The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. We all know that, but did you know that “laughter is the shortest distance between two people” (Victor Borge, 1909-2000)? Shortening the “distance” between you and your customers is crucial to helping them fulfill their needs. Sharing a genuine and heartfelt chuckle, when appropriate, can really warm up the relationship, enhance the overall tone of the interaction, and bring you and your customer closer together.
There is tremendous power in laughter. Human Beings are so-wired that we need to have fun and laugh and smile. In fact, we are hard-wired for this. It is a proven fact that just smiling, even when you don’t feel like doing so, will release a small amount of endorphins in the brain, the very chemical that causes us to feel good. Keep smiling long enough, and eventually you really do feel like smiling. Add laughter to that equation and look out, you’re feeling pretty great before you know it.
So, what if you are sharing smiles and laughter with another person? What happens when two people are simultaneously experiencing the sense of well-being that comes from laughing? Those two people draw closer together. Laughing together with another person strengthens bonds, including bonds that are brand new and just forming, and shortens the distance between them. They like each other more, trust each other more, and are more open to each other’s influence.
This applies in the world of business as much as any other part of life. I know we tend to think of business as “serious stuff” but business is all about relationships, and influence. We have more influence with those we are close to. We draw closer to those that make us feel good when we are around them. The distance is shortened significantly when we laugh and share good humor with one another. If they laugh with you, then they like you. People do business with people they like.
So, lighten things up. Have a laugh or two with your prospects, clients, and associates. I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to improve your business relationships and your influence with customers and others.