I have a confession to make.
Andy Gross is my kind of fun. I love playing practical jokes on people.
When I was a kid I knew every spot on each step that creaked and I would tip toe around them so I could sneak up on my mom and my sister and scare the ba-geezums out of them almost daily. (That never got old.)
To this day I sneak up on my kids—but not my wife...I'm not THAT crazy—and about once a week I ambush my son as he comes home from school or work. (My home office is in the front of the house so I can see him pull up. It's not fair but, hey, that's why it's called an ambush!)
A Little Humor Goes a Long Way
I have another confession to make.
Every day one of the first things I do is read jokes.
I have joke books. I read jokes online. I watch practical jokes like the one embedded here.
I do it because I love comedy. (Rumor has it there is a video of me doing an open-mic stand up routine at my buddy's Aces Comedy Club in Murrieta, CA a few years back.) And I do it to "prime the pump" of my writing and my speaking.
It's a tool in my sales bag of tricks. It's seasoning in my sales kitchen.
Like a tool or seasoning, a little can go a long way so be careful how you use comedy in your inbound sales and marketing but remember...
If You Can Make Them Laugh, You Can Make Them Buy
Great comedians are brilliant people. They have mastered:
- Situational Awareness
- Controlling Their Own Emotions
- Communication, and
- Thinking On Their Feet
If you've ever learned a new language or know someone who speaks multiple languages you know that understanding the humor in that new language is the hardest and the last thing to grasp.
You make someone laugh when you provide a surprise ending. Technically and physiologically what you are doing is "surprising Broca," which is a part of the brain that essentially acts like a traffic cop for new inputs. If it's old, boring, and/or just unimportant that part of your brain filters it out and away.
But if it's new, exciting, and/or otherwise interesting...your Broca area lets it right through and that's where you make the deep connection with your audience, which is also your prospect.
When something is unexpected it piques our curiosity. We throw away all other distractions and lean in to learn more. When we laugh—even for a moment—we throw all of our cares and concerns away and live in that moment.
If you can create that sense of presence and enjoyment with your prospects and customers, is it any wonder you'll make more sales?
Why You Need More Laughter In Your Life
Here are a few lessons I'd like you to take away from this post:
- Don't take yourself so seriously. Think about the things you used to worry about and fear a year ago..if you can. Few of our fears come to fruition, and those that do are usually not as extreme or severe as we feared. So chillax.
- Do something to stand out today, and do it with humor if at all possible.
- Be willing to be a little edgy to get noticed. Magnets repel to the same degree that they attract. While I'm not saying to intentionally be offensive, I am saying to be willing to take a stand and make your position known. Unfortunately today, simply having strong beliefs are enough to offend many in today's softened culture. That's fine. Those with a backbone will appreciate you demonstrating you have a backbone and they'll be drawn to you stronger than ever.
- Help those that have been cut in half. The #1 trait of sales professionals is empathy. Everyone is living through their own version of Hell to some degree so cut everyone you meet some slack and get to know them before you judge them...then you won't have to judge them.
- Take time to realize things are not always as they seem.
Number 5 is closely related to #4.
My dad always says,
If something doesn't make sense, there's something you don't know."
So if you can't quite figure out why someone is blowing you off or appears angry or won't give you a chance to earn their business or they're always complaining about your work, dig deeper. Something is going on there and it's not your fault, but you can be the cure to what ails them.
Life is fast-paced, hectic, chaotic and rapidly changing. That can lead to stress, frustration, doubt, fear and even desperation.
But another thing my dad always says is,
If you think you're desperate, you are."
So lighten up.
The hard times do suck while you're going through it but if you're going through Hell, don't stop.
By using a little humor, you will be selling different and you'll realize what you thought was Hell was just a short rough patch.