Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 1/8/19 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Everybody loves memes.
Why? Because they’re humorous. People relate to them and it gives a sense of authenticity – the raw version of you.
At Flight Media, we’re big fans. When we first started using memes, it was partially as a test and partially because it makes us laugh as a team.
In fact, over the last couple years, we’ve been integrating them pretty heavily into our blogs to emphasize certain points.
But then we had an epiphany of sorts. We decided to use memes for another purpose – sales.
At first, it started off as a funny joke to send to prospects who told us, “I’m not interested,” but then things took a turn… for the better.
The first meme we sent was to a prospect who said, “Thanks for reaching out, but we already have a great marketing team who handles everything for us. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.”
This was our lead business developer’s response:
Immediately, we had a positive response back about the meme.
No, we didn’t win that deal, but it sparked a monumental idea: What if we used memes for email recaps, proposal follow-ups, sales follow-ups, or even responses to customers who told us the classic, “The check’s in the mail”?
In Jeffrey Gitomer’s book, The Little Red Book of Selling, he makes the incredibly simple but true statement, “If you can get them to laugh, you can get them to buy.”
Here are a few examples of how our sales team is using memes to close more deals with even the most serious kinds of people.
Every day, you or your sales team sends emails that get no response.
It may be the first email to a target account or it could be a list of follow-up questions for a hot lead who is on the edge of signing a contract.
How do you get that lead to finally respond?
By sending a simple, template email that will take about 15 seconds to write and insert a meme.
Adding a meme and this email to our follow-up flow nearly doubled our response rate overnight.
It’s non-intrusive, polite, funny, and more importantly, it gives them the excuse of “the email getting buried.”
People love it and will respond almost immediately – even if just to tell you they need a few days to review and get back.
Typically, when we finish a great call or video session with a prospect, we’ll send a recap email to cover the discussion we just had, as well as confirm the next steps.
So, how do you follow-up on the next steps, while adding a bit of humor to affirm the idea that working with you is a good fit?
With a Forrest Gump quote, of course.
We’ve gotten all kinds of response from this meme, but the general response is: "Haha! I love Forrest Gump! Where do I send the check?"
(I added the last line, but you get the point.) 😉
If someone requests a consult on your website but, for some reason, falls off the face of the planet, here’s a nice open-ended, non-intrusive way to pursue them.
Send them an “I’m here to help when you’re ready” email.
We send something like this.
Simple, funny, incredible response rate.
One process we implement is target accounts.
Our team has defined our buyer personas and so it’s imperative that we go after them.
We have various ways of acquiring target accounts, but once we know their email address, we start it off with a partially customized email and a meme.
(Because if they don’t mesh with our personality, then it probably won’t be the best fit!)
In one particular email, we referred to one of our client's books and a recent tweet they made.
Whatever you’re selling, you can substitute the meme text. The important thing is that it addresses their biggest challenge.
In our case, we found the #1 problem amongst our clients is lead generation for their sales team – hence us addressing leads!
For example, if you sell cloud computing services, you might have the meme say, “Hello, is it zero downtime you’re looking for?”
I hope that these have given you some ideas of how to use memes in your sales process.
All of the examples I gave are for the pre-sales process. But what about after you close the deal?
Once someone becomes a customer, don’t stop there.
Your focus should shift to nurturing them and building a relationship that converts them into massive advocates for your company. And memes can play a huge part in that.
For example, when the next customer tells you something like, “Hey! I just sent the check. It should arrive by early next week,” respond with this.
Edgy and on the line? Probably. But it gets people to laugh. And if you can get them laughing, you better bet you can probably get them to buy more or refer someone.
(A lot of our relationships are built on humor because it works!)😀
There are a million scenarios where you can use memes to enhance your emails with prospects or customers. These are only a few of our favorites.
Steal these. Adapt them to your own. Or start from scratch. The important thing is that you’re creative, personal, humorous, and witty.
While traditional sales strategies will tell you to focus on being professional and selling aggressively, the way people buy is changing.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional or crush your sales activities, but it does mean you need to focus on humanizing your sales process.
People want a salesperson who can relate to them, help them and maybe even give them a few laughs along the way.