Think about the last relationship that you had. How did it start? Chances are that it wasn’t an overnight success. Yet even though we all agree that sales relies heavily on building relationships, many salespeople start looking for a long-term commitment with someone they’ve only just met.
Sales is a lot like dating. From flirting to judging interest and finally closing the deal, here are 5 things you can learn from thinking of sales like your next relationship.
Step Up, Step Out
I once had a woman (who eventually became a good friend) tell me “you have no idea how long I waited for you to make the first move”. Man, what a kick in the pants that was. But sales is a lot like this. Often times you will find that your prospective customers have simply been waiting for the right solution to come along.
Step up. Make the first move. Get prospecting. While there may be plenty of fish in the sea, nobody ever said that they were all swimming your direction.
Whether you’re on your first date or your tenth, it’s never comfortable to be around someone who is constantly pushing for that next step. Much like any other relationship, it’s going to take time for things to reach the point of a close.
Chances are that if you’re reading this you’re not selling crappy used cars – so stop treating your customers like someone from one of those terrible commercials. Spend some time. Woo them. Show them why choosing you over someone else is the better decision.
Know When to Say When
Sometimes the stars just don’t align. No matter how hard you try or how perfect a customer may seem, today may not be the day that they decide to enter a relationship with you.
Take a step back. Know when it’s time to walk away and become a friend or confidant. But stay in touch, because the last thing that you want is to become a distant memory. When the time is right, they’ll turn back to you because you’re the one who was always there to help them and support them.
Single Parents Don’t Date
There’s a great scene in the movie Jerry Maguire where Cuba Gooding Jr. is telling Tom Cruise about single moms. They’re not interested in dating because they have too much on the line to “play the field,” so to speak.
They’re looking for commitment.
Business owners are much the same as a single parent. Their business is their baby. They are looking for a long-term relationship with a product or solution that will support and nurture their business in the same way that they would. So make sure you recognize that need in your conversations with them. If you can provide that, you’re already swimming faster than the rest of the fish in the sea.
Sealing the Deal
Perhaps the single most difficult part of any relationship is knowing when it’s time to take it to the next level. Are both sides ready for that level of commitment? Have you done enough wooing to convince the other person? Are there enough benefits on the line to keep them interested long term?
There’s certainly no formula for these answers, but the vast majority of sales that don’t happen are because the salesperson never asked the customer to buy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the dating process that sealing the deal can get forgotten.
Like finding that perfect relationship, nobody ever said that sales was going to be easy. But if you’ve made a commitment to the career, then it’s time to make a commitment to your customers as well.
So now that we’ve seen you reading our blog post for a while – how ’bout you and I go check out our FullContact Address Book app? That old black book is bad for you. We’re so much better than him.