Maybe we have become too hardened over the years to possibly suggest that the beautiful art of courtship is anything like the brutal frontline of selling but, in the modern dating world, the similarities are just too uncanny.
- Lead generation
We churn through databases (tinder) to find our matches. They need to qualify on paper. Or maybe you’ll get a cheeky referral (your mate has just found out that Dave is recently single and wants you to meet him for coffee/lots of alcohol). Or your marketing may have done its job and someone has reactively approached you (see… that new top was worth it!).
You need to come up with a punchy one liner to get noticed. What are your hooks? How can you make your message as relevant to that person as possible? How are you going to demonstrate that you have done your research and how you might provide value to their life in an instant?
- The intro meeting
We prefer intro meetings over calls so let’s go with that. You might be excited or nervous. You’re not entirely sure what to expect. You hope that their face-to-face credentials will match what you have seen on paper. You hope that you uphold the claims you have made to get the meeting. You hope it goes well and you get the next date. You ask lots of questions, you want to get under the skin of them and find out if there could be future meetings. They appreciate you taking such an interest. You’re a great dater for asking all those questions.
- The proposal/pitch
You may have had some follow up dates since the first meeting but now it’s conversion time – you want to win but you must pitch for it. You hope that there aren’t others in the running. You must show how you are the best person for the job, how your relationship will better their life, alleviate sleepless nights and how you can do this better than anyone else in a long-standing partnership. Or perhaps you decide that they’re not the right fit and you chose to opt out of any future dates and go your own separate ways in pursuit of a better match.
- The close
You need to close them down – you want commitment. You want something valuable from them to indicate that they’re serious. You stipulate the terms of the relationship, you compromise and land on a win/win. Your life is richer and more rewarding with them in it… but harder work.
- Account management
You can’t just close and then leave. You can’t get complacent. You need to ensure that you fulfil all the promises you made to them and you expect the same back. You want the relationship to develop and grow and become so intertwined that you need to stay together to survive and thrive.
So, our top tips on dating/selling:
- Always qualify your leads – cast the net wide but then narrow it down to a manageable pool of qualified prospects. Don’t try and be something you’re not or invest time in something in the hope it will morph into the option you want.
- Just in case you missed the last point – BE YOURSELF – don’t sell something that you’re not competent enough to deliver on and manage expectations from the offset. Focus on your USP’s and promote what you’re good at. That said, a bit of self-deprecation, used in the right way at the right time, can be great for relationships in all contexts – it breaks down barriers and stereotypes (of sales people). It provides good banter and builds trust as people can be weary of those who profess to be amazing at everything.
- Test the water early on – if you want completely different things, or the timings aren’t aligned then better to know sooner rather than later. There are loads of ways to find out what the other person has in mind for their future generally without necessarily shoehorning yourself into it and scaring them off. Leave the bunnies where they should be – at the play boy mansion.
- Get as many reactive leads as possible – make your marketing and your network work hard for you. With social networking as it is, there are plenty of free channels to get yourself out there and you’ll be surprised how resourceful your mates are if only you ask. It’s not uncool to market yourself or ask around – it’s honest, confident, sensible and efficient. Leads/dates that come to you reactively are far more likely to convert.
- Do your research – make sure that your initial interaction is going to pique their interest amidst the sea of other people that might approaching them (and let’s hope that they are desirable enough for that to be the case). With your research, say something that will resonate with them personally. Ensure that a little bit of you shines through in your messaging.
- Be brave! You only have to look as some of the best advertising campaigns to know that you don’t get very far sitting on the fence. You may burn through a few leads, some may think you’re a bit ‘nuts’ but far better to go for it and nip any future mismatch in the bud. You might not be to everyone’s taste but marmite sells better than blah’mite.
- It’s natural for us to want to pitch ourselves and our credentials in the first meeting especially if you’re a gregarious personality but, ask questions. Aim for an 80/20 split i.e. they do most of the talking. Why? Because you will learn exactly what they’re after, it will enable you to position yourself more appropriately against their needs, they will appreciate you taking such an interest in them and people tend to create reasons why they want to be there or why they need something if they’re given the chance. If they take the same approach then enjoy a nice balance of conversation!
- Let it go! If it doesn’t work out at any stage of the ‘process’ then take it as a learning experience for next time and cut your losses. Don’t dwell and analyse as you’ll never really know why it didn’t work or if the reasons they gave were genuine. You don’t know peoples circumstances – their dream ex-partner of 10 years may have just piped up for a bit of account management and you can’t compete with that legacy! They may have been seduced by bigger promises – you can revel in the fact it will likely backfire and pat yourself on the back that you dodged a fickle bullet.
- Don’t settle – you’re worth more than to settle for anything less than a great match! Be prepared to say ‘no’ and walk away if need be. Refuse to jump through hoops you don’t deem worthwhile and remember that you’re equal. Don’t sell yourself short or be bled dry.
- Be prepared to kiss a lot of frogs – obviously the idea is that you’ll be such a pro in the early stages of the ‘process’ that the amount of frogs you have to kiss will diminish. However, some will inevitably slip through the net. Whilst you want to give people a chance, don’t be too disappointed if you find yourself puckering up for a few of the slippery suckers – some of them disguise it so well!
- Take a bit away. There is a well know sales tactic called ‘TOP & TAP’ which stands for ‘Turn On Phrase’ and ‘Take Away Phrase’ which, when applied to the dating world, essentially means ‘play hard to get’. Tell them all the reasons why you can better their world and then take it away from them – make them fight for it a bit.
- Opposites attract – do they though??? Sales people sell best to other sales people – they get it. Opposites might seem like you’re balancing each other out so sorry to quash the myth but do yourself a favour and find someone that’s like minded and has similar interests – life will be better for it! There is a reason you don’t live in the gym or fart in public so don’t pick someone who is the opposite – it would make for a tedious, not to mention, smelly relationship.
- Expect a sign of commitment albeit in the form of a contract or a ring. You trust them but you need to know that their intentions will see you through testing times.
- The contract might be signed and the ring might be on but you can’t get lazy. Let the relationship evolve but stay true to the person they committed to. If you didn’t eat 12 doughnuts a day when you met then don’t start now! Strive to constantly remind your partner why they have made the right choice.
So, dating and selling both boil down to emotional human relationships and similar tactics can be applied for success as such. We hope you find the above useful. All wedding invites or invites for celebratory drinks on your promotion can be sent here.