The Modern Selling Podcast
Use Humor in Sales to Connect Better to Prospects with Jon Selig, Episode #71
May 17, 2018 · 38 min
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When performed well, using humor in sales can break the ice, provide comedic relief, and serve as a launching pad for further sales conversations. Knowing how to use humor in sales is a fantastic skill that every salesperson needs to learn. For today’s episode of #SellingWithSocial I talk with stand-up comedian and salesman Jon Selig. He shares why utilizing humor in sales is so important, how to avoid common pitfalls, and the mechanics of crafting a great sales joke. To up your selling game and gain an edge over your competitors, don’t miss this episode.

Why Should YOU Use Humor in Sales?

Jon learned the value of using humor in sales after working in both comedic and sales industries. He recognized that humor can positively impact the way sales conversations occur between prospects and company reps and it can bridge gaps in the sales process. If you can take a prospect’s problem and integrate humor with the solution your company can provide, you’ve instantly built a high level of relatability and trust with your prospect. Tactfully injecting humor into the situation also demonstrates a high level of understanding of the prospect’s problem. Jon encourages you to not buy into the idea that you’re “Just not a funny person,” because everyone can learn how to utilize more humor in conversations and interactions. I promise you, you’ll gain a lot from listening to this episode. Be sure to listen.

2 Main Lessons Salespeople Should Learn From Comedians

There are 2 main lessons every salesperson should learn from stand-up comedians:

  1. Comedians always have a plan.
  2. Always try to connect the issue or problem with a joke that every party can laugh along with.

Contrary to what many people believe, stand-up comedians don’t simply step onto a stage and hope for a reactive audience. They thoughtfully prepare jokes, orchestrate their timing, and understand the audience’s likes and interests - just as a successful salesperson should understand the prospect’s position, company, and needs. Jon also shares the importance of connecting your prospect’s biggest needs and issues with an idea that could be turned into humorous material. There is always common ground between a salesperson and a prospect, and YOU can turn that common ground into humorous material. If you thoroughly understand your role, your goal, and your industry, you’re well on your way to successfully uniting humor and sales. Learn from the master himself, don’t miss Jon’s interview on this episode.

The Mechanics of Crafting a Good Sales Joke Can be Learned

After you’ve identified details about your prospect, begin brainstorming ways to connect humor and the issues your prospect faces in their industry. Jon recommends brainstorming sessions, listening to comedians, and even studying the art of comedy. All of these activities will enhance your creativity. Jon explains that you should avoid having lengthy monologues that are only funny at the very end because your listeners will grow bored. You can start with a joke, move onto the important content, and end on a laughing matter. Win their attention with well-placed humor and don't make your entire pitch reliant on jokes. He also states that salespeople should avoid trying to write a single joke that would work well on all audience types. Don’t be afraid of creating different types of material depending on the age, industry, and specialization of every prospect you speak with. For more tips and tricks on using humor in sales be sure to give this episode your full attention.

How Can You Avoid Awkward Moments if the Humor Falls Flat?

Many salespeople avoid using humor in their presentations because they’re afraid of offending their audiences. This can be avoided by staying away from sensitive topics such as religion, politics, race, etc. Jon encourages listeners to work new content into conversation with coworkers first to gauge their reactions. If a joke receives laughs and positive feedback, then you can confidently work the material into your sales pitches. He shares more insights from decades of experience on this episode that you don’t want to miss.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:05] The art of bringing humor into selling
  • [5:20] What can salespeople learn from stand-up comedians?
  • [11:18] How can you avoid the awkward moments when humor in sales falls flat?
  • [18:50] The mechanics of crafting a good sales humor joke
  • [23:40] Exercises that will help your creative mindset flourish
  • [29:00] How Jon helps the right kinds of people become funnier in work and life
Resources Mentioned Connect with Mario!

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