Humor in sales?
There is an old proverb in sales that states:
“If you can make your customer laugh, you can sell him almost anything!”.
Although old, it is still current. Humor and good humor are two key ingredients in building customer relationships.
What is the challenge with humor?
- People don’t know how to use it!
- People don’t know when to use it!
Most salespeople are afraid to use humor. Why? Because they think it might make their work look unprofessional.
But since at Ideas & Challenges, we like new approaches to sales, let me present to you our four reasons to use humor in your business processes:
1. Humor, the last frontier
It is easy to learn about your product, it is easy to learn about your customer, it is easy to learn the science of sales (don’t believe it, come to one of our workshops), but it is tough to learn the science of humor and even more challenging to learn how to introduce humor in your sales presentation.
The beauty of humor is that it relaxes people and creates a more open atmosphere. This atmosphere leads to friendship, respect, and empathy. We refer to humor as the last frontier because it is the last element we put into the sales process. We put humor in when we understand our product, our customer, and the science of selling.
If we use humor and don’t understand these three elements, we will be clowns instead of salespeople.
Humor will make you solidify your customer relationships and the selling process itself.
2. Using humor shows the highest form of language mastery
You have undoubtedly heard someone refer to another person by saying, “This guy is really funny”. Humor is indeed the most challenging art to learn. But once mastered, it provides the foundation for creating a more effective empathetic relationship.
What do you think a customer prefers? A boring and very professional sales presentation or a presentation that balances professionalism with a little humor, making the process much more enjoyable for both parties?
3. The best humor combines the professional aspect with friendliness and fun
If your sales presentation is only professional, you will most likely lose the deal to someone who balances 50% professionalism with 50% humor.
4. Humor is a thousand times more engaging than professionalism
If you doubt it, look at the commercials on television these days. Are they professional? Or are they funny? Or both? Which of these ads is more successful?
I don’t want to compare your sales presentation to a TV commercial. But you should think about the way you think you should do your sales presentation versus the way your customer would prefer to receive it.
I use humor in my sales process whenever I can. Besides getting more sales, I also get more solid relationships with my customers and sometimes even quite a few friendly relationships.
5. When it comes to humor, it is necessary to distinguish a joke from a story
Most salespeople are reduced to joke tellers. Or should I say, “retellers” of jokes?
Joke-telling is extremely dangerous in the sales process!
First, most jokes bring down people, institutions, races, or any other reason for mockery. Second, most jokes end up being a bit forced. And lastly, usually, the customer may have heard that joke several times before.
Stories, on the other hand, are genuine. They tell an experience, use covert humor, and are highly engaging.
When we tell a story, we reinforce our sales presentation and help our customers relate to our product in a more sympathetic way.
Remember that numbers and facts are forgotten, but a good story will stay in your customer’s memory forever.
Also published on Medium.