One unique advantage a salesperson can embrace is to inject humor in meetings as appropriate.
Consider the effect laughter has on a conversation. People tend to relax, new ideas come forth, and the relationship tends to build further.
Most often, memories and experiences will come forth before returning to the seriousness of the conversation. The perfect time to reframe the selling portion of the discussion is when laughter takes over and then subsides—the possibility of advancing the sale increases substantially.
Should humor not be a part of your everyday repertoire, give it a try and continue practicing. It’s similar to all other talents. Without practice, it won’t work well. But by habitually attempting to incorporate the strategy, more people will want to continue the discussions.
An example of practice took place as a small group, and I were making small talk. Next, the conversation took on a somber tone about financial matters. And then, one person asked another how she plans to make a hefty payment. Injecting humor, I interrupted the response by saying, ‘most likely with Bitcoin!’ Everyone burst into laughter. After we all calmed down, the people in the group were open to discussing possibilities for a solution.
Getting the group willing to discuss possibilities vs. taking just one route is similar to the better sales process. Inclusion and acceptance of varying ideas can bring about a more robust solution, plus the likelihood of a sale.
My motto is, ‘Inject Humor In Sales.’
One other strategy is to connect the dots between what you see, experience, and the sales conversation. Two days before the group met, a friend and I visited a restaurant. To my surprise, I saw the sign posted on their register, ‘bitcoin accepted here.’ It was the first time I saw the announcement at an establishment, so I asked permission to take a picture of the sign. The experience came to mind as my friends were considering varying types of payment.
Next, I moved the conversation to the idea of being helpful versus judgmental as I could see judging unfolding among the group of retirees. Often, both business and personal conversations reach the point of judging. Sadly, the outcome is rarely desirable. By making acceptable humor a part of the everyday conversation, and as appropriate, the talks will deepen. The result usually entails further possibilities begin to flourish. It’s about grooming the sale.
Defining Grooming the Sale
The next phase is to choose what will work best for the client selectively. A typical sale focuses on one service, one product, and potentially a combination of the two. By using a touch of humor, all parties tend to relax and are more likely to consider complementary ideas. By asking questions concerning possibilities of potential interest, the other party is more likely to give all options serious consideration.
Working in this manner distinguishes our unique brand from the other representatives of similar offerings. Prospective clients are far more welcoming of a lighter-hearted conversation versus the hard-core sales effort. It is the laid-back manner that grooms and encourages a first sale, complementary services, and earns a loyal clientele.
Compare Humor to Typical Habits
Not everyone is comfortable with injecting humor into everyday conversation. However, it is essential to be aware of your habits and admit to what isn’t working well.
Consider if you are:
- Strictly focused on getting any sale
- Aggressive in your sales approach
- Using a serious tone in every conversation
- Avoiding talking about anything else besides what you sell
- Repeatedly dropping the price instead of selling value
Relax the Conversation
Most representatives are too focused on either getting the sale. There is little friendliness in their tone of voice or creativity in their thought process. The worst situation is when one becomes judgmental or upset and then answers in an unfriendly manner. This type of scenario occurs far too often and kills any possibility for advancement.
A friendly conversation with anyone is a sign that you are easy to work with and a better candidate up for selection. Flexibility also indicates that you can be a team player and will be more likely to take care of issues as they may arise. Even better is to demonstrate that you are solution-driven, always seeking a robust outcome. All of the above indicates that you will work to the best of your ability on the person’s or company’s behalf.
As you gain ground on becoming the candidate of choice, the following sales step comes into play. Ask for confirmation periodically from the other person or parties to agree with what you have to say. The inquiries are acceptable when the conversation is somewhat relaxed. One word of caution is to avoid being pushy. Spread out the questions regarding the other person’s assessment of what you say to encourage coming to a final agreement.
Should you be unsure whether to test using humor in your next business appointment, try it out first with friends. If they give you a strange look, practice is in the forecast. However, if your friends suddenly laugh, you will know that you are onto something good. The only caution is to keep the humor on sales calls related to business.