A LinkedIn post discussing “empathy in sales” asked the question:

“Should tech sales pros learn to code?”

I commented “yeah, if they keep missing quota”.

If you’re not laughing, please remember that jokes are like grown-up rich kids – they don’t all work.

This platform’s fickle. Many want to learn about sales and selling through Drake memes. Or the meme with the boyfriend leering at some girl to his girlfriend’s disgust. Or the “Sideways-Looking Stuffed Monkey”-meme. Or the “Willy Wonka looking smug”-meme.

If you’re here, it’s because you’ve taken pity on me for not even knowing how to create memes, and leaning on longer-form, non-templated, original, entertaining non-memed insights.

With these blogs, my goal is to share the skills and processes stand-up comedians use to connect with their audiences, so you can better connect with yours. On to this week’s thoughts:

Know what I neither trust nor like?

Recent claims that sellers need to be trusted, and that it’s not necessary to be liked.

That’s like saying you don’t need a decent salary – just a sizeable, gorgeous home in a desirable neighbourhood and as many 5-star vacations you need per year.

“Wait – those don’t just magically appear our lives? We have to pay for them with our hard-earned money??”

The stuff you want is preceded by a good salary. One can’t happen without the other.

The take that you only need to be trusted and not liked, is technically true, but it’s presented as if being liked and trusted are mutually exclusive traits.

Let’s be clear: trust is a seller’s ultimate asset, particularly in complex sales. You can’t survive unless buyers view you as knowledgeable and credible.

Let’s be clearer: We’re hired to do a job – not to make pals…BUT….

With all this talk about “improving the buyer experience” some are forgetting that humans are an integral part of making it simple, painless.

Turns out a pleasant buying experience isn’t scalable enough for some.

When was the last time a seller was cold, indifferent, gruff, disgusting or rude to you – and you gave them adequate time to demonstrate that they were credible and trustworthy?

Attention spans are short. We get one chance to make that first impression. Buyers need to be engaged long enough for them to see & appreciate that we know our stuff.

Hell, in stand-up, even edge-lord comedians start with safe, simple bits to get the crowd on their side and liking them. Once they do, they can try to take the audience to trickier places.

Your competitors are a Google search away. Windows to make prospects feel at ease and to “like” are short.

While I believe laughter and joy are currency that can be swapped for attention, you don’t need to zing ‘em with whack of jokes, be on the same page about what karaoke song you’d sing together, or perform an Irish polka for them – but they still need to appreciate your energy and feel at ease with you.

For the doubters, try being curt and gruff with your prospects – especially if you work at an unknown company whose name is difficult to pronounce or fathom – for a week.

Make them forget you’re a salesperson and know you’re a person-person.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that you opt-in to these every couple of weeks, ya jerks.

Geez, that wasn’t very nice of me. But – it’s too late! You already trust me, because you used to like me. I hope you still do 🙂

PS: if you want these and other nuggets delivered to your inbox…

Looking to have more meaningful convos at trade shows?

Powerchord’s a small SaaS who generated $160K – in just 2 months – in net new revenue from convos started at trade shows using funny, hyper-relevant icebreakers I crafted for them.  

If your company exhibits at trade shows and struggles to engage visitors to your booth or drive traffic to it, an introduction to your marketing leadership would be a win-win-win. Check my “Humor-as-a-Service” to see we get the ball rolling. 

Curious to learn  more? Snag a spot on my calendar.