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Improv

Improv

One of the fundamental rules of successful improvisation on stage is to never reject what you’re given. So if someone were to say, “It’s raining in this cab,” you don’t respond, “We’re not in a cab and it’s not raining.” You might say, “That’s the sprinkler system, your pants are on fire.”

When you meet with a prospective buyer, you must be improvisational. That is, you can’t follow a “script” (“elevator pitches” are among the dumbest techniques in the world, should have been extinct with the stegosauruses, which had more intelligence anyway). You can’t be subservient, “Oh, yes, you’ve had very impressive growth!” And you can’t be an order-taker: “You need a two-day retreat in the basement? Of course. How much would you like to pay me?”

Stay in the moment, take what you’re given, and direct it toward your own goals—a proposal with options.

“Your operation is running very smoothly? Great, that’s what all of my best clients have told me at the outset. Now’s the best time to invest in the next stage of growth. After all, if you’re not climbing, you’re not growing, and no one can coast on a plateau.”

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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