My son Noah and I watched a very funny show at Second City’s etc. theater the other night, called The Absolute Friggin’ Best Time of Your Life.

Throughout the 2 hours of the revue, and the half-hour of improvisation done as a “bonus” after the revue, there were about six references to Honey Baked Ham. Each time these references reappeared, the laughs became louder.  What’s up?

Comedians know that “callbacks” are effective; if you bring back an idea throughout your routine, the audience will appreciate the continuity, and will express that appreciation with laughs.

Salespeople can benefit from the same idea, although they won’t be rewarded with laughs. Try it: Be alert to what is important to your customer, or to things that seem to capture her attention, and then weave these topics back into the conversation at multiple points.

One way I do this is by compiling a mental list of the “Things That Matter” to my customer, and selectively integrating them, at appropriate points, into the conversation.  Just like the audience at Second City, your customer will appreciate the continuity, and will be more engaged with you.

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