Know Thy Audience

Account Executives, SDRs & Customer Success must all relate to their audience, and come off as human as opposed to random titles like “soulless dialling & emailing machine”.

"Show 'em you know 'em", we're told.

I'm a big believer in starting conversations with prospects by showing understanding of their challenges, while being memorable. This is super important in both sales, as well as stand-up comedy (who knew I’d make that parallel???).

This summer, I had the honor of being booked to perform at a fundraiser for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. My first instinct was "I'm being asked to tell jokes to people who can't hear. How well can this go???".

Bad assumption. I’d found out the DAY BEFORE that the show was billed as Montreal’s “first-ever, fully accessible standup comedy event”. The comedians’ jokes were communicated via closed captioning, T-loop (a special type of sound system for those with hearing aids), sighted guides and ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation.

With this knowledge, I felt covered. I wanted to deliver a joke very early in my set which I felt the crowd of over 250 people could relate to. I wanted them - and every audience I perform for - to like me. Being liked helps build trust and empowers me to take my audience to places I perhaps otherwise couldn’t.

I ran it by the organizers to see if it was a) funny, and b) crossed any lines. I was told I was in the clear. Here it is:

For stand-up comics that aren’t household names (99.99% of us) our audiences are both clients (they’ve paid) but also prospects. We want them to follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletters, check out our content. If we can’t relate & connect, someone else will, and we’re forgotten.

This joke helped me connect with the crowd. Once I did, I had their attention and they had “bought into” me. The rest of my set went really well, and I earned my fifty bucks.

The morals of this story are:

1) Show your prospect you know who they are, and what their struggles are.

2) Do it early.

3) Be memorable.

4) Sales pays better - MUCH better - than stand-up comedy.