In the fall of 2010, just two years into our business, I took a comedy class, which became an unexpectedly powerful sales and marketing tool for our business.
Comedy was unrelated to anything in our business plan (except for maybe helping support my writing and creativity). But, it turned out that my comedy shows were so well-attended by my clients and prospects that my comedy side became a sales and marketing tool for us. When I reach out to my network about comedy, it often spurs business talk, including closed deals.
This doesn’t mean you should take up comedy specifically. But you probably have a seemingly unrelated hobby, interest or passion that you can incorporate into your sales and marketing. Here are three ways that comedy has helped my sales and marketing and how you might incorporate a similar strategy:
Stay front of mind
When I perform several times a year, it is another way to get in front of my network and stay front of mind. How can you use personal updates or something other than business talk to stay front of mind?
Show a multifaceted you
As a professional services provider, I consult on serious issues. My comic side is a surprise to my network and provides a whole other side to how my contacts know me. How can you surprise and delight your network?
Walk your talk
People admire well-rounded, balanced leaders who can successfully integrate the professional and personal. The personal wins you share add to your professional credibility.
So while you may not ever want to do stand-up comedy, there is probably a personal hobby, interest, or passion that can spark a different, deeper connection with your professional network. Don’t assume that you need to hide these other important parts of your life! Sharing these unrelated threads may actually bind you closer to your network.
If you want to see me perform firsthand, I am doing a set at Gotham Comedy Club next week – Tuesday, April 21, 7p. Details, including reservation number, are on our Upcoming Events page. Let me know if you’re coming so I can look for you after the show!