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20 Great Sales Jokes

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Here’s the second installment of our effort to bring time-tested sales and marketing articles to the attention of new readers.

The original version ran on July 17, 2015.

Selling life insurance, annuities, disability insurance, health insurance, and related products and services during a Washington meltdown, when it’s August, to consumers who are sure they will live, and be healthy, forever, is brutal work. Most of the remedies traditionally recommended for that kind of stress are terrible for you.

Humor is much safer, and less fattening.

Humor can also help you reduce the underlying level of stress, by creating beautiful little crevices in the stone walls you’re banging your head against. If a little light can get through, maybe you can get through, too…

Apparently the old saying “Laughter is the best medicine” has a lot of truth to it. When we laugh, our body releases stress and breathes in a bit of peace. But what makes a great joke? What kind of power is unleashed when your audience laughs?

(Related: 5 ‘One Liners’ for Asking Friends to Do Business With You)

We’ve written compilations of all sorts of jokes before, from great accountant jokes to jokes about insurance. But what about harnessing the power of a joke to close a sale, without getting yourself into a world of hurt? Is that even possible?

Ian Adams, sales manager at Yesware, says it is. In his old, much-mourned blog, The Senator Club, he recommended that sales-minded joke-tellers use the same approach that professional comedians use: Know your material without hesitation, talk as if you’re telling a short story, and avoid laughing before or while telling the joke.

Adams goes on to suggest nine short jokes to close that deal.

A few of his jokes are included here, alongside others that our research turned up.