Feb 17 2011


And in the sweetness of


friendship let there be


laughter, and sharing


of pleasures. For in the


dew of little things the


heart finds its morning


and is refreshed.”

--Kahlil Gibran

                          exam cartoon

“A sense of humor can be priceless in frustrating situations. Having a sense of humor does not mean laughing and joking all the time. But many of life’s problems and predicaments are the result of weaknesses and mistakes.

“If you can recognize these first and release some of your tensions by seeing the humor in a situation, you will be in better condition to begin the serious business of making adjustments.”


It’s probably true that the boardroom meeting gone sour at hearing the latest plunge-in-sales report, may not be the best venue for reenacting a joyful rendition of “Singing in the Rain” with a tabletop tap-dance.

One might also be well-advised to avoid raising outstretched hands to the roomful of grey-pinstriped-suit-clad directors and addressing them in mock whisper:

Did you hear the one about this guy goes into a bar with a purple parrot hanging off his belt . . .?”

But well-timed doses of tasteful humor do have a place in business. Humor almost always plays an important role in establishing, re-establishing and maintaining balance and harmony in business ownership and business management settings. For leaders, small periodic shots of self-effacing humor lets team members know they’re being led by authenticity.

It’s definitely true that getting a serious-minded sales prospect or existing or past customer to crack a smile or chuckle serves to lighten the burdensome parts of the sales message and generally makes that individual or group more receptive to exploring available products or services in a positive frame of mind.

She/he/they will also be more likely to engage with the emotional buying motive triggers that account for every sale of every product, every service and every idea . . . even those that seem like they are prompted by rational and logical-based decisions.

 Tasteful, well-placed humor is typically exercised most successfully by entrepreneurial thinkers and doers who are self-confident , self-reliant, and proactive thinking. Humor bullets are most often fired by those who are “sales personalities,” who are outgoing people who are invested in building and strengthening relationships.

But plenty of business humor has found its way to the top of agendas hosted by serious introverted business leaders as well, including Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Thomas Edison, to name just a few. So it’s not a question of that you either have it or you don’t. It’s instead a question of timing, presentation, and appropriateness. And all three are within your reach.

You think you don’t have it in you to make humor part of your repertoire? Then work at it. You really can improve, you know. Aldous Leonard Huxley (You remember him, right? He sat behind you in third grade . . . or was it fifth?) once said:

There’s only one corner of the universe that you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.”  

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931.854.0474 Coaching for Higher Branding Impact

Business Development/ National-Awards/ Record Client Sales

Personal & Professional Growth/ Creative Entrepreneurial Thinking


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Jun 08 2009


“Ja’hear how to catch a rabbit?”


     If you want to be a great writer, you need to be a great reader.If you want to be a great actor, you need to be a great theatre-goer. If you want to be a great doctor, you . . . well, no, I don’t want to be urging you to be a patient (but I’m told by many doctors–especially those specializing in proctology and colo-rectal surgery(!)– that it certainly makes a difference to have been on the receiving end!).

Great salespeople are great customers.

     What makes a great customer?

  • You make firm purchase decisions and rarely return what you buy [Unless, of course, it’s __Defective; __Inoperable; __Clashing color; __Missing parts; __Wrong size; __Bad hair day; __Decided my father can’t afford it, or any of those other wonderful escape reasons you’re offered on the “Reason For Return” checklist that comes with most catalog or online sale shipments].   
  • You exhibit enormous patience with and are empathetic and understanding toward an over-burdened clerk or salesperson[Even though it may be your bad fortune to have bungled into the dimmest human being to ever comb his hair with a fork… inevitably someone in possession of an IQ that’s just a few notches higher than a piece of scrapple, who is totally preoccupied with removing bubblegum from his shoe with your credit card].
  • You use your great sense of humor to occupy waiting time and even cheer up other customers in line.[“Hey, Ja’hear how to catch a rabbit?” (Empty looks) “HA! Ya hide behind a tree and make a noise like a rabbit! hahahaha.”]
  • You don’t whine, moan, bitch or complain about a company’s false, misleading or deceptive advertising [because you know they need to survive in a tough economic marketplace and it’s understandable that they might need to exaggerate the quality or price issues. You’ll write them a wussy letter asking them to let you return the merchandise or get a re-do of the faulty services. They laugh.] Seriously, you hopefully confront the boss, then file reports if the response isn’t appropriate. 

     Truth is sales professionals ARE often the best customers. They ask relevant questions. They have more engaging personalities than most non-sales-oriented customers. They do their homework ahead of time on major purchases—they know what they should pay and how to pay for it; they know what the warranties cover and what kind of performance is to be expected; they buy on impulse only when it’s affordable, and/or when they like the business or the store or the sales rep.

     In fact, many professional salespeople PREFER to sell to other salespeople. If you don’t, and you’re in sales (and you are “in sales” if you own or manage a business of any kind), you may want to re-examine the image you have of sales, the approach you use, and the attitude you project to others… especially to other salespeople, who can often be your best customers!  

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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