When a friend and associate of mine went big onto the dating scene years ago, I watched from a distance as she struggled to develop good relationships, just as she had struggled in her business. Since that time ideas have been germinating within me.
Getting to know a person, dating, courting, developing long-term relationships, and making that BIG commitment – closing the Deal – the parallels to sales have fascinated me for a long time.
Dating & Selling are very similar processes. You need to identify the ideal “prospect”, ask the right questions, build rapport and trust and stay in touch in a meaningful way.
A good number of excellent tests have been developed to identify whether you are a good sales person or not, and if you have the potential to grow to become an excellent salesperson. One of them is our Sales IQ, an assessment that helps identify a person’s existing sales skills.
And there are theories that could probably fill a small library on how to be successful in sales. Sales is a process and it’s important to follow it, so is dating (if you are really serious about it). When it comes to the basics, it’s always been very simple and straightforward for me.
- Be yourself.
- Be authentic.
- Understand the other person.
- Listen and just do it. “There’s a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest.” Michael P. Nichols: The Lost Art of Listening
In my humble opinion, these are the basis and basics of all sound relationships: in my professional life, at work, with family & friends, and in my marriage. While I have personally been out of the dating scene for quite some time, I have seen many dating scenarios gone eerily wrong (with some of them resulting in marriage!).
The reality is that sales is essential to business growth, so we need to awaken the inner sales person within us! Sales people often get a bad “rep”, because many of us associate sales with people who want to push us to buy something that we don’t want or need. The generally accepted view of the pushy salesperson also feeds into the fear of selling, which most professionals, who are not in a sales position, have. That’s one of the reasons why small companies have a hard time to grow. Only the rare few in small companies dare to step up to the plate. And only a few of those rare ones do it well.
Once we overcome the skewed reputation of sales as a profession (which is always the first step to success), we can then develop a meaningful and effective way of growing business.
The same holds true for dating. If we fear dating and we don’t want to invest the time necessary to weed out the bad, we won’t succeed. We probably have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find our prince but it’s worth our time and effort. After all, consider the alternative.
No business growth
Bad or No long-term relationship (or marriage)
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