As I write this, I am flying home from a speaking engagement in Orlando, Florida. I fly a lot for business, so when the flight attendants give their safety overviews, I rarely pay attention. I could practically recite the thing by heart. Same goes for the video that covers these safety details. Boring!

So why, today, am I glued to the screen in rapt attention? Because the airline has jolted me out of my normal routine. Today, I didn’t see the usual mundane video showing passengers following the flight attendant’s directives.

Instead, I saw a scruffy looking character refusing to help with exit-row procedures. When Scruffy got up to leave, he was replaced by another, acrobatic fellow doing flips in the aisle.

The video then returned to the flight attendant who admonished us about smoking then quickly cut to a cute little girl wagging her finger at the screen to emphasize the point. The cast of exaggerated characters (grannies, hipsters, dweebs and more) continued throughout.

I watched the whole thing from start to finish—and this was the second time I’d seen it this week! All around, me people were watching it and smiling. Clearly this unconventional approach works.

How does this relate to you? When you’re selling, one of your key challenges is to capture and keep a prospect’s attention. If you sound like every other sales rep out there, you will be ignored—guaranteed.

So ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I jolt prospects out of their usual behavior?
  • What can I do that’s unexpected?
  • How can I leverage humor?

Take a look at your marketing messages. Analyze what you do in your initial sales conversations. Then start thinking outside the box. And, most of all, have fun!

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.