Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Presentation Skills - Using Humor In Sales
Humor is great for helping you overcome problems that arise during a sales presentation. You certainly don't want your one big chance in front of Megabucks Corporation to be blown because of minor problems.
I'm not suggesting you substitute clever one-liners for solid preparation. I'm suggesting that your ability to use appropriate humor in the face of adversity will send a subtle, but clear, message to your prospect. The message will be that you are polished and unshakable when a problem arises. Some salespeople are afraid of humor because they think they won't be taken seriously. In fact, being able to use appropriate humor makes you more powerful. Most buyers of any substance have been around the business block a few times. They know that good buyer/seller relationships experience unforeseen problems all the time. Your cool, lighthearted demeanor will be giving them the impression you can calmly handle whatever might come up.
Another advantage of humor is that it can help break down the status barrier between the salesperson and the client. It helps build a rapport and a sense of we instead of you and me which makes your point of view, as the salesperson, much more persuasive. David Rich reports in his book How to Stay Motivated on a Daily Basis, that even Las Vegas has learned the power of a smile. David says that black jack dealers who smile while playing consistently bring in 5 percent more revenue than nonsmiling dealers. He says the reason is that people are more likely to play longer when they believe they are playing with the dealer against the house as opposed to playing against the dealer. David's advice:
"Avoid the smiling dealers."
When people are laughing they don't feel like they are being sold. Their resistance to the sales message is greatly reduced. That's why it is important to weave your humor in with the sales message rather than tell a joke at the beginning and then forget about humor.
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