Connection: Using Humor to Connect to Difficult Customers

One of the things that my husband Donnie is good at is making people laugh.  I knew he was the man I would spend the rest of my life with when he used humor to make my hospital stay (2 weeks) a pleasant one by making me laugh everyday.  

Humor is an exceptional way of connecting to any audience.  

The example I want to share with you here was not intended to be humorous but I have used it many times in my speeches and it usually gets people laughing.  As a sales representative, I spent many days saying the same things to customers all day long – it got boring very quickly.  One morning, I walked into one of my doctor’s offices.  It was customary for him to walk up to the counter where we were waiting for him and sign our pad for samples as we quickly went over a study or a couple of facts.  He was one of those personalities that was process oriented so I usually left a study for him to review and gave him a couple of points from it as he signed.  That morning, I got flustered as he walked up to the counter and instead of saying Dr. X let me give you a quick overview of this study, can you guess what I said instead of quick?  Yes, you guessed it.  I was lucky that this doctor was a very devoted husband to his wife who also worked in the office, because as soon as I realized what I had said, he burst out laughing, as I turned every shade of red.  To say I was embarrassed would have been an understatement.  Let me just say this, our relationship was never the same again but because of that humorous encounter, we connected that day.  From that point on he was a different person with me and as the years went by, we became good friends.   

Connection: High Achievers Actively Listen

Listening is where the action is when it comes to selling anything.  You have to ask the questions and then “shut up” and listen.  This was a technique that was taught to us by various managers in the pharmaceutical industry.  You give your customers the opportunity to share their insights into their needs.  It is an ideal opportunity to provide value to them and to ensure that they see you differently than your competition because by listening to them you put them above your need to sell them anything.