In order to be successful in sales, being a skilled improviser will help. One of the tenants of improvising is to make statements, they keep the story moving forward and develop characters- the characters in real life being you and I.

In sales we have been trained to ask questions. Everything begins and ends with asking questions as a means of gathering information, learning pertinent information about the client and solving their problems and pain points. Questions are needed and necessary, however, they need to be supported by statements if one wants to deepen relationships with clients and create a more powerful conversation between the two parties.

Imagine watching an episode of “Saturday Night Live” and all the actors do is ask questions. The story would not go anywhere and the viewer would become bored very fast. The same concept applies in sales in that if all one does is ask questions and not make statements the story doesn’t move forward and the characters (us) don’t develop. I had this experience recently when I went to purchase a used car in Columbus, Ohio.

My wife and I went to a local dealer and the salesperson took us around to look at different cars in his lot. Throughout the tour he asked question after question after question: do we like this car, what kind of make and model were you thinking of, color, financing etc. Two hours later we ended up in his office and decided not to buy the car and headed home.

I remember the next morning asking my wife what she thought of the salesman… she said, “What was his name?”.