What's that you say? You're a tough, hotshot sales pro who can out-smart the competition and recite Vince Lombardi's `Motto Of Champions` speech verbatim? But can you bring a smile to your customer's face? When you can get a customer to smile or laugh, you've taken your first step to building a relationship. Since a relaxed customer is more likely to retain information after a meeting, a sense of humor may be a salesperson's most valuable asset in winning business and cementing customer relationships. But how do you go about integrating humor into your sales style? Start by putting a smile on your own face. Smiles and laughs are contagious and make us and those we come in contact with feel good. A genuine, from-the-heart smile promotes a return smile and makes a statement about how we feel about ourselves and those around us. When in search of levity, however, avoid being the comedian. Even if you're hilarious and your customers love your comedic wit, stand-up comedy in a customer's office is poor timing in the wrong forum and can backfire on you. A safe and effective way to get a laugh is with self-directed humor. When you can comment about your weight, baldness or the size of your feet, you have made a statement that you have a sense of humor and are comfortable with yourself. Relevant joking, in good taste, says you're an easy person to deal with. Another way to share a laugh with a customer is to collect appropriate cartoons and humorous anecdotes about their line of business or personal interests. This will put a smile on their face and add another dimension to the relationship. More importantly, this shows you're thinking about them and that you care. If you really want to be courageous, help your customer bring back his inner child - buy him a pair of Groucho glasses. It works wonders in bonding the relationship. Obviously, this isn't for everyone, but in time, it will become apparent whose inner child is screaming to come out. Sell Them With a Smile
  • Read books, take courses and attend seminars & lectures relating to humor.
  • Focus on humor techniques that best fit your style.
  • Know what kind of humor makes your customer laugh.
  • Look for opportunities to use humor to your advantage.
  • Keep humor brief, relevant and to the point.
  • Always be on the lookout for something you can use to bring a smile to a customer's face.
Copyright © 1996, Vic Marcus
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