Hitting the Funny Bone of Buyers: How to Use Humor to Drive Sales

Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Branding, Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

salesEvery business is interested in one thing: sales. Yes, a great customer experience, honest and hardworking employees, and a valuable product are a must, but without sales a business goes nowhere. Boosting sales often falls on the shoulder of your sales and marketing teams working together to be as effective as possible. With the right tools, your sales team can close more deals. With the right funnel, your marketing team can nurture leads and lead them down the road to a conversion. With the right tone and message, you can drive sales. Recent studies show that humor can drive sales. Here’s how to use this information to boost your own bottom line.

Related: Psychology and the Voice: 10 Ways to Change Your Tone and Close More Sales

Humor in Sales and Advertising? Really?

A recent Nielsen study found that humorous ads are welcomed by global audiences, not just social media users. According to their study, 47% of respondents say humorous advertising resonate the most with them, although real-life situations drive similar results with 46% citing these as the type of advertising that resonates most. Advertising drives sales on one way or another. If it didn’t, businesses wouldn’t be spending their budget here. When creating sales-oriented ads, don’t be afraid to add in some real-life humorous experiences that many members of your audience can relate to.

Related: Find the right sales software for your business.

Making It Memorable

In a world focused on gaining the attention of audiences, your business needs to stand out in order to make sales. A product differentiation or a more than satisfying customer experience can be part of that. What else makes your business memorable? Think about your favorite commercials, billboards and online banner ads. Which do you remember? I think of The Force commercial from Volkswagen. Not only were they able to tie in the real-life experience of a child playing dress up, they made it humorous with the child’s costume, actions of the parents, and the reaction when the car starts from “Darth’s” force – all while showcasing their brand and vehicle. The best ads drive sales.

Related: Rev Up Revenue With These 12 Inside Sales Tools

Connecting with Comedy

While humor in print ads or via online marketing mediums is perhaps some of the most common ways to use comedy to drive sales, don’t leave out in-person or over the phone interactions. If you have a brick-and-mortar business or are working in the customer service arena of a business, think about ways you can use humor to connect with customers. Relating yourself to buyers makes them feel as though they are connecting with a person, not just a business. Dropping a funny anecdote while on the phone or sharing a comedic story from earlier can lighten the mood and create that connection that so many consumers are after.

While comedy and hints of humor can prove valuable in creating a personal connection and driving sales, there is a fine line that can’t be ignored. Not every customer will respond to humor and not every business will feel humor ties into their products or offerings. It’s about finding the balance and using customer reactions to gauge whether or not they are part of the 47%  of people who appreciate humorous marketing attempts. As with all advertising, measure whether your humorous efforts outperform or underperform other ads and which types drive the most sales. If you’re looking for a new way to drive sales, humorous advertising could be a great option.


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