Laugh all the way to the bank!
However, using humor doesn't mean going overboard and acting like a goofball warns Nichols. Adding appropriate levity to a situation can increase your likeableness, and help establish that critical connection with customers. As a result, customers will listen more closely, and if trouble erupts, they're more likely to cut you some slack.
Here's some of Nichols' advice for injecting some humor into your sales process:
Get personal. One of the most powerful sources of humor is stories from your own life. Personal stories are easier to remember, which makes it easier to tell them smoothly. A little self-deprecation never hurts. For example, if my prospects are parents, I might tell them about my daughter. When her junior high was having Career Day, I asked if she wanted me to speak, since not everyone's mom is a columnist and speaker. "Oh great, how exciting," she moaned. "Why can't you be a pharmacist, or something that doesn't sound so boring?"
Talk about price. I have an old Mr. Boffo cartoon subtitled "The further adventures of the Bargain Hunter," depicting a guy displaying "Ed's Tattoo Parlor" tattooed on his chest in giant letters, saying, "Guess who got a free tattoo?" My point is, what is the real value of "free?" When I quote prices, the biggest potential sticking point, I like to say, "Your total is a mere $43,837.46." That always gets a laugh, and helps prospects over the price shock - at least for a moment.
Finish strong. A la David Letterman, an original Top Ten list of funny reasons the customer should buy from you, or buy right now, is an unusual approach - and could seal a deal.
Humor will put your customers at ease and help make the sale. So have fun playing with Nichols' ideas.
A warning to the humor-challenged: these are just suggestions. If it doesn't feel right, hey - don't do it! Remember: with humor, a little goes a long way.
This advice was excerpted from Top Dog Sales Secrets. Michelle Nichols is a popular sales speaker, consultant and columnist for BusinessWeek Online. Visit her site at http://www.savvyselling.com.
|Digg This!||Stumble It!|
Click on link below to post a comment