The deal was important and could lead to future work. I was impressed with this company, but had some valid concerns. They brought their Chairman to the table to help close the deal.
“Karin, I know you’ll be very impressed with what you see here today. We’ve got a great track record of results, and numbers to back it up. I can’t wait for the team to share more about our programs. But before that, I’ve written you a little song.”
He pulled out a piece of notebook paper with the song he penned, and began to sing. His a capella serenade included why we should give them a shot. The mood was instantly lightened by his silliness. My guard dropped a bit. He sang, I listened more deeply.
“Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.”~ C.S. Lewis
What followed was a highly-professional presentation with data, video, tours, side by sides. They proved they were the best. I hired them. Not because of the song, but not in spite of it either. Silliness has serious benefits.
Well-timed Silliness Can:
- Break the ice
- Show you’re real
- Show you are bold
- Energize the meeting
- Showcase creativity
- Build relationships
- Create memories
Strategic Silliness Precautions
After my standing ovation to his song, I responded: “Great stuff”. NEVER do that at our corporate headquarters. We both grinned knowingly.
- must be timed well, with a receptive audience
- works best with kindred spirits
- can’t stand alone (surround it with great results and execution)
- works because it’s unusual and infrequent
- is tasteful
- What would you add?