By Steve Crowhurst, CTC
Here’s where you can add a smile or two and increase your take home by thousands of dollars.
The concept of using humour in a sales situation has been around for centuries. The challenge however is this: not everyone is humorous. Some of us are very, very serious. Others can laugh at themselves and involve their clients, and others are non-stop joke tellers and more focused on telling that joke than servicing and selling the customer their dream trip. Somewhere in between is the right model for using humour to sell more travel. Here are five steps taken from my recent eGuide Selling Travel with Humour.
Step one: Develop that smile: You’ve heard all this before, but it’s true. A genuine smile, one that naturally appears on your face when you meet someone is a joy to behold from the client’s point of view. That smile simply eases both you and your customer into the selling situation and opens the door for humour and the sale to take place.
Step two: Use desktop images: You can seed your desk and area with humorous to funny travel based cartoons, tin plaques and posters that, when glanced at, will cause most clients to chuckle. You know, like reading birthday cards in the drug store and laughing as you read a funny one. Even a simple Keep Calm and Carry on Booking With ME! will garner a shoulder shrug. This Keep Calm slogan you can create yourself or have it custom made.
Step three: Travel quotations and slogans: A humorous one liner about travelling is always a winner. The best are subtle and take a few seconds to sink in. Search online and find the ones that make you chuckle and then bring them into your conversation at the right time. For instance when a client mentions paying fees for your knowledge you could say: “I know what you mean – experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.” Google funny travel sayings and slogans.
Step four: Follow your clients lead: Some clients are funny and bring with them a great sense of good clean humour. When dealing with a client like this tap into their humorous side and you can do this by using puns. Puns tend to run for a few minutes with each person trying to one up the other. Here’s one for when the client mentions baggage fees: “Well get this, when I was travelling last week, the airline charged me for my emotional baggage!”
Step five: The humour file: Start this now. Create a folder where you can cut and paste the humorous things you find online. Scan pages of magazines with humorous travel cartoons and build your humour file. Beware of copyright and where required seek permission to reprint or use whatever you find in a social media post, at your desk, on the agency wall, on your website etc.
The speed of your delivery (Humorosity Velocity) is all important. Too fast and you confuse the client. Too slow and the client will nod off before the punch line. Sensing the natural place in the conversation takes practice if you do not have the inherent skill that is. Last but not least and I’m not kidding when I say humour will have you laughing all the way to the bank. Try it.