A salesman selling a farm to the Joker

Improv Game: Sell a Blank to a Blank!

The rules to the improv game “Sell a Blank to a Blank” are deceptively simple. One person is the seller, and the other person is the buyer. The seller has to sell a random object to the buyer, who has a random personality trait.

To use the Sponto Time deck, pick a 🟣purple card and a 🟢 green card.

🟣The purple card is the random personality trait of the seller.

🟢The green card is the random object the seller has to try to sell to the buyer.

In this game, Izzy and I picked the cards “Joker” and “Farm.” Izzy had the role of the seller, so he had to try to a farm to me, playing the role of the Joker.

Izzy had to use his trademeark creativity and humor to convince me that I need a farm. As the buyer, I can ask questions, make objections, or be convinced to buy the object.

The game is great for practicing your improv skills, such as thinking on your feet, being confident, and using wordplay. It also helps you develop your character work, as you might have to adopt a different voice, posture, and attitude for your role.

Sales teams like playing this game, because it frees them up to practice their skills in low-stakes situations. It gets their creative muscles warmed up before they go into a real sales situation!

And most importantly, it’s fun! You never know what kind of absurd scenarios you’ll end up with, and how the seller will try to spin them.

Here are some tips for playing the game:

  • Use the “yes, and” principle. Don’t deny or contradict what the other person says, but build on it and add more information.
  • Be specific and descriptive. Don’t just say “this is a banana”, but say “this is a ripe, yellow, organic banana that was grown in Costa Rica and hand-picked by monkeys”.
  • Use emotions and motivations. Don’t just say “you need this banana”, but say “you need this banana because it will make you happy, healthy, and strong”.
  • Use analogies and comparisons. Don’t just say “this banana is good”, but say “this banana is like a snowflake, but warmer and sweeter”.
  • Have fun and be silly. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate or make jokes. The more outrageous, the better.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a partner and start selling!

To give you an example, let’s use the farm/joker example. Here’s how the scene might go:

Seller: Hello there, Joker. I’m here to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own your very own farm.

Joker: A farm? Why would I want a farm? I’m not a farmer. I’m an agent of chaos. And Batman is my mortal enemy.

Seller: Well, that’s exactly why you need a farm, Mr. Joker. A farm is the perfect place for you to unleash your chaotic plans. Think of all the possibilities!

Joker: Like what?

Seller: Well, for starters, you can plant explosives in the crops and watch them go boom when the harvest comes. You can release wild animals into the fields and see how they terrorize the neighbors. You can set fire to the barn and laugh maniacally as the flames spread. You can even dress up as a scarecrow and scare the living daylights out of anyone who comes near.

Joker: Hmm, that does sound tempting. But what about Batman? Won’t he find me and stop me?

Seller: No, no, no. Batman won’t bother you on a farm. He’s too busy fighting crime in Gotham City. He won’t waste his time chasing you around some cornfields. Besides, even if he does show up, you’ll have plenty of traps and tricks to deal with him. You can lure him into a silo full of poisonous gas. You can drop him into a pit full of snakes. You can even throw pies at him from a tractor.

Joker: Ha ha ha ha ha! You’re good, kid. You’re very good. You almost make me want to buy this farm.

Seller: Almost? Come on, Mr. Joker. Don’t be shy. This is a bargain you can’t refuse. For only $1 million, this farm can be yours today.

Joker: $1 million? That’s a lot of money.

Seller: Not for you, Mr. Joker. You have plenty of money. You rob banks all the time. And what do you do with it? You burn it or give it away or leave it behind. Why not spend it on something useful for once? Something that will make you happy and fulfilled.

Joker: Happy and fulfilled? Me? Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s a good one.

Seller: Trust me, Mr. Joker. A farm is just what you need to spice up your life. It will give you a new challenge, a new adventure, a new way to express yourself. It will make you feel alive like never before.

Joker: Well… I have to admit, you’re very persuasive. And I do like the idea of having my own playground of mayhem and madness. OK, kid. You’ve got yourself a deal. I’ll buy your farm.

Seller: Excellent! Thank you very much, Mr. Joker. Here’s the contract. Just sign here and here and here…

Joker: Wait a minute. What’s this fine print?

Seller: Oh, nothing important. Just some legal stuff.

Joker: Legal stuff? Like what?

Seller: Well, for example, it says that by buying this farm, you agree to never harm any innocent people ever again.

Joker: What? That’s ridiculous!

Seller: And it also says that by buying this farm, you agree to become Batman’s best friend and sidekick.

Joker: What? That’s absurd!

Seller: And it also says that by buying this farm, you agree to give me half of your money and all of your weapons.

Joker: What? That’s outrageous!

Seller: And it also says that by buying this farm, you agree to wear a pink tutu and sing “I’m a Little Teapot” every day for the rest of your life.

Joker: What? That’s insane!

Seller: Well, Mr. Joker, you should have read the contract before signing it. Too late now. It’s legally binding.

Joker: You tricked me! You lied to me! You cheated me!

Seller: No, Mr. Joker. I sold you a farm.

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