Watching Jimmy Fallon and others like him (Robin Williams, Seth Meyers, Will Farrell, Maya Rudolph) has made me a better salesperson and it can make you a better one too.
YOU CAN LEARN A LOT ABOUT SALES FROM A COMEDIAN
1. IT IMPROVES YOUR ABILITY TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Stand-Up Comedians have a serious bead on the human condition. It’s what makes them funny. They can take the smallest daily life experience and turn it into a twenty-minute set that connects with people in incredible ways. Watching them increases your attentiveness to people and the things around you.
2. IT IMPROVES YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING ABILITY
The best way to learn how to do something well is to watch someone who does it well, and then practice doing it that way. Stand-Up Comedians are incredible public speakers. Enough said.
3. IT DECREASES NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOPS
In sales, fear is perhaps your worst enemy. It is easy to get nervous, get stressed, hope you can close the sale, worry about your pricing, etc., all thoughts that create a negative feedback loop in your brain. Once that begins, your brain actually creates dopamine which triggers the fight or flight response.Do you want to go into a sales meeting with a fight or flight mentality? Of course not.
Want to decrease those chemicals? Laugh.
4. IT BOOSTS YOUR ENERGY
Ever see someone get hit in the head with a wayward frisbee and you recoil along with them, both anticipating the impact and the pain? Ever walk into a room and everyone is laughing, but you don’t have a clue why, and yet you end up laughing just as hard? Want to know what causes that? Mirror Neurons.
What does that have to do with sales?
By watching the energy level of a stand-up comedian and that of his audience, your mirror neurons will feed off that energy level, essentially mimicking it for 1-3 hours after you watch it. Take that much positivity into a sales meeting and you are sure to increase your likeability factor (which is the number 1 reason anyone buys from anyone else . . . likeability.)
5. IT IMPROVES YOUR TIMING
You know what makes a good comedian good? Timing. They have a way about them that when they pause, when they make a facial gesture, when they walk across the stage, then turn for effect, and when they ask for the laugh (deliver the punch line). The timing of all of that is what makes them funny.
The same is true in sales. Knowing when to speak, when to be silent, how to use body language and facial gestures and when to ask for the sale; it’s all about timing. Good salespeople have a great sense of timing. And if I want to be great at something, I should watch people who are great at it and practice it that way.
I have often been told that I am great “in person.” Many of my clients and team members have told me that. What they mean (I think) is that I have a way about me that relates easily to others, helps relieve the tension in the room, opens doors of communication, and I’m likable. Those are pretty much the textbook traits of a great salesperson, or so I’m told. And I learned them not from my college professors, but from reruns of Saturday Night Live.