Should You Put Some Humor in Sales Training?

humorAlmost everyone loves a good joke, but should humor be used in your sales training? Well, it depends.

First, humor is not universal. This means that what’s funny to you may not be funny to someone else. Secondly, your brand’s identity may be at risk when you encourage humor in sales training.

For example, Geico is well-known for using humorous ads to sell their insurance services, but they are still considered a reputable company.

However, a company such as Bank of America typically presents itself as a serious company, and therefore, using humor in sales training may taint the brand.

How Much is Too Much?

The key to injecting humor in the sales training process is to know how much is too much.

Including too much humor may make trainees feel that they can’t take the training seriously, while no humor at all might make trainees feel that your organization is stiff, rigid, and devoid of personality. In order to find the right blend, you might want to have various members of your team look over your materials before actually presenting to trainees.

In fact, an even better idea might be to present a mock training to a group of team members so that they can provide feedback.

Using this method, you have the added advantage of receiving constructive criticism from a variety of different personalities and senses of humor.

Making Humor Work in Sales Training

In the article, “Do Humor and Sales Training Go Together?“, the author discusses how the healthcare industry, while serious, can benefit from a bit of humor in the training process.

Points made include that humor can reduce boredom if a lead is seeming disengaged, shows humanity when connecting to a prospect, and in many cases, it can increase interest in a product or service.

Remember to Keep It Clean

Although this should be self-explanatory, it’s important to note that humor used in any type of business setting should be kept clean.

Off-color jokes can not only land you in trouble with your company, but they can also cause a very difficult situation legally if someone in your training class feels harassed.

In addition, if word gets out that you’ve used off-color humor in your company’s sales training; your brand may suffer dearly as a result, even if no legal or civil action is taken.

The bottom line?

Only use humor where appropriate for all audiences.

One final tip: if you are considering using humor in your sales training, pretend that a child is in the room at all times and only use humor that you would use in such a circumstance.

This should help you to avoid using inappropriate remarks.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include sales and marketing.

Is #Video the Best Method Avenue for #B2B #Marketing?

There are many trends in modern marketing that reflect the average person’s consumption of media and how they access that media. More than television and radio, people are using the internet, and as a result, marketers have followed. When television was invented, it likely seemed that nothing could replace the silver screen, but video sharing sites like Youtube, and more recently apps such as Vine, have become extremely popular and in some instances are the first choice for video consumption due to their ease of accessibility and social options.

iStock_000016919804XSmallVideo is only continuing to become an increasingly important way to market B2C, but does it have a place in B2B marketing? A recent Emarketer.com article says yes, citing 60% effectiveness out of ¾ of polled marketers who used social video. But what conclusions can we make beyond statistics?

Information

If you’ve ever written a speech for a minimum speaking time, you know just how difficult it can be to come up with things to say for even a short period of time. Because speaking takes less time than reading, you’ll find you need a lot of voiceover when writing a script to fit a 2 or 3 minute time slot.

For a B2B application, videos are great because they make the most out of a short period of time. A lot of information can be packed into a segment of just a few minutes — you can inform your audience, go over a topic or how to do something, and educate them on any aspect of your company. This is a great way to appeal to other businesses who would most likely rather be shown than simply told, or worse, left to dig for information themselves.

Sales Funnel

The other aspect of social video that works well with B2B marketing is that it fits very well in any entry point of today’s sales funnel. Videos can lend brand awareness and offer opportunities to engage. Video content is also helpful when your audience is stuck in consideration, the moment when potential buyers most need convincing.

The advantage of videos is that they can certainly be convincing. Including product demonstration or examples are two ways you can drive viewers to conversion. Showing rather than telling, as mentioned, is an invaluable strategy for grabbing clients at any point during their buying process.

Humor

In addition to informing, video content also provides the opportunity for entertainment. Several B2B companies have used the format of a video to great effect, adding cheer to a marketing effort with success.

Injecting a little humor into any marketing effort is not a bad idea, and videos offer greater opportunity to do so with their performative aspects. Using live action in your video, or even simply humorous script, is a creative way to use social video in a B2B setting.

B2B video is not completely perfect. It may be difficult to calculate an ROI from video, and budgeting can be another factor. But if you can create compelling video spots and optimize production quality, social video can offer gains to many marketing goals.

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Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.