This video captures the feeling that athletes feel when going into a do or die situation just like Game 7 of the MLB World Series between the Houston Astros and LA Dodgers.
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.
This weekend is the big championship weekend for many of the baseball teams in my home town.
So, all the hard work they put in during practices, all the skills and lessons they learned during the regular season all come down to the performance this weekend. And especially today, Championship day.
But I encourage all the competitors, coaches and fans to remember one more lesson.
That lesson is one that may be remembered more and have a bigger impact than most.
More than how to hit a curve ball, more than how to turn a double play, and more than stealing a base.
This lesson is one that if it is not heeded, it can suck the fun out of and steal the joy out of the game.
The lesson is, that no matter what the final score ends up being is it vital to act with class.
WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS.
If a player on the other team makes a great play on a ball you hit. Don’t get mad. Instead tip your cap.
If, in your opinion an umpire misses a call, don’t run out screaming like a mad man. Instead ask questions respectfully and accept their decision.
And if the score is not in your favour at the end of the game, shake hands and wish the other team well in the future games.
LOSE with CLASS.
But just as important is to WIN with CLASS.
When you respect your teammates, your coaches, your opponents and the officials, you are winning with class.
When you refrain from trash talking and putting others down, you win with class.
And when you avoid running up the score or taking the extra base late in a game where you have a huge lead, you are winning with class.
The key fact is this. A couple years down the road most people won’t remember the score of the game.
What they will remember is the friends they meet and the lessons they learn.
And if the lesson you demonstrate is to WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS, then regardless of the score of the game, you will be a winner…guaranteed!
I have noticed a continuing trend in business that continues to bother me.
It frustrates me because I believe it is one of the main reasons business fail.
It frustrates me because it is costing companies and organizations thousands of hours of heart ache.
And it frustrates me because it is costing companies millions of dollars in lost profit.
What is it?
I can sum it up in one word…..FOCUS.
The reason that many companies fail is that their focus is all wrong.
Many companies focused inward (on their own needs), when in order to be successful, they need to be outwardly focused (Solving their customer’s problems).
Remember, the customer will pay you to allow you to help reduce their stress.
They won’t pay you if all you do is cause them stress.
Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get anything you want in life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want. “
And this is also true in your personal relationships.
Think of your last great relationship, and how that person (or animal) help reduce your stress.
Then think of your last bad relationship, and how that person created more stress for you.
My guess is that you felt that the person in the good relationship was more focused on your needs then their own. And I bet the person in the bad relationship was more focused on themselves.
Remember, if you focus on your needs of your business (and personal) customer first, and they will provide for your needs.
I think we have another convert to the Sales Dating philosophy.
Here is an article by Greta Schulz. http://www.b2bsalesplaybook.com/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=2173&pubmenuoptID=24674 Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training.
Dating and Sales – It’s Not That Different
Remember when you were dating, and you went out with someone for the first time? For example, let’s say you’re female (though the principle applies to both). You really felt from your first meeting with a gentleman that he was charming, romantic, seemed to love kids … you know, different from other guys.
Then you go out on a date. He takes you to a nice dinner at a beautiful restaurant. After you order the meal, he starts the conversation and it sounds something like this:
“You know, I’m really glad we had an opportunity to get together. I’m so busy with my career that I don’t really date a lot. It’s a shame because I’m really a romantic person and would love to share that side of me more often. I can’t wait until the day when I can settle down and have a family. I would love to have kids and spend all of my time with them. I really want to be a great dad …”
At this point in the date, if you have half of a brain in your head, you’re ready to bail. Why? These are all of the things you want in someone, right? Right. But this guy is probably none of them. He just told you he is all of these things and more, so why don’t you believe it?
Because when someone tells you how wonderful he is, especially right up front, do you believe it? Of course not. Besides, if these things were true, he wouldn’t say them. He would demonstrate them. And a wonderful way to do that is to ask about you. He needs to find out what you like, get you talking and stop telling you about him.
Selling works the same way. Until we start selling to robots, we’re dealing with humans. Human nature is the same, whether it’s personal or business.
“People often make decisions and assumptions from the things we don’t say, not the things we do.” – Greta Schulz
Am I suggesting you just sit there without talking? Actually, yes. At the beginning, you need to ask and not tell. No one believes how wonderful and terrific you and your product are until they trust you and your word. You have to build credibility.
Credibility isn’t something you establish by telling someone how great you are or how great your company is. Most of you are saying right now, “Greta, I don’t do that.” Really? Let me demonstrate.
“So John, why should we go with your product when we have been using ABC’s product for so long and it has worked fine?”
“Well, Mr. Jones, one of the reasons we stand out is the blah blah blah, and we also have superior customer service and blah blah blah …” Sound familiar? So many of you do this. This is exactly what I’m talking about. You gain credibility by listening. So shut up and listen! Ask some good, solid questions and listen to the answers. Listen for some things that you may be able to help with, then when it’s your turn, use the answers your prospect gave after your questions to compare back.
Let’s go back to our dating example. What if you went out with this same guy (in this case), and, after dinner, he asked you a few questions.
“So, you said you’re an attorney. Do you enjoy practicing law? How long have you lived here? Do you have family here? Yes, mine is up north, too. I love it here, but I do miss them sometimes. How about you? I hope to have my own family some day.
You say: “Really, do you think you’ll be a good dad?”
“I don’t know, but I hope so.”
Sound better? Yes, of course. Did you learn something? Sure did. Do you want to learn more? Ask and listen, don’t tell. This is for both on a date and in a sales call. Remember, it’s just about people. Relax, learn, ask and stop selling!
“The Big Secret in life is there is not secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”