The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 130 · 6 months ago

130. The Mindset of Improv in Sales w/ John Sweeney

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The sales funnel is actually a pyramid that looks like this: top-level is sales tools, middle level is sales skills, bottom level is the humanity of the sales professional. By restoring a connection to the authenticity, emotion, and mindset of the sellers themselves, the art of sales can begin to return to the foundation of customer experience: making people’s lives better.

In this episode, I interview John Sweeney, the Owner and Speaker at the Brave New Workshop Theater, about blending principles of comedy, improv, theater, and art to train sellers in using emotion to sell in person and via video.

John & I also discussed:

- What the art of theater has to do with sales

- Understanding the real sales pyramid and the mindset of the authentic self

- How to become comfortable with being uncomfortable

- Strategies for putting the human at the center of customer experience

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast:

- The Innovation Mindset

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Orwhat we have found, though, is thatthe productivity, the potency, the effectiveness of the tools and theskills really is determined by that human being by that autentisy. By thatmindset, the single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers,learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in apersonal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here'syour host Eten beaute today we're talking about the role ofthe emotion and the role of laughter in the customer experience and therelationship between improvisation comedy and sales. Our guest is abusiness thinker, consultant and KENOTE speaker among his clients or householdnames like Microsoft, Target Honeywell, US Bank Hilton and the Minnesota TimberWolves, he's the author of four books, including the Innovation Mindset, whichwill probably get into and he's the owner of the oldest comedy theater inAmerica. The brave new workship has introduced to him by mutual friend Joshfeedy, founder of sales reach, who was my guest on this show on episode. Sixtyeight John sweeny welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank youfor having me I'm grateful to be here. It's good to see you again, yeah we'veafter Jash introduced us. We spend a little time together. I was like wecould have recorded these. It would have been useful to somebody inaddition to being fun for both of us. So so I'm glad we could do it in alittle bit more of a formal setting this time and I'll start with you, John,where we always start which is customer experience when I say that what does itmean to you yeah, I you know, you've got all thetraditional definitions and stuff to me, like I always just think, is it's justa simple thing like? Is that person better after they had that experiencelike? Are they happier? Are they smarter? Are they wealthier? Are theymore fit whatever it is, and so it's almost like, I always think of customerexperience, is anonyous with that word transformation right like was there ifyou're doing a good job, and you want to come back right like it's prettysimple, but I'm always so grateful as a customer. When I experience somethingand I just go yeah, thank you, I'm I'm a little bit better. Whatever thatversion better is you know I mean my backs more aline because of achiopractor or I just I'm happier because of that movie I just saw or I'.I feel satisfied because I had a well cooked meal or these shoes arewonderful, but have I somehow transformed into a little tiny bitbetter version of me and than if I did I'm grateful? I love it. First of all,I always appreciate gratitude. I don't think any of US experiences enoughwithin ourselves and expresses it enough to other people, including thepeople whoare grateful for us. So I appreciate the way you button that up,but but above all I really like your focus very intense focus on the desiredoutcome. You know there's a just in general, there's kind of the signgoingconversation about kind of the surprise and delight in the feeling, part ofcustomer experience versus the desired outcome. Part and- and I think they'reboth as you incorporated, I think, they're, both critical to theexperience. You know we can feel amazing or be surprised and delightedas much as we want, but if we didn't get what we paid for, I kind of doesn'tmatter so really wi down there. I've been very privileged. You know owning acomedy theater, because you get to see that transformation and it really issatisfying right. Some. What I mean by that is, you know, picture it's aFriday night, it's downtown Minneapolis, there's two hundred and four people whodecided to of all the things they could do. They decided to come and spend timeat your theater and drink your beer and see your comedy and a lot of them. Ifit's a Friday night, maybe a big grumpy right because they they rushed fromwork. The dinner was lat, the reservations, the cab, whatever it was,and so they kind of come into your theater and they're. You knowcomplaining, maybe their seat wasn't perfect or something, and you couldjust tell theyre a little...

...and then by intermission through thetransformative quality of laughter. They they're a little bit kinder to theUshers Ando, the Barstaff and the conversations going a little bit betterat the table with their friends and then by the time, the shows over andthey've seen the Improv set they're like thanks for having us so as great,and you know in their skin color and their smiles and their gate. They are atransformed person and that's not necessarily because we do such a greatjob. It's just the you know. The Art of theater is just a wonderful thing. Youliterally take someone from this point of view to two hours later beingbettered it's one of the things I missed the most now. You know thatwe've been closed because because of the pandemic is just standing outsidethose doors and watching those customers leave with that smile- andyou know they they're doing goofy stuff walking down the street to their carand then me they got their arm around someone and they're just more happy andit's it's beautiful. I love it yeah. What a joy tell us a little bit moreabout the theater. I mean it is a theatere, but you also mentione theimpacts of the pandemic, but you also do a lot of teaching coaching,Consulting Training Yard two trainings today and we're recording this prettylate the afternoon, for you tell us what you're doing with brave newworkshop sure and it's a quick little story, but so the brave newwork shop isthe oldest longest running satirical and improvosational comedy theater inthe United States of America, our first show was made tet, one thousand ninehndre and fifty eight and one of the hard parts of the pandemic for us is sothe first time we had ever missed a weekend of performances was this March.So we had sixty two years in a row where we had never missed a weekendwhich was kind of fun, and so it was started by this wonderful man who wealso hto, unfortunately lose this this year. Although he had a great life. Hisname was Dudley, Riggs, fifth generation circus performer, soBarnaman, Bailey guy and then in the earlys broke. Fifty two bones or forty,two bonds in one fall off the highwire act in Blackpool England stuck eroundthere and healed, went back to New York and decided he wanted to leave thecircus, and so he started doing this instant theater. They called it and-and he was really kind of a warm up act with other acrobats, jazz musicians,actors, just a rag tag group of extroverts- I guess- and they wouldbring a trunk up on stage- and this was the last days of Vaudeville. So theymight be warming up for the marks brothers or for a big orchest or thatsort of stuff, and then they started traveling that around the country andthen he fell in love when he came to Minneapolis Minnesota. Thank goodnessand he planted his roots for the first time in his life, like literally as acircus performer, they would summer in Arkansas winter in Arkansas, but thatwas only for a month. He was on a circus train, his whole life until hemoved to Minneapolis and then started this little coffee shop because he hadan express on maschine that he had brought back from Europe. And so we arenot only the longest running comedy theater, but we have the firstexpressav machine ever to serve Expresso on the west side of theMississippi, and so he brought people to this cafe and they were weren'tspending a quarter for expresso, because coffee was only a nickel. So hesaid what, if we did, this instant theater in the front of the coffee shop,and that was made t et t, one thousand nine hundred and fifty eight and thegrew and grew and grew in one of our our claims to fames. Is that reallythis show setright live? Has Its roots at the Bregnan workshop because AlFrank, an and Tom Davis were taking off our stage to be the first twoheadwriters at Sara live. So when you come to our theater- and I hope you dowhen we can make it safe again, we do scripted comedy that is social andpolitical satire. And then we always do an improvisational third act. And soit's been great. My wife and I bought it twenty thee years ago from Dudleyand the reason why we have our corporate training is because two yearsinto buying it, this wonderful thing called the Internet came out and dvdrplayers and Netflix and cat videos and Tivo, and so the live theater business.Our big recession was o one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight to twothousand and two and we lost a third of the theaters in the twin cities alone,and so as an entrepreneur. We had to decide as a couple. How can we keepthis theater from going under and my wife had really developed ourimprovisational school at that point,...

...and so we 're up to about three hundredstudents and we asked them got any ideas like we can't make asmuch money as we use do on live theater and the more we got to know them. Werealized that they were taking improvisational classes with nointention of ever performing, and then we got to know that they worked atgeneral mills and it best by and a US bank and at Cargale and all thewonderful companies we have in our twin cities and they were taking aprovisation as a way to ppractice the things they were using at work,whether it was sales or service or leadership or innovation, and it seemedlike it was an activating gym for the behaviors that they were then using andapplying to the to the real world. I guess in Corporate America. So we said,maybe we've got something there, and so I started going around and asking thelarge corporations if I could come and buy them lunch and and do someimprovisational exercises that we did in our school and I had been in thecorporate world. So I was able to bridge them to e the corporate jargotand the corporate strategy and all the wonderful things about that world andit took off and we've done thirty two hundred events and we've kind of developed that what we'rereally helping people with is the improvisational mindset and then thatmindset could be applied to sales or to service or leadership. But the mindsetof an improviser is the unique one because our customers are in front ofus they're, mildly intoxicated. We ask them. What's important t you and whatshould we build for you and then they say well, we'd like you to build us acomedy scene but we'd like it to be about Hilary and trump in a canoe inANARTICA solving healthcare. And then we instantly build them that, withoutknowing our role without having any props, costumes, directors, scripts orpractice- and we just get that done so as almost a a laboratory. It's a greatway to understand what an innovative culture is. What confidence is in yourarticulation, how to work with others really quickly how to reduce that Voiceof Judgment? How how to bring things to market, even though they're notcompletely perfect yet- and it's not a perfect modelin metaphor, but we'vebeen able t o to use it to help people be their best selves at work. What anawesome story so many important transformations and decisions there. Iloved your process of talking with your customers to understand what problemyou were truly solving for them. It's obviously not make me animprimprovisational performer, and so so many good tips just in that we couldspend the rest of the time breaking that down, but let's go high level andthen get into that improvisation. The mindset and maybe confidence talk justin general ind your experience and observation. You know it's easy to talkabout the tools and the technology, especially in a sales or servicecapacity, but I don't think we talk enough about the human side of it. Justgive me a ago at kind of the human side, maybe of sales, the role of emotions oremotional connection or human connection bring us back to Earth. Withregard to that dynamic, we've been kind of explaining our work for a long timenow, maybe fifteen years I in just a simple triangler pyramid right and thethe top third is the tools that we use and that middle strip is the skillsthat we have and then the bottom part is that humanity, it's that mindset.It's that authenticity. It's that emotion, it's the person and when Ican't tell you w used to judge this a lot more than I ought to. I noticedwhile people spent so much budget and time and effort on tools and skills andand as an improvisor, we don't have any tools or skills. We just have US right.So that's why the MEDAPHOR works for us, but I realized that it wasn't that theywere trying to purposely avoid the human it just made sense to me becausewhat gets budgeted gets approved, and so how do you budget mindset? How didyou go to the CFO and say the Roi on better humans is, and so after I kindof step back from my judgment, I was like they're buying new tools, becausethey can. They can convince someone to buy the tools, because if we have a newcrm and sales will automatically go up...

...by sixteen percent and the CRM was onlya half million dollars. That makes sense we're going to make money. Ifeveryone is six Sigmas certified or everyone has knows how to do Stanforddesign or if everyone has got this sales digination, the stats say theywill sell more. So let's do that and that all make sense and it's true. Whatwe have found, though, is that the productivity, the potency, theeffectiveness of the tools and the skills really is determined by thathuman being by that authenticity by that mindset and mine sets a big hugeword, so you can have your own definition, everyone does. Our mindsetis kind of when we're on n authentic self. That mindset is just that Lens.We're going to look through to see the next moment. The next sales call thenext customer experience the next conversation with someone. So what Ilove about it is that if we can help people really get totheir most authentic self, it absolutely accelerates the productivityof th, the skills and the tools, and when it comes to sales, our programsreally simple. We believe that process is important and that you know yourproduct and you have the steps of your shales process and all the technologyneed. But what we try to add to that is be your authentic self use. TheMetaphor of improvisation is a way to navigate through sales conversationsand learn how to tell stories we can be authentic selves, be an improvisor andtell stories. I think we'll do okay in sales yeah, I love it. I love the try.I Love The pyramid. I also started to visualize it potentially as like aniceberg where you know the tools and tacker sticking out and we can pointout them and talk about them and look at Hem. You know like partly at orslightly above the water line might be the skills, but some of those are belowthe waterline, but this big differentiator is hidden from view andoften taken for granted. Let's break those three things down again, I guessactually. First, let's get into improvisation. For you know when I hearthe word improvise or I think about improvisation. Obviously comedy comesto mine, but I also think of jazz and I think of basketball is kind of like aphysical extension. Well, jazz is physical to, but I think anyway, that'swhere my mind goes talk a little bit about improvisation in general, and whyare those skills like especially maybe at that point where you're trying tomake the decision? What direction should we take this business in so cancreate Su statable revenue speak about improvisation in general, and thenmaybe at this intersection of helping me be more effective in my role everyday on the job sure a lot of times people will, I guess it's how the brainworks. They want to kind of think of either or right, so I'm eitherimprovising or I'm using a system or process, and and that's just not whatwe advocate. We advocate that you have to do both and what you find is becauseof our NEURA Ugi. The brain is going to lean much more towards let's collectdata, let's create a strategy, let's make sure we do analysis, so we canprove the likelihood it will occur and reduce the risk. And then let's followthat system, and that's just wonderful- I mean like one of our best. Clients isMETRONIIC right. I hope they're not improvising their pacemakers. I reallywant them to work right, and so we're not saying throw that out. We're saying,in addition to that work on the abiliity to understand howto identify opportunities that aren't necessarily showing themselves in the data. Maybethat's your instinct. Maybe that's your gut know that we now live in a worldthat many decisions are going to have to be made without all the data,because we've got smaller more nimble, competition- that's coming in fasterthan we do so. Can we develop the ability to know I've got seventy percent on I need, and then I got some improvisationtional gut and so now Iknow how to decide. So it helps in the decision mode and then when he getsdown a really really practial stuff right, like a sales conversation, aCustomer Service Conversation or a coaching session as a leader. Those are just two personimprovisational scenes and they have to be because they involve two humanbeings who are in general,...

...unpredictable. That's what we are we'reunpredictable and so to me it's such a beautiful set of tools and mindset,skills to be able to say I'm going to go into an xnills sales. Call I'm goingto go, have a conversation with a coworker, I'm not exactly how it'sgoing to go, but I know the tenants of improvisation, which will allow me tofocus on what my partner saying, which allow me to not get too stuck in what Iexpect and be more Nimble Ind. What can be, which allow me to know thateverything I need to learn is going to come out of my partner's mouth, whichallows me to know that the imperfection may be where the innovation will comefrom. And then this kind of selflessness and being of service,which I really love about a art form, is my job- is just to make. The personin the scene always look better than myself, and so those are just a handfulof improvisational based tenants that we try to behave in the real world. Butwhen I see leaders at their best it's because they have great analysis andsystems and they're, just brilliant and all that sort of stuff and then thehuman side, their improvosational side and boy. I think a lot of leaders hadto do a lot of that. In the last twelve months, because things are differentthan any, data could have predicted yeah so much good stuff there, and I'mgoing to draw parallel between improvisation and authenticity, I'mgoing to see if you buy it and then see where you take it from there. So theway you defined improvisation or kind of talkd through it. I think one of thereasons people get hung up. I mean you already mentioned kind of maybe amental bias to the kind of the tangible and the measurable which will kind oftake our attention, perhaps and in the wrong direction, sometimes Yore atparticular moments. I think a lot of people with regard to improvisation,probably struggle a little bit with active, listening they're, reallyfocused on what they need to say. Next, that's probably a stumble, but I thinksomething that improvisation might have in common. This is I kind of UN I'mteing it up, as a question might have in common with authenticity, is that it requires us to kind of go out alittle bit on a limb that we might not be comfortable in like it's, not it'snot as secure. It's not as known it's not as comfortable. We we prefer toretreat back to Aro mayor, quoting here for listeners like safe or ground orwhatever you find that to be true, like when you're working with people onimprovisation and or authenticity. What are some of the things you need tounlock for them to allow them to experience it in full. Is thisdiscomfort with our lack of security fundamental to it? It is it it'severyone. So you know twenty five years, 've I've been standing up in front ofan audience and having to prove innovation off the top of my head,without knowing what I'm supposed to do, and I'm still scared and I'm stillhesitant to do that, and it seems to be a risk and what I've learned oveer theyears, mostly because of the person I wrote, the book with Illady Ameretsco,because she's kind of our resident neurologist is that that just means mybrains really really healthy right, because everything about that,including the authenticity, is kind of contrary for what the brain would like.The brain would like to keep us safe and safe, is ynonymous with predictable,and so the fact that we're asking ourselves to be in an improvosationalconversation or let alone in front of people who could judge us on stage withexpectations of it's got to be funny. It's just counter everything the brainwants us to do what's beautiful about it, though, is that if you recognizethat, then you can start to have daily practices that can help counterbalancethat, and that's where you can actually start to determine the mindset you wantto be in and then almost like a meditation practice or a fitnesspractice. You can decide I'm going to work towards a more consistent mindset,mental state where I am more comfortable being uncomfortable, andthat's one of the things that people trip up. They say if I'm going to dothis, then I'll be completely comfortable atd. You won't you'll justbe more comfortable with the fact that you're going to be uncomfortable andthat's one of the things I find in sales a lot too right like how can younot be uncomfortable you're, trying to convince someone to give you moneyright like and so what we do. Is We try...

...to quiet two sets of voices, the one set of voice. My wife justwrote a wonderful article about this is those voices that we might have heardin our past. That told us we weren't creative, we weren't a greatsalesperson. We weren't a great father, we weren't a great friend whatever itwas, those voices, this darn brain, listens to those in an amplified wayand it writes it numerous times. Compared to your awesome, your greatyour perfect salesperson, everybody loves you, I kind of poopoose those,and so that's the one voice and then the second voice, of course, is thevoice that our own minds are creating that intervoice of. Why are you doingthis you're not going to be good at it? This risk here stay away from it andnot to get too deep into the science, but the part of the brain that createsthat voice is the oldest part of the brain. So it's literally still stuck in don't go outside the cave, there's asavor tooth tiger. You know, and it's not, that it's just a conversationabout a possible business choice that might increase our. You know verticalor something right like, and it doesn't do a good job of determining the levelof the threat. It simply sees it as a threat and says: Don't do it. So that'swhat I love about improvisation is that it truly is a practice and so andimprovosation, please, you know for R listeners. Take it outside the world ofcomedy. Improvisation is the ability to create without an absolutely certainpath, and so that means, if you want to improvise, have a conversation with afour year old you're done, you're improvising. So well, there's nothere's no path! You could follow with a four year old. You know if you're onimprovisation, think of your favorite song s and then rewrite the words tohow you're feeling that day, when it draw something just do something in away that is unpredictable and beautiful. I got to interview. Her name is Liz andshe wrote the book. Pray love. I believe, she's a big deal, thisis muchbigger deal. I am, and yesterday, in our interview she had the mostbeautiful definition of art that I've ever heard. She said art and I feelthis way kind of about improvosation, because our art is simply when we takeanything a person, argticl situation and make it a littlebit more beautiful than it need be, and I just thought that was so. You knowjust to go for utilitarian to something, and so that just means we're allartists, which means we're all improvisers. So improvisation to me is you know it'sjust a simple practice of being more comfortable being uncomfortable becauseyou're exactly right, it's uncomfortable yeah! It's interesting tohear you describe it that way. This idea that it doesn't go away that youjust get more comfortable with it. It's interesting. What I've been thinking alot about is for years. You know at Bombom we make it easy to record andsend personal video messages and emails and text messages linked in messagesslack whatever, and this same fear like this phere of exposure, the selfcriticism when they see themselves in a recorded video like it stops so manypeople before they ever can turn it into a habit. And I love the way youtalked about the signs there and you did not go too deep. I you, you feelfree to go deeper whene. I stoppe talking at you something that we've.You know. We recognize it that that there's this discomfort withvulnerability, the sphere of judgment are people going to accept me for who Iam. Are they going to reject me because, millennia ago, if you got kicked out ofthe tribe, you would probably die on the beach or the desert or the forestor wherever your tribe lived and like that's still with us, this ancientbrain that still influencis a dramatic share of our decisions, along with themid brain, which is emotional in nature and asscience kind of the emotions tothe base instinct of our animal creature anyway. So I'e recognize this.This fear that prevents people from acting an the interesting thing about. You know, video messages that you can.There is an alternative already. You could just keep typing out yourmessages and miss the opportunity to express yourself in full and to makeyourself available and invite people into relationship with you through thisact of vulnerability, and it's so...

...interesting because I would imaginethen this is why people retreat into the known and the secure I'm a littlebit restating myself, but they retreat into the knowne and the secure, becausethat's where I guess, the voices die down. So what are a couple practicesyou don T een have to give away. All of the secrets, but like what is somethingthat a listener could do today, because I identified so much with yourdefinition and examples of improvisation. You took it, of course,outside the sales role and brought it back into it and took it back out agetinto like daily life of talking to a four year old. What are one or twothings that a listener could do today? That would maybe help them either abecome aware of these voices so that they can just start listening to themand talking back and or B start getting comfortable with that discomfort. Surethere's I'll start with something really specific right. So I'm a big,really big fan of your product in your service, and I use it all the time andone of the things we do in our sales training. Of course, I, the last tenmonths, is to deal with the fact that we're now selling, virtually or viavideo, so one of the things that you can do to help your mindset with thatjudgment, talk of- Oh I get a little intimidated by this video thing is, isto actually acknowledge it right so like right now- and this is real primal to eyes- have areally really big role in whether or not we believe we're being judged whenwe are being looked at. Our brain gets that right. So right now, I'm lookingat my flip camera, so I can see me with the green screenang back to me. Then Ican see you looking at me and then I can see the zoom screen looking at me.So now I have three sets of eyes willing to judge me. They see thewrinkles I used to have hair, I'm fifty pounds overweight. I look tired. I cutmyself shaving over here right. All that comes in and so part of what wetry to help people do is just just say that that is the truth, because guesswhat I'm still? Okay, I'm still good and the brain is really like saying Idon't know if you're good oi mean what could happen, I am I going to becomeinvisible. It IIK Selfcombust, like the brains trying to scare you right, andthen you can imagine if we're doing this all day long. We have a programnow that that's just about relieving some of the stress that the virtualworld has brought us because we got people lookin at you know the trainingthey did today had fourteen hundred people in the way we set up our zoomcalls. I could see every single one of them, so I gat fourteen ere peoplestaring at me. I'm used to it because I give speeches for a living, but so toacknowledge it and then here's what we do when it comes to the specific thingt like Bombam, the next time, someone send you a video or the next time,you're on a video call and you're. Looking at fifty people write down how many times you werelooking at people going. Oh, they don't look so good, Oh that guy's a jerk, oh,that person should lose some way. You don't and Y. Your brain is telling youthat you're getting all this judgment, it's an irrrational set of data. Thetruth, the matter is s that you sturn out a bombom video. You do zoon call,and especially in this new world, everyone is compassionate andinterested and caring and there's not nearly the judgment that your brain isartificially escalating. So we try to get real with the data. I guess as away of saying it. I've never had someone send me a Bombi and go wow. The Lighting, Oh, that guy's, an idiotright, you're just happy to see a face. It's all good man, it's all good! Theother thing we do is to try to have a handful of people or just one person. Iyour life, that is, that other voice, that Voice of after affirmation thatvoice of you took a risk good job and you find those people and hang on tothem and it sounds a little bit therapy. But I you know, I'm a pretty confident, guy and and alot of it is that I depend on a group of people who are kind and loving andaffirming of me, and that means like hey. You know whenever it was ninemonths ago, wow. What's this thing is sent me, it's a it's like a video and Icould see you and it was easy, and I just clicked on it and that's prettycool you know, and so I knew they would.

I knew they would affirme me so get re with the data and then surroundyourself with the voices, because the brain listens to them as much as itlistens to yourself. So interesting, because that's anotherthing that that I recognized years ago and continue to promise people willhappen is- and you just added this- This function to it, which is, if youput yourself out there and you make it about the other person in a videomessage. Let's just say you send five or ten messages today in the vein of something like. Thank you good job.Congratulations. I just noticed that, or I was thinking about you dat, thatthat and you make it about the other person you'll get at least a fewreplies that kind of validate the effort. Let you know that you are okay,that you are good enough and all these other things, and it's interesting thatt', that that you see yourself as a confident person, but also are honestenough with yourself and with me and with the listeners that it depletes youat some point to express this confidence, and so you surroundyourself with people that fill you back up with affirmation and it's not emptyaffirmation either right! It's not! This idea of you know, standing in themirror and hearing these voices of people telling you how amazing you are,although Wa I've heard that that's effective to that that it's like thatyou're surrounding yourself with real supportive people, and I think peopledo it differently. What I do is it those voices help me in this battle ofletting my brain know that it's just genuinely a inaccurate and that it'susing a set of criteria to judge the risk inappropriately, and so that takesit awayway from me. It takes away from shame I'm just trying to get someaccurate, rational data. So I coan offset the ancient data of. If you go on camera and tha sales email,the the tiger will come into the cave right. I have to tell you I don't. Idon't want to turn this into a bomb om commercial, because I know it migh seeuinsincere, but when I first started using it and I've been doing this right,this is actually what I was tracking. I was tracking the difference in thereplie back and I found something that I think is I'm sure youdid this with alot of your stuff. If I sent an email, the reply back was almost exclusivelyabout the content of the email t e, the text, the practicality, the issue athand. If I said a bombbomb, they certainly heard the contents and emailback about that, but they always included something about me or them,and so it made me realize that an email is almost exculsionary of the humanbeing and the relationship- and you know many of the people that I sell tohave been n solitude for a long time. So it's it. The language is casual, andso my bomb on videos are casual. That sort of stuff but like, if I would havesaid you know, like Ike, an dear friend name, Dale Nici, Dear Dale, you knowwe're thinking about this new training program. I think ill be n appropriatefour year you know group let's get together and chat and see if we can advalue to your next company meeting. He would say: okay, my next Tusdays Open-and I think I might be intrigued with that- let's great in the bom bomb he'slike sweeie how you doing man hows he hanging up how's the theater. What'sgoing on, I think Hou got a kid is going to college this year right! It's!It instantly allows the human conversation to happen, and I don'tthink that's by chance. I just think it's because I'm seeing it's back tothe neurology like how can I have a relationship with the flip and emaillike I have one, and I hate it, Yono that what I love about Bombomand,that's what actually I love about. Zoom selling like let's get a gone yeah, sogood its really interesting inside you know. I've never heard it expressedthat. Clearly, this difference we leaned on a little bit of science inRehumanize, Your Business, the book that I co, authored with my friend andteammate, Steve, where our brains don't recognize typed out text as having beenwritten by a human right, an w LD which is captured in what you just said right.So I'm responding to the information my brain doesn't assign, except maybe inthese rare cases where you know you're, maybe typing up an email to someone.You know well, and they know you well...

...and they see your signature or yourlogo and it just triggers some of those feelings, but not nearly in the sameway as seeing your face and hearing your voice and really having the kindof the the immeasurables come to surface you know is one of my firstreactions is like I've been spending so much time trying to humanize my emails,so they will make that connection again. I don't I'm not aware of any of thesciencser I like I got, I gotta get him a joke in there I got to tell himsometin persomall, and that takes so much time. I got to think of what tosay. I got to type it all sort of stuff and then that instantly happens whenI'm like Hey Dal, like we're done we're connected. So I'm lazy I was like thisis a lot easier than trying to figure out a clever email yeah and it's alittle bit of an in between two like the email you have to be very conscious,inrational and thoughtful about you know. Improvisation is reacting in themoment to your partner and this sits somewhere in the middle, where you knowyou don't want to just hit record and just start yacking at somebody, becausethat's a the you know it's just disrespectful of their time andattention. At the same time, once you do hit Recordin, you know you just kindof go so you're not working off of somebody else, as you are in like atrue improvisational situation at the simime s it just you don't have tomanufacture the humanity, because they see and hear you right, like the effortused to Pak in an email to to do that, like even if you just give a prettystraightforward content in your bombomb by its nature, the humanity just isthere so, like I don't know it saves me a time I don't D. I can just get to thepoint too, like I actually think it's a really suscinct way of communicating toyeah, absolutely okay. Thank you for all that. That was super interestingfor me and actually very, very helpful. I really appreciate you sharing yourexperience with it. One of your books is titled Return to Civility. Now Ihave not. I confess I've not read the book, but I love the title, and I knowYou well enough to know that if I, if I introduce this, that there'll besomething interesting that comes back, when did we have civility when or howdid we lose it? How long has it been gone and is civility coming back sure?Well, I can. I can give you a little bit of data so probably because I wasactually I got excited about Hoot Sweit, I'm aTechtique, but then I'm not very techi, which is kind of an od thing, and so Iwas like do I have anything that I could like load into hoot swit and do adaily social media thing and in the game, I'm a Mi'm old. So this stuff isall FASCINATIG. It seems like a big mioracle to me right and so I was likewell. I wrote this book called return to Suvbility, which is really just athought of the daybook. It's three hundred and sixty five things that thebrave new workshop pledges to do to make this world a little bit more civiland they're, all ridiculously practical and simple, like if people are gettingoff the elevator, let them all get off the elevator before you barge on to theelevator every time someone has their blinkaround to merge, let them in everytime, if you're shoveling your sidewalk in Minnesota, and you live next to anolder person shovel their sidewack. I think today's was just take a littlebit of time to clean up the public resturoant after you use it and be sureto flush like nothing, huge right, and so anyway, we wrote this book alongtime ago and I'll tell you that story, eal quick! But so I was like. I've gotthree hundred and sixty five j pegs of each page that the publisher sent me.I'm goingto Loa that in the hoot swite and January first, two thousand andtwenty one I'm going to replay one each day and I have to say it's been one ofthe biggest kind of responses I've ever got in Linkon in Facebook, in Instagram,people are yearning for simple compment, decent acts of Cibility, and none ofthese are very complicated. So I think, there's a need, I think, there's apassion for it again I own a very political base theater, so I won't gointo the timing of perhaps when it went away and the truth. The matter is, Ibet you. It's Comeang gone a million times the real reason that I wrote thebook was once again because,...

...just because you'r right a book doesn'tmean you very good at things right and so every August there's a wonderful singerin songriter named Jean Colvan and it's my wife's absolute favorite musicianand she's won a couple grammis and she's kind of a classic singer,songwriter right and she comes through Minnesota, and it's always around thetime. In my wife's birthdays til. We always go so here. We are it's anoutdoor amphitheater, it's filled with wonderfully educated polite menosotanswere all so great, but they've been drinking a little bit, maybe and afterthe second song, Sean has to stop singing and ask the audience to bringtheir conversation down, because she can't hear herself in her own monitorand it's my wife's birthday, and we also can't hear her very well right. SoI'm Irish and I've been sober for ttwenty six years and I've used to havea worse temper problem than I have now, thank God, but I'm about to go off. I'mlike Shut Tha, eck up she cletters sittingright and- and my wife can tell that, because I have a vein right here thatreally kind of stands out when I ooses my Tam. So she puts her hand on my kneeand she says honey. Remember, they're not trying to be jerks they're, justforgetting to be civil, and I realized that's what it is. I dohave faith in humanity. I believe we're all good. We get so busy. We forget tobe civil, and so I was like well, then we're just going to remind him inreally simple ways, so we sat around as a company and we wrote that book inthirty six hours and we came up with five hundred ideas and we narrowed tdown a thre and sity five, one of the funny stories about that, because we'revery irreverent little company. We ran out of civil ideas after about fiftybecause Osi. So all we did as Comedians is reverse engineer, we came up withhorribly heinous things to do to people and then just reward. The word so Itas,like you know, instead of like knock down people, an an elevator, let themoff. Like I love it. I love the you were able to tenexit that way from likethe first fifty up to five hundred and then itfors the edit back. Normally, Iasked this at the end, but because you mentione that this is out in differentfeeds. Where can someone access these tips for civility? What like twitter,Hedlor or pages or whatever? So My facebook is John swenny speaks. MyLintin, I think, is John sweeny mindset but yeah they're onand then my instagram is. I am John Sweeney. My twitter is, I am Johnsweening Awsenal. I link those up for folks who ere listening. We do shortwriteups we put in some video clips, for example, if you want to see hisshaving accident, maybe I'll. Maybe that moment will wind up in a clip atbombamcom. PODCAST is bomb Bonbcom podcast and I had I had links forthings t at that. Come up in the conversation as well as you can findall that there. Well. If you really want to get to know me, you can go toJigly Boycom, because that's where all the action is and you'll see me dancingwith my shirt off in front of eighteen thosand people so yeah with the withthe respect and appreciation of Kevin Garnett, one of the greatest anbebasketball players of all time, which was a life Gal yeah, and you will neversee John Sweeney the same again once you visit Jiglyboycom. I know I now notclose to dinner time or anything. It's not and don't show the kids yeah Aywoneto see. Well, we didn't hit everything that I wanted to address, but I lovedthe conversation. I think it was very interesting. I think it was veryhelpful. I think any human, it's fun to talk about these themes and I'll betyou experience it's like. I talk about some of these themes in different waysand different formats and I'll bet you get the same experience even whenyou're going into you know fortune five hundred companies, everyone canidentify with the realities of the human experiences, especially the youknow. You mentioned the word shame once, but like the discomfort the times, wefeel shame even confident people such as yourself. You know we all experiencethese things, and so I just appreciate that, in a business context that someof these ideas are a little bit more out on the table, instead of you know,being hidden and not talked about and you're left to figure it out on yourown. Or you know, if you're fortunate...

...enough to have someone close enough toyou wor, you can be your real, true, whole full self and an honest way andsay some of these things out loud and just l kind of like let them free andmaybe get the support of other people. So I appreciate that you're out theregiving this permission to people to be comfortable with their discomfort andsome of these other themes that you're sharing wat. I could tell you you knowas an entrepreneur, we've had lots and lots of upstand downs, and one of thethings that we did through the els process is to really nail what ourmission was right and we came up that a long time ago, and so we wake up everyday and we do the same thing. However, it's implemented, but we try to usetransformative laughter to help people find their best mindset, so they can beof service to others, and that's just drives me all day long now that mightbe helping them, be a better salesperson or be a better leader or orjust making them laugh at our theater. But that's you know, I'm so grateful tothe the onpreer operating system methodology to help us Nerro wit, andthat focus because it makes it really clear and we use METO Ovisation, butthat's what we're trying to do, we're trying to say you're, awesome practice,small things be your best self and your best mindset for the sake of others andlife will be okay and that that keepitg of that simple works for for someonelike me, I think so too. I don't think that requires an excessive amount ofhope. I don't think it requires an excessive amount of faith. I think itis basically a truism, and I appreciate given voice to it. If you werelistening to this episode, I know you are enjoying it, and here are two morethat you might also enjoy. I already mentioned it in the beginning episodesixty eight with Josh feede founder of sales reach. We called that onecreating better buying experiences with videos. So if you like some of thevideo talk, we had josh and I also talk to some video. Is You probably notsurprised to know John and then more recently, on episode, Oneond, two withPaul Ross? He is also a speaker in an author. His kind of brand area issubtle words that sell and we called that one using suggestion to selldecisions and good feelings we get into what are we actually selling when we'reselling? And so, if you like, some of the psychology, some of the brain sciencein this conversation, there's a little bit of that one. There an episode Oneo,two John, before we call this a show or before we wrap or before we bring thecurtain down, I'm sure I'm mixing metaphors and okay, but we all knowwhat I mean. I think I'd love to give you two opportunities. The first is tothank or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career.An the second is to give a shout out or Amention to a company or a brand thatyou really appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as acustomer sure the person whos Ivhad, so many people that have hat greatinflunces on me, but the one I like to share today. Her name is Jackie,Berglan and she's, the founder and CEO of Finnegan's beer company, and it'sthe only beer company. I know that that donates a hundred percent of theirprofits to feed people and she's been doing that for eighteen years, and Idon't know if I've ever met. Anyone who, on such a moment by moment daily basis,is as true to her mission. She just wants to feed people who are hungry bythe sale of wonderful beer and she's. Just an inspiration, so Jackie Berglanof of Finnegans is the person who's aspired me lot and the brand that thatI love lately in that is just wonderful to their customers, including me, isredwing shoes and again there they're a Minnesota company but they're worldwide.Now and it's not just t a quality of their product, it's how they treattheir customers and how customize they can get when it comes to the fittingprocess, and then just because I have to know a little bit about the co andtheir company, they are just o a company that is all about thecommunities that they serve and that they they are there to improve thelives. You know a Corpe base of ther s is people who are using those shoes toget the job done to work, and so they want those people to have a healthierlife because of the shoes and boots they wear. So Jackie, Berglan and redwing shoes awesome well done. I appreciate both of those in the in thespirit behind them, which doesn't surprise me you're, really awesome dude.I appreciate you spending time with me.

I'm pleased to be able to share thisconversation, unlike some of our previous ones, with anyone who cares tolisten for folks who have reached this point in the in the podcast. Theyobviously are into your ideas. Where would you send people to follow up?They can just go to two places, just brave new WORKSHOPCOM and that's aplace where you can learn about our training in our theater and that sortof stuff and then my speaking website is John Sweny dot C and everyone thinksit's a type Ohole, but it's not that com, it's John soen Nee Dat Seo andthat's just because a wonderful reelater named John Swenny, an SanFrancisco, won't sell me his website. So if he's listening, I still want toby Jenswe so good that is really funny is's and for folks who are listeningand aren't going to go to bombom com, slash podcast, to get these linkssweeny! Is there an Ey or just ny? It's a threa word, I'M PRETTY BIG DEAL WEUSE!I only used to have twoes and then we got up, but it's swee, nd Ey, JohnSwinny at so awesome thanks so much John Yeah. Thank you.

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