Ever had a joke bomb?

Mortgage and Lending with Rob Laluk - The Mortgage Centre - Elder Mortgage

Have you ever had a joke bomb?  With a customer?  And not just bomb, but really fulfill the metaphor of 'going over like a lead baloon'.  I had one of those today.  Aren't they fun?

I have a new referral source.  Not one that I would traditionally go after, but one that approached me.  The referrals that I have been getting have been sub-par for the most part, but there has been one little gem so far.  The other thing about the referrals is that they are almost exclusively 'new to Canada'.  I am your typical english speaking Canadian boy, so the language barrier is sometimes a problem.

The client that I had tonight was Indo-Canadian.  Not just Indo Canadian, but about 30 years older than myself, experienced, very intelligent, and a hard working guy.  He showed up to my home office with his son, shook my hand and took a seat. 

I figured that, since I was out of the box anyways, I might as well just proceed as I normally do, and cracked a bit of a joke to break the ice.  Nothing.  Nada.  Not even a slight smirk.  So, I get down to the real business at hand:  getting this guy to smile. 

I crack another joke.  This one goes over even less well than the previous.  A third has the son giving me the "you better just quit while you're behind" look.  So I sit down.  I take out my pen and start going through the application process.  Name, age, sin number, employment.  Turns out the guy is an excavator operator.  I used to be a heavy duty mechanic!  Here's my chance!  Something in common!

Nope, nothing.  Just a stone face on dad with the son giving me the "just get on with it" look.  So I move into the liabilities.  Nothing surprising there.  No big bills, Good credit.  No chance for a joke here.  This is the biggest dud of an application.  No chemistry between us, and I'm definately not the guy that he's going to refer to his friends and family in the future.

So I get to the assets.  Some mutual funds, a couple RRSP's, and some savings.  I ask him what he drives, and he says "An excavator, I already told you that!"

I look up from my writing to see one of the biggest grins I've ever seen in my life.  He was so proud to make me laugh that he had trouble talking for a couple minutes.  Not the greatest joke, but I think it was the look on my face that really got to him.

We made it through the rest of the application, trading jokes back and forth, and when it was done, he stood up, shook my hand, and took his leave.  When he was in the car, his son came back to the door, knocked, and when I answered said "My dad said he couldn't leave without telling you that he likes you very much."

Language barrier be damned, the international language of laughter will always prevail. 

Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming Agency INC - Coon Rapids, MN

Congratulations on keeping your composure!  If I told three jokes that didn't go over I would implode.  You made me laugh too, I really needed that. 

Dec 16, 2008 03:06 PM
Rob Laluk
Rob Laluk - The Mortgage Centre - Elder Mortgage - Maple Ridge, BC

You think you needed a laugh?  I've never needed to laugh so much as after my first three jokes bombed.  Every good comedian says that you need to keep moving forward and not give up if you wish to perservere in the stand-up market.  Sometimes people are sitting back, trying not to laugh, just to see if they can make you give up.

Unfortunately I am a mortgage broker not a stand up comedian.  I gave up after three jokes to attempt to maintain some standard of professionalism, and now I regret it.  I'm sure he would have cracked after the fourth one!!



Jan 07, 2009 04:49 AM