During our recent trip to Boston and Washington, my wife and I took advantage of some hop-on, hop-off city bus tours. I enjoy these tours because you get to see most of the major highlights and points of interest in a relatively short period of time.
Interestingly, it was the driver who made the difference in the tours. Over the course of four days, we had seven or eight drivers, but one stood out from the rest. When he welcomed the busload of people to the tour, he explained his nickname, “Muckah.” He used self-deprecating humor, made fun of his Boston accent and immediately endeared himself to everyone on the tour.
This is a critical skill for salespeople, too. If you can get prospects to like as well as respect you, you increase the likelihood of moving the sales conversation forward, because they’ll drop their guard and be more open and honest with you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of first impressions. Using appropriate humor can break the ice and reduce tension. A great smile and good eye contact can make prospects feel good about working with you. Your appearance, attire and body language deliver unspoken messages. And these unspoken messages can greatly affect your results.