yours. It's so crazy, right, like your body just onstantly. Yeah, but in I see itall the time. I've actually promised my one of my friends. Iwas like, you'll never hear me say the word but again, right,and so every time he says the word, I say the word, but hecalls me out on it and I have done it before, but that'show I'm just trying to eliminate from my vocalbulary in total right, hey,but, because that's always a yeah, but or no, but right.It's just not building upon that energy that I like to create with with thean right. HMM. So we call it the we call it the Improvmindset, right, having a mindset of yes and at all times. Well, that's cool. That it all makes sense, Andrew, and I thinkthat a lot of people are going to...

...take your advice to heart and Iwould be surprised if there wasn't an uptick in Improv class sign ups across thenation the week following the release of this episode. So great to chat withyou about how improblems improved, you're selling, how listening and really understanding what peopleare saying is part of this energy flow that's going to elevate both sidesof the conversation and really make everyone enjoy that connection a lot better and getwhat they want out of it. So great having you on the show todayand you people wanted to get ahold of you and talk to you more aboutImprov or sales or outreach or whatever. How could they do that? Oh, yeah, they can. Actually you can email me directly, Andrew Dotnewborn with Amazon, Mary at outreach. That I oh, contact me onLinkedin. Send me a dam. That's another way to get ahold me aswell. So thanks you asking. You just, you know, literally justtold people to slide in your DM's. Yeah, slide into my idem allright, and I appreciate you on the show and all of our listeners outthere will you. Will see you next time on these sales engagement podcast thanksto appreciate it. Later one. This was another episode of the sales engagementpodcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the bookon sales engagement coming soon. To get the most end of your sales engagementstrategy, make sure to check out outreach. Do I owe the leading sales andethment plot. See you on the next episode.

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