Why humour works in sales
1. It makes a great first impression.
If you can make someone chuckle, laugh, or even winningly smirk then due to the primacy effect and the halo effect, your prospects will ascribe other positive characteristics to you – such as being creative, resourceful, and intelligent.
This frames you as someone who is likely worth talking to, making it easier to persuade prospects your proposed ideas are worth considering (and paying for.)
2. It makes people like you.
Charming cold pitching enables you to give prospects a nice feeling when they look at your cold email / letter / message.Making prospects smile and laugh will naturally ingratiate yourself to them. People like to do business with people they like! (Earth-shattering insight, I know… 😀 )
3. Prospects are more likely to reply positively if you’ve improved their mood, even temporarily.
“People who are in a good mood are less likely to disagree with a persuasive message.”~ Study: Freedman, Sears, and Smith, 1978.
4. It makes your message memorable.
I’ve had prospects email me months after my initial cold email, offering me opportunities of work, or at least to pitch for work.
One prospect even emailed me “A whole year later” because he remembered my amusing email and had a project he thought me and my team would be a good fit for. (Which we were. And we did good work for them.)
Obviously, you prefer the majority of your leads to come THIS INSTANT or as close to that as possible. But it’s nice for these opportunities to surprise you from time to time.
5. It attracts clients with a sense of humour.
You’ll generate responses from prospects you’re far more likely get on with. (That is assuming you’re the type of person who enjoys the exciting taboo of smiling occasionally at work.)
It’s good doing business with other good people. I know, another not-exactly-game-changing insight – but this isn’t a trivial matter. One smarmy client can ruin your day and your team’s motivation. Avoid them at all costs.Instead, you can do deals with vibrant, enthusiastic prospects who you are EXCITED to do great work for.
6. It disqualifies self-important, stern, angry-jobsworth prospects.
This is probably as important as point 5. You don’t want to deal with these kinds of clients. Having to interact with toxic people will make you hate work.D
o you honestly think people who reply to a friendly, happy prospecting email with “YOU SHOULD BE MORE PROFESSIONAL!!!!!1!” are the type of client who will pay your invoices on time and without undue aggravation?
Of course not.
Thankfully, the minority of stern, self-important, smarmy prospects are more than happy to do you the huge favour of revealing themselves in all of their condescending, miserable glory. In short, Charm Offensive style cold pitches will help you disqualify these types. Niiiiice!
7. Your prospects reply using a friendly human tone, rather than the ‘corporate veneer’ tone they speak to other suppliers with.
This is a huge advantage. The relationship with a prospect starts off with a candid conversation, and this attitude continues throughout the relationship.
Oh my, does it make things easier when everyone drops the “I’M A VERY VERY SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT BUSINESS PERSON WITH LOTS OF BIG IMPRESSIVE WORDS” schtick. You can be yourself, as can the prospect. This benefits everyone.
8. It works across all industries, locations, and levels of seniority – whatever your request might be.
I’ve used this style to book meetings with CEOs of giant brands, get journalists and editors at prestigious international publications to cover me or my clients, invite myself onto authoritative podcasts, and tons of other stuff.
It contains a list of templates for a range of situations and requests.)I’ve used humour to successfully generate responses and win new clients in the UK, USA, Australia and likely some other countries I’m forgetting.
Existing customers have told me of their success in translating the templates into Italian, Dutch, German, and many other languages.
9. Your cold pitch may get shared across an organisation.Prospects will often forward your email to colleagues.This is what happened to Symantec. (Check the attachment to this post.) I emailed a senior Marketing Director and she passed my email onto a more relevant colleague who was more likely to need our services. (Spoiler: They became a client. A biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig client. :D)
If you become the talk of the office, you’re more likely to close deals. The person you contact has already given you their tacit endorsement by forwarding your email on, often with a positive message such as “I thought this cold pitch was creative and clever. Let’s meet them, shall we?” BONUS!
10. It generates enthusiastic, complimentary responses.I have hundreds of screenshots saved like the one from Symantec that’s attached to this post… I have a bit of a problem.
If you click the subtly named tag on the Charm Offensive Facebook Group group that reads, “PEOPLE SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT ME”, you’ll see many other people have succeeded in adopting my weird ways.
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