Jake Iannarino is Anthhony’s younger brother. He’s a professional comedian and actor with deep roots in improv. When he was 17, he was the youngest member accepted to the national touring improv group, Midwest Comedy Tool & Die, led by Michael Loftus (Producer and Head Writer of Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management). Jake was also in The Animal and The Hot Chick, and recently helped write and produce American Wiseass for The History Channel. In this episode Anthony asks Jake to talk about getting his start in comedy, the rules of improv, trust in the process, and he writes a “new” theme song for the In the Arena podcast (which Anthony promises will never be used outside of this episode.) WARNING: Jake is a professional comedian. You are listening to this podcast of your own free will, and if you are offended —particularly during the song – Anthony takes no responsibility. 🙂
Improv Comedy on a Sales Podcast?
It may seem strange that Anthony would feature a comedian on a podcast about sales and the sales process. But he’s not only interested in learning from sales coaches and professionals, he wants to take cues from other walks of life that can help him gain skill in the sales process as well. And more importantly, his guest today is his brother. Jake Iannarino is a standup comedian who integrates improv and music into his act, often together at the expense of audience members – and they love it. Anthony asks Jake about his history in improv and draws out a few timely lessons about comfort and discomfort in the sales process. But know this… there is some spicy language in this one. You’ve been warned.
How a salesperson is like an improv artist.
It seems like sales and improv are two of the most polar opposite career paths that could exist. But when you begin to learn about the “rules” of good improve the similarities become more apparent. On this episode Jake Iannarino, a comedian and improv artist shares how one of the most important rules for improv is to commit to the process 100%. What he means is that in his interactions with another improv artist he needs to be 100% supportive of the direction the other comedian takes the scenario and amplify on it rather than slow it down. Sales, especially as a team effort and within the organization overall, is exactly the same way. It’s a team sport. You can hear more insights from the improv world and how they relate to sales on this episode of In The Arena.
Improv has a lot to teach sales professionals.
There are not many people who would feel that they have the talent or ability to be on the improv stage, but sales professionals are often in that scenario day in and day out. Dealing with objections, scenarios, and unexpected needs a prospect may have are the same thing, only on a more serious level. The rules of improv can come in very handy, especially when two or more sales professionals are working together to close a deal. You can hear some of those improv rules on this episode with Anthony’s younger brother, Jake Iannarino.
Never negate a team member… the results could destroy trust.
One of the rules of successful improv is to never negate what an improv partner injects into a scene. Anthony says that is a rule that should be part of how sales teams interact and operate as well. He’s seen situations where a team is making a sales presentation and one of the team member negates or contradicts something the other said, right there in front of the prospect. Doing that causes the client to wonder how “together” the sales organization is and can destroy trust. It’s interesting how much improv and sales are alike, and you can hear more about the similarities on this episode.
Outline of this great episode
[0:38] Anthony’s introduction to his brother, Jake Iannarino and the art of improv.
[4:12] How Jake got into doing comedy and where it has led him.
[7:30] The “rules” of improv that make it work effectively.