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CK_Gina_Trimarco_Headshots_Sept_2013-3-Edit copy (1)Today's post is from Gina Trimarco Cligrow.  Gina helps entrepreneurs and small business owners overcome their fears ofselling and speaking through improv comedy techniques and authentic relationship building. With a background in running million dollar companies in addition to her improv training and coaching experience, Gina shows her clients how to actively listen, be in the moment, connect with others quickly and go with the flow in a sales conversation. Gina also owns Carolina Improv Company, based in Myrtle Beach SC, specializing in improv comedy shows and improv-based sales training.  We are thrilled that Gina is a 2014 Take Action Get Profits Sponsor


Make Friends, Make Money

By Gina Trimarco Cligrow, Sales Coach

You need to make more money, plain and simple, right? You think you’ve done everything possible to get more business and you just don’t know what else to do. You break into hives when you just think about picking up the phone to make calls. You hide behind emails because you don’t want to “bother” anyone … at least that’s the excuse you’ve convinced yourself of. You stumble over your words and are afraid you won’t have the answers to the questions you’re asked.

The solution is based in common sense … you can improvise your way to more money.  Yes, it’s that simple. We all have the innate abilities to improvise – to think quickly in the moment, to actively listen, to keenly observe and mirror people and to make others look good by serving them and solving their problems. These are the same skills that improv actors use on stage for entertainment purposes to create comedy without a script based on audience suggestions.

When it comes to improv comedy, many people say “I could never do that. I’m not that fast on my feet.”  And the reality is that everyone CAN do (improvise) it. Just like improv comedy, life doesn’t come with a script and that includes life in the business world.  EVERYBODY can get on the “stage” of business and perform. Improvising requires exercising a strong muscle – the brain. When we exercise the brain muscle we improve our skills to think quickly, listen better and be more creative. It takes practice (yes, practice) and is attainable to all.

One of the most important outcomes of having strong improv skills is the ability to create relationships. If you want to generate more revenue you need to create, nurture and maintain authentic relationships.  Bluntly, every business relationship in your life is worth money and when you switch your mindset from “selling” to “making friends”, everything related to selling gets so much easier. Ultimately you’ll begin to hear more “yes” than “no” from prospects and clients because people like to do business with people they like and trust as experts. And typically we trust our “friends” the most.

The quickest way to authentically build profitable relationships is to tap into your innate improv skills.  “Practicing” improv (and exercising your brain) will result in five key requirements to building relationships that C.L.O.S.E™ sales:

  1. 1.    Connecting authentically through Commonality
  2. 2.    Listening Actively
  3. 3.    Observing Behavior and Non-Verbal Communications
  4. 4.    Seeking Opportunities to Serve Others & Solve Problems
  5. 5.    Empathizing and understanding Emotional Triggers


Ask yourself if you use the C.L.O.S.E method in your interactions with people.

Are you hyperaware of your own behavior to be 100% in the moment with others?

Do you REALLY listen to 100% of a conversation or are you in your head coming up with a perfect response so you look smart?

Are you able to hear and see the true opportunities with a potential client outside of what you THINK they really need or are you too focused on selling that one thing to them because you’re stuck on your sales “script”?


I know – it’s hard to change this behavior. We’ve been conditioned to be this way when it’s really so simple to just be in the mindset of making friends and building relationships. That’s far more enjoyable than “selling”!


Now go out there and make some new friends … beyond the “friending” method of the Facebook world.