Standing at the checkout counter at the market, I noticed that the touch pad where you sweep your charge card wasn’t affixed to its customary post. It was just dangling in space.
For the heck of it, I swept it into my hands and made it gyrate like a flying saucer from the Ed Wood movie, “Plan 9 From Outer Space. ” Then, in the highest pitched alien voice I could summon, I repeatedly squeaked, “We come in peace. We come in peace. ”
The clerk cracked up, and offered back his own extraterrestrial reply, and what was just another perfunctory shopping schlep suddenly became a Spielberg extravaganza.
Looking back on this encounter, it occurs to me that we don’t use enough humor in business, and especially in our prospecting. Who said we have to approach companies with utter seriousness?
We’re not doing something that important, like the Tommy John surgery on a famous athlete, for gosh sakes.
For fun, I used to do John Wayne impressions to cut through secretarial screening. He swaggered his way through more than one closed door, I can tell ya!
Of course, consciously, most of the screeners had no clue it was the Duke on the line, but in their mental archive they heard and responded to a familiar voice.
Jimmy Stewart was also fun, but his stammering made calls a lot longer.
So, what’s next?
Let’s try this method of getting through screening:
“Hello, I’m Gary Goodman with Customersatisfaction.com, and we help companies to get and to keep more customers, and I need to speak to whoever signs the checks around there. So, please take me to your leader!”
The last line, to have the full effect, must be done in an E. T. sort of voice.
My hunch is that secretaries and other call sentries, whose work can be utterly hostile and unrelenting, will welcome this overture.
And they may just put your call through, “in peace. ”
Dr. Gary S. Goodman © 2006
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph. D. from USC's Annenberg School, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad.
He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.