Sales and non-sales selling are developing along a similar path — because the stable, simple, and certain conditions that favored scripts have now given way to the dynamic, complex, and unpredictable conditions that favor improvisation. Beneath the apparent chaos of improvisation is a light structure that allows it to work.

Understanding that structure can help you move others, especially when your astute perspective-taking, infectious positivity, and brilliant framing don’t deliver the results you seek. In those circumstances and many others, you’ll do better if you follow three essential rules of improvisational theater:

  • Hear offers.
  • Say “Yes and.”
  • Make your partner look good.

— To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink