Sales is like dating. It’s a chase. It’s an intricate dance. Sales, like dating, takes finesse and an instinct to know when your customer is into you or not.
The first sales call is like a first date. There is excitement and fear of failure or screwing up. Extra preparation takes place. A little more time is spent on the presentation. Pre-sales meetings are held. Research is done. You put on your best power suite, shine your shoes, wear your favorite tie and get dialed in. You show up early. You put on your best performance. Sometimes, like flowers on a first date, you bring company swag. The first call in sales is just like a first date, you want it to go perfect.
When the call is over, just like a first date, you call someone, your boss, or a co-worker and tell them how it went. You’re either on cloud nine and excited or you’re bummed out second guessing everything you said and what you didn’t do. After the first call, like a first date, you know whether or not you’re going to get a second date.
If you don’t get a second date, your devastated. Your ego takes a whacking. You beat yourself up. And many times you desperately try to get a second date, telling your prospect over and over how it will be different this time and how your product really can help them out. Only if they’ll give you a second chance. Like dating, it ain’t going to happen.
If you do get a second date, and it goes well, you’re now officially dating. The dance is under way. Just like dating, each encounter brings the relationship closer, more information is shared, the tone becomes less formal, and the excitement level of an impending deal grows. Just like dating, it’s palpable. You can feel it. They like you and your solution. They want more. They’re calling you and asking you out. Its bliss. When this happens you get closer, trust is built, comfort levels grow and usually the sale is made.
Just like dating however, things can change. You have a great first date, and even a good second date, things seem to be going well, when all of a sudden they stop calling. They don’t return your calls. They keep telling you they are interested and that they like you, but you can never seem to get another date. They tell you that everything is fine. They say, it’s just they’ve been busy. But, they just don’t seem that into you and the problem is they’re not.
Just like dating, your prospects or your customers may lose interest and not want your product anymore. They aren’t going to buy what your selling. They may have been just shopping you around to make your competitor jealous. The person you’re dealing with may not have authority to buy. They’ve changed their minds. They have an alternative solution but don’t want to tell you to go away just yet, because they’re insecure. Like dating the reasons are endless. Just like dating you have to see the signs and walk away. You’ve got to stop calling. You’ve got stop begging for one more date. You’ve got to stop acting like a desperate freak stalking your prospect like they are the only one you have. You have to know when to walk away.
Just like dating YOU may not like the first date. Unfortunately this is rare. Sales people are notorious for wearing beer goggles. Rarely does a sales person not like a first date. But if they were a bit more selective with their dates they might be a bit more successful. Too many times sales people chase dates that just aren’t going anywhere. They should have seen it wasn’t a good fit right away and saved time for good dates. If it weren’t for those dang beer goggles.
Selling is just like dating. You’re going to get rejected. They’re not going to like you. You’ll be strung along. You won’t like some of your dates. You will keep going out with some of your dates knowing it’s not a good fit. But, like dating. you will find some great prospects that like you and want to work with you and they will grow into fantastic relationships.
Just like dating you need to know where you stand. It’s not worth it to waste your time with a date that’s just not that into you!
This post written by Jim Keenan, Author of the book, Not Taught
and CEO/President and Chief Antagonizer of A Sales Guy Inc.