Don’t be fooled by the “grave” nature of our business; using humor with customers results in better relationships, longer impact, and more referrals.
The fastest way to make a connection with a stranger is to use humor as a bridge between you. This fact has been known in society perhaps forever, and we all use “ice breakers” to cut through tension and build social bridges. But have you considered how humor affects your preneed and final expense insurance sales?
Humor Can Build Rapport
It’s no secret in sales that customers respond more positively to people they like. When a client likes you, they are more inclined to trust you and believe that you have good intentions. This is because humans tend to follow their emotions more easily than their analytical reasoning.
“Everybody’s brain has two different processing centers: emotional and rational. The emotional brain… [houses] anger, aggression, desire, fear, hatred, passion, love, disgust, sympathy, and so on. Then there’s the rational side, [which] is more deliberate, analyzing and studying, and thinking about the future consequences of various possible actions. What psychologists know about decision making is that when the rational and emotional side work together, it’s a powerful motivator for action. When the emotional and rational sides are at odds, however, the emotional side typically wins.” Mike Schultz, RAIN Group
When salespeople use humor to begin a relationship, they open doors in the emotional brain where connections can be built. We often consider people “friends” when we have had experiences laughing with them, or when we share inside jokes. When our friends recommend something or present new ideas to us, we are more likely to be influenced by them because we have a relationship, a rapport. The best life insurance salesmen and saleswomen don’t have “clients,” they have “friends.”
Our Brains Remember Funny
If you take a moment to try and remember the television commercials you’ve seen in the last week, I will bet that you are most likely to remember the ones that were funny. Those Progressive Insurance commercials about becoming like your parents? Everyone recognizes those. That’s because humor is something our brains latch onto and remember.
Tunku Saraa-Zawyah Tunku Badli and Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli published their research on how humor positively impacts memory. “Humor has an additional benefit of having a positive effect on memory. Education and advertising are two fields which have benefited from this association. In an otherwise serious lecture, for example, humorous examples are remembered better than non-humorous ones.”
So being funny not only makes you more likeable and trustworthy, but also creates a more memorable message for your client. Using humor in sales will improve your relationships and make you a better educator, which will result in more sales, more referrals, and more customer loyalty.
Are you convinced that you need to sit down and make some insurance puns? Then I’ll go ahead and link you over to this website for some inspiration.