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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sales & Status – Business Improvisation at its Most Valuable

statusThere are several critical sales skills that can increase your success with your clients that go beyond the traditional mass produced ‘one size fits all’ sales training. Skills associated with account strategy, competitive counter tactics, advanced questioning models to reveal value, the neuroscience of change and my personal favorite; status.

Status awareness and manipulation is one of those allusive attributes that people often think a great sales person is ‘born with’.  Like most valuable sales skills, some come to them naturally and perform them in an unconsciously competent state of mind. Until I attended an improvisation workshop many years ago with Keith Johnstone I had not experienced status as a learnable skill. Further research led us to incorporate status as a major component in our Collaboration & Influence Model that we include in our workshops. Status awareness and manipulation, your own and how you use it to affect a situation, is a key ingredient in sales and leadership. Continue reading

Accepting Resumes From Bilingual (English/Spanish) Actors

In anticipation of hiring needs for Fall 2013/Winter 2014, e-roleplay is accepting resumes from bilingual (English/Spanish) actors.

e-roleplay Background Information:

 e-roleplay provides training practice over the phone. The company combines the techniques of adult education (e.g., demonstration, practice, feedback) with communications technology. Clients/participants take part in a live roleplay over the phone. Our courses are either Frontline (i.e., we play customers/clients) or Coaching (i.e., we play direct reports). Each roleplayer plays a series of characters to help the client learn how: Continue reading

“You have to use my guy: he’s the best!”

By Jason Mitchell

How your customer feels about you, your company, your staff and your business has a very real impact on the success of your business. Sometimes your customer will share how they feel, but more often than not, they never do or they never have the opportunity to provide that feedback to you directly. This is especially true when their feedback is negative. While I was introduced to this idea through my work at e-roleplay, where we provide feedback about how customers feel in sales situations, its power only became truly clear when I paid attention to how this plays itself out in real life.   jason

Here’s an example from my recent life as a consumer where a company had the chance to create a loyal repeat customer who would promote them by word-of-mouth, but instead created the opposite—a customer who would only speak of the company in damaging terms.  


My home in Toronto is a 2 bedroom, semi-detached house that was built in 1920 on a quiet street. It suffered for years at the hands of its previous owner, a self-professed handyman who lived there for a quarter of a century and whose home repair choices were baffling. One of the more interesting and dangerous surprises we discovered upon moving in was the previous owner’s creative wiring: old knob-and-tube wiring mashed together with newer strands of copper wire. So, some of the first calls we made were to get quotes from several electrical companies. One day when I couldn’t get out of work, a company we’d contacted sent an electrician to our house to provide an estimate, so my wife stayed home to meet with him. When she opened the door and asked him to come in, he looked blankly at her and asked if the owner of the house was home—meaning, of course, the man of the house. You can imagine how well that went over.  Continue reading

To Learn, You Have To Fall

By Amy Sellors

trick-skiingWhen I was a kid, I took water-skiing lessons. My dad first taught me to water-ski when I was 7, I went to water-ski camp and every year, when our family would vacation at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, my brothers and I would all take lessons there. Water-skiing was a big deal at Callaway Gardens—there was even a daily water-ski show. It was here that my older brothers all learned to water-ski barefoot and do jumps, and that I learned how to do 180 and 360 degree spins on trick skis. (Note: trick skis are wide, with rounded ends, the design of which allows tricks to be performed, such as spins. Skiers can use one or two small trick skis.)

One summer afternoon when I was 12, I had a water-skiing lesson scheduled with Doug. I really liked Doug. He was a great water skier. He always played the clown in the show: if you have ever seen a water-skiing show, you know that the clown can ski circles around the other skiers—sometimes literally! Doug was really nice, and I wanted to impress him, so, I was amazing in my lesson: I never fell. We went around and around the lake, and I never even got my hair wet! I was so pleased with myself. Continue reading

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