I’m at a local chamber of commerce meeting – my first visit – and I recognize no one in the room (I rarely do local events, since I work on a global scale). The President is doing announcements and having a drawing to give away tickets to the Joffrey Ballet at the Chicago Opera House.
I raise my hand with a question. A smile for the new guy and a nod says “go ahead.”
I smile back, and ask “If the ballerinas always have to stand on tiptoes to dance with the men, why not just get taller women?”
There’s this blend of awkward silence mixed with some laughter and people looking around to see who asked the really strange question.
But at the break a load of people came up to introduce themselves.
You’ve been to these events. It’s always the same thing – a bit boring; mediocre conversation; salespeople assaulting salespeople all the while hoping a buyer lurks somewhere in the wings.
So what really works in networking environments? Like a good direct mail piece (or crafty email subject line), you have got to make yourself interesting enough to have others pursue you.
Notice how so many coaching tips recycle back to the concept that YOU MUST DISTINGUISH YOURSELF from others with whom you compete? Humor does that well. Even humor that is 50 years old and has been missed by a generation (my ballerina joke is an old vaudeville line).
I encourage you to read funny, listen funny and watch funny. You’ll develop your own humorous personality and people will love being around you.
Don’t be surprised if your ability to sweep buyers off their feet with smiles and laughter doesn’t also increase your ability to close more sales.
Got Humor? Go get it, then get some more! That’ll make you a most memorable selling pro, guaranteed.