Merlin Works Newsletter: Can You Sell Your Product Without Selling Your Soul?

We certainly think so!

by Aden Kirschner and Shana Merlin

It’s one of the things I would dread most about owning my own business–sales calls. And I just finished reconciling my accounts in Quickbooks, so that’s saying a lot. I would get a lead in through my website, and after the initial excitement, I would star the email and decide to follow up on it when I was ready. Which would be a while. Like, after I finish writing a new blog post and updating the curriculum for 201. And folding the laundry. Meanwhile my competitors might be closing the sale.

Why would I do that? Avoid the thing that I’d set up my business to do? Push off the most profitable part of my business? It’s because sales is so… icky. I’d feel so phony trying to pitch the benefits of my business, quoting numbers, and pretending to be a professional. Yuck.

But a couple of things happened that helped change my attitude. First, I got to see what some other, traditional trainings were like–and they were terrible. Boring, obvious, condescending. I realized that I really did have something valuable to offer. And I’m not alone in thinking that. The last few years have seen articles popping up in places like NPRCNN, and Forbes about how vital the ability to improvise has become to the current business environment.  It is no wonder that schools like MIT and  Duke University are beginning to include improv

programs in their business degrees.  In fact many top companies are hiring experts in improv to help build more cohesive, creative and innovative teams across the US.  Maybe that’s why Merlin Works has found that our corporate training workshops, like our Team Works and Train the Trainer programs are in high demand with businesses like Whole Foods, Dell and BusinesSuites.

And as I continued doing trainings and getting positive feedback, I realized I was really helping people with my work. So my first big take away was that I really believed in my services and that people were hungry for them. That I could save people from another boring power point monologue. That flexibility in the workplace applies to so much more than just thinking creatively about projects.  Improv can also help us think creatively about how we talk to each other.

The second thing I realized is after I had several sales calls is that I rarely had to sell anyone. People were coming to me because they needed something. All I had to do was listen. Listen and repeat back to them what they needed, to make sure I was clear. And then say, “Yes, I can help you with that.” Then it wasn’t a sales call, it was a conversation. And one where I didn’t have to do most of the talking. And when I did talk, I could just repeat and speak to what I was already an expert at and passionate about, my business.

This is the new model for sales in the information age.  And that’s the kind of training we are offering through our 2013 partnership with The Art of Change LLC, an exciting new program: Persuasion Works.  This hands-on workshop will give your team the communication tools needed to speak influentially.  Prevent more conflicts, resolve existing conflicts faster, and become more effective in situations where negotiations arise by harnessing the power of positivity and persuasion.  Using the time-tested system of heavy-hitting professional speaker, and internationally best selling author Dr. Richard Kirschner’s Influence and the Art of Persuasion,  participants learn how to listen fully, blend with others, break through communication blocks and use the Seven Signals of Persuasion to deliver truly influential communication.  After this highly interactive session, you will be able to effectively plan for your next salary negotiation, vendor conflict, or any interpersonal challenge!

Some benefits of Persuasion Works Training:

  • Be more present and go off script with confidence.
  • Quickly get the information you need to minimize conflict and simplify negotiation.
  • Diffuse tense situations.
  • Be more fun to work with, even when engaging with difficult people.
  • Utilize the Seven Persuasive Signals to remove obstacles standing between you and your goals.
  • Improve your partnerships in business and at home.

Contact our new Corporate Trainings and Events Coordinator, Aden Kirschner to get a free quote or more information about what we can do for your organization. Or you can submit your request through our online form.  And trust us, this time we will respond, promptly.


About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.