Humour in Sales – Yes or No!
I believe that sales people take themselves way too seriously, in terms of how they operate on a daily basis. When sales professionals learn to relax and they dare to laugh at themselves or at any challenges they encounter daily, they are far more likely to remain calm and focused and to mitigate the consequences of any challenges they encounter.
A sense of humour is an asset in Sales
A good sense of humour is an asset that will support sales professionals to get through tough times and set them up to remain inspired, despite future customers not responding to them positively. It has a profound effect on how people feel and will support sales professionals to project a positive attitude to their customers.
Yes of course it is crucial to take any dealings with customers very seriously, but at the same time, it is important not to take yourself too seriously or to allow situations to overwhelm you.
As Mark Twain said “A good sense of humor helps to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable”.
Use Humour to Break the Tension
As you know sales encounters with future customers are not always clean sailing. More often than not, there is some level of tension during meetings. When used appropriately a good sense of humour will support you to break the tension and help you to build rapport and trust with future customers.
To Smile or not to Smile, that is the question
I don’t know about you but I would always prefer to deal with someone, who has a smile on his or her face, than someone, who is sullen and serious. When I meet someone with a smile on his or her face, I relax and in a very short space of time and I soon have a smile on my face too. This simple gesture supports connection between parties and builds TRUST.
Humour Helps you get more from your Day
If you don’t want to just get through each day, but you want to actually get as much as possible from each day, then smiling and enjoying your day is great place to start. Humour is a powerful tool to help you to make unpleasant tasks more palatable. It also helps you to diffuse difficult situations and will support you to improve rapport and relationships with your customers.
When dealing with customers in future how would you rather show up?
- Serious, uninspired – Like a funeral director
- Energized, empowered and with a smile on your face.
When you choose the second option, you are far more likely to be trusted and your customers will want to do business with you.
Benefits of Humour
Researchers from Harvard business school found that using humour appropriately during business encounters, created a perception of confidence and competence. Both of which are crucial, if you are going to get your future customers to know, like and trust you.
The secret when using humour, is to ensure that it is appropriate. The researchers from Harvard found that appropriate humour, promotes trust, whilst locker room type banter and personal insults, actually damage relationships. The secret is to joke with a customer, but never joke about a customer.
The Golden Rule
When using humour in any sales encounter follow these few guidelines:
- Would you be wiling to use that humour in front of your mother?
- Any humour that requires the use of vulgar language is a no go.
- Do unto others as you would have them do to you
- Does the humour add to the conversation?
- Yes – use it
- No – just don’t
- Under no circumstances use humour to belittle anyone, especially not your competitors.
- If you have to ask someone, if it is appropriate, then you already have your answer.
Humour is a very powerful sales tool and when used appropriately, it will support any sales professional to build rapport and trust with their future customers. Invest the time to learn how to use hunour in any sales encounter and you will have uncovered a secret weapon, which will help you to close far more sales and help you to build long term mutually beneficial partnerships with your customers.