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Get a Laugh and Make the Sale

By: Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's InternetWriters.com  He provides copy-writing, marketing, Internet promotion, and help for business speakers. Reach him at ron@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at kevin@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.

When one survey asked women what they liked best about the man of their dreams, most replied "he makes me laugh."  We don't often think of laughter as one of life's most important necessities, but it is.

People of every age and culture love to laugh.  Studies show laughter lowers your blood pressure and generally increases your life span.

You can bring home a lot more sales if you learn to make customers laugh.  It sets the customer at ease and immediately sets you up as someone who is fun to be with.  You don't have to be Jerry Seinfeld to do it.  Here's how:
  1. Don't go for the belly guffaw.  Trying to put the customer on the floor in stitches can fall flat.  Instead, go for the much easier smile.  A quick quip or witty observation can do the trick.  Once she smiles, you're half-way to a sale.

  2. Make fun of yourself.  Self-depricating humor lets folks know you are down to earth.  It can also tell people you understand their situation.  You've been there yourself.

    For example, if you sell shoes, develop a quip about your big feet.  Sell computers?  Have a funny story on how hard it was for you to install your first printer.

  3. Be very careful about who your humor makes fun of.  Almost all jokes and one-liners are at the expense of someone.  You don't want to seem insensitive or accidentally insult a person or group your customer cares about.

    Reconsider old favorite jokes before retelling them.  A line that was hilarious in the 1980s might be inappropriate today.  A joke that worked fine in Oklahoma City could get you stared at in San Francisco.

  4. Get humor from experts.  What do Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, and Bob Hope have in common?  They don't always write their own material.  They buy jokes from others.

    You can do the same.  Pull ideas from Reader's Digest (one of the world's most successful magazines--and it's full of humor!) Rework jokes to fit your style and today's topics.  Subscribe to joke and humor services.  Type "morning show prep" into any search engine and see where your favorite DJ's get all their funny stuff.  Many of these services offer free humor written fresh by professionals.

  5. Remember funny lines you hear on TV and in movies.  This is so simple it hurts.  A lot of the funniest people on TV and radio have watched hundreds of movies.  They have an amazing knack for remembering funny lines that fit whatever situation they are in.
Humor doesn't have to come naturally to you.  If you weren't the class clown in school, don' t worry.  You can learn to be funny.

Memorize half-a-dozen good one-liners.  When a situation arises where one of your memorized quips would fit, let it fly.  Don't be shy or tentative about it.  Say your line loud and proud. If you let the customer know you aren't sure your line is funny, they will be quick to let you know you bombed.

And here is one last trick comedy experts use (but won't admit to.)  After you deliver your humorous line, look the customer in the eye and chuckle.  Then wait.  Don't say anything.  Nine times out of ten the customer will start to laugh...or at least smile.

© Copyright 2001, Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

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