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 platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with fires and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. How's it going everyone? Joe Ving Dollal here, senior content managing editor for outreached Ioh and happy to be on the show, happy to be hosting my first episode and even more excited to have an incredible guest today, Andrew Me born sales consultant, solutions consultant, seller, traveler, chef, comedian, all around good guy here today on the show. Super excited. He's going to be talking about how Improv is one of the number one ways to become a better seller 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 being funny. So, without further ado, I'm going to toss it on over to Andrew and you introduce yourself, tell us how you got here and then let's just jump right into the Improv stuff. Joe, that was one of the best introductions I've ever gotten. So thank you very much for that one there. 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 of the number one sales training courses that you should ever take and how I got into that and what made me believe that. was three years ago I decided to join a company called outreach and joining this company I came from an engineering background and I realize that I really was not a good seller right. Wasn't going to be in a selling role initially,...

...but I was going a company that was all about sales and if that was the case, I wanted to be the best seller I can be, no matter what, you know, if it was in a whatever position I was in. So I had a old box and I said, you know what, I want to one day become a good seller. What do I do? And he said, you know 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 to become the best person you can be in conversations or with other people, you need 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 I win I at first I watched an Improv course, or I watched Improv class I should say, and I said, okay, what are these people doing in these classes? Making I'm so great? You know, that's making them good with 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 build a relationship with someone, how to set an objective, and so that's what I 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, was phenomenal. I've always been into psychology and how the brain works, so that is really what started me on my journey. I signed up for a class, did improve one hundred and one, and from there I took every course that I could, you know, once or twice a week, and eventually learned that, again, it's not about being funny. There's so much other items in there that you know, you can take with you, not only in your career but in your personal life and in your relationships. To Talk to me about. All right, you take the classes, you learn a few things and you go right now, let's try to apply these things that I learned. Talk to me about...

...the first few times that you're on the 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 the Improv 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 and with yes, and what that means is accepting any offer that you're giving and hearing offers as well, like, if you say something, how do I take 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 and they 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, we can't do that. But as I did that, I would just go down with 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 yes and and to building upon other people's ideas right and to knowing where to navigate and where you're going to take the conversation. So I definitely failed a few times in that sense and it doesn't always work out right with what you learn and Improv there's some techniques they're going to work for some instances but some for not. But overall what you do take from you is the ability to know that you can experiment and fail. So you become comfortable with failing right and whether some relationships or trying new ideas and conversations, and it sounds to me that it really increases your ability to be agile and conversations right. A lot of people, when they're talking to anyone, really are just waiting for the next moment where they can say something right and not really listening. And I know that you've written recently about the importance of listening, because you know that is fuel full or the conversation and you know how to respond and and ideally both people on each side of the conversation. I can have a better experience in outcome if both of them are actually...

...listening to the other person. To Talk to a little bit about the listening technique and at what you learned in Improv around that. Definitely, listening is we all hear it all the time. You know here sales, like your any blog post, any blog is ever written about sales, right like that. Sales people are the best listeners. What does that really mean? Right? There's a few things. One active listening, right, so not just hearing what you've said, but trying to understand and empathize with what it is that you've just said. I'll go back to Improv and how this relates to that. I mean in Improv you're behind the scenes, right, there's a stage, you're behind curtains and you say, okay, I need to go up on the stage in front of everyone, right and either build a character, build a scene, build a scenario, whatever it may be. If I'm behind the curtains, and I want to build upon that scene, I need to be actively listening and empathizing with that character that's currently on the stage, because if I go on, they're out there and I don't empathize and I come out with some complete feeling that 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 making your partner look good. Right, that is like one of another core belief of Improv always make your partner look good. Chill, you look great today. So thank Oh, thank you. You know, when you make your partner look good, how are you going to do that? You need to listen 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? So for me, if I need to boil it down to Hey, what is listening well mean? It means taking in and consuming information away that's going to make 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 of them, you know, on a monthly basis, whatever it may be. If they prepped me for these calls before...

...we get on them, on the technical requirements at these folks need. If they prep me and make what I'm going to do is take that information, I'm going to make them look I'm gonna say, Hey, you know it, Jonathan or that, he prepped me. I know this, I know that, and and making them look good, they're going to make me look good as well, and that's going to make us look good to the prospect together. So all about the active listening, because you know in doing so you're going to make your partner look good. 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's super 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 word vomit their pitch, sure, like they have this script and they're not actually listening to what the other person is saying. And so if you could give someone who is new to selling or even anther in seller who may just be could be stuck in their ways. Some some tidbits, some takeaways from your experience 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 may be, and listening in a way where you're not coming up with an answer as they're speaking. You hear him out. If you need to take a second to 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 pause for a few seconds. I do it all the time. Right. So I say accepting offers. One, once again, to shutting up and listening. And three, action beats in action. What that means is if I sit on the phone and I don't do anything at all. Right, I'm scared to say that one particular thing it's better to try and say in a way that comes across well then not saying at all. So in the spirit of action is better than inaction. I...

...was just going to be like yeah, okay, that sounds good. I would actually like you to elaborate a little more on that one, or give you an example of where maybe you said something that we knew in your mind wasn't exactly right, but you knew that doing so was going to be better than not doing so. I'm usually one and that, unfortunately, if I hear something that maybe a little complex or if I didn't really understand something, my natural tendency would be to kind of just nod and recede in the background, like that homer Simpson meme and when he goes into the hedge. So talk to me a little bit more about the action is better than an inaction portion. Okay, so I'll go into this. So you always have a friend who's always saying how generous they are, 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 can be strong. So active choices, like specific action, are what's going to move things forward and create opportunities for others. So don't think about doing it or talk about doing it, just do it right, and that's how I really get to the bottom of the whole action beats and action right. I'm all say I on a phone, prospect says, Hey, you know what can you send me this? Sure, I'm will send you that. I may not know exactly what the heck it is that I'm really supposed to send or how I send it, or you know. I mean, I have that 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 can give. That's what it's going to be at Hey, I don't know this particular 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 usually kind of afraid of saying and wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, and so 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 try and make that connection with someone and promise them that, hey, you may not know what exactly what they're asking or...

...were what they're asking for, but you'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 can with this offer. I hear you and I'm going to take in run with it. So you want to play a little game, Hey, we can play a little game. Okay, do it. So I've read to meet Your Block Post, Uh Huh, and you have some exercises in there that can help people learn some tricks about Improv and how they can apply them to their daily selling activities. Is there any exercise do you think we could play on the podcast today that may be fun and illustrative of some of the things we've been talking about? Yeah, definitely. Any specific exercises that sit out too well, since where audio only, we can't do kind of like passing the ball, or maybe we can do like little role playing and some yes and type stuff. Okay, all right, let's do this. I'm a prospect right and I'm going to give you an objection right now. I wanted the roles to be reversed this year. The okay to do it. All right, I was trying to test you. They're just trying to test. We go. Let's do it and then I'll explain my thinking as I go through the answer. How about that? Okay, so I am a prospect and I am buying generic product. Okay, that will help me day to day. All Right, Andrew, I see that your product can do a lot of different things, but unfortunately what I'm not seeing is that it can increase my revenue en x within twelve days. So you know that's something you can do, or am I just not noticing? Yes and Joe, we have lots of prospects that initially think that, as we speak with them, as they come to us about how we can help them solve their problems. I want to tell you about, you know, our implementation process and that we 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 activity within a matter of a couple weeks, there's going to be some up ticking revenue 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 the other way, where if I said yes, but right in that article, that you just mentioned. If there's like an energy curve, yes, and is like you're building on energy. All right, you know, let me agree 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 with them with the yes, but energy versus a hey, let me agree with you and then actually tell you in a way, Hey, this is actually going to work for you. Right, that makes sense. Yeah, but and 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 even when 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 it all the time. I've actually promised my one of my friends. I was 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 he calls me out on it and I have done it before, but that's how 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 the an right. HMM. So we call it the we call it the Improv mindset, right, having a mindset of yes and at all times. Well, that's cool. That it all makes sense, Andrew, and I think that a lot of people are going to...

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

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