Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why Selling is Like Dating

After a very long-term, committed relationship came to an end for me recently, I'm now single again. I haven't been single in a very long time, and dating...well, let's just say it isn't my forte. But I love observing human behavior--and I've noticed that my single friends who are very successful daters share a few key principles with highly effective networking and in-person sales. Here are a few keys to success I've noticed--both in the dating world and in the business world.

Don't be too available. If you're in demand, there must be a very good reason--and people are going to assume it boils down to the fact that you're awesome. In both the dating world and the business world, this translates into looking busy. Give the impression that you have a lot going on in your life--personally or professionally--and clients and suitors will flock to you.

Look good. You don't have to be a perfect 10 to make it in the dating world or in the business world, but you do need to put some effort into your appearance. When you're confident in yourself and you look the part of a successful businessperson--nice suit, nice haircut, nice portfolio case--people make assumptions that you've already made it. It makes your work of convincing them to hire you that much easier.

Chemistry is key. The way you make people feel will make a big difference--both in your dating life and in your professional life. I used to think being "businesslike" meant being serious and smart; never not knowing the right answer and never breaking into a smile. Now I realize being professional and being human are one and the same--and the way you relate to people could get you the sale. People would much rather work with people they like and trust.

Desperation kills the sale. Desperation can be smelled a mile away--and it always drives people away, whether you're on a date or on a sales meeting. Remember: there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you don't get this one, you probably weren't a good fit to begin with. Consider each rejection a blessing--it helps you stay out of bad partnerships, which are a nightmare at work and in your personal life.

Courting others isn't easy--whether you're talking romance or your next big client. It's easy to give the advice of projecting an aura of success, not desperation; and not to be afraid to show your personality in a positive way. But in reality, confidence takes practice. The more you meet people--in business and personal situations--the easier the interaction will be.


Unknown said...

Yea, like marriage proposals on the first date - a little too desperate. And I bet every one of us has had at least one. :)

What a fun post! I love the comparisons - so true!

Anonymous said...

That's what I always say with queries and submissions -- it's like finding the soul mate for your project and you've got to date around a bit.

Rolf said...

HA! Funniest thing. Years ago I worked as a clerk. I too reasoned that if the product looked like it was in demand would make it attractive. So I also reasoned that NOT having the shelves fully stocked would make them seem more attractive, and therefore be in higher demand. I was told very harshly (exceedingly harshly, I remember I though) how stupid this idea was. Fully stocked sold more. And that is true.

It was not until I saw this list that I could see why: fully stocked shelves are more groomed, they're better dressed - better taken care of. It tells people that you care, and we therefore trust the shop - and buy more.

An unstocked shelf looks as if the product is worthless. Nothing to think about. Nothing to care about.

Funny how the they can contradict each other.

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